As always, we open with the litmus test of the Lakers on the road Halloween night. Dreadful 36.3% shooting from the field dooms us to a narrow 93-90 defeat. Kyle Smith scores 12 points in 13 minutes in his Denver debut, though and Patrick Pastner and Emeka Okafor both double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 points, 13 rebounds in a nifty respective inversing.
Patrick Pastner leads the way with 24 points as we top the Timberwolves 89-77. Larry Brown experiments with Mateen Yeaton at the point, Kyle Smith at SG. Smith shoots a horrific 3 for 13 and Yeaton does okay with 19 points and 6 assists versus 1 turnover. I think we're better with a Hinrich/Yeaton backcourt, but Larry's the boss of the lineup.
My point's proven in a 107-100 loss to the Jazz in our next game. Emeka Okafor plays nicely with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but overall our offense is looking dreadfully out of sync with Brown's new five and our defense is shredded by Utah's starting unit.
Or maybe it's that Utah's better than I think, as they beat us again two nights later, 114-110, on the front end of a doubleheader. This despite 22 points from Kyle Smith, 27 points from Mateen Yeaton and doubleheaders of 19 points and 15 rebounds and 12 points and 11 rebounds from Dan Jacobson and Emeka Okafor. Yeaton really has no business whatsoever being at the point, but Larry's sticking with it. Kyle Smith scores 27 the next night against Seattle, Mateen Yeaton adding 20 points, Brandon Brooks 13 bench points as we throttle Seattle 101-82. I don't know why Kirk Hinrich isn't getting very many minutes, but if he doesn't start getting more PT soon, I may have to think about moving him.
Detroit goes down 89-80 as Mateen Yeaton scores 25. Kirk Hinrich is still averaging under 10 minutes a game ever since the opening night loss to the Lakers. It's really puzzling, but it does seem like we're shooting better as a team after the switch.
103-94 victory over the Kings keeps our small win streak alive. Mateen Yeaton's looking more comfortable at the point with 19 points and 10 assists and Dan Jacobson gets 13 points and 14 rebounds. Brandon Brooks continues to find new life as our 6th man with 12 points off the bench, Phillip Gill adding 10 reserve boards.
Toronto throttles us 97-85 to end our winning ways. Mateen Yeaton scores 22, but the real story of the game is Greg Oden, who sets some records with 18 points, 32 rebounds, 7 blocks and 8 assists. That was almost a quadruple-double. Amazing performance. David Anyan is averaging 20.1 points a game in the young season and playing brilliantly all-around. The Raptors aren't just good this year, they're scary good.
Our best game of the season follows in a 109-76 out-running of the Bulls. Mateen Yeaton garners 20 points and 10 assists, Kyle Smith scores 20 and Patrick Pastner puts up 22 points. I'm still not wholly comfortable with this team, but it's starting to grow on me a little bit.
Thrilling, high-scoring game against Dallas, the home advantage carrying us to the narrow 114-112 win. Kyle Smith is electric, scoring 32 points, ably aided by Patrick Pastner with 23 points and Emeka Okafor with 14 points, 12 rebounds. It's driving me crazy seeing Mateen Yeaton running the point, but on the other hand it'll make for an interesting comparison to Paulinho Buboltz. Hell of a game by Jonte Jones, too; 32 points and 18 rebounds.
I'll tell you one thing, though. This version of the Nuggets, when the offense is in sync, is a beautiful thing to watch. We shoot 60% even against New Jersey, destroying the Nets 117-73. Mateen Yeaton scores 30, Brandon Brooks double-doubles off the bench with 10 points and 11 assists and Steven Caspers leads the reserves with 14 points. Kirk Hinrich continues to get scanty minutes and he's starting to make it an issue to the local press.
But it's hard to argue with the results, as we whomp the Spurs 102-71 on the first night of a back-to-back, Mateen Yeaton leading the charge with 22 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds and a steal, Phillip Gill nearly flawless in scoring 15 points to head up the second unit. We score a sweep by squashing the Rockets 96-78 and that's without Mateen Yeaton in the starting lineup, as he had a concussion. He scored 12 points in reserve duty, but credit for the victory goes to Brandon Brooks (10 points, 10 assists[/b], Patrick Pastner (16 points, 13 rebounds) and Emeka Okafor (14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks).
Or maybe I'll keep Kirk Hinrich, who leads the reserves with 12 points in 10 minutes en route to a 109-92 victory over the Hornets. Mateen Yeaton is still plagued by a concussion and plays fewer minutes this game, but Hinrich's play, Brandon Brooks's 14 points and 16 assists, Kyle Smith's 24 points and Dan Jacobson's 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks ensure that we don't miss Mateen in the least. That's how deep we are this year, particularly at the guard spots.
Lebron James is incredible in scoring 38 points against us in the final game of the month, but the Cavaliers can't withstand our balanced attack. We top Cleveland 101-94 as Mateen Yeaton scores 21 in his first game back as a starter, Emeka Okafor adds 12 points and 10 rebounds, [b]Dan Jacobson 11 points and 13 rebounds and Brandon Brooks highlights the bench with 11 points.
So where does that leave us at the end of the first month? 11-4, a game and a half ahead of the Utah Jazz and the Seattle Supersonics in the Northwest.
Dallas is still looking good even without Jason Terry, as they're 12-5 and the Lakers are tops at 13-3, as expected.
Toronto's 14-3 in the East, while Boston and Detroit are 10-4, Indiana a game off the Pistons at 10-5.
Paulinho Buboltz/Mateen Yeaton Comparison
2013 Stats: 82 games/77 starts - 17.0 PPG 9.5 APG 3.0 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.2 SPG
2014 Stats: 15 games/15 starts - 20.5 PPG 7.6 APG 2.9 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.5 SPG
2013 Stats: 82 games/81 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.4 APG 5.2 RPG 1.8 BPG 1.6 SPG
2014 Stats: 15 games/13 starts - 18.5 PPG 6.6 APG 4.3 RPG 1.0 BPG 1.1 SPG
...Ouch. I just have to keep reminding myself though that #1) it's early in the season and #2) Mateen's having to adjust to a position that's not naturally suited for him.
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)