In honor of T.J. Ford's falling one board short of a triple double, here's some numbers to chew on while waiting for Wednesday's bounty of 14 games. (You'd think Kevin Garnett would be among the triple-double leaders. Nope.)
Ford's Production Line
Triple-Double Leaders Among Active Players
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Opening defense of the Spurs' title, Tony Parker, left, and Manu Ginobili examine two more of the rings that Tim Duncan helped make possible.
Neil (Taipei, Taiwan): Hi Marc - Finley and Van Exel are saying all the right things now. What happens months down the road when they realize they aren't playing as much as they'd like?
Marc Stein: Don't think it's going to be a problem. Van Exel is Horry-like in that he doesn't need or even want a ton of regular-season minutes. He's all about the playoffs and he WILL have a playoff role if Parker falters on the big stage, as we have seen multiple times in the past. And I think there will be sufficient minutes for Finley, too. Those guys knew the deal when they signed there. They went for rings, not minutes.
Michigan's interest in the game is exceeded by no other, according to SportsNation. The home state of the Pistons has a large number of fans "very interested" in the NBA. Arizona, too.
Montana, um, no. Looks like things just haven't been the same since Larry Krystkowiak left the league.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
T.J. Ford wears the surprised look, but it was Allen Iverson and the Sixers who fell backwards in a opening home loss.
Chris Webber put up some big numbers for Philly in an opening night loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Webber had 32 points on 14-for-28 shooting and 14 rebounds. But there's one more big number on his stat line that is troublesome . . . 48 minutes.
And after logging so much playing time, C-Webb showed his age a little at the end of the game, it would seem. Webber was 0-for-4, with two fouls and a turnover in the last 10 minutes (including overtime). As he gets older (he's 32) and his legs continue to weaken, crunch time productivity will become a bigger issue for Webber and the Sixers.
"A.I. should still be the Sixers' leading scorer, averaging 20-plus a game. But if he drops down 8 points from 30, Webber puts in 18 a night, Iguodala scores 16 and Salmons 15, the Sixers will be much better off. That's the wise move, in my opinion."
Forget the champagne. At least two Hornets starters will have to celebrate their opening-night victory over the Kings with soda pop. Chris Paul and J.R. Smith became only the fourth pair of NBA teammates, both under the age of 21, to start their team's opening game of the season. The others: Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler (2002-03 Bulls), Darius Miles and Lamar Odom (2000-01 Clippers), and Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett (1996-97 Timberwolves).
• The Hornets held the Kings to 67 points. Sacramento's total equaled the second lowest in a season opener during the shot-clock era. The lowest was 66 points by the Charlotte Hornets against the 76ers in February 1999, after the end of the owners' lockout.
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Robin Roberts' nephew suits up for the Grizzlies. The second NBA player from Utah Valley State is making his debut. And this Jazz man took an NAIA path to the NBA.
• Charles Barkley, sizing up the Suns without Amare.
Also: San Antonio is 9-0 on opening night since Tim Duncan has been with the team ... The Sixers brought back new coach Mo Cheeks' former teammates Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Clint Richardson and Henry Bibby, and former assistant coach Chuck Daly to support his Sixers homecoming.