Saturday, January 15th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  36 responses

Post Up: Spurs Cruise

While the Big Green Lantern takes over in Boston.

by Anton Kudriavtsev/@TheDiesel

Bulls 99, Pacers 86

The Bulls bottled up their frustrations about a loss to Charlotte and took it out on the Pacers, leading to a win. Chicago avoided a deja-vu defensive collapse as Derrick Rose led all scorers with 29 points and 10 rebounds, busting out of a bad shooting night from the previous game. The Bulls emphasized defense and held Indiana to just 33% shooting, as Luol Deng (17 points, 5 assists) locked up Danny Granger, limiting him to 4 for 17 shooting in the first three quarters (Granger finished with 22 points on 8-of-23 shooting). Why are you still out there, Kurt Thomas? You look like you’re living up to a lost bet of running suicides until the end of time. You had 18 rebounds, you say? Carry on then.

DeJuan Blair

Mavericks 89, Spurs 101

The Mavericks continue to press “down” on their Western Conference elevator as they lose their 4th straight game, this time to the Spurs. I’m not surprised by the Dallas’ decline considering I stopped thinking of them as contenders back in the day where a Jersey shore was nothing but a peaceful coastline.  I am surprised by San Antonio’s health and well-rounded contribution, with 4 starters in double figures added to strong bench play. Enemy of ACL’s DeJuan Blair had 18 points and 13 big rebounds and Tony Parker added 18 of his own. Is TP the best off-foot lay-up finisher in the league? Some of his quick footwork would get you off a varsity team that has an anal coach, yet Parker is proof that it can be done. The good news for the Mavs is that the Dirkster’s absence only solidifies him in the MVP race. The bad news is that Brian Cardinal Offishall’s drop off at power forward is about as subtle as Barkley’s commentary. Dallas is now 2-7 without him. News flash: Tim Duncan is still dunking on people. There is no way that any of us saw that coming. Keep it up, TD!

Bucks 94, Sixers 95

Thanks to skip to my Lou Williams, the Sixers beat the Bucks in a late shootout. While the phrase “Lou Williams led the Sixers in scoring off the bench” might as well be copy-and-pasted into future recaps, he did just that in this game with 25 points including a clutch trey to give Philly the lead with 43 seconds left to play. Philadelphia wasted a 15-point lead and committed 16 turnovers, letting the Bucks back in the game before Williams hit the dagger. Corey Maggette led Milwaukee with 16 off the bench but the Bucks gave up on rebounding late in the game, as evidenced by a 5’5” Earl Boykins (8 points, 11 assists) grabbing his own rebound over some Australian tree. For those watching League Pass on their computers, does Boykins look like a zoom-in glitch on your screens too?

Pistons 101, Raptors 95

Don’t call it a comeback but T-Mac is back! McGrady led Detroit with 22 points and 5 assists with a win over Toronto, spoiling Bargnani’s night of 31 points and 9 boards. What’s more impressive is that 10 of T-Macs buckets came when the Pistons needed them most, in a third quarter offensive drought. Charlie V contributed 16 points and 8 Tweets while Greg Monroe managed to score 12 points despite only jumping a third of an inch off the ground. Great moments in Raptors’ coaching history: a team is running the exact same play against you six times in a row, how do you respond? Jay Triano: “I will show my coaching bravado by standing up instead of sitting, but shall do nothing besides that”.

Kings 93, Knicks 83

The Knicks had other places to be on this night, as they slept through a loss to the Kings. Flattened by their recent road trip, New York shot an abysmal 31% and didn’t care much for Sacramento’s 22 turnovers to make use of them. While 25 points and 13 rebounds is a great off-night, Amar’e was just 6-of-22 from the field, visibly upset at his teammates’ lack of effort and energy. Beno Udrih led Sac-town with 29 points and DeMarcus Cousins stopped whining long enough to score 16 and grab 10 boards. Exactly how bad was it, you ask? The Knicks are the league’s highest-scoring team (107.8 PPG), and didn’t hit 60 points until 3 minutes into the 4th quarter. Rest up, boys. Either that or learn to shoot Andre Miller jumpers by simply raising on your toes.

Bobcats 94, Celtics 99

The Celtics quietly re-gained their perch on top in the East with a win over the Bobcats. Thanks to whom? Shaq Diesel. The Big Green Lantern led the Celtics in scoring with 23 points (including 3-of-3 at the free throw line!) and added 5 rebounds and 5 blocks. Already thin up front and in foul trouble, Boston had to play Shaqtus a season-high 35 minutes and Big took advantage. Recent SLAM cover boy Rajon Rondo added 18 points and 13 assists while Gerald Wallace had 20 for Charlotte. Kwame Brown lived up to the hype with 8 point and 7 boards, quieting the haters as he let himself be repeatedly boxed out by players half a foot shorter than he is. Stay the course, owner Jordan! Shaq also leads the league in laughs as he fell on Kwame and used him as a pillow to get some rest before converting the and-1. Say what you want about the boys in OKC, I say Rondo/Shaq is the best 1-2 punch in the league. Not because it’s an unstoppable force, but because you don’t expect it and it still works. Defenders lay off Rondo as he chills like Brady in the pocket, then slices in to find a used Diesel still doing his job. What do you call a Shaq/Big Baby double-screen? The KFC Double Down.

Hornets 110, Rockets 105

The Hornets rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Rockets in overtime, led by David West’s 29 points. Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin had 28 and 26 points for the Rockets, respectively, as the Rockets dropped 7 of their last 8 games. Lowry missed an off-balance jumper to send the game into overtime, where timely shots fell in New Orleans’ favour, and Chris Paul (11 points, 8 assists) scored most of his points in crunch time including a back-breaking steal and lay-up to seal the game. Though Lowry did have a crazy-looking scoop shot that he must have learned from a certain Argentinian power forward, there’s nothing like a clutch dunk and David West delivered one directly on top of Jared Jeffries.

Jazz 121, Cavs 99

How do you follow-up a 55 point massacre? By a 22 point loss, of course. Such were the Cavs’ plans as they lost to the Jazz to remain at the top of the league in futility. Deron Williams led Utah with 26 points and 9 assists but the Jazz got production from everyone and their dog, as six players scored in double figures, including C.J. Miles’ 20 points off the bench. Antawn “Paper Tiger” Jamison had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs and recently is quoted as saying “I don’t know how much more of this I can take”. You and me both.

Nets 88, Lakers 100

Nothing like playing the New Jersey to get you back on track. Despite Brook Lopez and his 35 points, the Lakers held off the Nets to earn their seventh straight win. The Nets tried to keep it close but LA wasn’t scared since the comeback was speared by Sasha Vujacic (17 points). Kobe stopped laughing long enough to drop 27 while Gasol added 20 points and 9 rebounds.

Blazers 111, Suns 115

Please remind me why this game was on national TV in Canada? We’re not that obsessed with Nash, schedule makers. Anyway, the Suns did eventually beat the Blazers thanks to Nashty’s 23 points and 13 assists. Nash hit a critical triple from the top of the key that put Phoenix ahead with 1:11 remaining. The Suns played their usual brand of lock-down defense up-tempo shoot-it-whenever-you-want style that spread the points around with 6 players in double figures as the team shot 53% overall from distance. Portland was led by Wes Matthew’s 26 points but couldn’t get stops down the stretch long enough to sustain their lead. Should the Suns trade Nash? We’ve seen that Dragic is still not comfortable without training wheels, so I say nay.

Courtesy of Doc Funk Blog

Clippers 112, Warriors 122

Being an NBA insider (I’m kind of a big deal), I subscribe to David Stern’s private newsletter. His most recent edition features the following candid exchange:

Griffin: “Hey, if you still want me in the dunk contest I’m going to need a night off.”

Stern: “I’ll give you something better.”

Griffin: “A trade to the Lakers?”

Stern: “No. Tonight you will be defended by David Lee and Andris Biedrins.”

Griffin: “Cool.”

Stern: “By the way, how do you feel about the bargaining agreement?”

Griffin: “I don’t know, can I dunk on it?”

While Blake Griffin was limited in the second half by double teams, Griff still put up 28 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to the Warriors. Attacking the resemblance of the Warriors’ front line, Griffin converted alley-oops, dunked on fools, and spun around helpless defenders on the block with ease. Monta Ellis led Golden State with 30 spectacular points (kind of hard not to when you’re guarded by Baron Davis’s shadow) while Curry added 23 and the Warriors pulled away late in a 10-0 fourth quarter run for the win. The Clippers did get buckets from other than Griffin as Eric Gordon added 28 but when the Warriors shoot as hot as they did (52%) and hit 14 three’s, you best match their shots or get out of the way. Rick Kamla mentioned that the Clippers shouldn’t trade Davis because of his alley-oops to Griffin. Really? I’m pretty sure even a bust like Johnny Flynn will resist the temptation to throw the ball into the third row long enough to oop it in Griffin’s general direction. Last question – do you think Dell Curry tells Steph “C’mon, son!” when he has a bad game?


“Check My $tats” of the night: Blake Griffin – 28 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal. Not impressive enough for you? Griffin now has 14 straight 20/10 games, the longest streak since Shaq in 2001. His 25 straight double-doubles is the longest for a rookie since 1968 and he is the only player to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

Separated at Birth of the day: Andrew Bogut and Ashlee Simpson.

Tweet of the Week: @thegame: ” #bythetimeLEBRONwinAring @justinbeiber will be accpting a lifetime achievement award.”

Happy NFL divisional weekend, everyone. If you’re a fan of the Spurs/Pistons 2005 finals, then the Steelers/Ravens game is for you. Nothing like a low-scoring defensive game that you continue watching just to see some kind of result to end the agony. I’m having a tough time picking a winner of the Falcons/Packers game, party because looking at Matt Ryan makes me burst into laughter as his resemblance to the guy from 30 Rock is uncanny.

I’m out like the Mavs’ chances.

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  • http://glmg.com AllBall

    CP3 did all that in OT on a bum ankle. That Griffin convo was excellent. D West!! Mr consistency.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    “Got a million dollars say LeBron don’t win a ring…” — The Game ft. Raekwon (Bulletproof Diaries)

  • JTaylor21

    BGriff has the third longest double double streak for a rook since Wilt and EHayes, think about that for a second. I can see him putting up 25/13/5 next year. Dude has Top-3 GPFOAT written all over him.

  • JTaylor21

    “I used to pay Kobe, now I pay LeBron…”—-Young Jeezy (24-23)

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I don’t follow Game on Twitter, but his #bythetimeLEBRONwinAring trending topic was hilarious. Some samples:
    #bythetimeLEBRONwinAring his front hairline will be so far back David Stern will allow him to wear a wave cap during games
    #bythetimeLEBRONwinAring Willow Smith will be hittin the club on South Beach with Sasha Obama to celebrate
    #bythetimeLEBRONwinAring OJ Simpson will be up for parole
    #bythetimeLEBRONwinAring Magic will have told the world that he never really had H.I.V.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    “You know a nigga that can score 81, show me…” – Same song as B Crawford.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    TD looked like he didn’t even know he put someone on a poster. Something tells me Cuban’s going to be making some moves again.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Umm…” If Jeezy payin LeBron than I’m paying Dwyane Wade”?
    Y’all know I’ve never heard a Jeezy song? Same goes with Gucci Mane and like all these other new cats. They probably ain’t even that new anymore, but I stick to my 90′s and underground rap.
    BC, what’s your prediction for tonight’s Bulls/Heat game?
    I ain’t gonna lie, I’m a little worried. I can’t see the Heat dropping three in a row the way they were playing before LA. Especially if LeBron is playing.
    But then again, Bulls have the best home record in the East.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Griffin, I’m running out of words, he is something else man. He missed 2 crazy dunks, he tried to Mozgov someone on the Warriors and he also threw down a 60 foot reverse alley-oop from Baron. Insane. He made a quick spin (one of his go-to moves) in the lane threw up a wild shot, got fouled and made the basket. Gotta agree with Jtaylor, this is his FIRST year and he’s doing better than almost every PF in their first year. They always say: Sky’s the limit for young talent but Griffin already lives in the sky. This dude is a gift from the basketball gods.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    (I meant, almost threw down a 60 foot reverse alley-oop from baron :P )

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I think the Bulls will win tonight, even if LBJ does play. The Bulls have been really tough to beat at home and they always seem to get up for the big games.
    If they play D like I expect them to, they’ll win.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    I hope the Bulls win and Drose has a huge game but the UC is going to boo LeBron really hard and I think he’ll be the one with a huge game, I just have a feeling that he will have one of his best games of the season + Dwade wants to have a big game too and the Miami Heat are really really good.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2011 Diesel

    “Karma karma kamra chameleon” – boy george.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2011 Diesel

    I think Brewer will limit Dwade and our bigs will hold down Bosh. Lebron is the one I’m worried about. Deng is the only good defensive 3 we have and Thibs plays him crazy minutes. I can see Deng getting tired late and Lebron taking over.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Interesting that all the Bulls fans see Chi Town getting the W. I hope Miami wins as Chi get too much love around here as is.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2011 Diesel

    AllBall – by all the bulls fans do you mean 1? because BC is the only one that said the bulls would win.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    @Diesel, exactly.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I didn’t read through the comments properly, that’s my bad. Out of interest what are your guys predictions?

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-confidential/2011 Diesel

    If Lebron plays I think the heat will win. It will be close because the Bulls are good at home. I think it will be close all game and the Heat will pull away at the end. I hope it doesn’t happen like that but that’s what I’m thinking.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    And my predicting the Bulls would win should come as no surprise. And saying that Chicago gets “too much love around here” is completely laughable.
    Besides, what’s wrong with that anyway? The Lakers also get love, and Miami gets an EXTREME amount of love as well.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Why is it laughable? Your Bulls prediction isn’t a surprise, I was being sarcastic when I said it was interesting Bulls fans were predicting Bulls win. I know Miami gets a whole lot of love, more than any other team for the past month plus.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Your last sentence should pretty much answer the question in your first sentence.

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    I say if Rose goes off for 40+, that’s the only way the Bulls have a shot.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I don’t like the love that MIA gets around here.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    How ever, I think the Heat are for real. I don’t think the Bulls are. I know a lot of people don’t take stock in strength of schedule, but I do, and Chicago’s has been very easy. They are also in the worst division in the L, and are 8-0 in the division. If they were in a different division, they would not b 26-13.

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

    anton hits another grand slam. cardinal offishall? wow, id forgotten that name. timmy with a nasty dunk. tmac is ballin. DAVID WEST WITH THE CLUTCH BOOM. can i dunk on it?? and anton, youre underestimating barons value and alley ability. … 05 finals were the shtt!!!!!!!! game 5 was the best finals game ever. ROBERT HORRY FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    allball, you could say that about alot of leastern conf teams. but yea, the central division is turrible

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    LOL @ AllBall.
    Yeah, the Bulls are gonna win by 40. Rose will have a triple double, Boozer will have 20 boards, and Wade, Bosh and James will be held to a combined 15 points.
    I have no idea why we Bulls fans are always painted as being idiot homers who think their team can do no wrong.
    And what’s wrong with the Bulls getting a lot of love on here?
    They have a lot of fans. So they get a lot of love.
    I have no problem with all the Heat and Lakers fans on here. If that’s their team than that’s their team. My team is the Bulls. Why should I give a rip who others cheer for?
    Anyways, my actual prediction for this game is Rose will go off, but so will James and Wade. I think the Heat will come out swinging, Bulls will fall behind early again. They’ll bridge the gap early in the second half, get it close, but won’t be able to pull it out at the end.
    I hope I’m wrong, I hope the Bulls win, but that’s how I see it going down.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I agree Tarzan, the East as a whole is weaker, but the Central division is worst of the bunch.
    Enig, I didn’t say anything about Bulls fans being homers, I said that they get a lot of love, which is true. I think they get too much love for being what they are, which is the 4th or 5th best team in the East. I like all the Bulls fans on here that I can recall (yourself, Diesel, Jahmai), but I feel that you guys all think D Rose is MVP and its no contest, and that Chi can go further than the 2nd round. I don’t agree with either.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Sorry, didn’t mean to miss out BC.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    There you go again, generalizing bro.
    I don’t think Diesel, myself, Or Jahmai ever said Rose is hands down, clear-cut, you-must-be-high-if-you-think-otherwise MVP.
    I think he’s definitely in te discussion, but there is no runaway favorite.
    And hey if the Bulls are top 4 or 5 into East, that’s cool.
    That’s better than what dudes were saying in the summer, that we’d e no better than seventh.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Adam Figman

    Kurt Thomas !

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I’m just generalizing you as Bulls fans, nothing more. I know you haven’t said it, its just an impression I get. Oh, and I think Jahmai may have said it, or something similar.
    I’m being a bit too hard on the Bulls, 26-13 with their injuries is a hell of a record, but the East is so top heavy that regular season records can be misleading.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, now that I think about it I think Jahmai did say that…

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    @BC – adding to your list: “#bythetimeLEBRONwinAring Dr.Dre will be finishing up Detox 5″.
    By the way, Ray Allen is 31 made three’s away from beating Reggie Miller’s record.


    The Heatles lose a 3rd in a row. Karma is a bleep! lol