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Friday, February 19th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  68 responses

The Post Up: What a Day/Night

Melo/Bron is as good as it gets.

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Oh boy. NBA on TNT Thursdays. Thank you, thank you.

If you haven’t heard, TMac is headed to New York, Ronnie Brewer is headed to Memphis and Nate to Boston/House to NYC is finally official.

Onto the games.

In the first match up of the evening, we had the Nuggets in Cleveland, looking to snap the Cavs franchise-high 13 game winning streak. We also had LeBron and Melo matched up and what a battle it was. While Antawn Jamison was unavailable for his new team, he had one hell of a show to watch on the Cavs bench. Denver had control of the game early, but of course, the Cavs came back, led by LeBron. Through the fourth, the game went back and forth, with the two making big shot after big shot, until the end of regulation. While the Cavs went to Anthony Parker for a corner three and he came up empty, Chauncey Billups also took a three and missed. When Anthony Parker’s heave at the buzzer was off of the mark, the game went into OT.

LeBron already had a triple-double.

In the extra session, it was a shootout between the two superstars and former Olympic teammates and with 1.9 seconds remaining a perfect –tightly guarded- jumper from Melo gave the Nuggets the victory. LeBron had a chance to win it, but slipped, still managing to get a decent looking shot off.

Melo finished with 40 points to go with six rebounds and seven assists. LeBron became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1962 to finish a game with 43 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists, two steals and four blocked shots.

Whew. How fun was that one? I know I didn’t begin to do it justice in that recap. I’m happy for Antawn and can’t imagine what he felt watching on the sidelines. From that mess of a disastrous season in Washington to this? He’s got to be jumping.

Felt for LeBron when he walked off, looking pained at coming up short. For everyone who’s angry he didn’t shake hands, it’s a regular season game. It happens. More often than we probably pay attention to.

I could handle a finals match up between those two. Yes, yess.

Moving along to L.A. Without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers gave the Celtics their best shot and almost got them, falling just short in a 87-86 decision to the men in green. The Celtics were without new acquisition, Nate Robinson, and in the end, the Lakers had the ball with 2.2 seconds remaining. An awful final possession that ended with Derek Fisher trying to draw a foul on a 3-pointer showed just how important Kobe Bryant is in the final seconds of a close game.

After a Celtics miss and Lakers rebound, Pau Gasol called a timeout as Lamar Odom was running upcourt and it hurt the Lakers. I would have preferred they just played the possession out to see if they could have got a bucket in transition, but hey, without Kobe on the floor he probably wasn’t sure what they’d do either.

Ray Allen was awesome for the Celtics, hitting 10 of his first 11 shots and finishing with a game-high 24 points. Rajon Rondo left his sharp-shooting in Dallas, struggling offensively shooting just 6-for-17 from the floor. He did finish with 14 points, 11 assists and five steals though. Kendrick Perkins finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds, offsetting a 6-for-16 night from Kevin Garnett.

For the Lakers, Pau had 22, but either didn’t get the ball down the stretch, or did silly things with it, like trying to feed Shannon Brown on the baseline, turning the ball over. Odom had 13 points and 14 rebounds off of the bench and I just need to take this sentence to rave about the dunks he had tonight. That second one was spectacular and I can only hope for more of that Lamar.

I hope you all saw Ray Allen’s dunk over Shannon. It made me happy.

Thoughts on the deals? I just want LeBron to resign in Cleveland and then we’ll go from there. While it’s got to be a big decision for Wade and Bosh, I can’t even begin to imagine leaving your home for another team. LeBron IS Cleveland. It’ll be nuts if he goes. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. The summer of 2010 is going to be wild. Or, everyone will resign and it’ll be boring.

It’s why you’ve got to love this game. Always unpredictable. Always, always awesome.

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  • Bruno

    how many slamaday were yesterday??? odom, artest, hickson, allen …

  • Ken

    Yeah, there were a ton of good dunks yesterday. And that shootout with LBJ and Melo was a treat.

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

    I must say… Mr.grant last night, talking with Micheal J Fox, was unreal sad. I never did like the man. But last night gave me a whole new perspective on him. What a hard thing to go through man. That pulled on my heart strings last night. Something like that always humbles myself… I am hoping he can get it under control and find a cure!!

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    My boys finally loss bron in melo put on a show ray ray was showing why hes so valuable

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

    Mvp, I didn’t know your boys were the Lakers!! ; )

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Lebron was playing like he was being controlled by Myles in 2K10. Jesus. Too many threes though and I really can’t figure out why. Great game though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com MooButter

    Michael J. Fox is a great person and his condition is very sad. Cosign James the Balla….I never thought I would type that.

  • Bmack

    Melo is more clutch than Lebro.

  • Kulchakris

    I thought Chuck was going to start crying after the Grant-J. Fox segment. Touching story for real.

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

    It was man… it made the game which could have been amazing, a lot less grasping. I couldn’t stop thinking about Grant. To just wake up and start having complications and now to be diagnosed with something you cannot control. Fack.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Someone tip off homeland security, cause Rajon is a terror on defense. He was EVERYWHERE last night. Deflections, steals, harassing players to force turnovers, a joy to watch. And Ray Ray jus abused Fish/Brown for 2 1/2 quarters, splashing jumpers from allover. Artest’s southpaw dunk on Perk was nasty, like Janet.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    KG clanking those loooong 2′s repeatedly was painful to watch. He was more active than usual but anytime he had to rely on a low, bending stance (boxing out, posting up, setting up for a jumper) that busted knee reveals itself. Probably never be the old KG again

  • Kulchakris

    As for the games, I have always been a Kobe fan, especially in the Kobe vs. LeBaby argument. However,LeBaby’s play this year, and the Lakers’ play without Kobe is changing my perspective.

  • Kulchakris

    Does anyone else feel like KG’s decline this year is karmic retribution? I mean, the guy has been such an absolute douche bag as a Celtic, it’s hard to have sympathy for his current struggles. Also, the next time someone sees the Rasheed Wallace who used to be a dominant low post scorer and defender, please let me know.

  • Twon

    How iRonic….Both Games look like the NBA Finals. Very entertaining but Lakers could really use Kobe in those Late game Situations

  • T-Money

    Dark: I get why Rondo is so good but I can’t respect an all-star point guard missing WIDE (not long or short) on open 15-footers or, even worse, throwing up weak runners from outside of the key because he can’t stop and pop. It’s embarassing. / Man, KG’s body is OLD. He doesn’t even have balance anymore. He tried a spin move on Odom late in the game thtat ended up with a jumpball somehow. / LeBron gotta chill on the 3s. Throwing up 9 in a game is unacceptable unless you’re on fire. The stat line is beyond ridiculous but he chucked up a bit in the endd, got scored on for the game winning basket and missed the buzzer beater. It is what it is.

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  • http://www.innoutnba.com In-N-Out Lucas

    The last point could not be more true!

  • T-Money

    I think it’s time to sit Jawad for the remainder of the season. J-Moon should be in the rotation. And so does Boobie… because of his defense. I’m not even joking.

  • Bigdoggchad

    Welcome back to the MVP race melo!

  • T-Money

    there’s an mvp race?

  • Bigdoggchad

    You prefer MVP discussion?

  • T-Money

    there’s an mvp discussion?

  • Bigdoggchad

    You must only watch those puppet commercials and not the games.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Dont get foolish and ahead of yourself melo hooped and got the w bron still had a great game and a crazy statline 43 15 13 if cavs won nobodys talking melo mvp last night we showed we were human after 14 games btw shaq was looking good doing what he wanted

  • J-RO

    Does anybody else think that Ferry has some tricks up his sleeve? i mean i know his main priority is to resign the King, but even if he doesnt he can sign a diffrent FA and he has a pretty solid core to build around him. I mean Mo, Tawn, Hickson, Sideshow, Shaq, the re-sign of big Z…..any FA would bite that bait.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Has anyone viewed Lebron’s averages recently?
    30.1/7.2/8.4/1.6/1 on 50% shooting and 35% from the three? That’s unreal. That’s ludicrous.

  • kev

    im a big lebron fan but Melo really impressed me last night. Hats off!

  • Bigdoggchad

    The nuggets have the best record against playoff teams. 7-1 against division leaders. Melo is best player on the nuggets sounds like a MVP to me.

  • Anthony

    A part of me wants a DEN/CLE Finals after what I saw yesterday. LA missed Kobe badly in the last 2min, I prefer a fadeaway 3 over anything that’s including Shannon on offense.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Yeah bigdogg forget division leaders cavs have the best record PERIOD And melo played on brons level for a nite bron been doing this all year maybe next year bro mvp is locked

  • LA Huey

    LBJ is still a distant 1st in the MVP race but it’s funny how Melo’s squad has pretty much owned the Cavs since ’03. The more things change…I hope this will be a preview of the finals for years after this June.

  • Bigdoggchad

    Of course they have the best record they play in the east were 10 games under .500 gets you in the playoffs. Who couldn’t have the best record playing east teams 3 or 4 times a year. Try playing in the west were being over .500 doesn’t get you in playoffs. LeBron is a great player but can’t win it every year if mike can’t win it every year and the diesel only has 1 LeBron can’t win every year.

  • floe

    man, melo had all the moves last night. the drives, the subtle dribble moves.. such a treat to watch.
    bron had a superhuman stats but cleveland looked ugly, clanking threes and bricking free throws all night. def not their finest performance! lets hope jamison brings back some flair to the team.. and BIG Z! everyone wants you home in 30 days.

  • J-Ro

    Can it be possible that Melo is the best scorer in the leauge at this moment? I mean we all know Kobe and Bron are the best players period but Melo’s offensive game has everything.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Yeah we did it to the best team in the west twice once without mo so thats void
    let me ask you this is carmelo better than lebron you can say his shots more fluid etc bla bla bla if your a fan you know the awnser to that

  • Logues

    just realized last night how good of a finals the nuggs and cavs could be. i loved how bron and melo were guarding each other too, esp in the end. that makes it so much better to watch. melo’s spin move on bron was so quick. bron is effin good tho

  • Bigdoggchad

    They are both great players. LeBron is a better passer, he has a slight edge in rebounding, a better defender but not by as much as you would think, better finishing at the rim. Melo is more clutch, better shooter from midrange 3pt and ft, is an underrated passer he would have more assists if he had to play pg like James, and would have more rebounds if nene kmart and bird didn’t grab most of them, melo is a average defender but can buckle down when needed. LeBron is overrated on defense. Sure he gets on sportcenter every night for chase down blocks but he sure doesn’t belong on the all defensive team.

  • Logues

    Bigdoggchad: i agree, those help side and run down blocks are nice, but he is def not a great one on one defender, and isnt even avg 2 steals/game. with his speed and athleticism, he should be top 5 in steals.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    LA Huey: That’s just not true… Please fact check your information

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    And Lebron is a bit of an overrated defender, but only in the fact that he should be second-team all defense and not first. He really can lock down lesser cats, and is a fantastic help defender (yes, while you may overrated all those sportscenter blocks, what other person can erase a possible momentum-taking easy two points like Lebron can?).
    Give Lebron some credit on the D. He’s REALLY improved

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    LA-Boston was a great game between two heavywaight teams with übertalented roosters, the game could have been described from various journalistic angles. Yet the most mentioned player/topic in the recap was a player (Kobe) not even on the floor. Holly, I know you miss your boy, but please try not be so incredibly focused on No. 24 – there’s is more to basketball than just him, and to be frank it’s kind of getting old. Apart from that, good work on the Cavs-Nuggs recap. What a great game, what great players. Somebody said MVP race.. Please..

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Team effort cle the number 1 defense in the nba lebron is a huge reason why melos more clutch based on what what has he done clutch lebrons made more closeout buckets than kobe melos not on that list you say melos better at the 3 but bron has a higher 3fg pct hes better midrange ok cool lbj more efficient you say he doesnt have to rebound like cle doesnt have bigs down there that rebound varejao hicks shaq Theres little to no basis to think melo is better or even neck n neck

  • Bigdoggchad

    LeBron is getting better on defense, but still have to disagree with 2nd team all-defense. Artest, battier, ariza, sefelosha, raja bell, and prince when healthy are all better defenders than LeBron at the 3.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Mvp23100: Melo IS on the list, and while he has hit less, hits them on a higher percentage. Once again, please look up this information (easily obtained from 82games) before you say things like they’re fact

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Defense is a team effort they praise kobes d who does he lock up B roy kills him everytime they play artest gets praised for d he also gets lit up as well as garnett and every other good defender in the league what evidence do we have to say lbj doesnt play solid d

  • LA Huey

    Jukai: I was just going off memory from when ESPN compares LBJ with Wade and Melo. I did a cursory check on DEN-CLE since ’03. Denver is 4-2 in Cleveland. I doubt Cleveland has done better than .500 in Denver.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Ok jukai my bad lebron from the 3 35percent melo 37 wow melo shoots it so much better what about the other 100 categories bron kills him in

  • Bigdoggchad

    Nuggets are the second best offensive team in the league and melo is a huge reason why. @ jukai thanks for saving me time arguing the clutch point. My bad melo shooting 3′s better this year but for their career’s LeBron edges melo .331 to .314.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    MVP23100: I’m talking about game-winning shot percentages…. Lebron is #1 in that catagory, but shoots it at a .340 clip, while Melo is 5th and shoots it at a .481 clip.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    Ok i wasnt aware of those percentages but its safe to say 1 to 5 is a significant gap and also im not foolish saying melo is not of brons caliber hes pure beast

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    All I’m saying is, when it comes to a clutch basket, I’d rather have Melo take it. When it comes to the 47.36 minutes before that, I’d rather have Lebron with the ball

  • http://www.slamonline.com B-zog

    Melo finally showed that he is up there with lbj and the rest. Took control of the game and won it. Damn that would be a hell of a finals

  • LA Huey

    Jukai: Did a little more research, DEN vs CLE is 9-5 since LBJ and Melo arrived (according to what I gathered from http://www.denverstiffs.com/2010/1/7/1240396/game-36-preview-thread-nuggets-vs) If we just start from last season, it’s 2-2. But overall, Denver does own Cleveland.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    So la huey does cleveland own la whats that record since bron arrived

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Melo is a natural clutch player. Been that way since comin in the league, actually since Syracuse. He hits deep game winning Js and can get to the bucket. I think the great majority of Bron’s “game winners” usually come in the paint on driving lay ups. With Melo there’s just nothing you can do to guard him in that situation, Bron defended it well. Melo just put the J in his eye.

  • LA Huey

    Mvp23100: No idea, bro. I’d be interested in what it is if you could post it. It was enough of a betch trying to dig up the DEN-CLE stats on my company’s network and web filters (they block 82games.com for some arbitrary reason).

  • T-Money

    I’d rather have Bron than Melo in the shootaround, the pre-game meal, the layup line, the full 48 and the team plane. But that’s just me.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    I’d rather have Kobe to close out games. I do know that I’m going to get a lot of flack if the Knicks get Lebron because I have to like by default. Unless he’s a modern day Ewing.

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

    that was a LONG 1.9 bron got last night. home cookin! melo was great, chauncey had his moments, but also took 3-4 horrible shots. chauncey has to calm his crazy shots a lil, and WHY THE EFF DIDNT HE GIVE IT TO MELO AT END OF REG?

  • J-RO

    @Tarzan. he didnt seem like he wanted to give him the ball on the last play either.

  • http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikebasketball/en_US/signature/moves?player=kobe_bryant&move=3 Jackie Moon

    The best stat to a measure player is the maximum points he has scored in a single regular season game.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    ^lol

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Jackie Moon is funny. Great statement.

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

    Thu, Feb 18

    Bosh will not travel with the team for Friday’s game against New Jersey after suffering a sprained ankle in Wednesday’s loss to Memphis, Holly MacKenzie of Slam Online reports.


    this was cool to see, but i could have used the info earlier in the day holly.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    How can you be a Knicks fan and not like Patrick Ewing? That’s contradictory and impossible.

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

    I posted this on the Knickled and Dimed piece, but I’ll repost it here. Hopefully someone can answer it.

    Question: Why would Joe Johnson leave Atlanta?
    He has:
    * an all-star PF/C in Horford
    * a super versatile SF/PF in Josh Smith
    * the (likely) 6th man of the year in Crawford
    * a reliable, solid PG in Bibby
    * a defensive-minded coach who shaves his eyebrows
    * a team that has an identity and good chemistry with a decent bench
    -
    He would be leaving the team that “believed in him” by throwing all that money at him in 04/5, he’s the Captain, the leader and the franchise player. The Hawks have put a team around him since 04 from scratch basically. This Hawks team is challenging for the top of their division for the first time in, well, forever almost.
    He’d be turning his back on an organisation which has basically parallelled his career.
    He’d be leaving for.. what exactly? Money?
    Atlanta is a BIG city, he’d generate basically the same amount of money in NY as he would in ATL. Is an extra $1million a season worth of jersey sales going to cover the cost of moving his family, his house etc?
    Is it going to cover the cost of winning?

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Teddy: I actually know a few Knick fans who are spiteful of Ewing during his older “I’m not as mobile but I’m going to take this finger roll even though Spree is open” days

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