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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  96 responses

Post Up: Three Will

New Jersey ruins Melo’s return, plus big wins for the Lakers, Bulls and Nuggets.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Another big night of NBA action, highlighted by returns from Melo and the MVP. Leggo!

Bulls 90, Hawks 79

Looks like Derrick Rose’s back is okay. The MVP helped the Bulls jump all over the Hawks (Chicago led 35-17 after one quarter) and cruise to 26-8 on the year—most wins in the NBA. DRose racked up 23 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds and looked like vintage Rose for most of the afternoon. The Bulls led by as many as 21 until a Hawks run cut Chicago’s lead to 5 in the fourth quarter. But Luol Deng (10 points, 8 boards, 4 dimes) hit a back-breaking 3-pointer with three minutes left in the game and the shot clock about to expire to put the Bulls up 88-79. Atlanta was outrebounded 50-41 and missed 11 free throws, and had to go without Joe Johnson down the stretch, who sat down for the night with a knee injury after providing just 12 points on 5-11 shooting, including 0-3 from three-point range. Josh Smith put up 17, 12 and 5, but he didn’t shoot well either (7-21) and the Hawks were led in scoring by—drum roll—Jannero Pargo, who finished with 19 points, mostly in garbage time.

Nets 100, Knicks 92

Think New Jersey had this one circled on the schedule? With their local rivals getting all the pub recently due to Linsanity (which began against them), the Nets came in on a mission—to beat the crap out of the Knicks, with Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis back in the fold for the first time. And behind a season-best 38-point performance from Deron Williams (dude hit 8 threes), the Nets ruined Melo’s return to the lineup, and gave New York just its second L of the Jeremy Lin era. Melo had 11 points (4-11 shooting) and 6 assists, while JLin finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 9 dimes and 4 steals—actually, all 5 Knicks starters scored in double figures—but perhaps the most telling stat was that Lin shot the ball 18 times, as opposed to Anthony’s 11 (and 17 chucks for Amar’e Stoudemire, who had 17 points). The Nets won despite having more team turnovers, shooting a worse percentage from the field and having DWill foul out of the game with 3+ minutes left. Williams was sensational, especially in the third quarter, when he scored 18 points, including 12 straight at one point. If New Jersey (10-24) was tired on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, it didn’t show, as they made things tough on the Knicks all night. New York dropped back below .500 at 16-17.

Magic 93, Bucks 90

Ryan Anderson hit a 3-pointer with 18.1 seconds left to give the Magic a 91-90 lead, and held off the Bucks for the win—the third time Orlando’s beaten Milwaukee in the past 10 days. Anderson only score 9 points but had 11 rebounds, and Dwight Howard poured in 28 points and 16 boards, plus 4 assists and 3 steals (but 7 turnovers). Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 22 points, and Ersan Ilyasova finished with 15 points and 15 boards one night after going crazy against the Nets, but Milwaukee shot 23 percent from the three-point line and couldn’t hold on to a 90-88 lead with under a minute left. In every single Orlando win over the Bucks over the past two weeks, the Magic have overcome fourth quarter deficits, and they now sit at 21-12 on the year, with a potentially awkward matchup at New Jersey up next.

Rockets 97, Grizzlies 93

Coming in, the Grizzlies had lost 10 in a row in Houston. Add 1 to that streak after Houston shot a season-high 67 percent from the floor in the first half and Kyle Lowry directed the Rockets to their 19th win of the season with 24 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Heading into the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 76, but Houston opened the period on a 10-0 run to take a commanding lead, and while Memphis made things interesting down the stretch—they got to within 2 points with under 30 seconds left—superb free throw shooting from the Rockets assured the home team the W. The Memphis loss snapped a 4-game winning streak for the Grizz, who are now 18-15 on the season. Rudy Gay was the team’s leading scorer with 23 points, while Marc Gasol provided a nice all-around game with 7 rebounds and 5 dimes, but only scored 11 points.

Mavericks 89, Celtics 73

The Champs had no issues blowing past the shorthanded Celtics, and the Mavs have now won 7 of their last 8 games, while Boston’s dopped 4 in a row, including two of those to the Detroit Pistons. Already without Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Bass, the Celtics lost Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox in the third quarter with injuries—both of whom started the game, only combining for two points and 4 rebounds. Paul Pierce had 20 points and Ray Allen added 15, but the Celtics couldn’t find much offense beyond those two, and Pierce had 5 of the team’s 17 turnovers. On the other side of the ball, Dirk Nowitzki passed Robert Parish for 20th on the all-time scoring list at 23,354 after a 26-point night (plus 16 boards) and Jason Kidd passed Michael Jordan for 2nd all-time in steals. Dirk is also now just the third player with 1,000 career blocked shots and 1,000 career three-pointers made, joining the rarified air of Rasheed Wallace and Clifford Robinson. The Mavericks are now 21-12 and coming on strong, with the Lakers coming to Dallas on Wednesday.

Thunder 101, Hornets 93

No letdown for OKC. One night after KD and Russ went crazy, they returned with another spectacular effort to get the Thunder to 25-7. This time, the pair scored 31 points apiece, as Oklahoma City cruised despite being without two big bench pieces in James Harden and Nick Collison, both nursing injuries. New Orleans made a late run to cut OKC’s lead to just 6 with a little over a minute to play, but it was too little too late, as the Hornets fall to 7-24 on the year. Jarrett Jack led New Orleans with 18 points off the bench, but as a team, the Hornets shot just 36 percent and trailed by as many as 26 points. This game was over by halftime—in the first half, the Thunder shot 55 percent and scored 60 points to take a 22-point lead into the break.

Nuggets 103, Timberwolves 101 (OT)

Already without Nene and Rudy Fernandez, the Nuggets lost Ty Lawson to an ankle injury 16 minutes in, and Andre Miller to an ejection late in the third quarter (for arguing an offensive foul call). That meant extended minutes for rookies Kenneth Faried (10 points, 14 boards) and Julyan Stone, who joined Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and Corey Brewer as Denver’s crunch time lineup. Harrington (31 points) tied the game at 93 on a corner 3-pointer with 1:39 to play, and after a pair of poor possessions from the Wolves, Afflalo’s buzzer-beating wing jumper over Luke Ridnour fell short, sending this thing to overtime. In the extra period, neither team scored (shooting a combined 0-13) until Harrington hit a baseline fadeaway with 1:52 to go. The teams traded buckets, but with the Wolves trailing by a deuce, Luke Ridnour missed a wide-open layup off a beautiful inbounds play, and then Martell Webster compounded the bad/dumb Minny plays with one of his own—after stealing an inbounds pass with the Wolves down 3, he elected to dribble in for a dunk with less than 2 seconds left, rather than shoot the three. Not smart, Martell. It wasn’t pretty, but the Nuggs will take it, improving to 18-15.

Spurs 106, Jazz 102

The Spurs are the proud owner’s of the NBA’s longest winning streak this season, after outlasting the Jazz for their 11th straight victory (23-9 overall). Tony Parker scored 23 points and dished out 11 assists, Tim Duncan and Matt Bonner each scored 20, and Richard Jefferson hit a three-pointer with 6.5 seconds left to seal San Antonio’s win. Utah blew a double-digit lead and lost despite winning the rebounding battle, outscoring the Spurs on the break and shooting 48 percent from the field. Al Jefferson racked up 20 points and Paul Millsap had 16—each grabbed 11 rebounds—but San Antonio was just too much down the stretch, never letting the Jazz take the lead. And RJeff, much maligned at times this year, drilled one of the game’s biggest buckets after not scoring for the first 44 minutes of the game. During the League-best winning streak, Parker is averaging 23.7 points per game.

Suns 104, Wizards 88

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch this game. Not one second. And I don’t regret it. With so many other entertaining games going on, watching my Wizards suffer another blowout loss at the hands of a middling team like the Suns sounded painful. By all accounts, it was. Washington held a one-point lead in the third quarter, but it lasted only a split second. What followed was a 31-6 run by the Suns that put the game away. Phoenix took a 24-point lead into the fourth quarter. Wiz coach Randy Wittman called that stretch “the most selfish basketball I’ve seen since I’ve taken over” and it’s hard to disagree. Marcin Gortat scored 20 points (his third straight game with 20+) and Steve Nash racked up 12 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds in only three quarters of action as Phoenix improved to 14-19. The Wizards made just 5 of 20 three-point attempts and were led in scoring by Jordan Crawford’s 20 points off the bench. John Wall shot 4-11 (10 points), Nick Young shot 3-13 (6 points) and Rashard Lewis shot 1-6 (3 points). It was the Suns’ 10th straight win over Washington.

Lakers 103, Trail Blazers 92

Beating the Lakers is never easy. It’s damn near impossible when you score 7 points in the first quarter. Yes, the Blazers could muster just 7 points in the opening quarter, a new franchise low (duh). Before long, it was 37-7 Lakers, and while Nicoas Batum did his best to bring the Blazers back—18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals—it was all Los Angeles in this one. The Lake Show improved to 19-13, as Kobe Bryant dropped 28 points and the two big boys up front both went off for double-doubles: Pau Gasol had 16 and 12, while Andrew Bynum grabbed 19 rebounds to go with 14 points. Portland got hot in the third quarter, erupting for 36 points, and the Blazers (17-16) eventually cut the deficit to 10, but in the end, the Laker lead was just too much to overcome. L.A. outrebounded Portland 51-37, and got 17 off the bench from Steve Blake, who hit 5 threes.

Warriors 104, Clippers 97

Chris Paul has played the role of closer so many times this season. Last night was not one of those times. The Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak after holding CP3 scoreless in the fourth quarter and coming back from a 97-95 deficit in the final minutes to finish the game on a 9-0 run. Golden State moved to 12-17 on the year by coming up big in the clutch—Monta Ellis’ 32-point night didn’t hurt either. David Lee chipped in 24 points and 13 boards, Ekpe Udoh had 18 and 9 as GSW’s starting center, and the Warriors made the Clippers (19-11) look silly in the game’s waning moments. Lob Angeles got a silly 24-5-6 line from Paul and 22 points from Mo Williams, but down the stretch the Clips looked frantic, unorganized and sloppy. Oh, and Blake Griffin’s lefty dunk requires your attention (2 of his 21 for the night).

Line of the Night: Candidates include DWill’s 38, Harrington’s 31, Dwight’s 28×16 and Dirk’s 26×16.

Moment of the Night: A couple of cool Mavs records—first Dirk gets to No. 20 on the all-time scoring list, then JKidd passes MJ for No. 2 in history in steals. Oh, and the Champs destroyed the Celtics in the process.

Dunk of the Night: Stoudemire on Shelden Williams. One of the few nice Knick moments from last night.

Tonight: Five games on deck, highlighted by Sixers-Grizzlies and an NBATV doubleheader: Kings at Heat, followed by San Antonio at Portland. Meet back tomorrow morning?

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  • Myung

    The Bulls are playing so well. And they have a very favorable (lots of home games) schedule the rest of the way. Looks like they’ve got a nice path to that #1 over all seed. Solid win for them…and another bad loss for my squad. Sigh. One thing I’ll throw out there: I’ve been pimping Jeff Teague as a great defensive PG. I’ve also been one of Jeremy’s biggest fans. So I’ll definitely be conflicted when the Hawks and Knicks face off tomorrow night. Maybe Lin can drop 20 dimes and score zero points (because of Teague’s defense)… and ultimately, I’m hoping the Hawks win the game, of course. :)

  • AD

    how bout them NETS

  • T-Money

    Myung: with the way Miami is playing, I don’t think opponents or venues matter to them right now.

  • bull22

    good morning knick fans, i feel your pain on getting embarrassed at home
    by the nets, LOL.

  • Myung

    No doubt, T-Money. I’ve still got Miami winning it all… but I still think the Bulls getting #1 over all has to at least increase their chances of winning the ring. I don’t think anyone can beat the Heat four times in a series, but if anyone can, it’s Chicago. And their schedule is favorable the rest of the way, and they’ve proved that they can win with or without the MVP. That’s one well coached squad.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    TP has been clowning with opponents D as of late..
    And has anyone elso noticed how clutch Al Harrington has been this year?

  • Heals

    If it’s insanse to put up good #’s for 2 weeks, what is it when you make a career of it? Do you DW and thanks. Even the heads sleeping on you couldn’t hit the snooze button last night…

  • T-Money

    deron wasn’t having it yesterday. he was clearly going for lin’s neck. lol he even fouled out.

  • Myung

    Deron killed it last night, but I still want to know what’s up with his hair (and Boozer’s).

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

    The Bulls are very sound defensively. They close out hard and chase players of the three point line like no other. Another thing I love DRose but to me when he goes to the basket he does a lot of unecessary acting when he gets contact. I was watching last night for example and he made contact with ZaZa and snapped his head back when it wasn’t needed and it makes it look like he just got forearmed shivered.

  • T-Money

    boozer clearly had hair transplant surgery and is abusing that bigen ish lol.

  • AD

    @Tray every player does it… the stars get the calls tho….. 10 f.t everynight involves acting skills and drose is the young will smith

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

    That’s true..I guess I had never seen someone jerk his head back that damn hard lol

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    If Dwight isn’t trying like people say then he is going to set some record when he gets traded

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

    Btw anyone notice how completely different the Lakers are at home? I always wonder why the hell they can’t pack their games with them it’s so frustrating as a Laker fan. Also I think it’s clear than when they bigs get plenty of touches it opens up for Kobe in the offense(if there is one).

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

    Boozer is doing some kind of spray on hair thing. There’s pictures of his hairline getting progressively lighter throughout certain games. As far as point guards fake snapping their head back to get calls. I noticed Jeremy Lin is already doing that and already getting the superstar calls on it. He did it a few times last night.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    Anyone read Ken Berger’s piece about the Lakers this morning?
    Crazy stuff.

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

    Na Matic what’s the jist of it?

  • MUBWAR

    humphries outplayed Amar’e and chandler last night. They tried shoving, pushing and holding him on every possession and he still came out victorious.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    SLAM posted about it, under the headline “There’s Serious Dysfunction in Lakers Front Office.”
    Read the whole article though, it’s worth it.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Deron Williams played the game of his life. You can tell he had this game circled. Knicks as a team should have been ready for that. Without Shump, the Knicks should have ran double teams at Deron early on to take the ball out of his hands. Bottom line, another crappy home loss to a crappy team by the Knicks. It’s tough to swallow… I need to see “my Knicks” win these next two games to “buttress” my confidence in them. lol….. Note to Melo: Who moved your swag brah? Go get it!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I have to go read that Lakers article. I love drama.

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

    Wow just read it. The decision to rid anything that reminded them of Phil was not a very smart one to say the least. It seems like they’re is no one riding this horse and it’s just running wild towards the edge of the cliff. I always knew we were headed for dark times just didn’t think it would be so soon while Kobe is still playing.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    The knee sleeve is gone, Dirk grabbed SIXTEEN rebounds, and is active like hell on both sides of the court.
    Cant remember when he last grabbed that many boards, must be years ago.
    Damn Knicks spoiled what would have been a legit 8 game winning streak for the Mavs 2 games ago. Nice to see them shrug it off and manhandle Boston, Dom Jones getting minutes while Roddy (mysteriously keeps piling up DNP-personals), odd.
    Jones played well though, great slasher.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Would the Nets do an Amar’e and Lin for Deron Williams trade, if they can’t get Dwight Howard? I’m just thinkLin out loud. lol

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

    Anyone else see how Kobe’s got that Dirk one-leg step-back J working lately? It’s frustrating to see them play so well, playing through the bigs then go on the road and ignore the post almost completely. I hate to pile on the rookie but when Darius Morris is in the game, bad things seem to happen. A LOT.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    What the hell is T-ray watching… you know who does a lot of unnecessary acting: cp3, paul pierce, billups, wade, kevin durant, kevin martin, & Lebron. NOBODY in the league holds a candle to those guys.

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

    First off Slick I’m pretty aware to what those guys do as far as acting jobs go. So asking me what the hell I’m watching doesn’t make since. I was only pointing out that I never realized that he did that so much because I always thought he was just getting his a$$ knocked around like a f*ckin rag doll.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Tony parker is like top 3 in the MVP discusion right now, only a few playing better than him.

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

    I agree according to NBA.com he is behind CP3 and in front of KD nice spot to be in. Although I’m pretty sure if the Heat get the best record in the league LeBron is a lock for his third MVP.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    basically if LeBron doesn’t get MVP at this point the hating even among the “media” has reached an absurd level. Unless he gets injured, or Miami as a team basically falls off a cliff, this MVP discussion is about 2nd place. Which at this point, seems to be between Chris Paul and Tony Parker. Unless Dallas keeps this up (which they prolly will), then Dirk jumps into the fray. – Derrick Rose’s repeat MVP chances were probably killed during his absence.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    LeBron has the MVP in the bag at the moment.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    Dwill “Ball so hard make a muth***cker want to fine me” that sh!t was cray last night. but But Bron has the mvp, unless the clipper decide urgently play defense or fire their coach & then chris might sneek & get it.But that wont happen but we can dream right

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Whhhhhattt? NBK, Bro… KD is quite possibly the MVP and if not he is 2nd. Chris Paul isn’t in the discussion, nor is Tony Parker. LBJ thus far is MVP, but KD still has a solid chance at getting it.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    Lake???Kd nall man not really in it because Okc is on a run but Russ is showing he just as important so thats canceling him out

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lake, Durant has been great. You can have him second if you want, I don’t really have an argument for that, but in contention for the actual award? hell no. – LeBron is having the best season since before the 3pt line. I don’t know how many times I have to repeat that before you actually understand. 27.9PPG – 8.2RPG – 6.8APG – 1.7SPG – .6BPG – .548%!!! Shooting – .398% 3pt Shooting. – & his team has the best record in the league. It’s not even close between LeBron and everyone else.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    You could argue LeBron is the Defensive Player of the Year aswell.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    if it wasn’t for Dwight and Iguodala. But those two have been breathtaking. (even though Dwight “isn’t trying”)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Dude should also be in consideration for DPOY. It’s highly unlikely that LeBron will get it but since the prohibited favorite is having a down year in terms of defenisve dominanace, why not give it to a deserving perimeter defender for change? If they continue with their excellent play on the defensive end, it should come down to TAllen/AI9/LeBron.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Oops I spoke too soon. DHow has a 3.1 defensive win-share and a 91.8 defensive rating (both are tops in the L). AI9 is at 2.3 defensive win share and 94.7 defensive rating. Bron- 2.1 defensive win-shares and 96.9 defensive rating. Also, defensive rating might not be the best way to rank defensive players because CBoozer is 6th in the L with a 94.9 defensive rating, so……

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah the defensive rating takes into account how good your whole team is with you on the court. So it’s a useful tool, but only as long as you know enough to separate those that are lifting up their team (Dwight, LeBron, Iguodala), and those that are just benefiting (Boozer) from it.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    We are half way through the season. As I said, LBJ is obviously the front runner for MVP right now, but we have allot of games to play. His most impressive stat is his FG%, but that will go down. Especially if he shoots 3′s at any sort of a high rate to close the season. His defense is not as impressive as you boys are acting like it is. Kobe has .3 less blocks and steal a game. I don’t wanna hear about 3 point percentage when your 124th in the L in 3 pointer made. He is having a great season. Not the best ever, or whatever your trying to say. KD will have a legitimate chance at the end of the season. If the Lakers start winning allot so will KB. D-Rose has a chance if he storms back with a vengeance. It’s too early to say who will win MVP this year now though.

  • Kadavour

    Defense is to this date, statistically un-quantifiable. The guy who can best use numbers to relate defensive value is probably alive in basketball’s near future, but we haven’t discovered his genius yet. That said, HOW THE F*CK is Bron more valuable defensively than Iggy, Dwight, Gucci, Thabo, MWP, Ibaka, or Gibson?

  • http://www.businessinsider.com/lebron-james-is-quietly-having-one-of-the-best-seasons-in-nba-history-2012-2 nbk

    LeBron is having the best season since the 3pt line. You can click my name. I can post numerous articles from numerous sources that will all tell you he is having one of the best seasons of all time.

  • http://www.businessinsider.com/lebron-james-is-quietly-having-one-of-the-best-seasons-in-nba-history-2012-2 nbk

    And the blocks and steals numbers don’t at all explain what LeBron is doing defensively. I can’t believe you even argued like those averages show anything about what he’s doing on that end. smh

  • http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-lebron-having-greatest-season-ever nbk

    click my name.

  • http://aol.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2012-02-01/lebron-james-on-pace-for-best-season-of-all-time nbk

    click my name again.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    one more time, for good measure.

  • Heals

    ^^^His ability to take his man out of the play and hedge to his nearest teammates to cut off angles for their man simultaneously. His rotations from the opposite side of the court/3pt line to contest players driving to the hoop on their man/his teammates. His ability to play the passing lanes and convert at the other end. His ability to switch with any teammate on picks. His ability to “chase-down” fast breaks. Rebounding in traffic. His supreme athleticism. More so than, DH12 that’s a good argument, but as for the others gimme LBJ…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I know blocks and steal don’t equate to “defense.” I’m not an idiot. But the two main defensive stats are steals and blocks. He isn’t showing anything special in those two category’s. He should easily be over a block and I have no idea how he doesn’t grab at least 2 steals a game easy. Those numbers aren’t impressive. Doesn’t mean he isn’t a good defender. He is, but he is not even close to defensive player of the year(not in the top 5). He is having a great year, but he hasn’t done anything remarkable except for put up great stats. No game winners, no “huge” games. Just steady awesome LeBron like since his rookie year…

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    Steals and Blocks reflect gambling. Not good defense. – And what he has done remarkable, is put up the most efficient season ever despite playing more games in less days then in any other season in history. This is like watching someone break all of the high scores on a video game, despite the game being played at twice it’s usual pace….

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Oh lawd…did Lakeshow just try to use blocks and steals as a way to judge a player’s impact on the defensive end? Damn…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The last time a perimeter player put up as many attemps and avg. as many PPG as LeBron is doing this season while shooting around 53-54% was MJ. If that isn’t remarkable…I don’t know what is.
    I haven’t even mentioned the rebounding, assists and all-around defense.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    JTaylor, F*ck you guy. Not even close to what I said. nbk, Bullsh*t! Are you kidding? Blocks and steal are a result of gambling? So Jordan was a great gambler? Wait that one doesn’t work lol. That is so much BS though. Blocks and steals are not gambling they are defensive stats. Taylor, nbk, so tell me, if a guy averages 5 blocks and 5 steals a game would you just say, “oh man, dude was a great gambler” or would you assume he was probably a real good defender? Be real. Steals and blocks are much more than stats that show weather or not you gamble in the game… SMH

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Dwight Howard, Serge Ibaka, Iggy, Tony Allen…. When I think of these guys, I think, man what a great group of gamblers. SMH

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

    I’d honestly vote for Ibaka as my DPOY. LeBron plays good team defense and gets in the gaps much like the whole Heat team does but Ibaka is just a massive fly swatter.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Actually, Steals are very important in Basketball. A player who can average a good amount of steals in a game will always be a valuable asset on any team.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    Yes, Jordan was a great gambler. Iverson, gambler. Bad at defense, but he played the passing lanes well, sold his team out a lot. Same with Dwyane Wade. If a guy averaged 5 and 5 ofcourse he’d be a great defender, to bad nobody has ever done that. LeBron’s defensive numbers (steals and blocks) reflect Tony Allen’s. Wtf argument do you have for having Allen in the top 5 despite him putting up the same “defensive numbers” as LeBron on a worse defensive team, where he isn’t the anchor of the defense? Or wait, there is no logic to your thought process. Every opinion from you give reeks of emotion.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    Lakeshow, literally, you just talk out of your ass. Which is a great trick, but it smells like sh*t.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    (before anyone reads my 3:23 comment and misunderstands what I said, let me clarify, Jordan was a great defender AND “gambler” – Iverson, not a good defender, but a great “gambler” – Wade, good defender, great “gambler”)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    F*ck me? Stooping to inuslts I see. How about actually watching other teams besides the lakers play? You will see who’s really play defense out there and who’s faking the funk and maybe just maybe you will stop using blocks/steals as a way to tell who’s a great defender and who’s not.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    nbk, let me speak from my bum holio a bit more then. Tony Allen plays 10 mins less than LBJ and steals .4 more than him and blocks the same amount as him despite being 4 inches shorter and being half the athletic phenom that Bron is. Ibaka blocks 5 shots a game when he plays LBJ’s minutes. That’s why those guys are great defenders. Not gamblers. DEFENDERS. BUTT, Forgive my a$$ for it knows not what it speaketh of.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    My bad Taylor. For real, my bad. I just absolutely HATE it when someone takes what I say and spins it O-Reilly Factor style.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Talyor, I watch every Lakers game, but that does not mean I don’t watch anyone else. Thunder. T-Wolves. Clippers. Suns. I watch all them on the regular. Seen at least 10 games of each of theirs this year. Heat I have watched probably 10 games also. I’m an NBA fan first.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    lol, ‘LeBron James, the best defensive player in the world, was on him,’ Pacers coach Frank Vogel
    .
    .
    “This season, James has hounded SFs into a microscopic 8.7 counterpart PER”
    . (Tony Allen’s opponent PER, for comparison’s sake – 14.4)
    .
    LeBron James “defensive rating” 97
    .(Tony Allen’s “defensive rating” 99)
    Defensive rating is points allowed per 100 possessions.
    .
    Defensive Win Shares (number of wins contributed by individual defense),
    .LeBron – 2.1
    .(Tony Allen – 1.2)
    .
    .
    Want me to keep going?

  • T-Money

    lebron’s most valuable trait on the defensive end is his versatility (guards 1 thru 4) and discipline (rarely out of position and stays down on shot fakes). it’s being taken for granted now but spoelstra can thrown him at literally anybody that’s not dwight, bynum or bogut in the last 6 minutes of a game. he started the game on sunday on reddick because dwyane gets lost chasing around shooters. he then guarded nelso, turk, big baby and ryan anderson at various points of the game. no superstar in the nba besides dwight is asked to do more than lebron on the defensive end. (i’m not going to even entertain the discussion about blocks and steals lol)

  • T-Money

    ibaka is overrated defensively, he’s a great weakside shot blocker but is not that great 1vs1 in the post and is not an “anchor” defensively like bogut and dwight. he’s more of a marcus camby type of defender. tony allen is a beast defensively, nothing to argue about that, but his steal numbers are irrelevant.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It’s all good. So..what do you think about guys like Bruce Bowen/SBattier, who never put up great defensive stats yet they are lauded for their defensive abilities?

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    So that shows you that per minute, blocks and steals tell you absolutely nothing about how good of a defender a guy is. Want another interesting stat? Bruce Bowen, despite (3) 2nd team all-defense awards & (5) 1st team all defense awards, NEVER had a better season in terms of “defensive statistics that you value” then 1.4SPG and .5BPG (which is worse then LeBron now) despite playing in-front of the best defensive 4 of all-time. What the hell is your genius reasoning for that? What made Bruce Bowen such a great defender if he never even averaged over 1.4 Steals Per Game or 0.6Blocks Per Game?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Great call on those guys (Battier, Bowen) They never put big numbers up in those category’s. They were completely isolation 1 on 1 defenders. They did not have the capability of doing a weak side block like Bron does and they rarely gamble so the steals they came up with were legitimate on ball defensive steals. That’s why I wanted to make sure you all understood me when I brought up the blocks and steals. Those stats don’t show whether your a good defender, but they do give a glimpse at what you do on the floor. LBJ is the most athletic guy at his size the L has ever seen, IMO he should block more shots than .6 and although his steals are nice i’m truly shocked a guy with his talents can’t swipe another one per game. I’m being a bit of a hater on this matter though. There’s nothing wrong with not grabbing 2 steals and a block I just don’t see why he isn’t able to. He was the talent, athleticism and skill. Don’t you fellas find it a little shocking Bron only gets half a block? Dudes a beast. Half a block isn’t a beast number though.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    If those numbers NBK pointed out that shows Bron holding his SF counterpart to a putrid 8.7 PER can’t convince you that Bron is a great defender (iso/help), I don’t know what will.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    KD avgs. 1.3bpg to LeBron’s 0.6, so… does that mean he has more of an impact on the defensive end than LeBron and does that make him a better defensive player?

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    Bron’s responsibilities in Miami’s defense aren’t to protect the rim. The defensive system dictates how active players are around the basket, in the passing lanes, etc. Last season, Bron and Wade were expected to force the defense to the middle, and provide weakside support at the rim. This season (correct me if i’m wrong, i’ve only seen 10ish Heat games) they seem to be more inclined to force teams to shoot, and are more likely to trap (7 force a pass) rather then switch (and force a “forced” shot). Which I think means they are more active on the perimeter in an attempt to induce more long jump shots rather then shots in/around the key, which translates to lower defensive numbers. That’s how it appears to me so far this season.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Bron is a borderline great defensive player IMO. KD is better at blocking shots than Bron, but he doesn’t do nearly as much across the board as Bron defensively. I’m not blind. So no, KD does not hold a candle. Once again Taylor, don’t you find it odd Bron only gets half a block per game though? It just surprises me. He is so good at chasing down players and he is so athletic you would think he’d get up for at least 1 per. If KD can Bron can. Bron averaged twice as many blocks when he was in Cleveland as opposed to MIA. I’m not going anywhere with this though. I was sick at home yesterday and missed the slamily so I wanted to ruffle some feathers today :)

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    And I think evidence of what I’m seeing is shown in their team defense, the Heat are playing at a much faster pace this season, and with that, they are giving up 4 less points per 100 possessions then last season. Teams are shooting 4% lower against the Heat this year (indicative of less shots around the rim) but 2% higher from 3 (again, more evidence that less shots are actually being taken around the rim)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Like I said you can not use blocks/steals as a way to rate defensive players, sorry it doesn’t work that way. One’s ability to shutdown his assignment while playing stellar team defense is more important in my eyes than block shots.

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/106403650426394352312/albums/posts davidR

    when mark jackson switched monta ellis on chris paul for the second half of the game, cp3 goes 1-8 the rest of the way.
    monta’s defense is underrated.
    that’s all.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/12140/is-this-the-best-start-ever-for-lebron-james nbk

    Monta’s great defensively…….against PG’s….

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Taylor…. I’m not. Never would. You must be trying to make me say f*ck you again, because your twisting words and saying i’m saying things I am not. Just because Blocks and Steals doesn’t tell the whole story about a defensive player doesn’t mean they have nothing to do with defense. They are defensive stats. Doesn’t mean your a good or bad defender if you are not able to reach certain numbers. Let’s try this one more time. Don’t you gents find it surprising that Bron only gets half a block per game? I’ts not an indictment. It’s not to say that he is a lousy defender. I’ts not even to say he is a bad shot blocker. I just want to know if ya’ll find it as surprising as I do that Bron only gets half a block a game? D-Wade is a better shot blocker than Bron. That’s just surprising to me. Bron appears to be the better shot blocker to me, but Wade always finds a way to block more shots. If it’s to hard for you to say anything about Bron that is other than the most positive review possible than I understand I guess…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Dwyane Wade is the best shot blocking wing in league history. You can check the numbers.

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/106403650426394352312/albums/posts davidR

    haha, we’ll leave it at that.
    that was a great game though. the dubs are 4-9 in games that are within 3 points with 1:30 to go. if they can learn to close games out that way, they can potentially sneak into the playoffs.
    i wouldn’t count on it though

  • Spurs

    RJ hasn’t been much maligned this year. The past few, sure. But he started out incredibly hot this season. He’s had cold spots since then but the prevailing thought on him is that he has greatly improved his shooting and honestly just isn’t getting the ball that often with the young bench players stepping up so much & TP playing like he has been. He’s still ready when the opportunity comes to him though, as he showed last night.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    DWade’s timing on blockshots is just incredible.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So what are you arguing about because I’m beyond confused. You went from arguing that Bron isn’t a dominant defender to talking about blocks/steals to Wade being a better shot-blocker. I agree with you, Wade is a better shotblocker and more willing to gamble/challenge shots than LeBron but I don’t know what any of that has to do with the original argument.
    BTW…despite being a great shotblocker, Wade is not a great defender.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    No arguing. I was saying from one fan of NBA basketball to another that I find it surprising that Bron doesn’t average more blocks this year. Lets stop calling blocks “gambles” guys. Your embarrassing all the great defenders when you call a defensive stat a gambling stat. Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo sure was a great gambler! That’s just offensive sounding isn’t it?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    You don’t know the difference between a wing leaving his assignment to block a shot and a Center protecting the rim? There is a fundamental difference that make one gambling and not the other

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It’s not a disrepect because you can be a great defender while also being a great gambler. Only few cats in history had the ability to excel in both areas (Wade is not one of them).

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Wade isn’t a great individual defender but he shows flashes of it.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    nbk, Do you know the difference between Red an Blue? STFU with all this kindergarten degrading talk, it gets old. It is not gambling when your man is cutting through the paint and you block the shot of some one going up for a layup. That is not gambling! That is good basketball. Good defense. And a smart move. D-Wade gambles sometimes. Not every time though. It does not immediately make it gambling because your not a center and you blocked a shot. D-Wade makes smart defensive plays more than he gambles. Ya’ll are underrating D-Wades defense if you think he’s just a great gambler. Maybe I just don’t like the word gamble though.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    If your not stupid stop actIng like it. If you actually watch Dwyane Wade you know if your actually paying attention, that he gambles, incessantly. He gets “good” blocks, and he gets “bad” blocks – he’s the best shot blocking wing ever – but it is not, even remotely the same as what shot blockers from the “big positions” do. Wade is just as likely to get a foul, or give up a wide open 3 as he is to get a block, actually moreso. The difference is huge, saying bpg to argue any wing defenders skill is asinine. It’s a cherry on top. Or whip cream. It’s not what actually makes the cake.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I know your not stupid. That is why your argument is frustrating the sh*t out of me. What exactly are you arguing? Or are you really just ruffling feathers?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I agree D-Wade gambles more than he should. I’m not arguing anything right now. I seriously just wanted a brodown on how it’s strange LeBron isn’t blocking more shots. BRODOWN dammit! lol. I know absolutely that blocks and steals don’t make up defense. At all. I also know that if Bron was blocking 2 shots and stealing 2 a game he would be praised and lauded for these phenomenal defensive stats he puts up. I wouldn’t think that Bron would need to gamble ever to get a block a game. It just surprises me that his blocking half as many shots as he use to. Nevermind though.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    You are prolly right that He should realistically get atleast a block a game. But he also locks his man up so what’s to complain up? That’s basically the point.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    He plays way better 1 on 1 D than he ever has before(This year and last), but he’s surprisingly blocking people half as much as he use to. Could mean nothing. It is surprising to me though.

  • Justin G.

    Wade is the best shot blocking wing ever? I guess for now but it will be debatable when his career is over. He’s averaging 1 bpg for his career where MJ averaged .8 over his career. Wade’s numbers will drop just like Jordan’s did when he gets older and loses his athleticism. They’re both right there though

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Wade already has 6 seasons of averaging over a block a game – Jordan had 4. Jordan had 2 seasons where he was an absolute terror on defense, and those years really boost his career average. Other then that, Wade has always been the superior rim protector.

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