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Thursday, November 12th, 2009 at 9:01 am  |  80 responses

Post Up: Brandon Ballin’

Bosh played like a beast.

by Holly MacKenzie/@stackmack

Such. A. Long. Night.

When you’re trying to write on deadline and a team (the Chicago Bulls) shoots 47.8% through three quarters, the last thing you expect is for them to shoot 13% in the fourth. Yes, 13%. As in, 3-for-21. After scoring 60 points against the Raptors in the first half (Chicago averages 88 points a game on the season), the Raptors discovered their defensive side and held the Bulls to just 29 second half points as they went on to win 99-89.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a team die like that in the fourth before. At least not after the first half they had. I mean, they didn’t just fall apart, they were done. Over. Their shots even looked bad. It was like a different team on the floor. Crazy.

And with each passing game I appreciate Chris Bosh more and more. I wasn’t convinced he’d be able to keep up the strong start, but, eight games in he’s still killing it. The extra size has been great for him and most importantly, he hasn’t slowed down a bit, the way guys sometimes lose some of their quickness as they adjust to their new frames.

Bosh is beasting. Fact.

Now, most importantly, and I think you all knew this was coming.

Brandon Jennings.

32 points (matching Melo’s total) and nine assists in the Bucks win over the Nuggets. Even more impressive, 14 of those 32 in the fourth quarter when his team needed him most. Six of the 32 coming on back to back three-pointers in the fourth. The Bucks are leading the Central Division. I knew Brandon would be great, didn’t know he’d be able to help his team this quickly, though. Coming home to that boxscore made my night for real.

LeBron James finished with 36 points, eight rebounds and four assists as the Cavs took down the Magic in a rematch of the conference finals. I like a healthy Magic team better than the Cavs this season, although I know how stupid it is to vote against LeBron. I’ve learned that lesson with Kobe and I’ll never do it again.

Steve Nash had a quieter night yesterday, scoring 12 points (5-for-6 shooting) and dishing 10 assists in the Suns blowout of the Hornets. He’s already resurrected two careers this season, helping Channing Frye and Jaredy Dudley find roles on this Suns team. I hope the threes keep falling because they’re so much fun to watch.

Okay, there were about a million different moments, plays, performances and games last night. I missed a lot of them and yet here I am at 2 a.m. watching a replay of the Raptors/Bulls game to see what I may have missed in that awful fourth quarter. How about you guys fill me in. I’ve been hearing about Will Bynum’s dunks, haven’t seen them yet though. Also, San Antonio pulling out another victory without TP and TD. Impressive.

So, yeah. There’s a ton to talk about. Let’s get cracking.

And finally, yay Greg Oden!! 18 points and 11 rebounds. The 18 coming on 8-10 from the floor.

p.s. If you haven’t already, I beg you to go out and grab “The Art of a Beautiful Game” by Chris Ballard. It’s phenomenal. And I’m only midway through the second chapter.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick thesubwayconnection

    Nash only played 20 minutes though. That game was all but decided in the first ten minutes. The Hornets are BAD. Oh, and Jennings was my 9th round pick. I <3 him. (no homo)

  • http://dsfjkl.com Jukai

    Nash’s quiet game was logged with under 23 minutes of game play. He had seven assists in the firth half alone– crazy!
    Suns are rolling. I gotta give props to Dragic– 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists! People who were saying he was the worst backup point guard in the league need to apologize.
    The kid made some stupid mistakes but he is never bothered by them, he keeps playing the Suns style of basketball without hesitation, he is a better fit than any other backup point guard the Suns have had since 2005– unreal!

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

    Hey Holly, I could’ve sworn that Houston did almost exactly the same thing against Dallas. A superior start followed by a second half collapse.
    On that note, Darksaber – congratulations.

    Carl Landry is really on a tear right now though. His block of Rudy Gay’s layup in the 4th quarter was just insane too. Love his smile, he (Landry) always looks so happy.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    Brandon Jennings that dude!

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

    Honourable mention for stat of the night goes to Kyle Lowry:
    8pts, 10assists, 8rebounds, 2 steals – in 29 minutes off the bench.
    PS- Injury watch on Aaron Brooks. He hasn’t looked 100% since halfway through the Dallas game.

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

    Will “The Thrill” Bynum.
    P.S.- Russ (or Ben)- Bynum should have the Slamadaday.

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

    Speaking of blocks, Maxiell did Gerald Henderson dirty.

  • http://dsfjkl.com Jukai

    Right, I caught that live, TAD! Tyson had that “I haven’t heard of you but now I wont be able to forget your name” look. It was harsh.

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

    The most impressive thing I saw with Brandon Jennings last night was when he stepped to the line at the end of the game and the outcome still in doubt and didn’t even hesitate swishing both freethrows.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Holly I tried to give you the jennings heads up on twitter. He is ridiculous…. For the record chris paul’s jumper looks more than fine to me but I feel terrible for him with that squad. Grant Hill looks 30 years old out there. And also greg oden fouls a lot but he’s being extremely productive otherwise. 10 points 9 boards 2.3 blocks in about 25 mpg. Also shooting like 60% from the field and 79% from the line. If he cuts down the fouls big if at this point he’s gonna be a monster for real.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Al Horford had a good game last night. That is all.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Husrt, thanks for the Lowry line, def missed that! I love watching houston because they just work so well together as a team. Even after the collapse against the Mavs, they’re fun. And, co-sign Landry. Dude loves to play basketball. I love watching him.
    Shia, I SAW the tweet, but I was in the locker room getting quotes! Thank you. Love your twitter name, makes me crack up every time.
    Tad, the free throws, having the confidence to take the three-pointers, dude is exactly where he wants to be. Pressure situations, his team counting on him. Love it.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    I was worried for your boys, Cali. I saw the score in the second q and they were down… but then I realized they were in NYC playing the Knicks and they’d be fine. Also, someone, please help NJ get a win.

  • LeoneL

    And I thought people are saying that this year’s draft class is not so good.

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

    Lawrence Frank needs to be fired. Like yesterday.

  • riggs

    sam mitchell as new coach of the nets, make this happen someone.

  • Goat

    You must have caught Antoine Wright’s full body block (pinned the ball off the glass with his elbow) after coming flying outta nowhere….right?

    And yes Will Bynum’s dunk’s were HUGE, one was after a block on the other end too!

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    I was worried too, but they escaped. Yay!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Yeah, the dunk over Chandler was sweet, but the second one he had a sweet block then an awesome dunk…the plays were both sick. He also broke Gerald Wallace on the forst one, I love that guy.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    With the way Bron has been cutting to the hoop and driving in the heart of defenses, can everybody that was on board with the whole ”clogging the lane” business (you know who you are) admit that it’s pretty much one of the dumbest theories ever? As if a center (Frye not included) is supposed to be anywhere else on the court.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    F the knicks.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Hursty, thanks but after that great comeback two games ago, Dallas proceeded to lose a no brainer against Pop’s team, freaking idiots. Dirk was balling as usual in the 2nd half, shots, boards even some good deeefense (don’t believe me, go ask Appleseed who posted an astounded Tweet during the game) but apart from JET II, the rest of the team was weaksauce! You’ve got Marion/Howard and you let RJ go off for 29, his by far best game of the young season? Come on guys. Oh and Dampier? Thanks for cementing my point from yesterday… Ya big goofy tease. 1 point, 4 rebounds…. Thats more like it. Argh!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Also, for someone who wasn’t even allowed to jump or do contact b-ball in July (i coached in a camp with him here in asia), Drew Bogut is having a good season so far. 23&10 with 4 blocks is gooood. Hope he keeps it up, great laid back guy.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Oh by the way kevin durant is shooting 44% averaging 27 and 7.5 and his three is getting better by the day. Sooo 29 and 8 looks pretty good right about now.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Only three things can be taken from yesterday’s Cavs-Magic game since both squad will look different next time they meet (Lewis and Anderson/West and Powe or even S-Jax). 1- Shaq did exactly what he was brought to do. He got Dwight in early foul trouble and played him 1vs1, which changes everything for Orlando because the 3s are not wide open anymore. Dwight rarely has big games vs Shaq, Yao and Perk because their unbelievable lower body strength allows them to keep him outside the lane. 2- Jameer Nelson might be the worst defender at the pg spot in the L this side of Nasty Nash. I’ve seen Bynum put him on skates. Felton and Westbrook had him shook. Mo Williams looked like freaking Tiny Archibald in the first half. Terrible, terrible defense and opposing coaches are noticing and going extra hard at him. 3- Jamario Moon is not working. I thought he was supposed to come in for defense, energy and athletic finishes at the rim. He’s not doing any of these 3 things and he’s content with jacking up 3s. Actually, Vince went right at him on the block as soon as he checked in. Marquis Daniels took him to school too in the 1st game. When can FAs be traded again?

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

    D’Antoni looks like the saddest man in America.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    He has to go through me for that spot tad.

  • jumpman3224

    I wonder when the last time the Bucks were in first place was. Remember those Jennings haters around draft time? I know its early, but I would love to see this kid get a the bucks their first cover since Jesus Shuttlesworth with the rest of the 1996 class.

  • http://dsfjkl.com Jukai

    TAD: The saddest man in the world can’t draw plays or teach defense.

  • http://www.outsidethenba.com Outside The NBA

    Yay, the Ballard book. Told you so!

    Jennings comes to Toronto January 22nd. Yes.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Brandon Jennings is the truth! Man I remember way back before he went to overseas I was already saying this guy will be the next AI. So far Jennings is the best candidate for ROY! Oh and.. GO RAPTORS!!

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’m still waiting for Jennings to drive the lane and just sh!t all over a 7-footer. I’m greedy like that.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Jukai:Actually Nash had 7 assists in the first quarter. Sick. Also, can we go ahead and give Brandon Jennings the ROY now and get it over with?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Hold on a minute, 20-10 from the jump is not out of the question for Blake Griffin.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Maybe not 20, since he plays with 4 chuckers.

  • Shine

    so does this mean in Jennings would have gone to college he would have dropped 45 12 and 6? F*ck Stern.

  • Shine

    *if

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Z: I think he has a greater chance of twenty than ten… the Clips do have Camby and Kaman.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Don’t sleep on tyreke evans either, since martin has been out he’s been a 22 5 and 5 guy.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Hopefully when martin comes back they still keep him off the ball so he doesn’t regress.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    holly love the post ups BUT ITS ALLWAYS ALL RAPTORS!!! gotta distribute the love around…notes:1- the happiness for us Trail Blazers fans to see Oden be semi-dominant is a blessing, he rejected Flynn and the kid went hard to the hardwood, dunked, ran the floor..oh my!!! 2-Shaq was game changer yesterday and Jameer was not better than the mighty Nasty Nash defensivly…3-Bosh is playing like a man possessed!4Bulls team needs a scorer and a big dude..5Will Bynum´s 2 dunks were filthy good looking..6-Popovic is the best IMO..7-Landry and Lowry extremely underated..8-Jennings is like as pure a ball player an be, Scott Skiles THE MOST UNDERATED COACH EVER..9-what is Lawrence Frank fault with THAT TEAM, with only Lopez decent player healthy?!you haters!..finally 10-TadOne: LMFAO at that! totally, dantony looks miserable, but he got his hand in that mess too…IM OUT

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    The block by Toine was just foolish. He runs back, chases down Salmons, rises and just swats it with two hands. Two-handed blocks are like presents to me. Love them. It was SUCH an energy play for the Raps too. Just sucked the life out of the Bulls, as did the baseline throwdown by DeRozan.

    Postgame, he says, he “felt young again.” Boy is barely 20. These rookies kill me. And, I’ve been saying the class is not week since draft time. Solid players. Impact players. I’m loving Evans and Casspi, too.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Sports-Losbon-Blazers, I’m IN Toronto and I cover the Raptors games for NBA.com, so that’s what I see the most of on home game notes.

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

    Holly: Does it look like Derozan will start getting more playing time?

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Eh this draft is a bit weak. After Evans and Jennings there is a big drop. Flynn is serviceable… outside of that, it drops BIG time. Lawson is overrated, Buddinger and Casspi are effective but one-dimensional, and that’s really it. Curry is disappearing fast.

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

    Wow, not even ten games in? I actually think quite a few of these rookies have shown a good future. Besides, we have’t even seen Blake Griffin.

  • http://nicekicks.com MeloMan2.0

    Wow, always knew Jennings was nice, but i had no idea he would be this good, this fast. What he did to chauncy yesterday made me wanna stangle him, but in the end i just had to appreciate… and when he was at the line i was hoping the rookie in him wud show, but he hit all 6 down the stretch….. and bone head of the night= K-mart: nuggets down by 6 with 3 minutes then 2 missed layups, 1 frustration foul and 1 tech… lead back up to 10….sigh

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Harden is going to be very good once he gets his feet wet.

  • Atrain

    @Tad – Agree about Jennings ice water at the free throw line to close the game…but he ended up making SIX in a row to ice it! And none hit the rim…

    Brandon “The Show” Jennings continues to amaze

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    right, raps post up then…and HOLLY; is SPORTING-my football club-LISBON-my city in Europe/Portugal, not americano-and BLAZERS-my basketball team affection…not sports-losbon-blazers

  • http://www.theonion.com/content/news/staten_island_historians_piece Lee

    What I love about the NBA: That no matter how crappy your favorite team is, they eventually get theirs. Case in Point: Milwaukee Bucks. I never thought I’d be able to say this but… they could shock a lot of teams. Just sayin.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    Harden might end up the better all around player this rooks class a side from Griffin, hes smooth…though YOUNG BUCK is BY FAR the most entertainig

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    I mean, this might be a very serviceable draft class, but I wouldn’t consider it good. Only Jennings and Griffin will be all-stars. I don’t think ‘Reek has it in him.

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

    Jennings is going to single-handedly make the Bucks marketable.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Still waiting for James Johnson to get into a fight. Or someone to get in a fight with Casspi, who may or may not be a good fighter, but would snipe the tires on your car from a building.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Jukai , if a 19 year old tyreke is putting up the numbers he is right now I’m betting by the time he’s 25 years old 23 6 and 6 isn’t out of the question. He can turn himself into what penny hardaway should have been.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    Greg Oden posted a vintage stat line of 18 points and 11 boards. He hasn’t had that great a night since the ’76 Finals.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Bryan: In disagreement. I don’t expect him to keep up those numbers, and I don’t see much upside. I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong before (hint hint Rondo)

  • Hersey

    Will Bynum dunk reminded me of Robert Pack… as I fell off the couch. Suns look like a different team. Talking on D, 2nd unit plays scrappy, the ridiculous 3pt shooting. Keep it up. Jennings is sick. Knicks missed big time there.

  • jumpman3224

    Jukai-Are you in shock about Jennings 5.2 assists per? Think it will hold up?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I can respect that.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I think jennings can finish the season with better numbers than derrick rose last year. Something like 19 and 7 unless suddenly skiles puts the cuffs on him.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Byron scott is out in NO.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    those picks in the draft didnt help the Hornets at all…they shoud´ve picked wings I think

  • Atrain

    @Bryan – no way Skiles puts the cuffs on him… he means too much to the franchise – which is in desperate need of a lift -and quite frankly, is already better than his backup (Luke Ridnour?) ever was

  • RV

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=177092

    Landry blocks gay, wags finger…Landry stuffed Gay on two blocks last night and also pinned one of his layups to the glass…by the way he’s averaging 20 the last 4 games, landry that is..

  • ciroqobama

    It would be an act of God if just for once K-Mart didn’t lose his fn mind at the end of a close game. Jennings is the truth tho.

  • jumpman3224

    19 and 7 are great rookie numbers and well within possibility. I wouldn’t bet against this kid. I think all that on the job training in europe really helped him to became a better all around player.

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  • Young Lebron 23

    imagine if jennings played in a run and gun system…lots of turnover but plenty of assists…sort of like nash

  • dutch Rob

    lol so many teams passed on Jennings in the draft
    Some GM’s and coaches are having trouble sleeping i think after their team plays the Bucks.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Jennings is awesome.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Johnny Flynn is better than Tyreke Evans, maybe.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I have a question: What are the chances that T-Mac is not being allowed to return because the chemistry on the floor is better without him? I really think he’s been a cancer (most unfortunately…) for Houston and earlier with Orlando, he’s been called a ‘diva’ and ever since he came out with the comments about sometimes not playing hard in games – it all just makes me think he’s had his best days in the NBA (and his best money) behind him. HE GETS 23 MILLION THIS SEASON plus this is his contract year to boot.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    Dacre: First of all, I don’t think he’s a ‘cancer’ like guys like AI or Stephon. I’ve seen enough of his character to prove that he’s a pretty swell dude (offering to sit for MJ in his last ASG, the Darfur situation, etc.) BUT, it could well be possible that he can negatively effect team chemistry, although if that’s the case, I’m hoping that the team chemistry changes how T-mac thinks and feels about the game, and not the other way around. He’s had a LOT of off-time to consider what his legacy will be after he leaves the game, and I hope he’s realized that when he does go back into the game it’ll define how people will look back on him. What I wouldn’t like to happen is him morphing from Tmac the All-star to Tmac the expiring contract trade chip. He deserves better I believe.

  • http://fdjksl.com Jukai

    Dacre: 0%. That’s a pretty insane theory.

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

    Dacre – 0%

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  • http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/fran_blinebury/11/12/mcgrady/index.html Dacre

    @ JUKAI & HURSTY:
    Allow me to clarify where I’m drawing this conclusion from [CLICK ON MY NAME TO BE TAKING TO THE LINK PLEASE]: This is an article from Fran Blinebury of NBA.com fame. His write up is regarding a perceived attitude regarding T-Macs intent to be healthy and focused on his own terms. The article draws on a few things he had said to the media in recent years and it also goes into his current stance on his health at present. I believe, certainly for one that coach Rick Adleman is right at the end of his patience with T-Mac and when you look at the chemistry of the Rockets at present, with their “blue collar/work horse” mentality, I can draw a fairly realistic conclusion that going forward, you might not want T-Mac around. 23 million this year alone for a “diva”? That sounds like Celine Dion money.
    Thoughts?

  • http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/fran_blinebury/11/12/mcgrady/index.html Dacre

    @ melvin ely.
    Just to clarify my “cancer” call: He’s a unique ‘cancer’ in that, the media and the general fan base probably don’t perceive this ongoing build up of negative worth, but it seems his team mates, coaches and Rockets staffers are well aware of what they have got from this once top 5 tier player. Little to nothing. Which interestingly, is how Orlando seemed to have benefited. The enigma of the situation is that you get gaudy ‘all nba nubers’ when he is healthy and free to do things his way, but this is where the similaries DO come in with the likes of A.I. and Marbury. My question going forward for the 09/10 year is, IF you do end up having a highly successful season with little to no input from T-Mac, do you re-sign him for a future contract? Just looking at what I’ve picked up from the situation [Houston's efforts on court presently] and the history of the player. I go on a limb and say. Nope.

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