The Chukwuemeka Is Coming

I apologize. In all the Richardson/Dudley/Diaw/Bell hullabaloo, I couldn't get around to talking about actual games. The less said about the Hornets game, the better. Guys had just been traded. No one was ready to play. Just a poorly played game against a superior team. It is what it is.



===

However, the game at Dallas last night was encouraging for a few, specific, reasons. First, do you hear that sound? It's the Chukwuemeka. Beware the Chukwuemeka.

Emeka Okafor put up another huge night, but the Bobcats couldn't put the game away in crunch time, wasting his 27 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He's been a little up and down recently, depending on the quality of the opposition, but with a renewed focus on his offense, just a little kick to the inside game and a lot of practice on the midrange game, he's become someone opponents have to acknowledge. Even if it's out of necessity, it's a welcome development as long as it doesn't take away from his defense.

I'll keep saying this until I'm blue in the face: Emeka Okafor is an excellent NBA player. If you think his offense "sucks", you're wrong, since he gets offensive rebounds and his scoring is actually right in the middle of the league's starting centers, right now between Rasheed Wallace and Andrew Bogut, guys with much better offensive reputations than Okafor. The only centers ahead of him in both rebounds and points are Dwight Howard and Andris Biedrins. Even his most ardent haters have to concede he's a top seven or eight defensive center (while most would have him easily top five with Camby and Howard the only obvious ones better). Where does that leave him? He's, at worst, a slightly above average big man, and at best he's an elite defender who brings better than average offense, a borderline All Star in the mix with Ilgauskas, Bogut, Sheed, and in a year or two Horford, for the East's second center spot after Howard.

As for the big black hole of suck this night, it was, unfortunately, DJ Augustin. He was 3-16 from the field, and 10 assists simply don't make up for the cluster of lost possessions coming directly from his missed shots and his complete inability to defend anyone other than JJ Barea. My Damon Stoudamire prediction still stands.



===

Spent the evening at the Watch Party at Cans in Uptown. As always, Rufus proved that he's in the conversation for best mascot in pro sports, along with the Oakland Athletics' Stomper.

I'm afraid there weren't many other people there for it, as this is apparently the third one they've held and they're not advertising it at games or on the web site. I mean, they're giving away downstairs tickets, people. If you're gonna go out to hang with friends, you may as well go somewhere they're gonna give you NBA tickets, right?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join At The Hive

You must be a member of At The Hive to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at At The Hive. You should read them.

Join At The Hive

You must be a member of At The Hive to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at At The Hive. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker