Friday, December 19th, 2008 at 3:12 pm  |  50 responses

Links: The Dirty 30

Boston keeps their crown, while Sammy Dalembert continues to astound…

by Lang Whitaker

The weather outside is frightful here in NYC today, to say the least. Really, it’s snowing like a scene out of Medellin outside. But we’re still here, grinding, trying to get some stuff done before we break for the holidays.

A few quick notes before we get dirty…

• Quote of the Year thus far comes from Tim Thomas:

“Who gives a —?” — Tim Thomas, on Stephon Marbury showing up at the Knicks game in L.A.

• The Toronto Sun is mad as heck and they aren’t going to take it anymore…

“For reasons that defy all logic, people have tried to compare Bargnani to Nowitzki. Maybe it’s the European connection, the colour of their skin, the fact each can put the ball on the floor and extend their offence as seven-footers. It’s really an exercise in futility to even attempt to group the two because Bargnani is never going to earn league MVP honours.”

Hey, hey you! How dare you compare a seven-footer from Europe with range to another seven-footer from Europe with range! I’m just guessing here, but why are people comparing Dirk to Bargnani? It’s probably all three reasons given in the article! Doesn’t mean it’s a good or bad comparison, but those are three relatively important things that they have in common (well, the first and third are important, but especially the third). And does this mean we’re only allowed to compare MVP’s to other MVP’s? Canada confuses me.

• Michael Curry is emerging as one of my favorite coaching quotes now that Sam Mitchell is on the chilling list. Check out Coach Curry’s explanation to those who don’t understand why Curry has to mix and match his lineups at the end of games (and why Rip Hamilton got benched in the fourth the other night)…

“We said at the beginning that we looked at Rodney Stuckey and Antonio McDyess as starters. So if you look at it like we have seven starters, two guys are not going to be on the court down the stretch. That’s just the way it’s going to be. I don’t want it to be a story every time one of those guys doesn’t play down the stretch. We have a deep team in certain areas and because of that we will have a quality guy who’s not on the court.”

OK. So if you look at it like Detroit has seven starters, then yes, two guys will not be on the court AT ALL TIMES. Hopefully Coach Curry understands the NBA only allows five players on the court at any given time. But if you look at it like they have seven starters…then you’re not looking at an NBA team, I guess. Although that would be pretty awesome if they tried to start a game with seven dudes one night. If Curry tries that he’s definitely getting my vote for Coach of the Year.

• And finally, not sure what they’re smoking in Oklahoma City, but it must be good stuff

Sam Presti and his fellow NBA general managers are clearing salary cap space for the free agent class of 2010, which includes stars who will visit Oklahoma City this weekend.

It’s doubtful the Thunder can sign Bosh, James, Dwyane Wade or Amare Stoudemire. But you never know. Presti is clearing about $40 million of cap space for the 2010-11 season.

But you never know? Hey guess what? I know! The Thunder aren’t signing any of those dudes.

Anyway, let’s get it Dirty up in here. This is the new table thingy, and I don’t think it’s quite as functional as the previous table system we used. But it is what it is. Dirty…

1. 1. Boston Celtics 24-2 From the Boston team notes on Yahoo: The Celtics got to chat with Olympic swimming hero Michael Phelps earlier in the week. “It was good to meet him,” said F Paul Pierce. “He’s a great Olympian. We always respect great athletes. He’s one of our peers of our generation. We can say down the line to our kids that he was one of the best while we were playing.” Not all the Celtics were up on their recent history, however. G Tony Allen kept asking, “Who is he?”
2. 2. Los Angeles Lakers 21-3 The Lakers coasted to a win over New York a few nights ago, and now they start a 4 games in 5 nights stretch. Should be telling…
3. 3. Cleveland Cavaliers 21-4 Sorry Cavs, I can’t bump you any higher, especially after how bad you guys looked against Atlanta earlier this week. I had flashbacks to the 2007 Finals after that game.
4. 5. Denver Nuggets 17-8 They’ve got Cleveland tonight, then a back-to-back next week with Portland.
5. 9. New Orleans Hornets 15-7 They’ve won 10 of their last 12 and they look like they’ve finally shaken whatever it was holding them back earlier this season.
6. 4. Orlando Magic 20-6 Stan Van Gundy is blaming USA Basketball for Dwight’s knee injury. He played for them for what, a month? He’s played for Stan for over a year now. Just saying.
7. 8. San Antonio Spurs 15-10 And they’re back! Anyone see Popovich the other night with the mic on during the ESPN game? Really interesting stuff…which I can’t find on YouTube. Never mind…
8. 7. Houston Rockets 16-9 This week Houston had Artest, T-Mac and Shane The Defense Machine all healthy at the same time for the first time this season. I hope someone took a picture, because that will probably last longer than Houston’s health.
9. 6. Portland Trailblazers 17-10 B-Roy’s 52 was nice, but I agreed with TNT’s take on it (and I’m paraphrasing here):
EJ: The Suns were playing their new offense tonight…
BARKLEY: And their old defense!
10. 13. Atlanta Hawks 15-10 Who says it’s not a rivalry?
11. 12. Detroit Pistons 14-9 BTW, Rasheed has 5 technical fouls in his last 7 games. He’s ba-ack!
12. 14. Utah Jazz 16-11 It’s always great when the owner of a team can say of one his players, “It’s one of the top 10 stupidest things I’ve heard an NBA player do in 20 years,” and then talk about how he wants to re-sign the player. Hey Utah, remember how you signed Boozer? Yeah.
13. 11. Phoenix Suns 15-11 Last night was the eleventh straight game in which the Suns have given up more than 100 points. So that commitment to defense thing is really taking hold.
14. 10. Dallas Mavericks 14-10 Jason Terry is averaging 25 ppg over the last dozen games. He’s taking back The Jet from Kenny Smith.
15. 15. New Jersey Nets 12-12 Check out Sussman’s report about sitting courtside in Salt Lake City.
16. 21. New York Knicks 11-14 Shake and Bake! True story: Nate Robinson is obsessed with Talledega Nights lately. Just saying…
17. 16. Miami Heat 12-12 Dorell Wright is still out after having knee surgery to remove “loose bodies” from his knee. Miami’s nightlife must be off the heezy!
18. 17. Philadelphia 76ers 11-14 Our man Sammy Dalembert has play 6 games in the last 16 days for a total of 135 minutes and 12 seconds of burn…and he’s totalled 0 assists! That’s almost impossible. My favorite stat of the year by far…
19. 19. Toronto Raptors 10-15 Unrelated but awesome: “This is for Gene Chizik! This is for Gene Chizik!”
20. 20. Chicago Bulls 12-13 Weird injury note of the week: After being hit in the head in his previous three games, Tyrus Thomas is out tonight against Boston.
21. 18. Milwaukee Bucks 11-16 Zzzz….
22. 23. Charlotte BETcats 8-18 Raja Bell is so effective these days that he got tossed the other night with only one technical foul. That takes talent, folks.
23. 24. Memphis Grizzlies 9-16 Darius Miles: “I came from this murder capital (East St. Louis, Ill.) and when I got to the NBA, you heard nothing bad about me.” Um…OK.
24. 22. Indiana Pacers 9-16 Completely unrelated but great link.
25. 28. Los Angeles Clippers 7-18 Someone on the Clips needs to give this to Baron for Christmas in honor of his Jenny Craig diet success.
26. 25. Golden State Warriors 7-19 Amazing: The Warriors have given up 119 or more points in seven of their last 10 games.
27. 26. Sacramento Kings 7-19 So the Kenny Natt era is working out well…
28. 29. Washington Wizards 4-19 So the Ed Tapscott era is working out well…
29. 27. Minnesota L-Wolves 4-21 So the Kevin McHale era is working out well…
30. 30. Oklahoma City 2-24 So the Scotty Brooks era is working out well…
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  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com Nbk

    the lakers did not coast to a win against ny

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Lang, the least you could have done is got the Heat’s record correct…..12-12, kid, 12-12. Proud of that .500…..until this evening.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Bleh. Shane Battier isn’t playing too much defense right now though Lang. Give it another week or two.
    I spose your ranking does have to come down when you lose to the Grizz and Clippers though…. in one week. *urgh*.

  • riggs

    it was a knicks loss more than a lakers win by far

  • Candice

    Why is Philly and Toronto ahead of Chicago?NY didn’t coast to a win either. And I feel Detroit is ranked too low.

  • RayRayJr

    The spurs up that high? Really? They just lost 2 in a row and got spanked by Orlando last night. Great to see the 2 losses though haha
    La La Lakers tonight…

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I can’t wait for the game tonight…or E-boy’s game notes tomorrow.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Eboy: My bad, Fixing it now…

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    B., I hope I deliver to the expectations……

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi T

    Can’t wait till Christmas Day. West Coast meets East Coast that day; Champs versus near-Champs, Links #1 vs Links #2….It’s gonna be an epic…

  • toney blare

    i thought the same thing when i read that toronto quote–a #1 pick is never going to be mvp and we should all shut up??

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Thanks Lang.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’m not giving up on Bargs just yet. His ceiling is still very high because he has shown glimpses of what he could do. Big men take more time. The only problem is that he is a 4, not a 3. Basically, what I’m saying is that he’ll shine when he moves to another team because Bosh is not gonna give him any burn. Maybe they thought he could be a 3 but he aint.

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com Nbk

    I don’t know Z, if you want to compare Andrea to anyone it would have to b Dirk who really did not produce like everyone thought he would early. I think if Bargnani wants to become an elite player or even a very solid player he is going to have to hit the weight room. Right now he is JD from Scrubs, and to be an top level 4 in the L you gotta be able to clear some kinda space, even Dirk gets 9 boards a game.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    I’m so sick of Michael Phelps. Can someone just drown him already?

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com Nbk

    ciolkstar is that revolver a mixtape or a song?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Eboy, I’ll be at the Warriors@Heat game on tuesday . . . any people I should talk to for a chance to get on the floor before the game? Maybe some *secrets* of the American Airlines Arena? :)

  • Mendel

    LANG, ********THIS LAYOUT FORMAT SUCKS********* For god sakes I have been with your from day one and your killing me here. I dont deserve it. If its broken don’t fix it. !!!!!THE NEW LAYOUT SUCKS!!!!! Its hard to tell which are new postings, which are old, Some older ones you can not find anymore. !!!!!THE LAYOUT ITSELF LOOKS KIND OF CHEAP AND RETARTED GENERIC!!!!!! There was absoulutely nothing wrong with the other one. I cant even say you all are on crack because, if you were then you would not have messed with it to begin with. I have no idea what you all are on. Does the dude in china need to come back or what. And where the hell have you been? Tis the season and your just completely awol doing the dirty thirty, thats the peeons job, you are the star as the U of L football team says in the weight room as doing reps !!!!!!inhale GET exhale RIGHT!!!!! GET RIGHT

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    And B-Roy will be up there in the headlines more frequently now, bet on it.

  • Mendel

    Then the comments box is all small and narrow. WTF

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com Nbk

    ^he’s an angry elf

  • Anton

    Goddamn Dwight Howard sucked in the Olympics.
    Should’ve just had Bosh and Amare, would have been more than enough.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Mendel, tell us how you really feel. Don’t sugarcoat it.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Mendel: I hear you. But we aren’t undoing everything we’ve done over the last six months to make the site better (and it is better). Sorry and I hope you keep reading.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    ciolkstar is that revolver a mixtape or a song?

    ^^I’m not sure what you’re talking about NBK?

  • Anton

    I like the new format, easier to read.
    But that table really is cheap-looking. Not even dirty!

  • Sari

    im wit Mendel on this one…

  • Monkeyball

    Mendel: If it’s broken, you SHOULD fix it.

  • http://its-mitch.blogspot.com/ Paps

    The shoe tossing link is great.

  • Phil B

    52 points is still 52 points. It’s more than anyone else has scored in 48 minutes this year.

  • Jackie Moon


  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Putting the Cavs behind the Lakers is just 100 percent pure haterism. Haterology?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    why do the Spurs and rockets flip flop positions?? The spurs have lost 2, rockets won 1, both are 6-4 in their last 10, Rockets have a slightly better record, what gives? The Hawks also lost and are only 6-4 lately, but moved up 3 spots…same goes for Lakers/cavs, cavs deserve #2…Denver has played slightly worse than Orlando, yet denver moves up a spot and Orlando down 2….don’t get it Lang….are you ranking teams based on their play, potential, or both? Are you taking their opponents into account also?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    And yeah I know this sounds biased coming from a Rockets’ fan, but I was hoping SLAM wouldn’t keep throwing out those “rockets will never be healthy” remarks like pretty much every single media outlet out there. I expected SLAM to know the difference between real injuries and what’s actually going on in Houston, and that’s Tmac recovering from LAST year’s injury (not a new injury) and Ron having a minor ankle sprain, which only needed 2 games to rest.. Meanwhile, the rest of the league is having REAL injuries (Brand, Martin, Boozer, Howard, Hinrich, Kaman, Davis, etc.) Once the big 3 have a legit injury, then feel free to jump on the bandwagon.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    @2. Sorry.

  • riggs

    lmao @ Eboy

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Kid Presto

    The lakers should be ranked number 10 with that loss against the heat tonight. why are they playing around with teams? my dad always told me to kill a gnat with a sledgehammer and the lakers are not following that motto. no defense=no championship. I hope my favorite team knows that. fly society in the house.

  • Big L

    My Cav’s should be ahead of LA period

  • Anton

    Atta boy DWade.
    Hope the Hornets can take the W against the Lakers on tuesday before the Celtics annihilate them on Christmas.
    Oh yes, there will be blood.

  • Anton

    Eboy, you get that sign in there?

  • md

    i dont see how anyone can argue that this year the cavs are not better than the Lakers i mean did u see the games tonite Cavs killed Denver while the Lakers lose to a terrible heat team

  • j4zz m4n

    lakers are so complacent and inconsistent it’s quite disappointing.trade odom for someone with some nuts and consistency

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Wait a minute now…..the Heat aren’t great by any stretch of the imagination……but they also aren’t terrible….that’s reserved for the L-Wolves and the Thunder. Let’s be realistic.

  • Tuomas

    Yay, thanks for fixing the comments. Btw, Sammy’s got absolutely nothing on Yinka Dare’s record.

  • KB

    Really Tony? You didn’t know who Michael Phelps was? Wow…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Lang, any chance you give this weeks poorly constructed top 5 a reorder? Just saying.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Lang? Slipping MEDELLIN in there, right at the beginnning brought a big smile to my face. Lang likes himself some Entourage, hmm? Insanely addictive show, love it.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Hey Russ, still think the Lakers should be ahead of the Cavs? Two losses in a row (and two rimmed out buzzer beater attempts? Yesssss!)

  • Anton

    the Celtics will rip them approximately 6 new ones on the Christmas Day massacare.

  • chintao

    If the new layout drives Mendel off the boards, then I will suffer through it.