Indiana 105 Miami 102 – Indiana is my pick to win the East and they looked like it last night. Playing without Jeff Foster they matched up with Miami on the road. The weakness of Indiana has always been if they could score enough and that does not seem to be an issue ….. The most underrated player on Indiana is Jamal Tinsley. When he is healthy, which isn’t often, Indiana is nearly unbeatable ….. Ron Artest is an amazing addition. His defense alters games and the 22 a night and going to the free throw line is very significant …. The thing that has been overlooked is at the time of the brawl last year, Indiana was the best in the East and had just crushed Detroit in Detroit and that is why Ben Wallace was so pissed …… Indiana only had 11 turnovers last night. I would keep an eye on Miami opponent turnovers this season. I don’t see a team that defensively will force turnovers and they were pretty good defensively last year …. Gary Payton got more important minutes then Jason Williams ….. Antonie Walker came back to life with 15 shots for 12 points ….. Shaq sprained his ankle. I doubt he plays more then 60 games this year …. It is Shaq’s year off, therefore Miami will not win it.
Phoenix 122 Lakers 112 – If Phoenix can win without Stoudamire and play the same style it is either a tribute to Steve Nash or to Mike DiAntonio’s style. If they win without Stoudamire the rest of the league may be forced to follow how they play ….. Raja Bell is such a great fit for Phoenix ….. Lamar Odom had the huge night that he is capable of 23-16-8. However, it was in an open floor game where defense was not a focus. Can Odom do the same in a slower game. If not the Lakers will have a hard time getting looks for anyone but Kobe one on one …. Who is Smush Parker and is this real? … Kwane Brown just 21 minutes. It may never turn on for Brown.