C. Paul (NO): 29 min, 0 pts (0-6 FG), 10 ast, 2 stl, 2 turnovers @ Grizzlies
I predicted that the Hornets would beat the Grizzlies last night behind a big effort from all-pro point guard Chris Paul. Though my predictions--like that the Spurs would rebound nicely from their slide--have been pretty good this season, I could not have been more wrong about last night's New Orleans-Memphis game. I asserted that Paul, who the Grizzlies limited to six points in their last meeting, was too good a player to be shut down by the same team twice in a row. Last night, though, Memphis' rising star at point guard, Mike Conley, shut out the four-time All Star and 47% career shooter, Chris Paul. Though he did manage 10 assists, Paul missed all six shots he took, despite averaging 18.8 points for his career and 16.2 for the season. Last night was actually the first time in his career that Paul was held scoreless for an entire game; he did manage to dish out double-digit assists for the 228th time in his career, though. That's what was truly remarkable about Paul's performance in Memphis last night: he was as consistent as usual in terms of assists, but was as inconsistent as possible at scoring. An up-and-down offensive night for Chris Paul, but the Hornets really needed his scoring touch in a 22-point loss to the Grizzlies.
J. Weaver (LAA): 7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 15 K, 4 BB vs. Blue Jays
Angels starter Jered Weaver turned in an utterly dominant performance yesterday in Anaheim, mowing through the Blue Jays' lineup. Of the 23 outs Weaver recorded, 15 were by strikeout, making for an impressive 65.2% clip. That's well above Weaver's career average of getting 29.0% of his outs by strikeout, and it outpaced his 2011 season total (12 strikeouts in two prior starts). Though the strikeouts were up yesterday afternoon, the general shutdown performance from Weaver is anything but a surprise. In his previous two starts, Weaver went 12 innings and gave up only one run, going 2-0 in the process. The Angels' rotation has been great so far this season, and Weaver is a huge reason why.
D. Rose (CHI): 39 pts (13-17 FG, 3-5 3PT, 10-10FT), 5 ast, 3 rebs @ Magic
Derrick Rose continues to pour it on for the Bulls, leading the charge yesterday with 39 points--all of them critical in a three-point road victory for Chicago. Rose was both dominant and efficient for the Bulls, scoring 39 points while none of his teammates had more than 15; he also shot 76.4% from the floor, made the majority of his three-point attempts, and hit all 10 of his free throws. He managed 15 points in the first quarter and 11 in the final period, as the Bulls clung to their slim lead for the final three minutes. Though Rose's assists numbers were below his season average of 7.9 per game, he put the team on his back scoring-wise and carried them to a quality road win.