by Anton Kudriavtsev/@TheDiesel
A revolver full of games brings forth streaking teams, falling dreams, and guards cutting through the seams.
After last night’s snooze-fest, I mini-hyped this match-up but was treated to a complete team victory by the Heat over the Hawks on the third day of LeBronukkah. The Big 2.7 (Bosh moving on up!) looked as comfortable as can be this season, each picking their spots and doing so effectively. Bosh scored 27 points on 55% shooting and grabbed 10 boards in the process, Wade added 26 points and 10 rebounds, and James had 22 points and 7 rebounds. Overall, this is what Heat fans (they still exist, right?) have been hoping for – combining the strengths of two point seven superstars into one unstoppable force. Jumping out to an early lead as much as 17 until Atlanta went on an 8-2 run and kept hitting shots to make it a two point game heading into the fourth. The Big 2.7 combined for 75 of Miami’s 89 points, finishing the Hawks off with a follow dunk by LeBron and a jumper by Chalmers. The Heat have finally started to run more, with a showing of 23 fast-break points versus Atlanta’s 9, and winning the battle inside with a 12-points in the paint advantage. Al Horford led the Hawks with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Anyone else notice how LeBron’s hairline wants to hang out with Joel Anthony’s hairline more and more? In case you’re wondering, alluding to athletes usually doesn’t work in the real world, as evidenced by my beef with a barista over choosing a coffee (What should I do? Should I stop going for the whipped cream? It’s my whipped cream!).
Derrick Rose continued to put his team on his back, leading to an overtime win over the Rockets. Rose had 30 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds, including a clutch three-pointer to send it to OT and an additional five to seal the win in extra minutes for the Bulls. Poor shooters need to watch that shot – that’s called using your legs on your jumper, kids. Did you see that cross-over on Kyle Lowry? Shaking and baking like his name was Ricky Bobby, D-Rose drove it right past the D and finished with his left hand. Oh, and Scola held down Houston with 27 points and 9 rebounds but his squad couldn’t stop the running of the Bulls, especially in overtime. Carlos Boozer was also impressive in his third full game as a Bull, with 25 points and 9 rebounds. If Booz trims his eyebrows, does he lose 6 pounds immediately? Side note but why does Booz’s head always look like it’s been savagely scalped before every game? Speaking of which, Coach Thibbs – you’ve got to shave that thing, quit holding onto the past. Can someone please tell me why Eric Snow has a job in broadcasting, let alone tasked with assisting in highlights? He’s just as boring as his game was, and seems to choke on his words before splurging out the obvious. Bring back Gary Payton immediately, even if people can’t comprehend his street talk half the time, it’s music to everyone’s ears compared to Snow’s bratwurst-grinded-through-your-ears voice.
Coming off a tight game against the Heat (bare with me), the Cavs were re-energized as they entered a shoot-out with the Wolves. Except in this shootout the Wolves had the guns and made the Cavs look like broken Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Minnesota tore apart Cleveland like a pardoned turkey, Love leading the way with 28 points and 19 rebounds. The Wolves hit a franchise-record 18 three-pointers despite playing without Beasley. I refuse to mention any of Cleveland’s “highlights”, since when you lose by 36 without a team’s leading scorer you don’t get compliments. If Thursday night was the often-described “girlfriend coming to the wedding” scenario, last night was “new girlfriend physically abusing you to tears” scenario. If Beasley plays, over/under on a 50-point slaughter? I will say this – I don’t want to see any of you jumping back on the bandwagon when we get Harrison Barnes next year! I’ll be taking mental notes on everyone until the Cavs are competing for a ring. I might need a bigger mental hard drive.
The mess that is the Sixers roster made a turn for the better as the beat the Bobcats. Jodie Meeks took advantage of starter minutes and poured in a career-high 26 points, including 6 three-pointers in the first quarter that eventually tied Allen Iverson’s arena record. Great for Meeks, not such a good look for a certain number two draft pick on the roster. Charlotte was led by Boris Diaw’s 19 points but the team refused to run back on defense through most of the night, despite Larry Brown’s urging pleas to stay off his lawn. Does anyone else find Kwame Brown’s jersey a mockery? He’s running around out there with “K.Brown” on his back – no, it’s not okay, Kwame! Pick up some Better Basketball DVD’s and do something.
You know your nation’s hero is having a great game when you’re getting messages from Aussies when it’s their traditional drinking time (i.e. anytime). Andrew Bogut scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 18 Kevin Love’s (from now on, anytime a player gets more than 15 rebounds, it’s a Kevin Love) as he surged his Bucks over a depleted Magic. Orlando were missing three players due to a stomach virus and were not-so-jokingly worried about suiting up 8 players for the game. Whatever happened to playing through intense sickness? I had a vision of JJ Redick dropping 40 as Vince Carter hugged him off the court, mainly in an attempt to absorb some of his powers. Carter led his team with 20 who were mainly able to keep themselves in the game due to the Bucks’ poor free-throw shooting. Brandon Jennings had his Aussie’s back with 27 points on 50% shooting. Shocking fact of the night: Chris Duhon – still on an NBA roster.
The Mavs made it nine in a row with an escape from Alcatraz/Sacramento. Led by Dirk’s 25 and Terry’s 23 off the bench, Dallas outscored Sac-town 15-4 in the last 5:30 of the game. With Dallas applying airtight pressure, Nowitzki almost stole a pass on the finals Kings possession, while Terry finally stole the turnover and earned the win. Tyreke Evans had an impressive outing with 25 points and 8 assists as did potential cellmate DeMarcus Cousins (17 points, 11 rebounds). Sitting with a two game lead over the Lakers a quarter way through the season, can Dallas keep up their defensive efforts and offensive sharing to have home court over LA if they meet?
“Check My $tats” of the night: Derrick Rose – 30 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 block. Game so nasty you need a safe word.
Separated at Birth of the day: Marco Belinelli and Rambo.
If you ask me, that whole Cavs/Heat game was overhyped, at least in terms of fan reaction. According to this report, Cleveland Police obviously had a clear handle on things. Mind if you if Mike Breen was calling the game he’d open verbal assault charges in court against all boo-ers in attendance. Can we please talking about it though? I’m totally over it.
I’m out like hope in Cleveland.