by Shannon Booher

Line Of The Night:

Dwight Howard — 30 points, 19 boards, 10 blocks, 3 assists

That speaks for itself. Beastaculous. The real big man story in this Magic/Thunder game, though, was Robert Swift’s shocking makeover. He went from the stringy, long-hair/slacker/skater/rocker look, to Superman vs. Scarecrowthe product-induced, kinda short, metro mohawk look. Odd.

Worst Of The Night:

There are probably a bunch of Lakers fans out there wondering why there is so little L.O.N. coverage of the only remaining undefeated team (the Ceatles made sure of that, taking down the Hawks in a thriller last night) thus far this year. A team who, after all, features the Official Player of L.O.N., and Revolutionary Team Captain, Lamar Odom A.K.A. L-Eezy. Well, first of all, L-Eezy isn’t exactly a featured member of that stacked team; he’s only cracked the 30 minute mark once. Second of all, there is our well-chronicled history with the Kobster, A.K.A. Kobe Cryant. But that is not even the deal-breaker. Mr. Cryant is one of those “love to hate types,” and without our Mamba animosity, how could we love Kevin Garnet, J.R. Smith and Travis Outlaw so damn much? Yin and Yang, y’all. No, the straw that breaks the Lakers’ back is none other than Joel Meyers. We literally cannot stand listening to the man talk for more than 23 seconds. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard meets a jackhammer to the abdomen. A nuclear explosion of excruciating pain and irritance. Give us national Lakers coverage, or our dawg Ralph Lawler calling an intra-city match, and we’ll be there for y’all. Until then, though, it’s boxscores and boxscores only.

Dre in flight.Near Ice Cube Of The Night:

Andre Iguodala — 18 points, 10 assists, 9 boards

This performance against the T-Dot marks three straight all-around games from the Other A.I. (Can we call him something else, though? What? An excruciating debate took place in the L.O.N. offices over this, and it remains unresolved), and with him rolling like this and Elton Brand having his best game of the season (25/8), the Sixers showed signs of living up to the hype last night.

T.J. Ford — 18 points, 9 assists, 8 boards, 3 steals

All you internet stat heads can rave all you want about Jose Calderon this, and assist-plus-minus-percentage-ratio that, but if the ball dropped on the court tomorrow, and L.O.N. had to pick somebody to run our squad? T.J. Ford, all day, ereday. A healthy (ok, that’s a big if, we admit) T.J. Ford can DOMINATE a game, and that is just what he did last night in Dirty Jerse.

Brad Miller — 16 points, 11 boards, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

BRAD MIZZLE! One country boy center dominates another (Chris Kaman).

Contraction Club Of The Night:

San Antonio Spurs, 78 points vs. the Milwaukee Bucks

This is a legit contraction scenario. Off their current roster, you throw Tim Duncan and a couple other guys into a contraction draft and poof… it’s like they never existed.

The Mailroom Supervisor’s Honey Of The Night:

Amare Stoudemire — The MRSV says: “Nice scarf! The wink, and he’s smiling and giving me googley eyes.”

About four years ago, the infamous Malice In The Palace went down. Call it ugly, call it what you want, but we call it entertaining and have never pretended not to love any level of NBA skirmish, fight or brawl. Last night’s Houston/Phoenix game gave us a little something something.

Matt Barnes set it off with an out-of-nowhere forearm shiver to Skip-To-My-Lou, who was about to set a standard high screen on Barnes. From there an amorphous scrum broke out.  The whole thing was basically a lot of big guys pushing on little guys. Barnes pushes Rafer Alston, then McGradles shoves lil’ Stevie Nash, then Big Shaq shoved every-damn-body. While Barnes and Alston were initially separated, they almost managed to get back at each other right near the court side seats. Suns coach Terry Porter managed to get in between them though, before it got really Bubba Sparxxx. Other than those two guys, McGradles was the most heated, probably because he saw the initial cheap shot on his teammate.  He was ready to “ride together”, ala S-Jax back in ’04, but he had Luis Scola to hold him back (word to big man peacemakers). Ironically this whole thing was probably one idiot Pistons fan and a Ron Artest moment from getting extra out of hand, and guess who happened to be on the Rockets’ bench?

A logical question might be, “Why did Matt Barnes lick that initial shot on Skip?  Was there some sort of pretext?” Good luck with that. Watching him over the years, we’ve seen that he has a temper, pure and simple. He has never been afraid to lick a shot, and only Pac knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Jermaine O’Neal two straight double-doubles, two straight losses. Coincidence?… Nice to see Greg Oden make it through a game, and even have a few nice plays (a dunk and a couple blocks)… Wilson who?…