Friday, March 16th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  32 responses

Post Up: The Morning After

OKC, Dallas, Utah, Washington and Phoenix get wins hours after Thursday’s trading frenzy.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

What started as a boring day all of a sudden became the NBA’s version of March Madness yesterday, as a flurry of trades hit the news wire as the deadline hit in the afternoon— including a blockbuster deal that netted my Wizards new big man Nene, and shipped headache Javale McGee out of town. If you care to re-trace the craziness, check out the live blog we ran yesterday and of course, the SLAM news wire. But before that, let’s review what we saw on the court last night.

Wizards 99, Hornets 89

No Nick Young, no Javale McGee, no problem. If John Wall was affected by the Wizards’ trading two starters earlier in the day, he certainly didn’t show it, as he poured in 26 points on 11-16 shooting, dished out 12 assists and for the most part blew by the Hornets on a consistent basis. The Wiz shot 52 percent from the field as a team, and got a nice performance out of veteran reserve Roger Mason Jr., who scored 19 points on 7-9 FGs with some boosted minutes in Young’s absence. After not hearing his name called in a trade earlier in the day, Chris Kaman was hot for the Hornets, scoring 20 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, but New Orleans’ backcourt had no match for Wall, who got into the paint at will and dominated in transition.

Mavericks 101, Bobcats 96

The Bobcats hung tough for most of the game, but midway through the third quarter, Dirk Nowitzki tied the game on a three-pointer, then gave the Mavs on another 3 on the next possession, and the Champs never let Charlotte take the lead back, improving to 25-20 on the year. Nowitzki scored 27 points, had 6 rebounds and 5 assists and Jason Terry added 18 in his usual sixth man role. For those keeping track, Lamar Odom scored just 2 points on 1-4 shooting and turned the ball over twice, though he did have 5 boards and 2 assists in the Mavericks win. Charlotte, meanwhile, drops to 6-36, despite having 5 playesr scored in double figures (led by Corey Maggette’s 21 on 5-15 shooting). The Mavs outscored the ‘Cats 42-20 in the paint.

Thunder 103, Nuggets 90

Life after Nene is off to an 0-1 start for Denver, though last night’s loss came at the hands of the team with the West’s best record. Oklahoma City’s Big Three led the way for the first-place Thunder, as Kevin Durant scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook scored 23 and James Harden had 18 to get to 33-10 on the season. The Nuggets were paced by Andre Miller’s 17 and Danilo Gallinari’s 15, but shot just 5-22 from 3-point range as a team, had 9 shots blocked by OKC and trailed by as many as 20. Denver could muster just 14 points in a decisive third quarter, and fell to 24-20 on the year. Not to worry, Nuggs fans, help is on the way in the form of Wizards cast-off Javale McGee! Just kidding. But seriously, he’s coming. Brace yourselves.

Jazz 111, Timberwolves 105 (OT)

With 0.7 seconds left in regulation of a tie ballgame, all that was left for the Jazz to do was try the ole’ alley-oop play. And guess what—it worked, perfectly. Unfortunately, even after the Wolves left him completely unguarded and Jamaal Tinsley threw him a perfect pass, Paul Millsap couldn’t convert what has to be the easiest lob play this season (and maybe ever), instead sending the game to an extra period. Millsap made up for his mistake, though, leading Utah to the victory with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 8 steals and 4 assists, including key plays in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Jazz young guns provided all the help Millsap needed, as Gordon Hayward scored 26 points, Alec Burks scored 15 and Derrick Favors grabbed 16 rebounds. In the loss, Kevin Love put up 25 points and 16 rebounds and Luke Ridnour had 18 points and 13 dimes for the Wolves.

Suns 91, Clippers 87

With Steve Nash and Grant Hill taking the night off, this seemed like all but a formality for Lob City. And when the Clippers took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter, the script was playing out perfectly for L.A. But Phoenix’s B-Team won the fourth quarter 27-12 and led a furious comeback to beat the Clips on their home court despite Lob Angeles winning the rebounding battle, outshooting PHX and getting 25 points from Blake Griffin. Chris Paul shot 5-12 and finished with 10 points and 11 dimes while facing Sebastian Telfair and Ronnie Price most of the night. The Suns were led in scoring by Shannon Brown’s 21 points, as he stepped into the starting lineup and delivered a big performance, including a pair of game-clinching free throws with 6 seconds left in the game to give Phoenix the final 4-point lead.

Line of the Night: John Wall’s 26-12-4 on the night he lost 2 starters, with honorable mentions to Griffin, Love and Millsap.

Dunk of the Night: Wall bangs on Trevor Ariza, a Lob City special and a pair from the OKC duo—an in-game and-1 from KD and an after-the-whistle hot-dog dunk from Russell Westbrook. Who cares if it didn’t count!

Tonight: I’ll be in Philly for the first half of ESPN’s doubleheader as the Sixers host the Heat. The second national game is Spurs at Thunder, and there are 11 games in all, including Wolves-Lakers, Blazers-Bulls and the still-potentially-awkward Magic-Nets matchup in Orlando. Be nice to Pete!

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  • seun

    If the wizards can draft anthony davis they will be in the 2014 playoffs. Dude’s a gamechanger like a lebron james,derrick rose, or a kevin durant. the minute he lands in D.C that franchise is competitve he will bring defense to that franchise and once his offense catches up to his defense him and john wall could form an unstoppable duo.

  • dsleepy


  • AD

    do you know how crazy it would of been if dwight had went to the nets and had to play against the magic the next day… Yea good decision dwight becuase that might have been worse than LBJ… Gerald wallace is gonna help the nets get that 8th spot believe it or not…. Mcgee is gonna help denvers defense, and the clippers will still be bad.

  • Paul H

    Get Westbrook In the dunk contest someone. Please.

  • http://dfjklf.com Jukai

    I did not watch the Phoenix game when I saw Nash and Hill were sitting. Shame on me.

  • Showmeyourwits

    The Clips were in the locker room for over an hour after that travesty last night. Hopefully CP3 realizes that he cant rely on Vinny to keep everybody’s minds right, and was reaming dudes out in there. Love Nick Young coming home to LA.

    As for the Lakers, so happy to see Luke gone period- netting Sessions and Eyenga is almost a bonus. Sad about Fish, but not sorry.

    Spurs are scary with Stack back

  • jake

    I think Denvers gm has a vendetta against karl. He rids them jr smith and melo, is having a great year, so they trade for a bakery case…so weird.

  • jake

    That would be basket case….

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

    The Clippers are who we thought they were. Good addition with Young but this team isn’t built to go far in the post season to many bandwagoners surprise. Don’t get me wrong they’re decent enough to make some noise and their offensive sets are just as horrid as the Thunder.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m still leaning on my prediction of JWall being the best PG 2-3yrs from now.

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

    I don’t blame you the guy has all the potential he just needs to learn how to change pace a little better.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    We have the youngest MVP in the league at 23, with all the same athletic tools as Wall and in my opninion even better (Wall doesn´t explode off the floor like Rose does) Rose is way more acrobatic, nobody in the league matches DRose´s upperbody control, he´s got the best floater in the league. He´s a better mid range shooter, better 3 point shooter, better ft shooter, better leader. Took his team to the playoffs every year he´s been in the league, more clutch moments, and yet there are more than enough people who believe John Wall will surpass him is such a short time. Just f ck ng pathetic. Seriously.

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

    Do you think Rose’s floater is better than TP?

  • dazzy

    Before Wall’s injuries Rose did not have more explosiveness. Those who didn’t follow Wall at Kentucky and Word of God can’t speak on his athletic ability. He’s taller and he’s a true point guard. He’s athletic as all hell, even if it isn’t the biggest part of his game (which is fine for a pg). He needs to improve his jumpshot and durability, but yes he has the potential to be the best pg in 2-3 years, which isn’t the same as being the most accomplished. That’s an objective opinion. Why is that Rose stans always get upset when others recognize the potential and skills of other pgs? I never see Chris Paul or Deron fans act like that. Frankly I find it annoying.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’m there with you JTaylor, but on this I won’t be surprised if were wrong. Westbrook, Irving, CP3, D-Rose will all still be in the League. I think he will be arguably the best. Like D-Will is. I don’t think he will transcend the other PG’s to be, beyond a shadow of doubt, the best PG in the L like I was thinking a year ago.

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

    Wall was never more explosive than Rose.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    @T-Ray, yes Rose’s floater is better IMO, he can shoot it from everywhere, off of two feet, one foot, moving at super high speed facing the basket, falling away from the basket, moving sideways, you name it. Drose’s floater as crazy as it sounds is more versatile than Parker’s. His floater is tremendous too though.
    @Dazzy, I watched alot of Wall’s games at Kentucky. Speed can be argued, although Drose had a higher vertical and sprint time at the NBA combine, those are facts. But Wall is not the circus artist Rose is, he can’t move his body in the air like Rose can. You said there are not alot of CP3 and Deron defenders who are like Rose defenders, probably because Rose is just so special. If I am (or any other Rose fan) annoying too you, tough luck.

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

    I’d definitely agree with you on the fact that he can hit that floater off any foot from any angle. The thing with Wall and Rose is the difference in speed. They’re both fast but Rose can change past and direction with more control and his first step is very explosive. As far as Rose supporters vs others that’s just the nature of sports. Fans up players/teams tend to come to the aid of their favorite team/player no matter what the debate is. That’s all part of being a fan so as long as you’re rational about your support then I don’t see a problem with it.

  • Showmeyourwits

    I know it’s only Wall’s 2nd year, but watching him play I don’t see that “win at all costs” fire in his game. D-Rose obviously has that, and it’s why he’s quickly become one of the best in the league. I’m very interested in seeing how Wall performs without Young and McGee, but my gut says he needs to be the 2nd best player on a team rather than the alpha dog.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Rose is probably the quickest at changing directions but no one is faster from end to end than JWall.

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

    Monta Ellis?

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

    Naw, it looks like wall is the fastest from end to me, but he needs to be under better control though, He has done that lately.

  • dazzy

    Jahmai: Or maybe they aren’t hugging the sacks of those two players as tightly as Rose’s fans hug his. Objective opinions are better than fanboy opinions. Size and athleticism are Rose’s advantages over Paul and Deron but they are better floor generals. You speak as though nobody is in Rose’s league. If there is even a debate it’s a a sign that someone else can be no. 1. You want us all to say Rose will be no. 1 forever? Not gonna happen. Too much competition to be certain. Wall is a second year player. He already understands how to run a team. His biggest flaws are all fixable. If you can’t see how very possible it is for him to be no.1 then you are being willfully ignorant.

  • dazzy

    @ Slick Ric: Never said he was, but I will say that prior to injury Rose wasn’t any more explosive that Wall. Wall has lost explosiveness but let’s not act like Rose was always on another planet.

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

    Ty Lawson?

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Speed with the ball is a coin toss between Rose and Wall (maybe Ty Lawson also gets close to sticking his headband in the discussion), but imo Westbrook is still more explosive to the rim than both of them. They all 3 have tremendous dunking ability for PG’s, the difference is that Westbrook throws down nasty hammers on the regular. Whereas the others have fewer nasty dunks (Wall has plenty of dunks, but many are ‘small’ dunks).

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Nate Robinson and Isiah Thomas are not far behind at all from these guys. Your talking fractions of milliseconds with these cats.

  • http://caseyvaughn.com AlbertBarr

    @lakeshow, but isaiah and Nate are much shorter…John Wall does it and has height

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Didn’t realize we were putting height restrictions out there. My b.

  • Justin G.

    lol@ putting height restrictions on a player’s end to end speed debate.

  • blakos

    Next year will be the telling year for Wall. Third NBA year, with Drummond and or Davis alongside him………

  • blakos

    or…………… not and/or