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Saturday, December 11th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  52 responses

Post Up: Code Red

While Amar’e dunks over your MVP candidate.

by Anton Kudriavtsev/@TheDiesel

This is history in the making, so stop calling fouls and let the players make it.

Nuggets 123, Raptors 116

Last name “winning”, first name “never”. As Melo called in sick for a second straight game, the Nuggets delivered an early Christmas present to George Karl, beating the Raptors to earn Karl’s 1000th career win. Al Harrington picked up the offensive load with 31 points and Nene tore apart Toronto’s great wall of frontline softness with 26 points of his own. The Raps made a run, mainly by jacking up threes from similar distance to their home country, cutting it to single digits with 2:18 to play before falling to Big Shot Billups and his free throws. Kleiza led the Raps with 26 points off the bench, in addition to grabbing three times as much rebounds as Bargnani (24 points, 3 rebounds).

Bobcats 92, Pacers 100

I brushed off previous wins to early season luck but with a victory over the Bobcats, the Pacers are not only playoff-bound, but fighting for the 6th seed in the East. Their success partly relies on how terrible the Bucks have played, but in any case playing above .500 for this team should be accomplishment enough. Danny Granger led the balanced attack with 18 points while Roy “last name mostly likely to make you smile for no reason” Hibbert had 13 points,14 boards, 6 assists, and 3 blocks. Gerald Wallace had 26 but the Bobcats couldn’t get enough offense to match the Pacers’ 41% from distance, with Charlotte only shooting 3-of-17 from distance. Not only that, but Indiana was able to hold the Bobcats to 41% shooting overall and have quietly led the league in field-goal percentage defense. Why is Indiana still boo-ing Stephen Jackson? It happened over 4 years ago, get over it.

Knicks 101, Wizards 95

Speaking of potential first-round exits, the Knicks won their seventh straight game with a victory over the Wizards, thanks to Amare’s triple double of 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 turnovers. Like Ron Burgundy in Anchorman, this is kind of a big deal since the Knicks haven’t won seven straight in a decade and Stoudemire tied a franchise-best seven straight games with 30 points or more (shout out to Willie Naulls in 1962).The Wizards made some plays down the stretch to pull within three, but like McGee’s free-throw line dunk, failed in the end. Gilbert Arenas left a parting gift to Washington by scoring 20 points (just in case he’s traded by the time this post is up). Where does Amare rank on the MVP race? He’s at least in the top-3 in my book, rounded out by Dirk and D-Will. Maybe Rondo should be thrown in there somewhere in the top-10, there is no way you can deny shooting 53% from the field, dishing 46 assists in the last three games, and making Shaq-a-Claus look like he could play for another year or two.

Derrick Rose

Lakers 84, Bulls 88

This is why I never give advice to youngsters: they just might take it. Derrick Rose led the running of the Bulls with 29 points and 9 assists as they beat the Lakers. Not to exaggerate, but the last time Chicago beat LA we were all watching Titanic on double VCR tapes (and watching a very different Rose, too). The Bulls held off a late rally thanks to a 26-13 bench points advantage as well as superior (47%) three-point shooting, holding the Lakers to a season-low 84 points. Kobe has 23 in the loss but needed 23 shots to reach it, while Gasol followed up with 21. Carlos Boozer a.k.a. “The People’s Eyebrow” had 10 points and 11 rebounds while Korver led the three-point assault with 13 off the bench. Rose brought the dagger with a 15-footer as the shot clock expired to pull his team ahead by five points with 25.2 seconds to play. Is it time to start worrying about the Lakers? I had them sleep-walking through the regular season but now that San Antonio, Dallas, and Utah are leading the west, this puts some pressure on the champs . At least this will hopefully make for a competitive March and April as teams fight for home court in the western conference finals. I don’t see OKC or the Hornets sneaking into the top 4 so I’m going to go with the Spurs, Lakers, Mavs, then Jazz. Who you got?

Thunder 97, Hornets 92

Is Russell Westbrook the most important player for the Thunder? It seems like each time Durant has an off-night or even an average night, Westbrook steps in and keeps his team in the game. Russ had 29 points and 10 assists to Durant’s 25 points as the Thunder beat the Hornets. Another bright spot for the young Thunder came as Serge Ibaka showed off his offensive prowess en route to an 18-point, 9-rebound night. For New Orleans, David West did his damage early with 24 points and 13 rebounds and Paul finished with 18 points, 7 assists, and 5 steals. Westbrook delivered the dagger, a three-point play to give the Thunder a six-point lead with 1:41 to play. Belinelli/Rambo body double missed a game-tying three-point attempt with 10 seconds to go.

Pistons 99, Wolves 109

Kevin Love had 27 points and 18 rebounds (what a slacker, couldn’t even give us a 20-20 game) in a forgettable win over the Pistons. Free agent gold mine Luke Ridnour held Minnesota down with 20 points and 10 assists, including 3-of-5 from three-point land. Rip Hamilton raised his trade value by scoring 26 points as Detroit wasted a 13-point lead, being outscored 58-26 in the paint. Darko made his presence felt with 7 rejections, he now leads the league in blocks. Why is no one talking about this?!

Hawks 92, Spurs 108

Whatever they’re drinking in San Antonio, I want some. The Spurs kept their best record in tact with an easy win over the Hawks. With all five starters in double figures, Manu Ginobili and Richard Jefferson led the Spurs with 18 apiece, solidified by DeJuan “Heavy D” Blair’s 18 points and 12 rebounds. Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 23 points, who are now 2-6 against teams with winning records.

Rockets 91, Bucks 97

A big night from the Aussie big-man meant a win for the Bucks over the Rockets. Andrew Bogut had 24 points, 22 rebounds, and 5 blocks in his fourth 20-20 game of his career. The Rockets went a good seven minutes without a field goal late in the game despite Kevin Martin’s 23 points. Bogut on the boards means a rebounding advantage for Milwaukee which gives the team a better chance at a transition game with long outlet passes. Good to see the Bucks finally rounding out in form, getting their shooting back on track and reaching closer towards their potential.

Blazers 101, Suns 94

The Blazers made it four in a row with a win over the Suns. Brandon Roy led Portland with 26 and Marcus Camby took his slingshot jumper to Phoenix while scoring 16 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. As the Blazers are usually over-reliant on jumpers, they held a two-point edge in points scored in the paint and connected on most of their jumpers to lead the Suns in double digits throughout most of the night. Phoenix was led by Nashty’s 24 points and 5 assists, in a game where it would have been more useful to turn off the “defense” setting on the video game and watch each team shoot until the final buzzer sounds.

Courtesy of Doc Funk Blog

Magic 105, Jazz 117

The Magic continued their downward slide in a blowout loss versus the Jazz. Deron Williams scored a season-high 32 points but it was CJ Miles who took the scoring load in the 4th, dropping 19 of his final 26 late in the game. I didn’t believe it at first, but if the Jazz keep playing tough as nails they are becoming more legit in an increasingly open western conference. For the Magic, Jameer Nelson had 19 points and 10 assists and Bass made use of his starter’s minutes with 18 but the team overall needs more than a cosmetic overhaul. I couldn’t believe the results of yesterday’s Polladaday where most believed the Magic would be fine in the long term. Unless the hidden writing was that Lewis is transformed into his contract-year self and takes Vince Carter with him. Why is White Chocolate getting so many technicals? Someone tell him that the veteran’s minimum doesn’t cover fines before he is forced to sell junk retirement plans to seniors in Florida.

Heat 106, Warriors 84

The biggest challenge for the Heat was not whether they could get the win over the Warriors, but who would get the triple double first. Wade led Miami with 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists while LeBron spread his talents around with 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Miami are starting to click and are now rolling on a season-high 7-game win streak, dominated the Warriors on the boards and killed them on fast-break points. Monta Ellis had 20 points and 7 assists but this one was over before the first substitutions. Final thought: when LeBron attends Bosh’s wedding, he will be the best man in every way possible.

Overtime

“Check My $tats” of the night:  Amar’e Stoudemire – 36 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks. Forget the turnovers, STAT’s been doing this for 7 straight games.

Separated at Birth of the day: Marcus Camby and Dr. Dre.

As many of you know, Antoine Walker is now in the D-League. How is he doing? About as well as his neutral facial expression: sad. The Shimmy expert has recently been quoted as saying that “My dream is to play in the NBA”, which sounds more desperate than noble. As I watched ‘Toine air-ball a free throw in the D-League, I saw his career rise and fall with that basketball. As Shea Cotton said, “the ball stops bouncing a lot sooner than you think”.

The rules of basketball have now literally been sold out. James Naismith’s (shout out to Canada!) original 13 rules for the game of basketball have been sold for $4.4 million. I don’t mean to disappoint you all, but ever since the bottom of the peach basket has been cut out, the points never counted. Per rule 8: “a goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there.”  No word on whether the buyer plans to re-sell the rules to Stern for imperial modifications.

I’m out like Toine’s happy ending.

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  • http://jahmai_alberto@msn.com Jahmai

    D-ROSE FANS UNITE!!! :P How clutch can this guy get? The 3 pointer against Houston, the game-winning shot against the Cavs, 2 crunch-time buckets to win the game against LA. And what about that turnaround jumper from the sidelines to beat the shot clock. Sick. He turned around smiled and did the MJ ‘shrug’.
    3-5 from long range. mmhh.. MVP!

  • http://Bulls.com C-Lo_The_Great

    Qualtiy win for the the Bulls. Rose shows once again he is in the conversation. Loved it when the fans started to chant MVP. When the bulls play elite teams they need to involve Boozer more.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Excellent Post Up, Anton.
    The Kate Winslet line was so on point (that lady be gorgeous imo) and didn’t even know about the Naismith rules sale.
    TPU, easily Slamonline’s most intriguing recurring segment (where Lang and Omar at?)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Weird.. first ‘my comment awaited moderation’ now it’s just gone. Anyway, my point was: Drose for MVP.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Last name Scrooge, first name Ebenezer…Brace yourself Knicksogynist, 2 weeks from today, the Knicks will be winning and grinning. As for last night, just another GREAT game by Amar’e, and another road win for the Knicks – who happen to lead the league with 10 road wins. Amar’e is CLEARLY playing like an MVP! Go Knicks! POW!

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Darko has been leading the league in blocks for some time now. This didn’t just happen over night. I can’t really argue with your top four in the West right now either aside from moving the Mavs over the Spurs but I can’t do that right now.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Oh and that Derrick Rose play where he stopped in the lane and then snaked around two Lakers for a layup was sick last night.

  • Hursty

    Manu is playing great. Darkhorse mvp pick.

  • Hammer

    Rose 4 mvp! Wish sum more tru bulls fans realize that rose should b taken under cosideration. The last time the uc chanted mvp 4 sum1 on their home team was when mj was around. 13 yrs ago!

  • Hammer

    On a side note:Van gundy and breen were mentioning last night that the ol chicago stadium was the loudest stadium. Might b tru. But I would like 2 mention the blazers ol memorial coliseum. That place would b rockin! Very very loud. Also the jazz’ delta center back n the 90′s. I remember n the finals against the bulls watchin kerr and a couple other bulls covering their ears of how loud it was. Other stadiums include the magics ol O ‘Rena,msg,kings arco arena and sonics key arena

  • http://www.slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    The reason for Nawlin’s loss (aside from Westbrook) was Belinelli, Okafor & Ariza combining to miss six free throws in a row from the 4 minute mark to the 2 minute mark in the 4th. They make 4 of those its a tie game. CP3 with an efficient as ever night, Nawlins need to make a trade for a scorer.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    damn rose is killin and shout to amare also and my man westbrook, jus keep doing your thing bro!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Just an observation not sure if its been stated here before. Lebron is great at finding open shooters — most of his assists are to shooters. Dwade is great at finding people cutting to the rim for dunks or layups. I don’t care much for Bill Simmons writing and his Celtic slant but he isn’t too bad an announcer — anyone could be better than Reggie. Nice win for the Bulls, disappointing effort from the Lakers who always seem to coast through games then really turn it up at the end expecting to win it.I was high on rookie Caracter at the beginning of the season but lately, I just cringe when I see him in the game like when back when Kwame was with the Lakers. At least Kwame could defend. He is undersized but c’mon son, show some heart.

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    MVP list: Dirk, Amare, Rose, Deron, Manu, Howard, Rondo, Paul, Kobe, Lebron.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Great win for the Bulls. I’ve mentioned it before, but I think Rose should win the MIP. He has improved in every area of his game. Every single area. His shooting, his passing, his defense, his rebounding, his leadership skills. Dude is my pick for MIP for real, and a top 5 MVP candidate too.

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    Also, I disagree Nick That Quick. I think Lebron’s shooter/cutter passes are 60/40 and Wade’s are 40/60. So yeah, Lebron finds more open shooters and Wade finds more cutters, but like, I’d say they’re both very well rounded passes in the half-court!

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    Kevin Love is over three rebounds ahead of anyone else on the rebound title list… When he had his 30-30 game, I was wowed, but I didn’t think Love would keep it up.
    Now, I believe he may very well average 16-17 rebounds for a season,
    More impressive: He is on course right now to have the most rebounds per game since Rodman in 1996-97. That’s 14-years since anyone has grabbed as many rebounds in a game.
    Most impressive: First white guy to possibly win a rebound title in 25-years. Anyone know who that last unathletic, white guy was?

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    I think it’s no coincidence that the Heat are on this hot streak when Wade picked up his scoring and Lebron picked his spots more. Also I am LOVING the Knicks right now. I hear we’re possibly making a deal for OJ Mayo which would be huge for us. Just huge. Kevin Love belongs in the sixties with these numbers. He’s like Jerry Lucas out there it’s been insane and awesome to watch.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Jukai , Bill Laimbeer.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Also only 3 white guys in history led the league in rebounding. Walton, Laimbeer and Schayes.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Love’s all around numbers are ridiculous. 20, 16, 41% threes and 88% free throws.

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    @Bryan: I’m hearing the Knicks and Rockets are close to a trade. And I’m happy, because whoever the Knicks pick, it will be better than OJ Mayo.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    If the Knicks get anyone from the Rockets it better be Chase Budinger. I am really high on Mayo, I know he’s having a bad season, but I think it’s the system. He would be a great fit in NY and could really develop out there. All the Knicks are missing is a legit second option. OJ could turn into that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    @Jukai I don’t see how you disagree with me when right after you agree with me. I did not say Lebron was a poor passer to cutters and that Dwade is a poor passer to shooters. Just that their strengths in passing are different. They are still above average passers either way. That’s all.
    In other news, there was a Vlad Rad sighting last night. I hear he took issue with the Warriors practice habits, team building habits etc coming from the Lakers who “did things the right way.” Funny coming from the Space cadet.

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    Bryan: better check the wiki again, buddy. Swen Nater did it in in 79-80. Mikan, Gallatin, and Johnston also all did it when there was pretty much no black competition, but hey, you mentioned Schayes!

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Oh man, my bad I read the basketball-reference records with a glance. My fault.

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    @Nick That Quick: I think I disagreed with when you said “MOST passes come from shooters” and “MOST passes come from cutters.” I think that’s an exaggeration but it was also probably more semantics than anything, so just ignore me today. I don’t have to work this Saturday and I got off Monday so I’m giddy like a schoolboy.

  • burnt_chicken

    i love seeing bona fide NBA players being described as ‘unathletic’. They sure are! (apologies to Reggie Evans).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    @ Jukai..and i quote myself,”Lebron is great at finding open shooters — most of his assists are to shooters. Dwade is great at finding people cutting to the rim for dunks or layups..” Did not say anything about passes coming from shooters or cutters but TO shooters/cutters.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Another observation, The Eyebrow is always described as having great hands, able to catch tough passes in traffic and finish well with either hand. While this is mostly true, he seems to fumble a lot especially on rebounds. For some reason, he doesn’t always secure the ball when he catches it or it is easily ripped away from him and even last year in the playoffs series with LA, he was losing the ball when shooting his layups, especially against length.

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

    About a week ago I was watching the Wolves (one of my favorite teams to watch now) vs. the Spurs (ditto), and it was during crunch time when Beasley got caught with a screen and had to switch with Love. I think it was Jefferson who was WIDE OPEN for a 3 and Love just stood back; Beasley was literally pushing him in the back to get him to rotate… And, because he didn’t want to get himself out of rebounding position, he let Jefferson take a wide open 3. In crunch time. He’s lucky that shot didn’t go down, but still–that is a SERIOUS problem if he does this on a consistent basis. I really hope he doesn’t. I know a lot of other great rebounders who failed to rotate and let their help defense suffer because of that…
    Side note: Love is one of my favorite players.

  • http://bulls.com Harry Twatter

    Slam you guys rated DRose 12 at the beginning of the year and Boston fans claimed it was way too high. Actually it was way to low!! Can we get him in the top 10 and probably 5? better than Brandon Roy and Chrissy Bosh for sure!!!! Also better than any Celtic

  • Fortitude

    @Clo

    Your comment about D Rose, the bulls and Boozer will be Chicago’s demise.

    Little point guards that play and shoot like two guards are fun to watch and score a lot of points, but they usually exclude their other stars and don’t win much.

    I agree!

  • Jagster

    You guys notice Miami’s been player better with Chalmers and Arroyo more involved with the offense, Big Z and Dampier playing more than Anthony and Lebron playing more off the ball (as Spoelstra said he wants him to) and Wade handling it more than before (even with Bron on the floor;i.e Bron’s not pounding the ball to break up the floor boards anymore)?

  • Jagster

    @Jukai & Nick Da Quick

    Good Convo.

    I think the other difference with Wades and Lebron’s passing is this:

    Wade is a much better passer after he initiates, commits or is about to make his shot or move. Wade seems to hit cutters or shooters accurately right down to the moment before he takes the his shot. He’s always been superb at that.

    Lebron on the other had, since he’s plays like a point forward type position (while WAde plays the more attacking off guard position) seems to get more of his passes when his head is up, and doesn’t seem to pass as well as Wade off the move, the dribble or his shot. I also think this because Wade is quicker, more coordinated and more creative with his moves/movements than Lebron (which only makes sense, cause Wade is smaller and has pet go to moves when Lebron really has none).

  • Jagster

    @Jukia & Nick Da Quick

    If what we all said was true, I think we just solved it Lol.

    If Wade is so good at passing off the move or right before or after he commits his move or shot, it only makes sense he would hit cutters, cause that happens at a moments notice and doesn’t last long. Now Lebron being the guy that doesn’t have that talent like Wade, would get most of his assist from shooters, who normally can stand and wait at their position longer than cutters can, makes sens indeed. We solved/explained it! Lol.

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

    THE RULES ARE BACK IN LAWRENCE WHERE THEY BELONG!!!!!!

  • http://bulls.com airs

    “As many of you know, Antoine Walker is now in the D-League. How is he doing? About as well as his neutral facial expression: sad.”

    hahahaha bogus as hell

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

    Has darko been freed??? It seems he has. …….. While kevin federl uh love is a great rebounder, it seems hes a looter in a riot. His stats are inflated a bit due to him being the only one who desires to rebound. On a better team, I think hed still get 12 boards a game.

  • B-Ball Maestro

    @Harry Twatter

    Last that I knew Rondo was the one playing with the 18-4 team and DRose was the one playing with 13-8 (or what ever they are) one?

    It would help if Rose would pass to his team mate (Boozer) as well.

    Rondo could average 20+ a game (and I wish he’d shoot more sometimes), but he’ll never do that as long as he has other offensive options to get in this mix/keep happy. When he doesn’t or they’re playing poorly, then he shoots more.

    Rose almost seems like he wants to take 35 shots a game, whether his team mates were playing well, available or not? That’s the problem. He’s got a good team!

    On another note, you notice how many times Rose got stripped yesterday? Rondo doesn’t get stripped!

    Rose is indeed a great player though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com ShadiestBen

    Teddy – Your right, Kev Love said there is no such thing as a selfish rebound because its a team stat but that kind of play can hurt the team. The Wolves are also one of my favourite teams, when Beasley gets it going no one in the L can score as easily. Thats not an exaggeration.

  • The Philosopher

    I wish Miami had kept Beasley.
    I mean, they (Wade and Riley) damn near defamed his character down there.

  • Pharoah

    D-ROSE DOES IT AGAIN

  • T-Money

    Philo: And what would they have done with Beas playing 15 mins a game backing up Wade and James? / Bryan: well… D-Wade was having some of the worst offensive games of his career… I don’t know what Bron picking his spot means, he leads the team in scoring. Actually it’s quite the opposite: they’re both going hard and not worrying about whose turn is it to shoot.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    lakers re plain like sh1t..@Jukai, after last year series,in witch you guys deserved to win with our injuries, WE OWN THE FU(KIN SUNS!!haha

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    During the win streak with the exception of the Cavs game and one other 33 point game, Wade has been statistically stronger, with Lebron setting the table, on one occasion only taking 11 shots. When Wade is the go to scorer Lebron can be straight deadly, and get easier buckets than he’s probably ever had and take over when Wade sits.

  • Blackphantom

    Shout out to B-Crawford, you’re Bulls beat my Lakers fair and squre

  • Blackphantom

    *square

  • Ronald

    @Teddy: Love is notorious for being a selfish rebounder. If a player “steals” his rebounds he chews them out. I’m sure there’s a “rebounding” bonus in his contract somewhere.

  • http://sdfklfds.com Jukai

    @Nick: I meant to say to. It’s your use of the word ‘mostly’
    @Teddy: That was Rodman in a nutshell you’re describing.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Michael Whyte

    @Tmoney. I agree with pretty much everything you say on these boards. Just a shoutout. Keep up the good work.

  • robz

    GO D.ROSE improving ur jumpshots/3 pt shots…love it man

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