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Friday, March 2nd, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  100 responses

Post Up: LeBron’s Way

Miami blows by the Blazers, plus wins for the Thunder, Suns and Clippers.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

That LeBron fella can hoop, huh? Miami has now won 9 straight and 12 of the last 13. Oh, and OKC’s racked up 7 in a row, too. The rest of the NBA is on notice, so prep accordingly. Happy Friday to all, let’s get it.

Thunder 105, Magic 102

Kevin Durant scored 38 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, helping the Thunder overcome a 15-point deficit to beat the El Magic and improve to an NBA-best 29-7 on Noche Latina night in Orlando. Durant drilled a ridiculous fading jumper at the top of the key with just under a minute left to give Oklahoma City a five-point lead—too much for Orlando to overcome in the waning moments. The Magic did have one last chance to tie things up after Ryan Anderson nailed a three and Daequan Cook bricked a pair of free throws with 3 seconds left, but a Jason Richardson (16 points) 3-pointer bricked off the backboard at the buzzer, dropping Orlando to 23-14, despite 33 points and 9 boards from Dwight Howard. Russell Westbrook scored 29 points (17 in the first half) and had 10 assists, and OKC shot 51 percent from the field as a team. The Thunder are now 2-0 against the Magic this year and a Western Conference-best 14-7 away from home.

Suns 104, Timberwolves 95

Minnesota came in on the third night of a back-to-back-to-back, while the Suns were playing their first game since the All-Star break, and the difference showed. An especially rested Steve Nash handed out 17 assists, plus had 13 points, and Phoenix shot 53 percent on field goals en route to their 15th win of the season. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, shot sub-40 percent, made only 1 of 13 three-pointers, and scored only 7 fast break points—rare for such an uptempo squad. Kevin Love returned after feeling sick last night, and delivered 23 points and 10 rebounds, but he shot 8-25 from the floor, Derrick Williams shot 2-10 (6 points) and Ricky Rubio only had 2 assists. Each team led by double-digits at different points in the game, but the Suns were hot in the second half, led by Grant Hill, who scored 15 of his 20 after halftime. The Wolves came within two points with 9 minutes to play, but Phoenix immediately went on a 9-0 run, and Minny never got closer than 7 thereafter. Marcin Gortat, who sealed it with a three-point play with about 1:30 to play, finished with 17 points.

Clippers 108, Kings 100

Mo Williams hit all 4 of his 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and Chris Paul racked up 22 points and 9 assists as the Clippers cruised past the Kings, leading by 19 at one points. Williams finished with 18, Blake Griffin had 14 points and 9 rebounds and Lob Angeles shot a ridiculous 52 percent (12-23) from beyond the arc. Sacramento took yet another L (12-23) despite a monster game from DeMarcus Cousins—23 points, 10 boards, 3 blocks—and 18 points apiece from Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans. This one got testy between Reggie Evans and Francisco Garcia, with a cameo by Kenyon Martin, but on the scoreboard, it was all Clippers. L.A. had 30 assists to just 14 for SacTown, despite being outscored 18-12 in transition. The Clippers are now 21-12, having one the first game of a six-game road trip. The remaining five are visits to Phoenix, Houston, Minnesota, New Jersey and San Antonio—all in 7 days.

Heat 107, Trail Blazers 93

LeBron James wanted us all to shut up about the All-Star game business. 38 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals. Man, the Blazers must absolutely hate this dude—outside of Michael Jordan, Bron Bron has the highest career scoring average in Portland at 31.2 (MJ’s was 32.4) ppg. Suffice to say this one was over by halftime, when the Heat already had an 18-point lead, despite being without Chris Bosh for personal family reasons. In his absence, LBJ did his thing and Dwyane Wade did, too, chipping in a casual 33 points and 10 dimes. How crazy is that? 33 and 10 and it won’t even get talked about, since it wasn’t even the best line on his own team! Miami remains atop the East at 28-7, and won this game with only 6 fast break points (what!) while Portland actually kept pace in most statistical categories. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 20 points, Jamal Crawford added 18 and new re-addition Joel Pryzbilla played 19 minutes (4 points, 6 boards) but PDX was no match for the men from the MIA. How does anyone score on this team? Lastly, on LeBron: say what you will about TNT’s post-game show, but I enjoyed this exchange (don’t worry, no Shaq) between Charles and the Jet. Chuck: “Hey man let me tell you something, LeBron James, whew, this guy is scary man.” To which Kenny replied: “He made Gerald Wallace not look like an athletic person.” Amen.

Line of the Night: KD goes for 38 and Nash drops 17 dimes, but LBJ’s 38/11/6/5 takes the cake.

Moment of the Night: Fast forward to the 0:47 mark for a shot only Durant can make, to beat Orlando.

Dunk of the Night: This is starting to look familiar…

Funny of the Night: When keeping it real alley-ooping goes wrong.

Tonight: Pete’s back for the weekend, which kicks off Friday with 11 games. ESPN has Warriors-Sixers and Clippers-Suns, but if you’re enjoying that free League Pass trial, be sure to keep an eye on Heat-Jazz and Rockets-Nuggets. I’ll be back on Monday to recap what should be an epic Heat-Lakers matchup on Sunday afternoon. Until then, be easy.

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

    Great first game on TNT the Thunder came through late and that’s a good test come playoff time. My only concern would be the same as Chuck’s that when the game gets slower they really don’t have anyone who can play with their back to the basket and get easy points. As for Miami they look scary and at this point I don’t see anyone who can beat them at this level. I had the Bulls coming out of the east but the chemistry for the Heat between the Big 3 is crazy good and Rose just doesn’t have enough fire power at his side.

  • JoeMaMa

    @T-Ray: Agreed. The title is Miami’s to lose. They play such aggressive D, and have 2 guys who, in the event of a total offensive breakdown, can simply take it and get points. Plus, they have a massive chip on their shoulder from losing in the finals last year. If someone else takes the title, I’ll be shocked.

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

    The only teams that I can see beating them in the finals would be OKC or the Lakers due to their size down low.

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

    OKC is putting up a lot of points in the regular season, but their offense is horrid and will be exposed come playing time. No movement whatsoever–nothing. Just iso Durant, iso Westbrook, iso Harden. How freaking good are Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to be able to lead their team to 1st in the West with a putrid offense like that?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    LeBron was a monster. Dude was locked in, he was aggressive, he was on the block like a madman against everybody. And Wade was posting up too. It’s crazy when you have wings who post, because most wings aren’t used to handling that type of player these days. LeBron was just bodying little dudes on the block last night.
    Portland is disappointing. They should be so much better.

  • JoeMaMa

    @Allenp: Imagine if they had a healthy Greg Oden and Brandon Roy, on top of the talent they have now. Last night would’ve been the marquee game in the league. Damn shame.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I agree that the injuries are a problem, but I thought they would struggle without Andre Miller and they have. At first they looked fine when they were playing uptempo, but now the offense looks horrid, and their pace isn’t as good.
    I think I have decided that Kevin Love deserves to be considered the best PF in the League right now. Blake isn’t ready, Aldridge and Dirk don’t board enough and Z-Bo is hurt. It’s Love’s title.

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

    Allenp
    Speaking of Love do you think the TWolves will move Williams to the SG and let Wes come off the bench in the near future? Wes is a good defender but I think Williams provides that scoring that you need from your starting SG.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Hey anyone who has time for a great read, check out this recap of the Malice at the Palace on Grantland…it has TONS of interviews with people who were there. Check it out——> http://www.grantland.com/story?id=7612311&view=full

  • JoeMaMa

    The best power forward in the game, should he get his emotions in check, head together, and some good coaching, will be DeMarcus Cousins. I don’t know how he keeps getting 20/10s when he spends his time whining, getting flustered, taking a few dumb shots, and mentally checking out of the occasional play. Man…the ceiling he has is so high. I really hope, for our viewing pleasure, that he gets his sh*t together and accesses that potential.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Can Williams defend two guards? The Wolves just need to make a trade. They should be the ones contacting Boston about Ray Allen.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Cousins is a Center.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Yeah, cousins isn’t a PF.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I don’t know what it is about K-Love that makes me not want to admit that he’s the best PF in the league right now…he’s been making it very hard for me to keep that stance though. Maybe it’s because I still just see him as a stats guy and not a winner, but now he’s starting to win games too.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Wayno
    I understand exactly what you’re saying. I”ve struggled with the same thing. But, in all honesty, this isn’t the power forward position of ten years ago. When you had Dirk, Duncan, Webber, Sheed, Garnett and other lesser stars doing their thing.
    Right now, the crow of dominant bigs is small. Point guard is the power position in the NBA currently.
    So, of the cats in the discussion, Aldridge, Dirk, Pau, Bosh, Love, Dirk, ZBo and Blake, I can’t with a good conscience put anybody over Love.
    Personally, I would rather have Bosh, ZBo or Dirk, but I can’t completely say that every night they prove themselves to be superior.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Every “top” power forward in the NBA has glaring weaknesses. Best is about what you value most at that position. imo

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

    Cosign nbk it all depends on your personal value. I would say ZBo is the best when he’s healthy. He demands a double team and he scores at will and his post game is just crazy. I don’t even need to speak on his rebounding ability.

  • JoeMaMa

    Cousins is both, in my opinion. He has the touch and athleticism of a 4. How many true centres (Canadian spelling, yup!) exist in the league? I think the 4 and 5 positions are, for the most part, interchangeable. I mean, I think Cousins is more of a 4 than Z-Bo.

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

    I think with a lot of players that play the 4 spot are sometimes undersized to move to the 5. Cousins is probably the only guy who could do that.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Cousins is a 5. He’s just a versatile 5. He could play the 4, and be effective. But his position is Center, having him in the pivot with a stretch 4, or even a 4 that can hit a 17-20 footer (David West would be ideal) would make him one of the top 5 post players in the league immediately, he just has issues with double teams, and defending.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ Allen – Agreed, I mean, he had 23 & 10 on an “bad” night last night. He’s been so damn consistent this year that it’s scary. It’s like when I see LeBron’s stat lines…I’m just not that impressed anymore because I’m so used to him getting numbers like that. I think on any given night those other PF’s could be better than Love, but Love has just been bringing it every single game.

  • http://sajkfldl.com Jukai

    Love also is improving his defense.
    I mean, he’s still not actively trying but now he’s not running away from the guy with the ball anymore. That’s something, right?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Right. That’s a definite improvement.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    AllenP, so you pick the day after KLove goes 8-25 against a terrible defensive squad to announce him as the best PF? I’m sorry but you can not be the best PF in my book when you’re shooting 43% from the field and employ what we like to call “matador” defense. I’ll take LA until further notice.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ JTaylor – It was the 3rd game of a back to back to back, and he still put up 23 – 10, plus KLove shoots alot of jumpers (including 3′s), so obviously his overall Shooting % is going to be lower. I can’t believe I’m defending KLove…His Defense still sucks, but every player has holes in thier game. Dirk has been recognized by many as the best PF in the league in seasons past and he has never been a very good defender.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    ehh cosign J.taylor. I might take dirk or Zbo over love. I hear what ya’ll are saying tho…. it really is all about what you need from the PF position. Demarcus could become a top 2 big out of either position very shortly tho. Even though we’ve already established that he’s a 5.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Dirk isn’t a bad defender though. And he won a championship. Kevin Love has never even seen the playoffs. Or been above .500

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

    Better question: Best defensive power foward?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Dirk is a bad defender. Don’t look up numbers, I don’t care what they say. He is not a good defender. He’s not as bad as some people like to say, but no he is not in any way a good defender. JTaylor, you forgot that LA only grabs 8 boards a game. That’s what numerous Small Forwards grab. He CANNOT be the best PF averaging 22/8/2.5/1/.7 on a team that isn’t that good. He might play defense pretty well, but that is the only thing he does better than K-Love.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Teddy, Serge Ibaka IMO.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ nbk – Like I said, I think on any given night, Aldridge, Dirk, Pau, Bosh, Love, Dirk, ZBo, or Blake could be better than KLove, but THIS SEASON, Love has been the most consistently good PF and now his team is starting to win more too.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Lakeshow Dirk isn’t nearly as bad a defender as he used to be. He’s made a lot of improvements. and nobody said he was a lock down defender, but he isn’t a defensive sieve.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    To solidify his rank as the best PF in the league.. Kevin Love has got to get in the Playoffs first and foremost. And, I believe they could get the 8th seed in the West.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow, Dirk isn’t a bad defender doesn’t mean he is a good one. It means he isn’t BAD. There is something inbetween bad and good believe it or not.
    .
    And Lamarcus Aldridge doesn’t rebound like he should, but he defends like he should. And the Portland offense runs through him (when Crawford and Felton aren’t jacking up sh*tty shots), something that does not, and apparently, cannot happen through Kevin Love.
    .
    Wayno, I don’t really have an argument for believing Kevin Love is the best PF, like I said, depends what you value at the position. I just think people acting like it’s obvious or proven are completely wrong.

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

    I think if Love get’s the Wolves in the playoffs and goes off like ZBo did last year then he’s a lock for best PF in the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    @ nbk – Agreed, please understand that it pains me that he’s in the convo for best in the league…again, I’m not sure why, it’s not like I hate the guy or anything. Still, he’s been making a very strong case so far this season.

  • Paul H

    I would say K-love Is best Power Forward In the league by default right now. In the regular season. Until someone takes It from him Dirk still owns the playoffs. Blake Is nowhere near as polished as the highlight reels would suggest, I would still take Bosh, Pau and Zach In a playoff game.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Definitely, but we really don’t know till the playoffs. (See: Boozer, Carlos)

  • http://www.nesn.com/2012/02/kobe-bryant-says-hes-better-than-michael-jordan-second-to-wilt-chamberlain-as-best-nba-player-ever-v.html shutup

    Last night proved to me why I believe Dwight will never be the first oprion on a championship caliber team, I watched the third quarter of that game and was like Oh, thats what Allen was talking about, I see Dwight posting up and being active ( I hate how the league lets bigs move on their picks) dude was a beast, then he disappeared in the fourth, they kept running the same sets with a high pick and roll and a couple swing passes to Dwights iso on the block but he couldnt hit anything, the only buckets he got in the fourth were on putbacks, alley oops and a wrap around pass that if rubio threw it it would be like 4 on espn top plays, but on the other hand Durant stepped up big knocking down a couple big shots , Harden slashing to the rim and Westbrook was dialed in. It was a great game, just one more fact for those tha believe DFwight is their first option the magic only score 36ppg in the paint, thats like 28th in the league, I can fully admit he is their focal point, but not their first option. The Heat look like a college team playing against some hs kids.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Wayno, just don’t like K-Love huh? Haha. NBK, I agree that Dirk is not a good or bad defender. I would put Love ahead of bad defenders like Amare though, so Love is working towards that Dirkulous defense. Ya know not good, but not bad. With the Blazers running the offense through LA he gets 2.5 assists. Love gets 2 without them running through him. So I don’t think either have a advantage in the passing department. Love is a better passer than he shows, but that’s because he is not asked to pass he’s asked to score, but I see what your saying about the benefit of having someone on the low block to run the offense through.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bad game or not, he still looks like the best on most nights. Aldridge allowed a team with no real power forward to contain him. He didn’t really hit the glass, wasn’t a force on defense and was only a force in the first quarter on offense. He still settles for that jumper too much, even though he’s better than he was. I like Aldridge, but his defensive edge isn’t enough to push him past Love for me anymore. I feel like love is his equal or superior in total offense, if not isolation offense.
    Now, with Zbo, Bosh and Dirk, I still believe they have a clear advantage over Love on offense. With Bosh, Love has the advantage on the boards, but not as far as defense at all. And with Dirk, Love is slightly worse on defense and Dirk has a massive advantage on offense. I feel like ZBo and Love are pretty much equal except for Randolph’s advantage as an isolation scorer.

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    I gotta give the one-up to Kevin Love over Aldridge on this one… the all-star game turned me. Kevin Love looked like he belonged with those guys, he was able to run and gel perfectly. Aldridge looked star struck and quite frankly, lost. I know that doesn’t prove anything by itself, but I was on the fence, and that was the push I needed to choose a side.

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    Here’s a fun question: if you were Miami, would you trade Bosh for Love straight up? Forget about money right now… Bosh for Love…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lake, Love is definitely, 100% a better passer then Aldridge. But Lamarcus demands a double team against the majority of post defenders (so he gets “hockey assists” from the ball swinging the perimeter to the open man), and Love gets a lot of his assists from outlet passes (which is refreshing, haven’t seen a guy that dangerous off a rebound since Wes Unseld).
    .
    Love struggles to create in the post, both for himself and others (others because he struggles for himself and doesn’t really demand a double team).
    .
    Defensively Love is definitely getting better, and his ability to rebound immediately puts him in a better category then Amar’e and Blake Griffin, but he struggles guarding guys off the bounce, he’s quite terrible against P&R’s and frankly, he is possibly the worst rim protecting superstar big in the league (it’s between him and blake).
    .
    That’s basically a summary of why I personally don’t think Love is the best 4 in the league. But his weaknesses are all things he can fix, so I don’t know how long i’ll feel this way.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Shut Up
    I felt like the refs let Perkins get away with some questionable stuff down the stretch last night. They called Dwight for a foul when he challenged on of Durant’s shots, even though it looked like he went up straight and Durant jumped into him, but then on like the next play, the let Perkins use his knees and body to push Dwight while Dwight is making his move.
    Plus, the Magic see the high pick and roll as their go to play down the stretch AND the Thunder were doubling Dwight like crazy when the game got tight.
    I also hate the moving screens. Kevin Garnett and Perkins have not set a legal screen since 2008, and don’t even talk about the Bulls. It’s totally unfair to defenders.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKT7UybFxe4 IAMORANGE4EVER

    DeMarcus Cousins is an All-Star talent. He’s a built like a 5 but he’s got a 4 mentality. Cousins reminds me of a much more athletic version of Nene. If DeMarcus ever learns what it takes to become a great teammate and leader, and if he can ever find a way to keep his emotions in check, watch out. I am no Kings fan, but I am happy for Sacramento, Kevin Johnson and for those passionate King fans’. The Kings have some nice pieces in place to build a contender for their new arena on the way. Sucks for Seattle… though I am no Seattleite!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Miami would be idiots to make that trade.
    Bosh is so much better than Love defensively they aren’t even on the same planet. Plus, he’s ability to put the ball on the deck and score is great, and he is a better iso scorer. Bosh has a better overall game this year, BUT this year Love has put his hard hat on more consistently. I have to admit that he might not be the “best” when it comes to skills, but he brings it every single night with his scoring and glass work. Bosh has way too many off nights.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Lake, LA is a better mid-range shooter, defender, superior post game, and better efficiency. The only things Love does better than LA is rebounding, 3pt shooting and playing ole defense. If they somehow switched teams, the TWolves would be better.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Cousins not more athletic than Nene.
    Cousins actually has below average jumping ability. He has incredibly long arms, great hands and an impressive motor though. But he’s not super quick and he doesn’t jump high at all, which is why he struggles to finish around the rim so often.
    But, he’s a bruiser, he can periodically hit that jumper, and he works hard even without enough touches. You can’t teach some of the things he does.

  • Paul H

    I have not seen Aldridge look anywhere near as dangerous and downright dominating as Zach was In the regular/postseason last year. Zach Is a much better rebounder and as for skill on the block, It Is not even close. 22 and 8 just doesn’t cut It In the best PF In the game conversation. K-Love Is still getting his 25 and 14 even with Pekovic pulling In double-doubles of his own. And even If he Is shooting 44% from the field (a detriment to his case) he still has a Higher PER than any other power forward In the game.

  • T-Money

    i’m not ready to go there with love because i always need to check his averages to validate his ranking – it’s never readily apparent when i watch him play. the stats are nice but i need to see the offense go through him in the last 5 minutes on a consistent basis before i declare him the best 4 in the game. i also need him to try a little harder on the defensive end (baby steps). even if the stats are not there, i’m still more impressed by what bosh and gasol have to do on both ends in a winning environment where they don’t get “rythmn” shots and defensive mistakes are not tolerated.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You have to remember LA was guarded by Joel Anthony the majority of last night and we all know that Anthony does a great job slowing down most PFs (see Amare).
    LA is a better overrall offensive player than Love. Love is a better 3pt shooter but LA is a better post-up/isolation player, finishes at the rim better and has a better mid-range shot.
    Also, you stated that in comparison to Dirk, Love is slightly worse on D and Dirk has a massive advantage on offense, so how does that make Love the best PF in the NBA?

  • T-Money

    jukai: i think this would be one of those instances where both teams pass. love can’t do what bosh does for miami and minnesota can’t grow with bosh.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That is a fair assessment. I made the exact same argument earlier this year, T-Money.
    I just felt like after watching Aldridge and Blake, they aren’t better than him to me, which I thought was the case initially. ZBo is hurt, Dirk is still rounding into form, and Gasol and Bosh have way too many games where they remain disengaged from the offense and glass. Particularly Bosh on the glass.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It seems like people are really getting carried away whenever the look at Love’s numbers this season. PGasol, CB, LA, Dirk and a healthy ZBo are all better than Love.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Why are Kevin Loves numbers misleading but Zach Randolph’s aren’t? (not saying Randolph isn’t a better offensive player, but still?)
    .
    Zach Randolph is in the same defensive category as Love. And he has really only helped a team win, once in his career. Before that, he was the Corey Maggette of Power Forwards.

  • http://www.nesn.com/2012/02/kobe-bryant-says-hes-better-than-michael-jordan-second-to-wilt-chamberlain-as-best-nba-player-ever-v.html shutup

    I hate how much Noah moves on his screens, was a big reason for the win over the spurs, it was what put them up when rose hit that jumpshot that noah’s leg freed him up for. But the chippyness (Not a real word) was mutual, Dwight got away with a couple pushes, like the one he used on Harden to clear the lane, and there were some back and forth shoving in the high post before the picks were set, but Dwight was the only one to extend his arms in the pushing. Im not mad for Durant getting that call usually the aggressiveness gets rewarded, and Perk was playing him tough throughout the 3rd Dwight was just making his shots, nothing really changed in the 4th except the shots wouldnt drop

  • http://bedotwater.bandcamp.com BE.water

    Is Lamar Odom really sent to the D-League Yall?

  • Paul H

    Yeah water just seen It on Espn

  • T-Money

    nbk: i’ve seen zach randolph get buckets at the end of close playoffs games. memphis just dumped it down low and he was going to work – double teams, no double teams… didn’t matter. stats can’t tell you that. / unrelated: seems that rubio’s improved jumper was just a mirage, 36% yikes!!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The worst part is Rubio is at 31% since beginning of February

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah I think Zach is top 2 one on one 4′s in the league. I don’t however thinks he’s in the best overall conversation.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKT7UybFxe4 IAMORANGE4EVER

    Allenp, when I said Cousins is more athletic than Nene, and I stand by that comment. They’re both 6-11, but Cousins is much more of a physical specimen. Even if Cousins dropped like 20 pounds and weighed about the same as Nene, he’d still outrebound him in his sleep. I think it’s safe to say, Nene will never average 10 rebounds in a season, nor will he lead a team/locker room like Tyson Chandler does.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKT7UybFxe4 IAMORANGE4EVER

    *Allenp, I said Cousins is more athletic than Nene, and I stand by that comment.

  • D.Cole

    First and Foremost, Bron is having a ridiculous season. Plain and simple. His Stat line is speaking volumes for his play and the MVP is his to lose. Kevin Durant is an absolute monster but he isn’t the defensive presence that Bron is and that’s what sets them apart. During the Portland, Bron guarded the 1 through 5 with EASE!!! Name another player that can do that in the league and do it well. Bron is without a shadow of the doubt, the best player the NBA has offer to us as a public.

    Now in terms, of the greatest PF in the league, Kevin Love is the best PF hands. Everyone is memorized by Blake’s Highlights but that’s all that Blake has to offer. Kevin Love is complete power forward. He isn’t extremely athletic but he’s the next coming of the “big fundamental” He has great footwork, he’s the best rebounder in the league after Dwight and he can extend the defense with his outside shooting ability. Also he is a decent defender. What more can you ask in a PF.

    Best PF’s in the league:
    1 K-Love
    2 Blake
    3-Zach
    4-LaMarcus

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    How does that make Cousins more athletic Orange? Athletically speaking: Nene>>>>Cousins. JTaylor honestly I want to argue with you on PF stuff, but it’s all so subjective… lol. I prefer K-Loves playing style to everyone else at the PF spot right now. You think he’s like the 7th best PF. That’s cool. I think your wrong, but showing you numbers and telling you I think he is the best isn’t going to persuade you. I still think that Dirk, Pau, and Randolf have arguments, but they are the only ones IMO. Anyone watch the Clippers vs Sac-Town last night? B-Griffin is just way to out of control to often. He is thinking jump first, everything else second. I don’t like that. Be smart kid.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Now…if people were saying that KLove is putting up the best numbers for a PF since KG, I can agree with but I can’t agree with saying he’s the best PF in the NBA.
    Lake, I think he’s the 5th best PF (6th when ZBo’s healthy)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKT7UybFxe4 IAMORANGE4EVER

    @LakeShow: I am no Geoff Petrie, but taking everything into consideration, on what defines someone as athletic, it’s pretty CLEAR that Cousins is much more of a physical beast/talent than Nene. Forget that reality though! Have you ever seen Nenê Hilário fly through the air with his pretty hair for a monster slam at the Pepsi Center? Crazy! Makes the Nuggets mascot Rocky go nuts. lol…In all seriousness, I’ve watched plenty of Denver Nuggets games with Nene in them. For his size and length he’s an alright defender, average rebounder, average offense – mostly a gargabe man type in the paint with an inconsistent mid-range game. Yes Nene is unselfish, but to a fault when he passes up open looks because he’s worrying about his field goal percentage. Nene is not a divisive force in a locker room, but he’s not really a let’s go get them kind of team leader either. He got a big contract this off-season, because guys like him don’t grow on trees in the NBA. The NBA is desperate for BIGS. Kwame Brown is banking 7 million this year cause of it. As for DeMarcus Cousins, he has a chance to be real SPECIAL in the NBA. Forgetting the financials and such when it comes to NBA trades, would the Kings even consider swapping Cousins for Nene? HIGHLY unlikely. Can you imagine Cousins playing for George Karl? He’d probably strangle him. lol

  • http://www.nesn.com/2012/02/kobe-bryant-says-hes-better-than-michael-jordan-second-to-wilt-chamberlain-as-best-nba-player-ever-v.html shutup

    Al Jefferson is a monster 1 on 1

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    WTH Orange…. You said Coucins is more athletic than Nene. Not who’s the better ball player with cooler hair and who makes mascots go more crazy. BasketBall Player: Cousins>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Nene… I’m no The Seed, but BOOOOOOOOK IT!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Al Jefferson is a the epitome of a black hole.
    .
    17 shots a game to score 18 points is not a monster. It’s a guy who shoots way too much.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yeah, Cousins is the better player. He’s not the better athlete. Those are two totally different discussions. At least I thought they were.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Let me get this straight. You have two basketball players, both of whom are 6 feet 11 inches tall. Player A is 21, much younger with a much higher ceiling. Player A is bigger, stronger, and faster than Player B. Player A is putting up about 17 PTS 12 REB to go with a block and steal per game in about 30 minutes of PT. NOW LET’S COMPARE…PLAYER B is 29 – 6 months away from rolling into 30, older and already who he is going to be in the NBA. Player B is smaller, weaker, and slower than Player A. Player B is putting up about 13 PTS 8 REB to go with a block and steal per game in about 30 minutes of PT. I’ll take Cousins and let you and Allenp have the more “athletic” PLAYER B in Denver.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    WTH….

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Stronger has nothing to do with athletic ability.
    Bigger has nothing to do with it either.
    Nene is quicker laterally, he’s quicker in a foot race, he’s quicker off the ground. He jumps higher.
    All of those things have to do with athletic ability.
    Posting statistics is silly. Have you actually watched the two cats play? Just watch them play, it’s obvious who is the better athlete. You have presented at least three comments that in no way even approach proving your point. You’re talking about all sorts of unrelated issues. It’s weird man.
    Who is the better Athlete, not who is the better Player. I’ve been on team DMC for a minute, and I’ve criticized Nene for a long time as well, so I already know who is the better player. I’m just talking athlete.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Seriously, read your last comment again man. Then read my initial comment and tell me how your last comment relates to my initial comment.
    The comment was at 2:26 p.m.
    Maybe you took that comment to mean something it didn’t mean, that’s the only way I can understand you posting the things you’ve posted.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Allenp, I don’t care what your definition of athletic is (you go ahead and play with that) the absolute truth is, TODAY, DeMarcus Cousins is more athletic than Nene. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. I’m laughing so hard right now I can barely feel my finger tips and finish this post. ROFL

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m glad it provided you with a good laugh.
    Thanks for providing me with more insight into how you think and discuss topics.
    Always good to have more information when making future decisions.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    WTH……

  • T-Money

    Orange – wtf? lol that doesnt even make sense

  • http://dsjfkl.com Jukai

    Orange… man… when you’re in a hole, stop digging.
    Personally I feel Bosh and Dirk are still better than Kevin Love, but I think Kevin Love is PLAYING like the best this season.
    I’m pretty shocked no one considered the trade of Bosh for Love straight up. I’d be worried about defense but I think Miami would improve tremendously offensively.

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

    portland is a disgrace right now, they were better when they played through a thousands injuries. now, they got all this talent and cant do anything.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Jukai, what else does Love do better on the offensive end than Bosh expect for 3pt shooting and offensive rebounding? Miami’s biggest strength (apart from Wade/Bron) is their defense and that would suffer immensely with Love.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    JTaylor… So let me get this straight. The Bulls can be an Elite defensive team with Carlos Boozer at PF, but Miami (Bron,Wade,Battier,Miller,Haslem,Anthony,Cole,Chalmers) would not be an elite defensive team without Bosh on defense? Bosh is a good defender, but not elite or great. They could have Steve Novak at PF and be ELITE on D. Love would fit better in Miami by a long shot. He is the perfect PF for that team.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Lake, you made a good point but MIA and CHI despite being the two best defensive teams in the L play different styles of defense. MIA employs a lot of trapping and switching on the PnR, so Bosh has a way more responsibilities on the defensive end than Boozer.
    I’m not saying that MIA would become the Suns with Love instead of Bosh but their defense wouldn’t be as versatile and effective.

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

    They wouldn’t be as effective on defense with Love, but I’m sure they could shape him into a decent, respectable defender. The culture and coaching have a lot to do with it. Chris Bosh used to be captain of the worst defensive team in the league. Plus, Love would have a field day from 3 with Wade and Bron as his wing players.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Allenp, you feel Nene is more athletic than DeMarcus Cousins. That’s your opinion, and I don’t agree with it. I just don’t see how you can honestly assess Nene as more athletic than Cousins. Even at the young age of 21 Cousins is more physically gifted than Nene. Look at the glass alone. If Nene, who’s 29 and in his prime, is so much more athletic than Cousins, then why isn’t Nene cleaning up at least 10 boards per game? Why is Cousins already doing something at 21 that Nene has never been able to do his ENTIRE career, and that is average double digit boards? That’s what I thought.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    If Cousins was like Oliver Miller and huffing and puffing, I’d understand Allenp thinking Nene is a better athlete. lol

  • Allenp

    This is my last comment on this topic.
    If you think scoring and rebounding is dictated by athleticism, then we really don’t need to have anymore discussions about basketball related matters.
    Good night all.

  • Allenp

    Kevin Love.
    Kevin Freaking Love.

  • feez_22

    A cousins vs. nene athleticism debate? is that a joke? Put cousins and nene in an nba style combine and you will clearly see who the better athlete is. Faster=nene, higher vertical=nene, lateral quickness=nene, strength=cousins, endurance/conditioning=nene and im 100% sure by just looking at both athletes that nene has the lesser body fat and better conditioned core. This is like “who is a better athlete? felton or wall” because felton is stronger… think about that…

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Allenp, you jump at me saying Nene is a better athlete than Cousins. Why? Nene dunks better? LOL! If you’re going to choose to argue with me today, Allenp, you should have chosen a better topic. Cousins for a player who stands 6 feet 11 inches tall and weighs in at 270 pounds, moves pretty good on his feet. He’s quicker, stronger, and more talented than Nene. Cousins with age will get stronger and more dominant in the paint. Nene has never been dominant and never will be. Goodnight Allenp.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    feez_22 that’s crazy talk.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Not to digress, but I’d say the best pro sports athlete with a gut right now is Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots. Hands down. He’s an every down player in the trenches and in great cardio shape for someone of his size.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    WTH…..

  • Justin G.

    I can’t give it to Love until he plays better D. AllenP, you said it yourself when you compared him to Bosh. Bosh is better all around offensively, Love is a better rebounder and Bosh plays better defense. Doesn’t that make Bosh a better player right now? For me, Bosh is the best all around PF in the league right now but he doesn’t get the chance to show it because of Lebron and Wade. The way he played during those games when Wade was out was proof enough for me. Aldredge is right there too but like others have said, it all depends on what you like in a PF

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Ujiri, however, did decide to take Nene off the free-agent market by offering a hefty five-year deal in December, when it appeared New Jersey wanted to pay handsomely for the 29-year-old veteran. Nene spent a large portion of training camp in contract negotiations, **and his 6-foot-11, 250-pound frame has not held up under the strain of a rigorous regular-season schedule.**

    **Nene has been unable to play in 13 of 36 games. He leads the team in rebounding average and notes from the doctor.** All his absences have been excused. But the next game Nene sits out will mean he has missed more than 20 percent of this condensed NBA season.

    **It would be unfair to question Nene’s heart. As the Nuggets dig in for a tough fight over a playoff berth, however, it would be unwise to rely on Nene to lend a hand. His averages of 13.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game when healthy this season are not significantly better than the 10.3 points and 7.7 rebounds provided by Faried in eight games since Feb. 14.**

    The Nuggets would have been better off allowing Nene to sign with the Nets.

  • Mike From Spain

    Orange, you said this earlier: “If Nene, who’s 29 and in his prime, is so much more athletic than Cousins, then why isn’t Nene cleaning up at least 10 boards per game?” Based on your logic, Kevin Love is a better athlete than Blake Griffin because he gets more boards per game and per 48 minutes. OK Orange, thanks for enlightening me about who the better athlete is, it is Kevin Love.

  • http://www.nesn.com/2012/02/kobe-bryant-says-hes-better-than-michael-jordan-second-to-wilt-chamberlain-as-best-nba-player-ever-v.html shutup

    I’m just gonna play devils advocate here but the idea that rebounding numbers equate athletic ability is wrong, but saying Blake Griffin is a better athlete than Kevin Love is an assumption and it depends on what you define athletic as, how do you know Love cant lift more than Griffin? Run faster? run further? Whos more of an athlete; a power lifter or a high jumper? For all you know Kevin Love runs tri-athalons in his off time and Blake plays video games.

  • Paul H

    I still remember the scouting reports from Nenes draft, In terms of sprint times, vertical leap hell even f*cking body fat lol Nene beat the hell out of everyone In his class. Including a 19 year old guy called Amare Stoudemire.

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