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Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 9:01 am  |  57 responses

Post Up: Rudy’s Career Night

And LeBron is ridiculously good.

by Holly MacKenzie/@stackmack

I feel like it’s been a million days since our last Post Up. Derek Fisher has been annihilated by Corey Brewer. Chris Douglas-Roberts underwent an MRI on his knee that was negative and has a mild sprain. Deron Williams –and undrafted rookie Wesley Matthews– took down the Lakers in Utah, revenge for that awful six-point fourth quarter collaspe they had in LA last week. Kobe Bryant broke a finger, played –badly– through the flu and Shane Battier proved once again that he is a media member’s best friend.

Hmm. Feels like I’m still trying to catch up.

Oh yeah. The Knicks signed Jonathan Bender. Yes, Jonathan Bender.

I was at the Raptors game against the Rockets yesterday afternoon when I was looking up the Knicks for some reason or another, I can’t remember why now, but the headline popped up and the scout sitting beside me said, “Bender? Seriously, Donnie?” incredulously. I felt happy. Happy for Bender and it feels kind of fitting that Walsh is giving him another chance, after their time together in Indiana.

Now, about Battier. I wish every NBA team had an “essential-Battier” rule where they needed to provide media with a player to speak with who is that patient and polite. He’s awesome. Isn’t any other way to say it.

44/7/6 and four steals for LeBron in a victory against the Thunder. That guy’s pretty great, isn’t he? It feels so weird to me how LeBron was “the” guy and now it seems like a lot of people have jumped off of the wagon and no longer like/root for him. I don’t like the dancing, but I do genuinely enjoy who LeBron seems to be and more importantly, I could watch him play basketball forever and ever. Even if you don’t like him, I can’t see how you can fault the guy for his play.

And, Mo Williams with that crazy heave from 44-feet? I will never, ever get tired of watching the end of practice and shootaround sessions where guys somehow always end up at halfcourt (or further), tossing up shots. Something wonderful about watching guys sticking around the gym, turning everything into a competition. Even silly halfcourt shots.

Okay. I’m out for now. I know I’ve got lots of weekend action to catch up on. I’ve also got two pieces to finish today and another player to track down and get interviewed. Busy Mondays. Love them. Raptors being out of town and no practice for me. Don’t love that.

Speaking of strong play, Rudy Gay had a career-high 41 points last night as the Grizzlies demolished the Heat in Miami. Imagine, Memphis defeating Miami, 118-90. Didn’t see that happening. Of course, the Heat take this loss on their home floor as the Raptors are their next opponent on Tuesday night. Classic. They’ll probably come out strong and smoke Toronto. I’m hoping not, but we shall see.

Watching Tracy McGrady sit on the bench in his dress clothes on Sunday with the Rockets in town was odd. Here is the highest paid player in the league this season and his team would prefer for him to remain inactive for the time being. Strange. I don’t think there’s anyway he could possibly end up starting in the All-Star game. If the fans don’t step in and change this, I think the league has to, don’t they?

Did you all see Ariza’s elbow swing at DeRozan? I’ve seen and heard enough of it to last a lifetime, but I loved how DeRozan just wanted to tell me how he was “kinda upset” after Ariza left the Lakers for Houston this summer. It’s got to be weird to go from rooting for your hometown team your entire life to suddenly being in the league and playing against that franchise and it’s players. It’s fun watching DeRozan’s excitement as he plays some of his favorite players and guys he looked up to.

Again, it’s why I love rookies.

Okay. Hawks are rolling,

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  • Lee

    Kobe had the flu and played badly? I guess that settles it. MJ was better.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    So, can everyone shut up with the whole “Lebron makes players worse by hogging the ball” garbage that has been spouted here recently? The team loses a point a minute when Lebron isn’t overcontrolling the ball. The team is just better with Lebron taking the shots, period.

  • Hoodsnake

    So will Mac suit up in Denver or what?

  • Hoodsnake

    *Dallas. My bad.

  • riggs

    wtf happened to trevor? must be that laker mentality thats still in his system.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    I agree Ju-man. and my goodness that brewer dunk>>>>>>>>>play wit it.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Lebron played great , but his attitude reminds me of shorty from sunset park. Still though great player made great plays and got really hot from deep. Durant hasn’t reached the personal challenge level yet, which is good and bad. Good because he won’t just force bad shots but bad because he needs to say “f*ck this, this is my court and I’m not getting outdone”.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Durant will be the reason why the thunder will make the playoffs. Early MVP candiate IMO.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    It was funny to hear all the analysts go OUT OF THEIR WAY to explain how Durant was further in his development at the same age as Bron even though they had nothing to back it up except ‘feel’. / Holly, don’t get it twisted, Bron’s approval rate on the Internet and Bron’s approval rate in the general public are two things. He’s still moving a lot of products and selling out arenas on the road.

  • riggs

    slamadaday – corey brewer, get it done folks!

  • http://dsfjkf.com Jukai

    Z: Were you watching the OKC commentators? The Cleveland ones said no such thing. Austin Carr would swallow cyanide before admitting there is anyone greater on this earth than Lebron.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Durant is a stone cold scorer but I think he has things to learn before being considered an MVP candidate. He is invisible on defense and doesn’t create for others yet. He can’t help his team on an off-shooting night yet. I expect him to get there soon but he’s not there yet. / I’Ve been thinking this for a while but Green is really a 3 and it’s hurting OKC. I don’t think he is the answer at the 4 unless he watches a lot of Jamison tapes. He needs to get more comfortable on the block.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Love Lebron the player, a little less than enthused about lebron the person. He’s less than classy. Even my gf who wants a lebron jersey is starting to turn to me and say “why is he acting like that..I don’t like this”.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Z: internet analysts, i should have said ‘read’.

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

    Just to clarify, the Heat sucked horrible and Rudy Gay looked like Scottie Pippen on those nights when Scottie would drop 40 when Mike was having an off night. Defense, shooting threes, good passes, not forcing offense and the dunks? Damn.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Didn’t he like eat someone’s popcorn last night? that’s what I call a people person. play wit it.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    E what’s up with all the empty seats down there man?

  • http://dsfjkf.com Jukai

    Durant is great and all, but he’ll be a Dominique Wilkins to Lebron and Wade’s Jordan and Drexler.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    DP, he ate a kid’s french fry.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com DP

    Bron did a sanchez

  • http://dsfjkf.com Jukai

    Hey, can someone explain to me why the hell Kobe is playing with a broken finger? Shouldn’t they, I dunno, let that sh*t heal? He played awful against Utah.

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

    Shia, it was the Griz……where do they EVER draw a large visiting crowd? But….those that didn’t go missed a great show by Rudy.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’ll be there on Thrsd for ORL @ MIA. I assume it will be paked, right? / I have to admit that I was wasy off base with Rudy. I didn’t like his effort coming out of Uconn but the guy is a player. He put on weights this off-season and is now creating contact. He could be a second banana on a championship team. He’s that good.

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

    Z…..it will be 75% full on a weeknight…unless they’re playing the Lakers or the Cavs….which is always a sellout.

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

    T-Mac not playing has something to do with Houston not having to pay him some bonus salary scheme or something. That’s what I read anyways. I think it was on clutchfans if anyone is interested.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    The last few games I’ve seen the place has been empty that’s why I’m asking… jukai, I think comparing him to nique is kind of selling him a bit short. One mans opinion.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    No disrespect to nique either, who was amazing. They’re just vastly different.

  • http://dsfjkf.com Jukai

    Bryan: He may very well be better than Niq. I just meant it in comparison to Lebron and Wade, he’ll be at that spectacular-but-not-better level.

  • http://www.bluefont.com Hisham

    I’m kind of hoping T-Mac does get voted in. A: because then the League is finally really confronted with this whole faulty system of fan voting. B: because if he does get voted in, he’ll want to play just to prove his team wrong. that’ll stir up some drama for sure.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    If it didn’t work with penny in 98 its not gonna work with tmac.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Oh my bad. He’ll never be the passer those guys are, but I think he’ll be a better scorer and rebounder and much better percentages. So its a wash. But I see what you’re saying.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    From what Rudy told me this summer, I expected him to play like this a little more often than once every 20 games, but maybe this is the start of something.

  • dutch Rob

    i agree Bryan thats just not right if TMac is gonna be a starter and Deron Williams wont make the team then they should just ban the voting system.
    Oh and Corey Brewer destroying derek Fisher that was straight up filthy. Watched that one a 100 times:D

  • http://www.yahoo.com logues

    guess jukai was right bout dirk bein clutch he made like three clutch shots in the last 30 sec forgot what game tho, seen it on SC few days back, o and glad to see bender is back

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    They should let Deron Williams play for the East in the All-Star Game.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Carl Landry is one of the best power forwards in the game right now.
    Him and Scola make one of the best forward tandems in the league.
    Landry for the All-Star game!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    LeBrick stole a kid’s french fry! LeLoser should go to jail for stealing, AND for not being as good as Kobe!
    That’s all for today. Thanks.

  • http://dsfjkf.com Jukai

    Bryan: I don’t see him having higher percentages than Lebron, but in fairness, that’s because Lebron will always be attacking closer to the basket.
    Of course, we’ll all hypothesizing here, but I think that Durant will only be slightly better offensively and rebounding wise than Lebron/Wade… and a helluva lot worse defensively/passing wise, as well as leader wise. So, it’s not entirely a wash. Of course, I’m not a future reader and I could be 100% wrong. Just telling you so incase I’m right in five years, I can throw it in your face. And if I’m wrong, well, hopefully you wont remember.
    Logues: Best give Darksaber some credit too. We’ve been preaching the ways of Dirk for quite some time.

  • http://dsfjkf.com Jukai

    Ryan: You forgot his last name. LeBrick SHAMES.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Also P.S.: QUEEN James. Ha! Get it! Yeah!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Can’t front, Memphis looks good. Maybe the Iverson debacle was what they needed to come together. And Z-Bo is balling. Eff what you heard.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Juk: his three point and free throw percentages will be better I forgot to specify. And his defense is not as bad advertised imo and will only get better once he learns that his body is an advantage not a weakness.

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

    Zach Randolph has always put up numbers. It is just the other stuff that get in the way. Derrick Coleman reincarnated.

  • WOODY

    Lebrick Shames took a french fry the kid in the Durant jersey offered him and gave him a thanks, a high five and a smile. Oh, and he gave the kid a great memory for the rest of his life. Then he scored 44 points. You might rethink both the ‘brick’ and the ‘shame’ part, and confess that this is a really great player and a pretty nice guy.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Woody:Your new here, huh?

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    ive been telling everyone for a couple years now, rudy gay will be a superstar. he will be one of the most important free agents this summer. i hope rc buford can engineer some sort of sign and trade for him. tony and rudy for the future! and zach randolph is the most underrated player of the decade!!!!! zbo is a beast. at least 20 10, every night! without jumping, now thats hard. zbo for all star!

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    zbo must have left his hoops family back in portland, because, as far as i know, he has been a model citizen.

  • Hoodsnake

    Yo Ryan who hit you with the peyote stick?

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    btw, look at the dunk rudy threw down IN a game! aside from a great overall game, he is one of the best dunkers in the league. cant wait til he gets outta memphis

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    LeBron has such great court vision that he saw H1N1 coming and didn’t shake hands.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    @Jukai & Logues: no credit due here, guys. The one playing like an MVP candidate deserves all the props. He is killing it this season, makes me kinda wish he passed on a few summer FIBA tournaments for Germany in the past, look how he’s dominating after his 1st summer off in a while! Preaching “the ways of Dirk”, sounds like a religion. Has a nice ring to it, Juks.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Brad’s dry response to Woody’s passionate appeal for LBJ made me laugh so hard, my eyes are tearing up. Great line.

  • J

    Bron played great.so as mo. but i would rather see a delonte and Shaq having 20, AP with a 15, Boobie and JJ also with a 15, than Bron have to score 40. i know there are those nights that lebron have to take it to the 40-ish level, but still what i want more is for the others to take that next level of stepping up consistently.

  • J

    Shaq gets a pass for this game because of the eye.. but you know shaq still hasn’t become what we wanted him to be, were not expecting a Miami Shaq, but at least that one we saw last year. that 17-8 Shaq, or at least a consistent 15-8 Diesel. he was not getting that much touches even when lebron’s on the bench. c’mon let the big guy work.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    J: I cringe whenever the team moves away from what’s working and ‘lets the big guy work’
    Shaq has been awful.
    He’s clearly not comfortable throwing a hook shot from more than five feet, he tries to fancy up his passes which wastes time and throws off possessions, and I don’t think he can create anymore offense with one hand— he must use two hands to use the glass, and he is getting so many offensive fouls.
    It’s crazy how bad Shaq has been.
    Shaq really should be relegated to cleaning up garbage buckets and receiving alley-oop passes. No more creating his own offense. He’s lost that ability.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    He made Howard a non-factor, maybe that’s all they needed. Then again, Dwight’s a non-factor every other game.

  • J

    Jukai: so would you agree that we still lack that one player that would make the difference.? cause the way i look at it, if we can’t get that missing piece, we won’t even pass the East.

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