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Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 8:38 am  |  46 responses

Post Up: Knick Trick

New York wins with 1 point from Melo, plus Ws for Miami, Toronto, Orlando and Portland.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Five games on tap, here we go…

Magic 102, Pacers 83

Dwight Howard only played 25 minutes, but he scored 14 points, making him the all-time franchise leader in scoring for Orlando, passing Nick Anderson for No. 1. Meanwhile, Ryan Anderson scored 24 points, including 5 threes, and the Magic held the Pacers to just 8 team assists and forced them into 19 turnovers. Still, this game was tied at 45 at halftime. Roy Hibbert and Danny Granger scored 16 points apiece, but Indiana shot 32 percent in the second half as Orlando built a 20-point lead. Interesting stat from this game, via the AP recap: Orlando’s 46 percent shooting is the first time that a Pacers’ home opponent shot better than 40 percent this season. And that came a night after the Magic couldn’t hit anything against the Celtics. Indiana, after taking two of three on a Western Conference road trip, lost to Orlando last night and now faces a four-day stretch against Chicago, Boston and Orlando again.

Knicks 111, Bobcats 78

The Knicks won a game by 33 points after dropping 6 in a row. And this was Carmelo Anthony’s stat line:

He did not leave with an injury. That was legitimately his game from last night—0-for-7 with 1 point—and New York still won. That’s a career low for Melo (well, duh…), and just the second time he’s scored less than 10 points since joining the Knicks fans who were about ready to hurt themselves. My first thought: the Bobcats must really, really be terrible (perhaps worse even than my Wiz?). Second thought: good for the Knicks. Tyson Chandler was an absolute animal inside against Charlotte, going for 20 and 17, and Landry Fields and Amar’e Stoudemire both scored 18 points for the Knicks, who shot 50 percent from the field while holding the ‘Cats to a miserable 33 percent shooting clip. The Knicks outrebounded the Bobcats 53 to 33, and had 14 dunks (6 from Chandler). DJ Augustin sat out with a nagging toe injury, and Kemba Walker scored a game-high 22 in his place, but Charlotte was really never in this game, after New York played a near-flawless first half and never looked back.

Heat 92, Cavaliers 85

Still no DWade, still no big deal. Or, in other words, “we like playing Cleveland.” Chris Bosh dropped 35 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, his fourth 30+ point game already this year. LeBron James chipped in 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and the Heat won despite 50 percent shooting from the Cavaliers. Cleveland turned the ball over 20 times, but only 3 of those came via Kyrie Irving, the man tabbed to replace James as face of the franchise. Irving led the Cavs with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, but the next leading scorer was Samardo Samuels, with 15 off the bench. Give credit to Cleveland for keeping this one close the whole way, never trailing by more than 8 points and pulling to within 3 on two occasions in crunch time. But Miami found their fourth quarter scorer in Bosh, and put the pesky Cavs behind them to improve to 12-5 on the year. And from the highlight department, LeBron and Alzono Gee (of all people, right?) traded ferocious second-half dunks.

Raptors 99, Suns 96

After missing 6 straight games with a calf injury, Andrea Bargnani returned in a big way for the Raptors, scoring 36 points (including a ridiculous 18 in the third quarter alone) en route to snapping Toronto’s eight-game losing streak, and an eight-season long losing streak against Phoenix. Toronto, now 5-13, trailed by as many as 14 points early, but stormed back with a 10-0 run in the third quarter, and made 8 of 15 three-pointers (4 for Bargani and 3 for Leandro Barbosa). A Jared Dudley dunk brought the Suns within 2 with 23 seconds to play, but Bargnani poured in a pair of free throws to ice the game. New Toronto starter James Johnson scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds, and Barbosa scored 19, while Jose Calderon racked up 11 assists—the first on an oop to DeMar Derozan. The Suns got big games as usual from Steve Nash (17 points, 14 assists, 7 rebounds) and Marcin “Double-Double Machine” Gortat, who finished with 21 points and 11 boards, but fell to 6-11 on the year.

Trail Blazers 97, Grizzlies 84

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and Marcus Camby grabbed an incredible 22 rebounds to go with 5 blocked shots, as the Blazers finally ended a seven-game Grizzlies winning streak. The rest of the League thanks them. Portland is now 11-7 and 8-1 at home after holding Memphis to 38 percent field goal shooting and outrebounding the Grizz 50-39. Memphis went up 43-42 on back-to-back Rudy Gay dunks, but the Blazers took a 4-point lead into halftime. Portland made 30 of 36 free throws, and at one point in the fourth quarter led by 20 points. OJ Mayo scored 20 points to pace the Grizzlies in 28 bench minutes—Gay was the leading scorer among Memphis starters with just 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting. The rest of the starting lineup? Try these shooting nights on for size: Marc Gasol 2-7, Mike Conley 3-13, Tony Allen 4-10, and Mareese Speights 1-6. The Grizz visit the Clippers on Thursday in primetime.

Line of the Night: Andrea Bargnani scored 36, Chris Bosh 35, Marcus Camby had a crazy 22 boards and 5 blocks, and Steve Nash dropped 17/14/7, but Tyson Chandler’s 20 points and 17 rebounds were huge in the Knicks’ win, on a night when Melo scored 1 whole point.

Moment of the Night: Orlando gets back on track, and Howard becomes the Magic’s all-time leading scorer.

Dunk of the Night: Tyson Chandler, and the foul. “You know, he never did that here.”

Tonight: A whopping 13 games on tonight, which means I’m going to be up past my bed time. NBATV has Bulls-Pacers and Clippers-Lakers, while Randy Wittman will make his Wizards coaching debut against the Bobcats (lucky him). Other games to keep an eye on include Atlanta at San Antonio, Minnesota at Dallas and for sheer entertainment value, Denver at Sacramento.

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  • Jono

    Relax Tyson, it’s the Bobcats.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    say whatever you want about Bargs, but that dude can flat out SCORE!

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    …and maybe it’s time for some people to stop calling him Bosh Spice, dude is beastin’ this season.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Bosh jokes stopped being funny about a 7 months ago… especially since bosh is a top 3- top 4 pf. and Bargani w/ defense is DANGEROUS… I know it’s the suns but… Bargani might be the new dirk. I could see the raptors making a run in the east with a decent enforcer by the rim.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    @ Fury, living in Toronto, I watch every Raptor game. I hate Bargs with a passion. Suspect D, horrible rebounder for his size, indifferent to winning or losing. You’re right though, his shooting touch is pure and he can truly drop 20 on anyone.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Somebody HAD to teach him to play D.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    @DatKid…yeah he needs a true defensive center and they could be legit in the East.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Like a Baaaawsshhh
    The Fury, do you really think the Raptors would be legit if they had Tyson Chandler?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Knicks should see if they want Chandler

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Who do the knicks get in return? Bargnani or Derozan. How bout keep Chandler and find a way to package him and Melo for DWill?

  • tee dee

    they already got that in jonas valanciunas

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    After last night I would like to say I am squarely in the Knicks should seriously consider trading Melo for Deron deal. I don’t at all think it’s even remotely gonna happen. But nothing would help the knicks more then that deal.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Bargnani would be a great 3rd option on a contender imo. He’s never going to play defense so let’s stop with that. Oh, and the Knicks are so weird.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Offensively, Bargnagni is a top 3 Center. Defensively, he’s probably not in the top 30. seriously

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m glad everybody is on team Deron trade. Now, go out and spread it to the masses so that somebody starts talking about it nationally.

  • chingy

    If you guys watch him closely, Bargs has actually improved quite a bit this year with rebounding/defence. You’re never gonna confuse him with a KG or Ben Wallace but his defence isn’t far off to Dirk’s (especially Dirk of today). Tyson Chandler is the exactly center he needs. Plus a 3 who can actually do something and a 2 who is in love with his 3 point game/jumpshot , the Raps could be decent. Steve Nash needs a new team and fast. As much as I like Melo, his stock has fallen off a cliff pretty quickly this year. Sad to see.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Improving quite a bit from the worst starting defensive center in NBA history is not really significant. He is literally, still the worst defensive starter in the league.

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

    It pains me to know that Andrea Bargnani is that freaking important to the Raptors’ success. They literally can’t score the basketball without him. At all. And it seems like their defense actually improves when he’s in–since their offense gives them momentum… I don’t know. It’s a scary thought.

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

    Somebody tweet Adrian Wojnahatingonbronski about the Melo for Deron Williams trade… I’m all for it.

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

    @ nbk: It’s not really that important for Bargnani to play good man-to-man defense… How many centers in this league can even average 15 ppg? Maybe a handful. If Bargnani keeps racking up these 30+ scoring games, it really doesn’t matter.
    But it’s his rebounding that really p!sses me off… He literally refuses to rebound the basketball. “It’s basketball, not rebound ball.” Probably the worst quote ever by a center.
    Still, he’s insanely important to the Raptors right now. Sadly, DeRozan has not stepped up… And is not better than Manu Ginobili (lol @ ZOGS, was it?).

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ZOGS said he was better then Paul Pierce. lol – I know it’s not that important for Bargs on the Raptors, but it is important for his career. And it’s not just one on one defense where he is putrid, it’s all facets of defense. From 1 on 1, to rim protection, to pick & rolls, to rebounding. He’s bottom 5 starting centers in the league at all of them.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    @Max…well something to that extent, like a younger version of Tim Duncan..lol..but seriously I can’t name anybody aside from Dwight that can really protect the rim. Maybe a DeAndre Jordan type can help Bargs.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    nbk is on point, Bargs’ D is THAT BAD. He’s that guy who you HATED to have on your team growing up. That tall guy who refuses to box out, move his feel or contest shots. That guy who let’s limited role players score on him at will. That guy who couldn’t care less if you were winning or losing as long as his shots were falling. That guy who would take 7 contested shots on 7 consecutive trips down the floor. In a game of pick-up!!! My hate for Bargs runs deep.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    ^Seems like you ball with a lot of douchebags to me.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    lmaooo the bargani hate is real! ya’ll do got a point tho.

  • Brahsef

    @DMH
    Except unlike those dudes I played with growing up, he may be the best offensive center in the world. I’d love to have played with him lol.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    @ Max, playing with one-dimensional ball hogs sucked the life out of me. They’re EVERYWHERE! Parks, rec-leagues, YMCAs, EVERYWHERE!!! You know, those guys that play slow, lethargic, and bloated on D but becoming majestic galloping unicorns as soon as the ball changes possession. SMH . . .

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Bargs, Maggette, Melo . . . ALL A BUNCH OF MAJESTIC GALLOPING UNICORNS!

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    lmaoooo @ da-meat-hook

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Bargnani is NOT a center.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    LakeShow’s right! Amir Johnson starts at center for the Raps.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^I didn’t even know that… I just know he’s NOT a center. In any era.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Best galloping unicorn reference in Slam history.

  • ripslam

    Am I the only one who thinks Melo should be the Knick on the trading block, not Amar’e? I realize that’s sort of tasteless, using him as a one-year rental after all that hoopla last season, but he literally grinds the offense to a halt every time he gets the ball. With Chandler as the main pick-and-roll guy now, and Carmelo turning into a black hole, Amar’e's struggle this season isn’t surprising. Melo and Chandler for Dwight and a kicker would be a good trade. Won’t happen though.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Oh my, Majestic Galloping Unicorns is TOO funny.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That’s rich lol

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    ^^ cosign ripslam. I love melo but trading him for d.will is probably the best option.

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

    Majestic Galloping Unicorns… Is that a reference to something, or did he just make that up? Because that is ingenious.

  • Da-Meat_Hook

    LOL tnx Teddy-the-Bear, I have a tendency to go on rants and type the first thing that comes to mind. Speaking about Bargnani brings out the worst in me. Also, you’re painfully right about Bargs this year. He is by far the most important Raptor this season. I can’t believe I just typed that . . .

  • Justin G.

    OK first of all, “majestic galloping unicorns” is by far the line of the new year. Literally laughed out loud after reading that (which had my boss asking me what I was reading. Thankfully he’s a huge basketball fan and doesn’t mind when I read slamonline) because it’s so true. Bargs has been nothing less than an All Star when he’s been on the court this year and it’s really painful that it looks like he has a sprained MCL after the Utah game.

  • Mike From Spain

    I wish Slam had a ‘follow user’ feature… I would follow da meat hook, first the riffing about guys with lazy eyes and lisps, then majestic galloping unicorns… what next? majestic galloping unicorns with a lazy eye?

  • vmcb

    The guys ragging on Bargnani for his defence haven’t been paying attention to this season at all.

  • Justin G.

    ^^^^^ Very true

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Yes we have.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Co-sign NBK!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Co-sign Da-Meat-Hook

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