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Friday, January 20th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  81 responses

Post Up: LeBron-A-Thon

The Heat beat the Lakers, Houston wins in OT and the Champs outlast the upstart Jazz.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Only three games last night, and I’m betting you paid extra attention to one in particular. Miami rocked the brand new black-on-black alternate jerseys, which frankly looked sorta bootleg, especially with L.A. in their home unis. Then the Champs escaped Utah with a win, and the Hornets-Rockets game I made fun of was actually kinda awesome. Let’s recap, shall we?

Rockets 90, Hornets 88 (OT)

Kevin Martin scored 27 of his 35 points in the first half to help the Rockets jump out to a 9-point halftime lead, but the Hornets stormed back and forced overtime after a franchise-low 7 points from Houston in the fourth quarter. The Rockets shot 3 of 21 in the fourth quarter, and Jarret Jack (15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) had a chance to win the game on a pair of free throws with less than 20 seconds to play, but made only one, sending the game to OT. New Orleans scored the first five points of the extra period, but Houston responded with a 5-0 run of its own. In the closing moments, Kevin Martin came up with a loose ball, pushed the ball upcourt, and Samuel Dalembert slammed home a KMart missed layup with 11 seconds left for the win. The game-winner was part of a 17-rebounds, 15-point performance for Dalembert, who’s played exceptional ball since finding a rhythm with the Rockets. Kyle Lowry chipped in a typical 10/9/8 line, Courtney Lee had 17 points off the bench and Houston overcame 19 turnovers to improve to 8-7, and 6-1 at home.

Heat 98, Lakers 87

Hmm, that was easy. Even without Dwyane Wade in uniform, the Heat laid the smackdown on the Lakers, putting the game out of reach by halftime. At the break, the Lakers trailed 52-37, and LeBron James had already racked up 13 points, 6 dimes and 4 boards. In the first half, 21 of the Lakers’ 37 points came from bigs Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and Los Angeles shot 13-of-42 as a team, good for 31 percent—not good. It proved to be too big a hole to dig out of, despite 14 of Kobe Bryant’s 24 points coming in the fourth quarter, a season-high 26 points from Gasol and another double-double from Bynum (15 x 12). LeBron finished with a ridiculous 31 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds, singlehandedly pacing Miami and putting together his own personal highlight reel for the night: defense, more defense, defense to offense, fast break, hustle. But the big news from this game, and I do mean big, was the Eddy Curry sighting. Ed looked a bit lost out there on defense, but he found himself in the right place at the right time on a couple offensive possessions, finishing with 6 points and 3 rebounds in his 6 minutes of action. Miami is now 5-0 when DWade doesn’t play—that means nothing, probably, maybe, obviously, kinda, sorta, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Mavericks 94, Jazz 91

Shawn Marion (22) and Roddy Beaubois (17) posted season-highs in points for Dallas, and the Mavs shot 52 percent from the field, to take out one of the NBA’s hottest and most surprising teams in Utah. The Jazz got big-time games from the beef up front—Al Jefferson had 22 points and 9 boards, while Paul Millsap had 16 and 13—but shot 39 percent as a team and broke down defensively in the second and fourth quarters. Utah forward Derrick Favors was ejected after a couple run-ins with Dirk Nowitzki and a tough illegal screen call. He left with just 2 points, 2 rebounds and 4 turnovers in 10 minutes on the court. Dirk, for his part, shot 5-12 for 12 points, and Jason Kidd had a weird line, with 11 assists but just 2 points and 6 turnovers. It was only Utah’s second home loss this year (9-5 overall), and the Mavs moved to 9-7, a surprisingly sturdy record when you consider all the close games the Champs have endured already this season (including last-second losses to the Lakers and Clippers in their previous two).

Line of the Night: With all due respect to Kevin Martin and Samuel Dalembert, it’s gotta be LeBron—31 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks. And his Heat beat up on Kobe and the Lakers.

Moment of the Night: LBJ is either very, very confident in his teammates or he has supernatural powers. Cool as it was, can you imagine the backlash if Battier had missed the shot?

Dunk of the Night, Winners Edition: Sam Dalembert with the follow-up flush for the win!

Dunk of the Night, Losers Edition: CJ Miles embarrasses Lamar Odom, but LO’s team took home the W.

Tonight: 11 games in all, headlined by an ESPN’s double-header starting at 8 with Lakers-Magic, followed by Clippers-Wolves, which should be a doozy. Other games to keep an eye on: Atlanta at Philly, Indiana at Golden State, and of course, Denver at Washington. I’m avoiding my laptop for the next 48 hours to prevent carpal tunnel, but Pete will have all your news, notes and stats over the weekend, with a slightly different shade of Eastern Conference misery.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Poor Lebron, was so scared of Kobe that he got sick and sat out the ga…….oh wait.

  • Gary

    Hey Eboy, what’s your twitter username? GO HEAT!

  • marchalmadness

    Eboy, any thoughts about the fact that Miami seems to be stronger without Flash? Chemistry?

  • marc

    lol

  • RobbieJay

    i like how those heat uni’s loook, even tho they remind me too much of the spurs

  • MUBWAR

    loool at eboy. game was not exciting at all. heat from beginning to end except the last 2 min of the game. in head to heads, Kobe beat Lebron twice outta of a possible 12 games match up.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Miami is better without D-Wade…there, I said it.

  • T-Money

    wow, i had not realized bron was jogging back before battier even shot it. lol that’s kinda funny. / who else thought it was a little sad to see kobe gunning at the end for a respectable stat line?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    ^Mike Brown.

  • T-Money

    wayno: lebron is better without wade but is miami better without him too? perhaps this injury will be a blessing in disguise because wade will have to sort of “fit in” once he cames back with lebron remaining as agressive and ON THE BALL. i know we want lebron to do absolutely everything but it doesn’t make sense for me to put him off the ball unless it’s to go post up. he makes too many things happen, it’s a waste to have him hide in the corner.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    T-Money on the money.

  • T-Money

    oh and to all the lakers fans waiting for the offense to “kick in” once mike brown will be done “experimenting on the fly”: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. i’ve watched enough cleveland games back in the day to know that this IS the offense – give the ball to your superstar wing and everybody else gtfo. he will call a million variations that will always end up with kobe hhaving the ball in hands 25 feet away from the hoop with 10 seconds left and everybody else standing around.

  • Jono

    Bron Brons a different animal, best player in the world for the past 3 years and counting.

  • Allenp

    Shaq is a hater.
    Also Kobe shot 1-9 to start the game and 7-12 to finish it. I wonder what changed.

  • Mvp23100

    Kobe padding stats like we didn’t see that whooping and I’ve said it in the past Wade is a really great ball stopper when he’s on the team isn’t Bron needs to run the offense everybody eats that way and hopefully Miami can expect consistency from M Miller all year

  • Justin G.

    So T-Money, sort of the way the triangle worked? Offense predicated on ball movement but somehow with the ball in MJ’s or Kobe’s hands in comfort spots for them. I would love to hear how you geniuses would handle guys like Lebron and Kobe. Internet tough guy coaches who think they would look either of them in the face and tell them to not shoot so much, don’t dominate the ball so much or you’re on the bench. Suuuuure you would. Hahahaha! Fools! How come when Larry Bird would go into a timeout, tell KC Jones to give him the ball and tell everyone else to get out of the way, and Jones listens he doesn’t get ridiculed like Brown does? Or when Doug Collins explained “The Shot” by saying “That was get the ball to Michael and get the f**k out of the way”, everyone laughs instead of saying he’s such a bad coach? One of the Bulls championship videos shows Phil Jackson in a timeout explaining what he wants and then he gives Michael a look that says “Time to take over”. Nobody cares about that though. All because you guys think you know what goes on in practice or in the huddles.

  • JoeMaMa

    I was getting so annoyed at the instant double teams they threw at Kobe. Almost as soon as he touched the ball, double. I wanted to watch a duel. 1 on 1, Kobe going at Lebron, and vice versa. I guess it was the right play, as Kobe dominates the Lakers offense, but man, as a fan, I was hoping for something more exciting then double teams and zones. But it got Miami the win….and that’s the point.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Am I the only person who actually likes Shaq on Inside the NBA? Judging from what I saw on Twitter yesterday it looks like everyone else doesn’t like him…

  • T-Money

    justin: i stopped reading when you compared mike brown’s offense to the triangle. have a good day.

  • http://www.borntocompete.com Money$hot

    Damn! Samuel Dalembert sure looked tired as hell after that dunk!

  • Allenp

    Shaq is a less funny version of Charles.
    Also dealing with egos is why coaches are paid millions.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ T-Money – You’re right, Miami is just better with LeBron being thier main guy. LeBron is the most talented all around player in the world, there’s no way he should be playing off the ball so much. I just never really felt like he and DWade really fit that well together.

  • Allenp

    Gordon Hayward is really athletic. Was that his rep coming out of school?

  • JoeMaMa

    End of the third quarter: Norris Cole and Joel Anthony run 4 pick and rolls. I think that all 4 resulted in lay ups, 3 of which were successful. The Lakers have a long way to go before they can talk about a championship.

  • Andrew Woods

    I never thought I would say this, but I think MIA should trade dwade while he still resembles what he was in his prime. If they hold on to him his production will fall off to the point where his production doesnt reflect well with his salary. Im thinking wade to.memphis for gasol, mayo, and tony allen.

  • T-Ray

    JustinG
    Internet tough guy coaches? Jesus Christ just because someone critiques a person and says what they would TRY and do doesn’t make them “tough guy coaches” it’s just their opinion. Some people need to stop catching feelings on here.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Will rose play against my cavs? anyone knows?

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Should the Heat be looking to trade Dwaye for Dwight? Or is that not possible due to cap space?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Wade would never be traded…
    Or is there a possibility once this never lived up to its destiny? Thoughts on that Cheryl..? E..?

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com Marcelus Wallace

    If you trade Wade than it’ll be the Miami Cavs all over again with you whiny b*atches crying about LeNoGuts having no true all star playing next to him. Can’t have it both ways kiddies.

  • T-Money

    allen: you know how it is. hayward was labelled as a scrappy, cerebral guy even though he’s a fluid and skilled athlete lol. / let’s chill on trading dwade. remember the first 2 games of the season (i.e. before wade got hurt?) they were MONSTERS together. / how about eddy curry though?! he looked completely lost on defense but you could see the obvious offensive skills. wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up starting.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Brown’s offensive systems hasn’t changed/improved despite having the best frontline/2guard in basketball.
    Gasol is still the best and most skilled 4 in basketball.
    Bynum needs more plays run for him.
    Dirk drank too much German beer in the off-season.

  • T-Ray

    LeNoGuts first time hearing that made me chuckle a little. Trading Wade isn’t likely. They’re in it for the long run so they’ll just have to suck it up and figure it out which I think they have. The Lakers went zone on them last night and LeBron didn’t force the issue he found the open man a majority of the time.

  • T-Money

    i blame skip bayless for making childish nicknames acceptable. westbrick? bosh spice? prince james? i mean… wtf, who says that?

  • Fat Lever

    When Wade comes back, can they use him like Mariano Rivera. Let Lebron wreak havoc during Q’s 1-3, then have Wade come in in Q4 and close it out.

  • Mo

    Can’t say I agree with trading Wade one bit. Thats crazy. But can’t say that it would be the “Miami Cavs” all over agin either. LeBron never had anyone the caliber of a Chris Bosh on the Cavs plus whatever you would get back in a “Wade Trade.” That’s simply not true.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    T-Money, euhm kids? :)

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    I feel like yesterday when Mike Brown was talking about how he put in 2 plays offensively and that he wouldn’t be adding anymore that he was basically telling everyone, my offense isn’t so much a system, as it is one offensive player after another. None being related. Like I’m coaching a YMCA team and don’t really have any idea about successful offense. (I realize he’s an NBA coach and has to know a lot about offense, but his comments made me think he just doesn’t understand why his offenses are always so horrible). — And the Lakers look a lot better when they go into an impromptu triangle, it happened a couple times last night, and each one ended in a high % shot. Normally a 3 foot hook shot from one of the bigs.

  • T-Money

    what’s hilarious is how mike brown said before the season that the offense would run through his bigs. ha!

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Ricky C: see what happens when you #freeRODDY?!
    Jason Kidd, 4 games removed from a lower back injury, is building a nice mansion with his bricks this week. Horrendous shooting and quite careless with the ball, yet he gets 34 minutes a game while Mr. One-man-fastbreak languishes on the bench. Thank God for Matrix having a Phoenix Suns-like season so far. Those Hyperforces must be goooood.
    Ian and Roddy need more playing time, no question.
    Dirk’s hurting, Terry’s in a shooting slump, Haywood gives them some post D and not much else, Lamar – don’t get me started – the earlier u give these younger guys the rhythm minutes, the more you can rest the 30+ stars.
    The Lakers game should have been a win, yet Derek Fisher has his best offensive game of the season, mostly against Kidd. Clipper game was also a possible W, but look who’s out there guarding the inbounds play and leaping into the Wall of Griffin: Kidd.
    Right now, 34 minutes for Jason Kidd are a detriment to the team.

  • Allenp

    I am not a lakers fan and I miss the triangle terribly.

  • Mike From Spain

    @Marcellus -> There’d be Bosh as second player, that’d be already an improvement over the Cavs. With a DWade trade, they’d get very good – fringe all-Star secondary players. the trade proposed by Andrew Woods would bring a quality big man (Gasol), a top tier perimeter defender (Tony Allen) and a serviceable shooting guard for the second unit. If both teams agreed, or if it were possible, on the paper I think Miami would look better than the Lebron era Cavs.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    and i’m sure german beer hurts knees much worse than a ton of Nba games culminating in a trophy plus the Eurobasket tournament and it’s preparation games, practices etc.
    Not to mention the guy hurting his knee last december already.

  • T-Money

    RealSkipBayless Skip Bayless
    Also today: Driving me CRAZY that Tebow and LeBron are tweeting each other like two little kids who just became best friends. Enough!

    …this guy is one of the leading sports analyst of the biggest sports network. wtf is going on with sports media? was it always this ridiculous and i just wasn’t paying attention. that’s embarassing.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Eboy I remember people saying that on twitter… and I was so confused. Kobe hasn’t beaten Lebron in about 3 or 4 years… why would he be scared?

    Wow Justin….

    and lebron has to run the run, and wade’s gotta learn to play off him. unless wade has a really favorable matchup

  • Andrew Woods

    @mo…Cosign, MIA has way more talent then cleveland ever had and its not close. Mo williams was the second bananna in cleveland smh. I just dont think wade at 30 can stay healthy and his value will never be higher than it is now. Also, miami’s offense seems more organic and fluid when its just lebron. Maybe im crazy but imagine the kings ransom they can get for wade!!

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    And what is with Mike Brown thinking taking Pau Gasol out of position for offensive rebounds? Does he really think, Pau, shooting corner 3′s is going to help the team win, more than it will hurt the team? I used too enjoy watching the Lakers.

  • T-Money

    wow pau took four 3s. wow!

  • http://www.slamonline.com megatron

    they should actually trade wade for dwight. It won’t happen because Riley won’t ever trade wade but it would be the smarter thing to do.

  • Allenp

    Thank you on the Pau threes. It made me sick to watch. You don’t encourage one of the softest players in the league to avoid the paint more.

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    Kobe is shooting 24.6 shots per game! And he is literally, just as efficient (inefficient) as he has always been. All this talk about how Kobe is back to his old self is rubbish.

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

    I would never waste my time reading Skip Bayless anyway, but T-Money has just convinced me of his douchebaggery. Thank you, T.

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    Justin G, if you didn’t notice, all your examples of coaches giving a player the ball and telling everyone else to get out of the way came from the 80′s. When general defensive game-planning was “guard your guy, help at the rim” instead of the complex systems that are in place today. Defending a coach who still treats his players like its 1988 is a quick way to look like you have no idea what your saying.

  • LA Huey

    Miami shouldn’t trade Wade. Especially They should just have LeBron be the primary ball handler. Wade is very good off the ball and LeBron is below average in that aspect. Wade can handle the rock when LBJ sits.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    I agree with T-Money and Teddy Skip Bayless is just a troll who gets paid for it. It’s ok to crack a few jokes every now and again but Skip disrespects a lot of these cats and it makes it hard for me to even take him seriously because he comes off as a hater.

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    Paying attention to Skip Bayless about sports is like getting your local news updates from Animal Planet.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    ^^ Or like getting your national news updates from Fox News.

  • Allenp

    Skip Bayless plays gangsta because America is a civilized society. The threat of violence has been removed so he throws around insults that on the street away from the public eye he would never make. Rather on the street with certain folks he wouldn’t get away with it.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    He is an overpaid attention whore. I mean Bosh Spice? Like all the other names T-Money named they sound very elementary Skip Bayless should skip his a$$ home.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA Huey makes perfect sense because it would be foolish to trade away Wade without seeing what they can accomplish together. MIA is a better team whenever Bron’s the most aggressive and their leading scorer/playmaker ala Bos and CHI series but whenever he takes a step back, MIA loses (9-8 start last season and DAL series)

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

    I wish Skip would take shots at DeShawn Stevenson, Ivan Johnson, an off-his-meds Delonte, or refuse to pay Charles Oakley money from a bet.

  • robb

    1)Call me crazy, but Miami is just not big enough for Dwayne and Lebron. Lebron plays great without Wade, he looks free and confident. If they don’t get their rings this year, one of them needs to go. I’m a big Wade fan but I rather trade him and get a good center. 2) Mike Brown’s random offense doesn’t work. Pau shooting 3′s? gimme a break, he may nail some shots but you gotta play both 7 footers inside the paint if you wanna have some success. 3) F*** Skip Bayless. He said Pippen didn’t deserve to be a HOF. Enough said.

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

    JTaylor21, also, if Wade got traded, there would be a sense of betrayal amongst the players. ESPECIALLY, with LeBron seeing as how he sees Wade as his BFF. If you think the on-court synergy is off now, imagine the chemistry knowing Riley would be willing to trade a superstar who did so much for the franchise.

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    Wade or James are not ever getting traded.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Grimus has a better chance at hustling Happy Meals than coaching the Lakers.

  • hugo

    whether miami is better without dwade is debatable. But i think there is no question that lebron has a more aggressive mindset when he knows he needs to be the ish and the urine. this makes him better. I would argue that bosh is also a lot better as the nr 2 option……

  • hugo

    wade off the bench would be craze. not sayin its gonna happen but that could work imo

  • http://www.uhlife.com/basketball/profile.aspx?PlayerID=3356&SeasonDivisionID=30 nbk

    The Heat as a team are unquestionably better with Dwyane Wade.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA Huey, yep. Don’t forget about Haslem, an integral part of the team, would have received sizable contract in the open market but decided to come back and play with Wade.
    No one is going to be traded, so both guys have no choice but to make it work.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Bosh on the other hand……

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

    Is it just me or does Norris seem to have trouble finishing at the rim? I’m glad he attacks the rim though because even his misses usually result in tip-ins.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He needs to master that TP floater because he can’t be coming in there attempting to finish over the trees like he’s still in Cleveland State.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Someone touched on it earlier but the pick and roll between Cole and Anthony had the Laker bigs looking stupid.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    ^^ this. that should not have been such a problem for them lmao

  • T-Money

    norris cole is finishing at a 50 pct clip at the rim. that’s disgusting, jennings-like.

  • T-Money

    NO, NO, NO @TimTebow. Your new best buddy @kingjames is using you to get me to support him. And YOU’RE FALLING FOR IT! Don’t be naive!.. i have no words.

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

    “First Option- Pass to Bynum; 2nd- Pass to Gasol; 3rd- Kobe Iso” It’s like I was watching a f*cking 9-year old play 2k12 last night. Fire Mike Brown NOW

  • Allenp

    Skip Bayless is like a jealous broad.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Bowen’s Bowtie Collection

    Skip bayless is one ugly old lady.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    He’s basically shaq

  • Zoom

    Now where are all the LeBron haters right now? They finally shut their sad mouths! LBJ all day

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