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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 8:45 am  |  63 responses

Post Up: Dirk Dominates

While DRose can’t carry the Bulls past L.A.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

New Jersey 107, Atlanta 101

Honest question: What the hell happened to Atlanta? They jumped out to a great start a month ago, but have now dropped seven of their last nine, and stand at a mediocre 8-7. Not that I expected them to win out, but such a sudden drop-off seems strange to me. Anyway, they fought back all game to erase a 10-point first-quarter Nets lead, and did so, but couldn’t finish in extra time. Brook Lopez had 32 points and 9 boards, while Devin Harris went for 27 point and 9 dimes—and also missed an end-of-regulation buzzer-beater that would’ve sealed it. The struggling Hawks were led by Jamal Crawford, who dropped 21, and they’ll attempt to rebound in Washington tomorrow night.

Washington 116, Philadelphia 114

I think we need to collectively welcome back John Wall. SLAM’s new cover star came off the bench and scored 25 points—including three late free throws that forced overtime—and led the Wiz to their second OT win over Philly this season. JaVale McGee beasted for 24 and 18 (plus 4 blocks), and Gilbert Arenas scored 18 but lost 8 turnovers. I’d guess that’s just some rust wearing off, though. Andre Iguodala had a near-triple double (23-11-8), and the Sixers shot 46.2 percent, but it didn’t matter—JW ran that town last night. Think it might be time to get him back in the starting lineup.

New York 110, Charlotte 107

After the Knicks jumped out to a lead that stretched to 16 points, the ‘Cats stormed back, but weren’t able to close out and NY held on for the win. Weird to live in a world where New York’s finest doesn’t blow those leads (as they’ve done consistently for the past, um, decade?), but I think I like it. For what it’s worth, the Knicks did deserve this one—they shot 52.1 percent from the floor and 96 percent (!) from the line. (Danilo Gallinari has now hit 43 consecutive freebies, one away from Chris Duhon’s team record.) (No, that’s not a typo.) Toney Douglas scored 22, and Amar’e Stoudemire dropped 17 and grabbed 7 rebounds. Charlotte was led by DJ Augustin (I wrote an In Your Face on him in SLAM 144—check it out, no promo.), who scored 24 and swiped 4 steals. These two squads play again tonight, this time down in North Carolina.

Indiana 100, Cleveland 89

Gonna go ahead and hop in the Pacers Will Make the Playoffs bangwagon before it fills up. That’s happening. This was an even bigger blowout than it appears, as Cleveland came back from down 27 after three to make the final score somewhat respectable. Indiana now stands at 7-6, good for second in the Central. They’ve got Oklahoma City tomorrow, while the Cavs host Milwaukee tonight.

Dallas 88, Detroit 84

All Dirk Nowitzki Everything, for the most part. Dirk had 42 points, including 15 in the last quarter and four clutch free throws in the final minute. The other Mavs didn’t do too much statistically (and were only 30-78 from the field), though they were still able to hang on. Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince both scored 19 for the Pistons, who are in Memphis tonight.

L.A. Lakers 98, Chicago 91

Last night’s NBA TV “Fan Night” game was a good one, though the Bulls ultimately couldn’t keep up with the Lakers’ plethora of offensive weapons. Shannon Brown tied his season high with 21, and Lamar Odom went for an effective 21 and 8. Pau Gasol was Joakimed into a rough 12-point performance, but L.A. was deep enough to maintain without a big game from him. Derrick Rose dropped a cool 30 (plus 8 dimes), though it wasn’t enough. No time for Chicago to dwell on it, though, as they’ll be expected to bounce back in Phoenix tonight.

Performance of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki: 42 points, 12 rebounds, 3 threes, 2 blocks.
Moment of the Night: With time running out and his team down three, John Wall saw Jrue Holiday coming in for the foul, so he tossed the ball towards the hoop in hopes he’d get a shooting foul called. It worked, of course. Always nice to see young’ns pull veteran moves with ease.

Enjoy that turkey tomorrow, folks. I’ll be back Friday to recap Thursday night’s TNT double-header. See y’all then.

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  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    How about that 30 point blowout the Lakers hung on the Bulls last night? Hi haters!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Toney Douglas was huge off the bench last night! And Ronny Turiaf… what more is there to say? Dude should be KNICKnamed Passion Buckets! After some more hard work tonight the Knicks could have as many wins (8) as the Heat. *grinning*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    It was a nice win for the Bulls…..oh wait.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Eboy, where would I be without your spin? Word on the street is you’re an attorney. Makes sense. A crow, eating crow. Loving that visual.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Homeboy….I’m thinking about turkey, stuffing, a few day off and a couple of more Heat losses…..all before Saturday!!!!! You can’t juke me with a spin move!

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Ditto.

  • Pharoah

    D-Rose is a beast goddamn the moves he was pulling yesterday was just beauty

  • ShadiestBen

    @ Adam – definitely right about Indiana, and those free throws from John Wall were clutch. With about 6 minutes to go it just seemed like Wall would do something to get them back in the game.
    @ Bryan – Great game and the Bulls showed that with Boozer back they could be a legit contender in the East. There’s never been a better time than now to take that bet with the spinmaster.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Spinmaster General, if you please!

  • ShadiestBen

    Haha my bad Eboy/Spinmaster General

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    C’mon now, Pau had 12, 11, 5 and 4. That’s still pretty great.

  • ShadiestBen

    Pretty great, but not numbers that go along with being your teams most important player hu Jtaylor….

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    Spurs vs Lakers can’t get here soon enough.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Everybody not named Kobe Bryant is entitled to a so-so game every now and then. Didn’t you know that Ben?

  • Hammer

    Rose 4 MVP!!

  • Hammer

    Slam,ya’ll shoulda put the ROY,griffin,on ur cover

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Shannon Brown is eyeing MIP.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    Rose only had 3pts in the 4th, guess he need Boozer’s help to carry the load on offense.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Dirk mothaloving Nowitzki!!!
    (Caron, J-Terry, Brendan and Shawn….wake the hell UP!!)

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    My Bulls are a lot better than their 7-5 record would suggest. Four of their have losses came against the Thunder, Spurs, Celtics and Lakers, who are four of the top teams in the NBA with a combined record of 45-11. That loss against the Knicks was a fluke. Anyone woulda taken an L the way they were making threes. And all this without Boozer.

  • DRose is UnbelieveBull

    @Pharoah, I couldn’t agree more with you bro, don’t talk about the Bulls unless you watched ‘em, because Drose was just straight up beasting, incredible, the moves he pulled were just mind-blowing, the whole NBA tv crew and the crowd at sptaples were dazzled by Drose. He’s just special.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Rose was impressive tonight; he was channeling Mike with his creativity around the basket. Bulls did well to compete in this game with Shannon Brown so hot.

  • Jahmai

    @omphales, That was what I was thinking about Rose, but anytime you bring up MJ in comparison to another player not named Kobe or Lebron it’s pretyy much blasphemy:p

  • PapaBearATL

    D Rose is a great talent and entertaining to watch! I agree with Enigmatic, the Bulls are a lot better than their record suggests. The last couple Laker games it seems like they are just messing around with folks, hope it doesn’t come back to bite them in the @ss. The Hawks, My Hawks, smdh. It’s like they are bipolar or something…

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @Enigmatic: The Knicks beating the Bulls was no fluke. I can’t wait for the rematch – it’s gonna be fun watching the Knicks humble the Bulls some more on Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I figure the Bulls connection is enough for me to mention His Airness without getting destroyed haha.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Also, keep forgetting that the Bulls have Carlos Boozer waiting to return still. They’ve been playing great without him, going to be a very deep team once he’s back.

  • Jahmai

    Yes, it was a fluke, do you really think the Knick will hit 20 more threes? and coach thibodeau keeping the starters on the bench in crunch time? Don’t think so. Rose was having a great night, until somebody stopped him (which seems impossible, I know) but that ‘somebody’ wasn’t on the Knicks it was his own coach. The bulls WILL beat the knicks next time, guaranteed.

  • Oli

    i bet dragic hasn’t slept well tonight, you know, with rose coming to town again…

  • ShadiestBen

    IAMORANGE4EVER – I have no preference between the two teams but it was definitely an aberration. It felt like they didn’t miss a 3 the whole game, yet Chicago still had it under 10 with 5 mins left. Just checked the stats NY shot 67% from the arc. That’s not an every game number.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Orange, come on now. Chandler, Gallo and Douglas were making threes left and right. That’s likely not gonna happen again. And we should have Boozer back by then. Forget about it, the Knicks will go down on X-Mas.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @Oli, I think Dragic is safe, Rose seems to love throwing one down on a different Sun every year. He had the one on Barbosa his rookie year, and then last year the one on Dragic. Who will it be this year? Tune in to find out! LOL

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    I’m not going to celebrate a loss, but it is encouraging that it came down to the final minutes with the Bulls on the road, missing one of their key players. I’m expecting big things once Carlos Boozer gets back and we have a few weeks to get everyone on the same page. Of course if the Bulls were the Heat, it would take 5 to 6 months to get Boozer on the same page as everyone.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Orange is trippin. That was a fluke. Bulls over the Knicks in the Garden on Christmas. No doubt about that one. Even without Boozer.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    If Noah keeps playing like he is and doesn’t make the All-Star team somethings not right. Same thing with All-Defensive Team. Double and triple teams can’t stop Gasol at times. But Noah did it all by his damn self. People still question why Noah is seen as so valuable, some even say he still sucks but y’all have no idea, my dude is a straight up game changer. That’s why he won’t be going anywhere, not even for Melo.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dirk scored like half the team’s points. That’s insane.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And it’s going to be interesting to see if the Bulls continue to play good defense when they add Boozer. That dude is a problem on that end of the floor.
    And the Cavs have lost five of six in case people were wondering.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’m looking up “Crying Turkey” recipe for Diesel….I’ll link it once I find it so you can prepare it for the holiday.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    Happy Holidays Eboy! No tears here though. I’m happy with the way my team is playing.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I’m looking up “Philipino Roast of Spo” by the way….everything is hard to read though. Yeah, Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the SLAM fam.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I’ve wondered the same thing, Allen. Boozer will make the Bulls much better offensively, but I prefer Gibson on D. I keep hearing people say how Thibs will make him better defensively. Please. Dude’s like what, 29? Been in the L like 8 years? He’s not gonna change now. What amazes me is he was teammates with Battier and has been coached by Coach K and Sloan, so the opportunity to learn how to be a great defensive player has always been there. Guess we’ll see what happens.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Enigmatic
    If Jerry Sloan can’t make you play defense, nobody else in the League can make you play defense. There are only three coaches more respected or as respected as Jerry Sloan in the NBA. Popovich, Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers.
    If he didn’t listen to Sloan, he ain’t listening to Tom Thibodeau.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    Did you just put Doc Rivers in that category?

  • Jay

    @Adam, I understand the John Wall crush, but I can’t believe you didn’t mention the choke job by the Sixers. I watched this game, Philly had it in the bag, it was over, but they gave it away just like they did last time they played the Wizards in D.C. John Wall is great and all, but the storyline was the Sixers giving the game away, not John Wall. It’d be nice to see you mention the biggest storyline in the PU.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If you don’t think Dock Rivers is as respected by the players in the league as those guys, then you’re a fool.
    And, all you have to do is look at what Rivers did in Orlando and Boston to know that he’s got coaching talent.
    Only the Lakers play better than the Celtics on both sides of the ball when the Celtics are on their game, and that’s still a close decision.
    It’s amazing that a coach can run a team as well as Doc has run the Celtics with and without Garnett and still not get the full credit for that team’s success.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    If you’re going to look at it like that, you can putt scott skiles and scott brooks in the same group. And judging from a lot of the comments I’ve heard it seems like Thibs was just as responsible as Rivers for what the celtics did. There’s a difference between having respect for being good and having respect for being the best. Doc is a good coach, but Sloan, Pop, and Phil are in a league of their own.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Doc has been to two of the last three Finals, and beat Phil Jackson head to head with a newly constructed team.
    Sloan has been to the Finals twice and lost both times.
    Scott Brooks and Skiles have never even gotten to the Eastern Conference Finals.
    And it’s not just because Rivers has talent. That’s important, but in Orlando he made a team of absolute nobodies competitive and entertaining.
    As for Thibs, he ddidn’t coach the Celtics offense, and that’s one of the most beauty systems in the league. And the team hasn’t missed a beat on defense since he left.
    Saying Thibs made Doc is like saying Tex Winter “made” Phil Jackson since the triangle was his baby.
    People don’t give Doc enough credit. When the team struggles, he can’t coach. When the team wins, somebody else made them win. It’s crazy.
    If I was making a list, I’d put Phil and Popp on one level, then Doc and Sloan on the next level.

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

    You are what your record says you are. Rose has a nice game but was out of control at times and took some bad shots. Last I saw he was 11-24, only a couple more bricks from kobe range.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/ Diesel

    If Doc continues on this path for the next 5 – 10 years then I’ll 100% agree with you.

  • Blackphantom

    Though my Lakers beat them, the Bulls are very good, and they’ll be even better when Boozer comes back

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If longevity is a big issue, then I understand your point. But, I don’t understand how Brooks can be a “good” coach after a little over two years. That’s a tiny sample size to label somebody “good.”

  • ShadiestBen

    AllenP why comment on the Cavs record? They weren’t supposed to be world beaters without LeBron, and they are not.
    Miami weren’t supposed to be 8 – 6 and sitting at 4th in the East, yet they are.
    Also Booz will make them a better team overall, that much is obvious.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Adam Figman

    Jay…Majority of the comeback came in the third quarter, and I don’t think we can call a 14-point halftime lead “in the bag” in today’s nba. I watched but missed most of the third quarter, so I don’t know if it stretched further, but either way a double-digit comeback against today’s Sixers (no shots!) isn’t that impressive to me. The move to get three free throws, down three and in the final seconds? That I’d call impressive, not a John Wall crush.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Adam Figman

    Also–Happy Thanksgiving, homies.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    My fudge packed butt crack smells like food

  • Michael

    tmac will be the best player on the pistons in a month or so, hes starting to get his legs back. Book it.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Where someone sensitive doesn’t let you retort happens.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Umm… Tex Winter did make Phil Jacskon, in my opinion. Dude taught him everything he knows. That’s no knock on Phil, who I think is the best coach of all time, but his whole system was devised by Winter. Anyways, I do agree with all your other points though

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Sloan not on the same level as Phil and Greg Popavich? Allen, if Jerry Sloan had Kobe and Shaq he would have won 3 rings easily. Sloan is definitely up there.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    To me Greg Pop is a better coach than Phil Jackson, and I think you could argue that if Sloan would have won those two championships against the Bulls in the ’90s, he could be considered better than Phil as well.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    Im becoming a Rose fan slowly and Im allready a big Joakim Noah fan.

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    Allen, if Doc was such a great coach, then what accounts for the horrendous years in boston when they still had Big Al and Paul Pierce up in there? You said it yourself, he led a bunch of nobodies in Orlando when he won CotY there before, but the pre-Big3 Celtics were HORRIBLE. Not much difference talent wise between the two teams actually. If you’re going to argue for Doc’s greatness as a coach, the argument you’ll have to defend is, he couldn’t get that Boston team out of the cellar before KG and Ray arrived.

  • Pharoah

    When LeBron plays 40 minutes a game for the Hear = 0-7

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