Quantcast
Thursday, December 30th, 2010 at 8:35 am  |  69 responses

Post Up: Trouble in Beantown

KG goes down, the Lakers get a W, and the Heat keep rolling along.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Charlotte 101, Cleveland 92

A couple of wins later, maybe that Bobcats train is slowly turning around. In Paul Silas’ second game as head coach, the Cats defeated the Cavs at home, bringing the new HC’s record with the team to 2-0. Captain Jack dominated, scoring 38 points and hitting a couple of key buckets when the game got close (including a jumper to extend the lead when Cleveland was threatening with under two minutes remaining) to lead Charlotte to victory. DJ Augustin (28 points, 6 assists) was also great, and his improved play will be important if the Bobcats hope to actually make a Playoff run later this year. Fact is, they just don’t have the talent to afford a hole at the pg spot. Last night was a move in the right direction.

Washington 104, Indiana 90

Randy Wittman might not have been thrilled he had to fill in for Flip Saunders—who left his position open for the night to be with his ailing mother—but he did a fine job nonetheless, leading the Wiz to a win, not the most common of occurrences for this young Wizards team. John Wall had returned earlier in the week, but this felt like this official comeback, as his 10-7-12-1 stat line is just about all you could ask of a rookie point man. And Washington also dominated the paint, as BFFs JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche combined for 38 points, 21 rebounds and 6 blocks.

Atlanta 103, Golden State 93

Dorell Wright may have put up a career-high 32 points, but the Warriors need to get their Monta Ellis-Steph Curry backcourt involved if they want to victories. Those two combined for just 21 points off 8-26 shooting, while the Hawks’ well-balanced offensive attack and strong D brought this one home for them. Al Horford scored 21 and grabbed 6, while Josh Smith had a Josh Smith-like line of 22-10-5-2-2. The Hawks begin a West Coast road trip tomorrow.

Detroit 104, Boston 92

The Celtics lost, which is never good, but the story that came out of last night’s game against the Pistons ran much deeper than one defeat. In the first quarter, Kevin Garnett finished a dunk, came down awkwardly on his left leg, and limped along until he left the game shortly thereafter. Boston, already without Rajon Rondo (though he should be back within a week or so), simply can’t afford to lose KG, who has been the heart and soul of the group this season. The good: Post-game, Doc Rivers sounded optimistic, and announced early x-rays came back negative, so even though KG is expected to miss some time, it won’t linger and hold him/the team down for months on end. The bad: Playing without their power forward for the subsequent three quarters, the C’s lost to a below average Pistons team led by (hey!) Tracy McGrady and his 21 points. The Celts are at home Friday against the Hornets, and chances are they’ll be without two of their starters, so it’ll be interesting to see how they carry on.

L.A. Lakers 103, New Orleans 88

How to turn around a bad streak: Play a team on a worse streak. Pretty simple. The Lakers went into New Orleans and had their way, dominating behind Lamar Odom’s 24 and Kobe’s 20. Most of the LA starters were able to rest late, too, which seems to be increasingly necessary for these old aging geezers veterans. The Bees are facing the sure-to-be-shorthanded Celtics Friday, so that should be a decent opportunity to get back on the right track, and if they’re into that kind of thing.

Oklahoma City 114, New Jersey 93

Seemingly pretty pissed about that loss to the Mavs a couple nights back, the Thunder straight-up owned the Nets, running ahead in the second and third quarters and deciding against looking back. For seven contests in a row now, the Thunder have swayed back-and-forth between wins and losses, and they’ll look to finally put a little run together when they host the Hawks Friday.

Denver 119, Minnesota 113

The Nuggets probably read my Celtics recap and laughed. “Shorthanded! Ha! I’ll show you shorthanded!” No Melo. No Kenyon. No Nene. No Al Harrington. No worries. Chauncey Billups stepped up, scoring 36 and leading the way for the Nugs, who defeated Minny behind a 37-point fourth quarter. Ty Lawson also pitched in 19, and JR Smith did this. And, of course: Michael Beasley dropped 33, while Kevin Love went for 26 and 14. Basketball gods, if you exist, free these men.

Miami 125, Houston 119

The Heat are rolling, folks. They tallied another W last night against the Rockets, who simply had no defensive answer for Miami’s weapons: the Heat shot 58.1 percent from the field, Dwyane Wade scored 45 points, and LeBron James and Chris Bosh combined for 41 more as they upped their record to 25-9. Erik Spoelstra’s dudes are now only one game behind Boston, and with the Celts missing some talent there’s a good chance we’ll have a new no. 1 team in the East come a week or so from now.

Philadelphia 123, Phoenix 110

Finally, something Evan Turner-related to write about. The rook scored 23 off 9-12 shooting, and helped lift the Sixers (along with Jrue Holiday, who dropped 25) over the Suns. Even with Vince Carter (18 points) in the lineup, Phoenix is still a step behind and is gonna need another change if they have any plans to compete in ’10-11′s postseason. Back to Turner for a second: His great game came with Andre Iguodala (right Achilles tendinitis) sidelined, and it appears there’s a growing consensus that both Turner and Iggy can’t coexist in Philly. Given that Turner is much younger, and there are other young pieces in place (Holiday, Thaddeus YoungJodie Meeks), it seems reasonable to expect the front office to look into shipping Iguodala during the upcoming trading season. Given what AI9 is capable of, I can think of a few contenders that should jump into those talks, asap. Just saying.

Sacramento 100, Memphis 98

Who thought the night’s best matchup would come out of Sacramento? Not you, and not I. But it happened, as these two battled down to the wire, trading hoops back-and-forth in the final minute. Down one with under 10 seconds to go, OJ Mayo hit a circus J that fell in, putting the Grizz up one with 1.5 ticks to go. It’s over, right? Nah. The Kings gave the ball to Tyreke Evans, and he made it happen, drilling a 60-or-so-foot runner as time expired in what was unquestionably one of the year’s craziest shots. Just check the Moment of the Night. That is all.

Utah 103, L.A. Clippers 95

From something you never saw coming to something you did: Blake Griffin (30 points, 12 rebounds) was a beast, but the Clippers lost. I know, wild. Al Jefferson countered Professor Griff well, scoring 31 and grabbing 10, while Gordon Hayward (!) put in 17.

Actual Stats: DWade: 45 points, 7 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 three-pointer.

Moment of the Night: OJ Mayo does something ridiculous. And then Tyreke Evans does something even more ridiculous. That’s about it. Check it:

No Post Up tomorrow, though I’ll be holding down the @SLAMonline Twitter account tonight for those of you who wanna follow along and talk hoops during tonight’s action. Enjoy New Years, guys and gals.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • MUBWAR

    woooow mcgrady playing well. Maybe he deserved more than the million he took from the Pistons. Off course my Heat are rolling. The Flash score 85 points in 48 hours. damnnn

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Well the Lakers righted the ship pretty quickly. Totally different team with Bynum starting, Odom is perfect 6th man for them.
    NOH need a trade, Monty basically said ‘Kobe, lets get you out of that slump, i’ll put Marco on you’.
    CP3 is playing amazing basketball this season, and needs some help.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Only watched first Q of DET/BOS until NOH/LAL came on, but T-Mac has been playing solid to good for a while now. He lit up Chicago in the 2nd half a couple of nights ago.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Ohhh what a night. NBA season is really getting into gear lately.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Yeah, T-Mac has quietly been putting together some good games this season. He’s getting his legs back somewhat. He’s been playing PG most of the year and he’s been better at running the team than Stuckey and Bynum. Good to see him starting to play well.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    LONG… LIVE… THE KING.
    And the Miami “Kingsmen”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com KukchaKris

    I have to apologize to Heat fans (Eboy, where u at?), as I was one of the skeptics who believed this team would not right their ship in time to contend this year. I still believe their lack of size will prove their undoing, but if KG’s knee relegates him to last year’s form (getting blocked by the rim on dunks), the Heat’s chances look markedly better.

  • Mike from Spain

    Miami needed huge performances to come out 6 points above the Rockets, who are Yao Ming-less and basically not a top team… I would have thought this should have been a blowout, but the Heat’s usually great defense allowed 119? Your thoughts?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    From the limited amount of the game I saw, it was just faster paced than Miami normally play. They got stops when they needed to.

  • jumpman23

    Haters will hate, but all I hear are crickets right now as the Heat are rollin’ the L right now. D-Wade, I wish you came home to Chicago…but props to the Heat. They are unstoppable right now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    @Mike. These are the type of games.. where you know.. a win is win. The important thing is they made crucial stops at the 4th.

  • MUBWAR

    The Heat won 16 of 17 and there are still haters out there criticizing. What will it take? 34 games win streak, 73 regular season wins, 7 championships…what will it take? seriously

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I wondered about the same thing allball. Then again houston might be better without yao.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    The ageless wonder aka. Hakeem Olajuwon was at the Rockets game. Looks as if he could still lace ‘em up right.now. jarring.
    Also like how the Rockets share the rock, very versatile team that started the season badly but is too loaded to be out of the playoff picture. Lowry has been fantastic for them in Brooks absence.
    Also, Wade = dayumn!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @MUBWAR Haters will always hate. You just gotta take that in stride and take the hate as a compliment. I’m a Kobe fan, and some haters still unbelievably think he sucks, even after all of his accomplishments.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Clyde Drexler, pls hurry back to the mic. If i have to listen to Don Chaney’s squeaky, high pitched voice anymore…. *eardrum close to popping*

  • Felix

    Rockets were hot coming into the game… with Scola, Martin, & Brooks they can score with anyone(Scola and Martin 20+ppg and brooks can put 20+ points up when healthy)… their problem is getting stops. they might beat enough of the weaker teams to make a playoff run

  • Felix

    Lowry makes plays… clutch threes, steals, hustle plays… Houston IMO is a pretty fun team to watch league pass…

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Oh..
    Happy birthday LeBron and Tiger.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    See how much better the lakers look when they pound the ball inside? And Kobe doesn’t shoot so much? It is not a hard game in some ways. Get the ball to tall people close to the rim. Simple.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    I felt the Heat had a chance to lose either to Houston or GState. Both teams because of pace, Rockets bigs work their asses off, and they play Warriors on New Year’s Day. Two letdown games in a row.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Bynum is the key. Gasol has lost all of his low post moves. If Gasol makes baskets while Big Z is guarding him, then it is a different Heat game. Gasol is being pushed around the court like two years ago. Teams are not doubling Gasol anymore and daring him to beat their bigs, which he is not doing. Bynum has improved around the basket and to me makes baskets better around the basket with contact. Lakers need Bynum back bad and got him and has worked on his game.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I actually agree with Seed.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Adam, Jackson had 38 points not 48. While Im sure he would thank you for the extra 10 you gave him, he didnt score them.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    What were you wondering Allen? I hope know one misinterpeted what I said, Miami were playing defence, it was just a fast paced game. Hence a lot of points scored. Down the strech when Miami needed to get stops they got them. Blackphantom – What did you think of CP3? If you didn’t watch the game ignore my question.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lamar Odom also creates all sorts of issues when he comes off the bench. There aren’t any off the bench big men with that kind of athletic ability or anywhere close to that large of a skill set

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hasn’t it been obvious that LA can’t win an actual title without Bynum? They lost in 08 without Bynum, won in 09 with him, and then Phil Jackson let Bynum play on one leg in the playoffs last season and they barely won the title. Kobe and Gasol are their best players but its clear to me atleast that they aren’t a championship team without Bynum

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Oh my bad allball I was responding to mike. I wondered at the score. Houston is no more fast paced thanvthe suns and the heat handled them. I think the focus wasn’t there.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    True nbk. He creates mad problems.

  • JTaylor21

    Looks like all the people that said Wade and Bron can not play together because they have similar styles were dead wrong. Wade has done a better job of cutting and moving without the ball when Bron has the rock and Mia runs double screens for wade when he has the rock. Even though Bron is doing too much standing in the corner for my liking, they are obviously getting better play with each other. That’s the good thing about the stars on Mia; if one player has it going that night, the others make it a point of getting them the rock instead of trying to make sure they get theirs.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Adam Figman

    Ha, thanks for the heads up Betcats. Fixed.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Houston has been playing at a breakneck pace since A Brooks came back. Or since Yao was announced done for the year, whichever sounds better

  • JTaylor21

    BGriff has gots to be the smartest rook since TD. Dude rarely takes a bad shot out there and handles being constantly double teammed better than most star players. He was the reason the Jazz went into a zone last night and he still put up 30/12 vs a very good utah frontline. If he keeps playing like this he will be the best rookie since TD.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    JTaylor, I understand Utah got a very good frontline, but you really think they are good defensively? I put them somewhere between carlos boozer and horrid

  • Scott

    LA Clippers for the 8th seed in the west. Probably won’t happen but one can dream.

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

    Tmac! 21 pts 8 dimes. Hes looking better………… …… Al jeff showed blake what post moves are.

  • http://sjfklfsl.com Jukai

    JTaylor21: You know why I don’t mind Lebron standing in that corner (as much) anymore?
    Cause he’s taking the open three-point shots.
    Even if he only hits them at a 1/3 clip, it actually spreads the floor. Earlier, he would get the ball wide open at the three and try to drive it, where everyone else was already packed in. Now, he spots up those threes. You and me both would love to see Lebron cutting to the basket for oops every play on the floor, but if Lebron wants to spread the floor for Wade and take those three-pointers, I’m A-Okay!

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

    And fesenko was not having any of blake trying to dunk on him.

  • http://sjfklfsl.com Jukai

    You also have it on the nose with Griffin. I actually think Griffin is very raw, and his offense is worse than people realize… the reason he seems so good is because he NEVER takes a bad shot. I’m totally in agreement. If he’s in a bad spot, he will reset the play.
    I really see why people are so high on the kid. He doesn’t have a lot of the technical skills down, but he has the FOUR things you simply can’t teach: athleticism, height, good court vision and RIDICULOUSLY HIGH basketball IQ.
    So if the skills start coming out of the wood work, the sky really is the limit.

  • JTaylor21

    Jukai, you’re right on point but how well will that kind of system work during the playoffs? I rather have bron setting screens for wade a couple of times instead of just ball watching. @Nbk, the jazz defense was geared towards stopping BGriff all night long and he still put on 30/12 on a frontline that at least gives effort on the defensive end.

  • http://djkslf.com Jukai

    JTaylor: I guess a more varied offense is just preferred. I’d like to see Lebron as a screener too, but if Wade’s hot, I don’t mind Lebron spreading the floor, especially if he’s hit one or two from downtown already.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    That’s whats up, I couldn’t watch that game last night didn’t have time. How did Deron look with that wrist?

  • JTaylor21

    Juaki, speaking of BGriff; weren’t you the one that said his shot was broken? If I remember correctly Amare wasn’t a great shooter his rook year and look at him now. BGriff shot is better than Amare’s at the same point in their careers and if Amare can improve his why can’t BGriff do the same. We all know that dude is an extremely hard-worker and I exepct him to have a very good mid-range game in about 2 yrs if he puts the work in, when that happens the comp can just wave the white flag.

  • JTaylor21

    Nbk, DWill looked good but he wasn’t as aggressive as he usual as and it think it was due to Big Al dominating so he didn’t feel the need to be. I think that the jazz would be better with CP and NO would be better with DWill because the hornets need a scorer while the jazz need a player who feeds their big men consistently. Don’t get me wrong, DWill’s a great passer but I think his scoring ability would help the hornet’s anemic offense more. CP’s more of an Stockon type PG who’s always looking to create good looks for his teammates and only looks for his shot in the last second. What do y’all think.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You could be right, its hard to say though. Never really seen Deron play with inferior teammates like Chris Paul has his whole career. I think neither player should be stuck in New Orleans though

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    The 1 seed is vital in the East this year, and it seems Miami understands that more than Boston. The Celts spend too much time playing down to the level of the competition. The 2nd seed in the East will likely have to beat 2 of the big 3 ORL/BOS/MIA.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Jukai, you forgot one another thing that really sets Blake apart; his motor is incredible. Very few players in the L play with that kind of all out intensity, a motor like that is worth its weight in gold (see KG, Kobe, G. Wallace among others). Apart from that I don’t think he is so raw that you make him out to be. Sure he needs a better jumper, but like JTaylor mentioned Amare had less jumper when he was a rookie and now it is wet. Griff really don’t have to many post moves (seems that they just don’t teach post-play in the US no more, good post players are more rare than the Wizards frontcourt playing smart basketball). In spite of these flaws in Griffin’s game, I think you sell him short. For a PF he has excellent ballhandling and moves going to the basket when facing up. Great offensive rebounder (which alone will get him between 4-6 ppg), he is good in the open court, he runs the floor extremely well, he moves great without the ball, he understands spacing (see how he sets up all those lobs) and there is of course the 4 things you mentioned. Barring injury he will be the best PF ever! (TimBot is not considered a true PF in my book, I know you disagree Jukai so let’s not get into that again).

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Who has consistently watched both CP3 & D Will this year? CP3 is playing amazing basketball. He is better statistically in every category besides scoring, playing less minutes and taking less shots. Shooting a lot higher %. D Will has been magnificent this year as well, but what CP manages to do with so little sets him apart to me.

  • Scott

    Great points but Duncan is a true power forward.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Scott, I don’t really want to get into that whole discussion as I have had it before around these parts. Let me just remark that for me 7-footers who anchor the defense, block shots and rebounds, spends most of their time playing with their back to the basket, gets most of their points of post-ups and in the paint are centers not PF’s. It doesn’t really matter that they play with another center like Duncan did many years. Or Gasol (who I consider more of a center, at least not a true power forward) does when Bynum is playing. There was a reason that Tim & David was called Twin Towers; two centers playing together.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Dirk is a 7 foot PF, but then again he does very few of the things I mentioned.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Duncan was drafted as a center. Had he not landed on a team that had another big dominant center, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. Arghhh I got pulled into that discussion once again (smiley).

  • JTaylor21

    LZ is on point. If Amare is avg. 26ppg with a wet jumpshot, limited post skills and average handles just imagine the kind of numbers BGriff could put up when he improves his jumpshot. Dude has a legimate chance at dropping 30/15/5 in a few years. The clips could be a championship contender in a couple of years if they play their cards right but it’s the clipps so I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • Scott

    Tim Duncan has now entered the David Robinson stage of his career. Duncan is only putting up 13 points per game. What did he have against LA 4 points and 2 boards and they still destroyed them. Top ten player of all time no doubt. It will be interesting to see how Kobe reacts when he know longer is the alpha dog on his team. My bet is he won’t handle it well at all.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Those points I completely agree with Scott.

  • Michael

    Good to see tmac playing some nice games, i said a while ago that tmac would be the best player on the Pistons in a month, its taking longer then a month but hes getting close, easily the best playmaker and passer they have and now he is starting to stroke that jumper as well. This rehab and offseason has probably been the hardest tmac has ever trained and it shows.

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

    Co-sign Felix. The Rockets just couldn’t stop D Wade last night… Then again, Wade got some BS superstar calls from the refs.

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

    Also, anyone notice how Dwyane Wade pushes off with his free arm EVERY FREAKING POSSESSION? He actually draws contact by using his off arm to shove people, or wrap around the defender’s back and shove him aside with his elbow. He gets away with it every time.
    And WHEN WILL THE NBA CALL A TRAVEL ON LEBRON JAMES’ SPIN MOVE? I have never seen him complete a spin move without taking 3 or more steps. It’s ridiculous…
    The Heat are for real, though. I’m not gonna front.

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

    Actually LZ, the “true” power forward is also a back to the basket, paint player, who can usually hit the 15 footer/midrange jumper as well. Today’s NBA just has a tonne of stretch 4′s who play more like over-sized Small Forwards then “true” power forwards.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    The whole league does that spin move. Look at Blake Griffin on Gallinari for a perfect example of what players get away with.

  • Scott

    Players in the NBA travel? I don’t believe it.

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

    Throughout most of timmy career he would drive past guys from ft line area or hit the midrange jumper. To say he gets most of his bskets from post ups with his back to the basket is inccorrect. He has actually been more effective facing up than posting. Thats why hes been a 4 moreso than a 5. Thats not to say he cant or hasnt posted up well, he can do that too. ……… ….. And to scotts point about how lobe will react not being the alpha on his team, were seeing the beginning of that now. Lal play best when they play thru pau. ……

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Nbk Posted: Dec.30 at 5:44 pm
    The whole league does that spin move. Look at Blake Griffin on Gallinari for a perfect example of what players get away with.

    Alright nbk, if you insist. I’ll go check that dunk out on youtube…for the 234th time. LOL

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lobe..ha

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    True Teddy (your 5:31 post is right on point, the 6:39 I disagree with; Tim always got a lot of his pts in the paint, if that is your logic then Pat Ewing was also a power forward since he shot way more jumpers than Tim ever did) but your true power forward is not normally 7 feet tall and doesn’t anchor the defense nor block shots (normally, guys like Josh Smith are a rarity) to the clip that Tim did. It is the center who anchors the defense, Tim always did that – still does, those old Spurs teams just happened to have two centers anchoring. KG is a anomaly since he anchors the C’s D but he never was that dominating shot blocker and never got the majority of his pts in the paint, hence true PF despite the height and anchoring. Again I repeat if Tim hadn’t been drafted by a team with a dominating big this wouldn’t even be a discussion. He was a C in college no doubt, he got scouted and drafted as a C. He played C along with DRob and later Rasho. You mean to tell me than when he was/is in the line-up with K. Thomas, Horry, Blair and Bonner Tim is not the C??? Lobe will rather shoot LAL out of a Finals series than see Gasol get Finals MVP believe that…

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Anyways I’m out. I’m of to Rio de Janeiro early in the morning. Happy New Year people!

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

    Have a good trip, Lz. One thing though: That was Tarzan at 6:39, not me. Peace, man.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Watch your wallet, Lz. Safe trip.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Rio! Nice.
    Stay away from the working girls.

Advertisement