Friday, February 27, 2009

NBA Action: Marbury Debuts for Celts

Stephon Marbury has finally returned to NBA action after a year or so riding the bench, and staying in the controversial news headlines of New York. On Friday, the newly signed guard made his debut in a game for the Boston Celtics as they hosted the Indiana Pacers. Ray Allen led all scorers with 30, while Marbury contributed 8 points in a close game which saw the Celtics win it by just 5. The Pacers were one of the first teams to defeat the Celtics back in their red hot start to the 2008-09 season and continue to pose a problem for the Eastern Conference leaders. Rajon Rondo put in 17 assists during the contest, and you'd have to believe he's going to have more nights like this with a handful of great scorers to dish to.

Also Friday night, big Shaq Diesel returned to form of his yesteryears when he scored an impressive 45 points and pulled down 11 rebonds, as Steve Nash watched from the bench. The Suns who beat Toronto 133-133, recently learned they would be without Amare Stoudamire for the remainder of the season due to a detached retina. Dirk Nowitzki scored 41 points in an Overtime win against Oklahoma City which saw the Thunder lose star player Kevin Durant to a sprained ankle. Lebron tallied up his 16th double double of the season with 30 points and 14 boards for Cleveland. The Cavs bounced back from their loss a night earlier to the Rockets with a convincing win against the Duncan-less Spurs. Chris Paul racked up 20 assists in a win against the Milwaukee Bucks, won by a Tyson Chandler last second tip in shot. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama dropped by a Wizards home game, but to watch his hometown favorites, the Chicago Bulls lose to one of the worst, if not worst team in the league. Despite that, it was all love for Obama as he shook hands with fans on his way out of the arena.

**In tragic news, the NBA very recently suffered the loss of two all-time greats in Johnny "Red" Kerr and Norm Van Lier, both former members of the Chicago Bulls. Kerr was known as a passing big man, the first coach of the Bulls when they were an expansion team, and also notable as the former Bulls broadcaster. Kerr received an honorary statue at the United Center earlier this month, at a ceremony which featured taped messages from Barack Obama, Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. Norm Van Lier was a three time All-Star who began his career with Cincinnati back in 1969. He was given the name "Stormin' Norman" for his fiery play and was one of the most popular players in Bulls' history. Van Lier was scheduled to work as a TV analyst for Wednesday's Bulls game. His body was discovered at his home with no cause of death known at this point. Read more about Johnny Red Kerr & Norm Van Lier here.

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