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Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  112 responses

Post Up: Welcome Back

Dwight dominates in his return to Orlando.

by Peter Walsh

Bobcats 100 (14-50), Celtics 74 (34-29)

Surprisingly, last night was the second time the Celtics have lost to the Bobcats this season. Charlotte beat down on Boston behind Gerald Henderson’s career-high 35 points. Charlotte opened the second half on a 12-3 run that eventually led to a Boston timeout. After the T.O., the Bobcats pushed the lead to as many as 28 and the C’s never got closer than six the rest of the way. Ben Gordon scored 17 off the bench and Josh McRoberts finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Green led Boson with 14 points.

Lakers 106 (34-31), 97 Magic (18-47)

After being welcomed by a chorus of boos during introductions, Dwight Howard went out and completely dominated his old team to the tune of a season-high 39 points (25-39 from the stripe) and 16 boards as the Lakers won their fourth straight game. Los Angeles was in control for much of the contest and pushed the lead to as many as 16 early in the fourth to cruise to the finish. Jameer Nelson had 21 and Tobias Harris grabbed a career-high 15 boards to go along with 17 points.

Cavs 95 (22-42), Wizards 90 (20-42)

Dion Waiters scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, Alonzo Gee finished with 17 points and Tristan Thompson had a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double as the Cavs bested the Wiz. After giving up 33 points in the opening quarter, Cleveland buckled down defensively and outscored D.C. 56-32 over the second and third quarters to build their lead. The Wizards now own the league’s worst road record at 5-24. John Wall finished with 27 points, 14 dimes and 7 boards in the loss.

Nets 108 (38-27), Hornets 98 (22-43)

The Nets and Hornets battled back and forth over the first three quarters before starting off the fourth with a 10-3 run that turned a two-point lead into a nine-point lead and gave the Nets full control down the stretch. Deron Williams continued his hot streak with 21 points and 13 assists, Brook Lopez scored 26 on 10-15 shooting and reggie Evans grabbed 13 boards. Greivis Vasquez scored 15 and dropped 14 dimes, Eric Gordon scored 24 and Ant Davis finished with 17 points and 11 boards in the loss.

Heat 98 (48-14), Hawks 81 (34-29)

Miami led wire-to-wire and blew out the Hawks to extend their franchise-best winning streak to 19 games. Atlanta cut the deficit to one point in the second quarter but the Heat closed out the half on a 16-4 run and the Hawks were left in the dust. DWade led all scores with 23 points and 6 dimes and LeBron finished with 15 points, 7 boards and 7 assists as the Heat used a balanced attack to dominate.

Mavs 115 (30-33), Bucks 108 (32-30)

Down 14 in the fourth quarter, the Bucks scored seven straight to cut Dallas’ lead in half with 6:30 left. But over the final half of the fourth quarter, Vince Carter was cookin’. Carter nailed three 3-pointers down the stretch and each one killed the Bucks momentum every time they got within striking distance. After Monta Ellis cut the deficit to six with 2:47 left, Carter hit a dagger 26-foot 3-pointer to finally bury the Bucks. Carter finished with 23 points and Dirk finished with a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double. Monta Ellis led all scorers with 32 points and 9 dimes.

Timberwolves 107 (22-39), Spurs 83 (50-15)

Watch highlights from Ricky Rubio’s 21-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist triple-double below. Safe to say he is finally 100 percent back.

 

Grizzlies 102 (43-19), Blazers 97 (29-34)

The Grizzlies have quietly won 12 of their last 13 games and got a tough road win over the Blazers last night. Up 71-65 with nine minutes to go in the game, the Grizzlies ended all hopes of a Portland comeback with an 8-2 run that sealed the win. Zach Randolph finished with 19 points and 10 boards and Mike Conley had 14 points and 15 dimes in the win. Dame Lillard scored 27 and LaMarcus Aldridge went for 28 and 10 boards.

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  • playa

    If dwight’s healthy and playing like a man-beast he surely can,lakers have potential to be the greatest ~~0.500% team EVER,whatever play off seed they end up.

  • spit hot fiyah

    you are right in that it is all about his health, back surgery is no joke. both he and d-will are showing major signs of lately after dealing with injuries

  • Max

    The scary thing is that Miami isn’t even playing at their peak just yet.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    San Antonio rests Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, not on TNT, doesn’t get fined.

  • RayJr

    Does anyone else think it sucks that NBA on TNT is only on thursdays now? Remember the “Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday” song? Miss those days.

  • RayJr

    Pop had to have followed protocol and given proper notice unlike the Heat game.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    No. It’s called a double standard. Pop didn’t do anything different then before.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    first portion of the season has always been Thursday’s. — end of year/playoffs is when that Tue/Wed/Thur thing went down. But that was before ESPN bought rights t show games

  • airs

    this Lakers team is starting to look legit, and could be a major threatto any of the top seeds in the west. Dwight’s looking like the dwight of old, if they can fit Pau into the lineup smoothly, the west is in trouble.

  • RayJr

    I got ya. Thought it might have been different this time around but yeah you are right on that one then.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, i mean, Pop isn’t going to change the way he does things because David Stern wants to fine him one time. Pop does this multiple times a year, every year.

  • RayJr

    I’m talking about the early 2000′s when TBS used to have games on too. That was all season long back then.

  • RayJr

    True. Yeah NBA’s not gonna make a bid deal of this then because they played the wolves in Minny and the game wasn’t on national TV.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i believe it was Tuesday’s on TBS. Weds & Thursday’s on TNT. but that only lasted one season. Before that (in the late 90s) it was like Mon-Tue-Fri on TNT & Weds on TBS.
    .
    Then ESPN took over TBS coverage (i think 2002?), and TNT’s regular season stuff was scaled back.

    .

  • RayJr

    Yeah thats when the contract was up with TBS. Didn’t last long but I loved coming home from school and looking forward to some games. There were always good games on too.

  • Chukaz

    Pringles will never be able to fit Pau into the lineup. Wit Howard and Phil becoming BFFs i bet he gets canned after the season. Pringles is the one coach in the league that looks at a his front court and says “na, that’s too much size and skill.” He’s the decent looking buy you went to college with that doesn’t try to bed 10s, but rather tries to get handies from 5s because it’s easier. That’s Pringles. Instead of coming up wit a legit offense that features all that size and skill, he’d rather just stick some stiff 3 point shooting tall guy in the corner for spacing.

  • RayJr

    Wow right now with this. Funny too lol

  • LakeShow

    Who’s better, DeMar DeRozan or Gerald Henderson?
    *No Canadians allowed to answer

  • LakeShow

    Even someone as bad as Dwight you can’t hack that many times and not expect him to start rolling in a higher % of those FT’s.

    Even thought it’s the Magic, it’s good to see the Lakers can win in a different way even if it was forced upon them… Since Kobe wasn’t able to get any rhythm as far as shooting, it’s good that the Magic were fouling Dwight. KB did a better job not turning the ball over last night though. It always bothers me to see 6+ TO’s with 8 or 9 assists.

    Anyone still think the Lakers won’t be in the playoffs?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    neither. they are both too inconsistent for one to be better than the other.

  • LakeShow

    I love this response. Cause it has merit.

  • The Philosopher

    I’ll tell the truth; teams do not want to see the Lakers in the Playoffs.

  • LakeShow

    While I agree with allot of what you had to say (the whole Pringles prefers multiple handies from 5′s) he should easily be able to fit Pau in with the team having him come off the bench. He could even just substitute him for Dwight. They don’t have to play much together.

    I think Pau will be at his best this season when he comes back because he plays well with a good teams and the team is playing well. If the teams bad, Pau’s bad, if the teams good, Pau’s good. That’s my theory at least.

    He could beast up this 2nd unit big time. Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Player X, Antawn Jamison, Pau Gasol is not a bad 2nd unit at all.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    except, Pau is bad when he’s unhappy. And if he’s relegated to the second unit, he will be unhappy.

  • LakeShow

    Rightfully so.
    The Lakers are not one of the best teams in the West.
    What they are, is a Dark Horse…
    Some people are more afraid of dark horses than the heavy weight champion, so we’ll see how this plays out.

    *Still waiting for them to play a good team and dominate…

  • LakeShow

    Maybe… He was only unhappy due to the losing is how I saw it. ( I know he voiced displeasure for coming off the bench)
    If they are winning and he is the best 6th man in the L, I don’t think he will mind.

  • The Philosopher

    They’re starting to peak, now. I thought it would have happened a little earlier…
    But, they seem like they are fixing to become really dangerous.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ‘Whether I like it or not or whether I agree with it or not, I still try to go out there and do my job. It’s hard for anybody who considers himself one of the top players in the world to say, ‘OK, I’m OK with coming off the bench,’ Gasol said

  • LakeShow

    I too said it would be sometime in January, instead it was obviously February, but yes this is by far their best ball they are playing of the season.

  • LakeShow

    And what I take from that is:
    “I still try to go out there and do my job.”

    That he will still do his job and be a 12-15 ppg scorer off the bench with 8+ boards and elite passing from the post.

  • The Philosopher

    I’m calling it early.
    Kobe and The King in the Finals.

  • Conor

    They just had a game when Bosh, James, and Wade all shot above 50% and Chalmers shot 7/9 while the bench shot above 49%. If that isn’t peak, I don’t know what is.

  • Kadavour

    Gerald Henderson. More fundamentally sound, plays better on-ball defense, plays tougher. DeRozan can fly though…for whatever that’s worth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Unless the Lakers magically get the 5th seed and the Grizz or Den fall apart down the stretch (not happening), the Lakers are losing in the 1st round. Everyone of those teams in the Top 3 are bad matchups for the Lakers.
    SA is a bad matchup because their bench, TP and coach are superior.
    OKC is a bad matchup because of their athleticism.
    LAC is a bad matchup because of their athleticism, bench and CP..

  • LakeShow

    I definitely lean Henderson because of defense…

  • LakeShow

    I love you…
    for that prediction. My life would be complete. Even in a loss. I just want to see it.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    TRY being the key word.
    .

    Trying usually works better when you aren’t unhappily trying.

  • RayJr

    cant stop lol

  • RayJr

    That would be AWESOME

  • RayJr

    Right now SA is the best matchup for them.

  • The Philosopher

    I respect it.

    But I’ll say this; Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant. His history speaks for itself.
    And if Dwight Howard has really gotten over himself, like it seems, no team in the West wants any parts of that team.
    I don’t worry about San Antonio. They are a regular season team.
    The Clippers don’t have a war – time coach… they have everything else, though.
    OKC can beat them. IF… the Lakers start choking.

  • LakeShow

    Valid points man, but what Philo said is” teams don’t want to see them in the playoffs”. It’s true. None of those teams want the Lakers in the first round. The Lakers have an advantage in Dwight against any team if he is healthy, so if Dwight is healthy, and rollin… Be skirred homie ;) haha

  • The Philosopher

    Love you too, man. Lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    What do you mean the Spurs are a “regular season team”? People act like those guys lost in the 1st round, they were up 2-0 on OKC in the WCF

    The Clips don’t have a war-time coach but the Lakers do?

  • LakeShow

    Trying produces results often times.

    And your missing my key point. That being that Pau will be happy because the Lakers are winning. I think he cares more for winning than anything. I think KB can motivate him to be Kevin McHale-lite.

    We could go all day like this lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    See I would agree with you if the Top 3 teams out West lacked the size to combat Howard but that isn’t the case.

    OKC has Perk/Ibaka/Collison to throw at Howard.

    SA has TD/Tiago to throw at Howard.

    LAC has DJ/Hollins/Griffin to throw at Howard.

  • RayJr

    I see the Pau injury being a blessing in disguise because he is that smart of a player to watch and realize that he is better for the team off the bench.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Kevin McHale didn’t come off the bench. Bill Walton did. And he was getting only 20 minutes a night. NO WAY, Pau Gasol is cool with 20 or fewer minutes, even if they are winning. Gasol is a top 20 player in the league, if the team doesn’t win a title with him coming off the bench, he won’t be happy. Don’t romanticize him in your imagination.

  • RayJr

    That would be the greatest…comeback…EVER. I’m with you on this.

  • The Philosopher

    D’Antoni isn’t a prototypical war – time coach, either. But he’s had more time under the lights.

    That’s huge. In my opinion.

    And yes, San Antonio’s collapse last season. Shouldn’t have happened. They’re either going to get figured out. Or, they’ll run out of gas. It’s been an ongoing trend of theirs for quite a few seasons.

  • LakeShow

    More than the Clips…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i really really really wish that would happen.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LAC is a bad match up? As much as CP will torture the Lakers, Dwight has the same chance to torture the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan – Blake Griffin – Lamar Odom is a terrible defensive front line against a real Center.

  • Max

    What I’m thinking is, even when they hack Howard, and he shoots just 50% that’s still a good offense.
    I mean, your D is gonna be set up, you get 2 points for 2 trips down the court (same as when you shoot 50% from the field). The only negative thing is you’re less likely to get the offensive rebound.

  • Max

    Hahaha.

  • LakeShow

    I don’t understand intentional hacking. It rarely works. Only Pop should be allowed to deploy it.

  • LakeShow

    haha, that’s cool, didn’t know you would be on board for that.
    I know it’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened in the NBA. (I think?)

  • LakeShow

    That’s what i’m banking on. He’s too smart and seems like too good of a guy to let this hamper him that badly while the team is rolling.

  • Max

    Peak is when this all happens and Lebron and Dwade combine for 50.
    Like in the finals.

  • RayJr

    The difference is that the Spurs cannot affort for TD and Tiago to get into foul trouble like those other teams can with those players. If they do, LA will beast on them in the inside and Kobe will work the outside doing whatever he wants. Also with Pau coming back they are really going to be dangerous even against teams with size. The playoffs might be the first time all year that the Lakers will have a healthy team.

  • LakeShow

    Hmm, someone had told me that McHale came off the bench. He never did? Even in his first few years? Obviously I wasn’t around then haha.

    Having a top 20 player come off your bench is a good thing and we have seen Pau become motivated in the past, who’s to say it won’t happen now.

    He did well off the bench when he came off this year before re-injury.

  • RayJr

    I agree with your SA statement. I dont think any team is worried about them.

  • The Philosopher

    Wasn’t going to do this; Kevin McHale is the greatest 6th man in the History of the League.

  • LakeShow

    Still will be without Hill, but yes, your right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Will Dwight get enough touches (especially in the playoffs) to dominate like you think he will?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    The same Gasol that couldn’t even get into the starting lineup and Antoni still hasn’t figured out how to play him and Howard together?

  • LakeShow

    It comes down to Dwight… Scary thought for such an emotion driven dood lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i don’t at all see it happening. BUT i want it to. I want Kobe vs Dwyane in a series. I want LeBron vs Kobe for a title. I want LeBron vs Dwight again. And i really want Spoelstra vs D’Antoni, because those two coaches have experienced more flak than anyone (other than Mike Brown) over the last 5 years, seeing each of them duke it out above all the other coaches would be quite wonderful.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I don’t think he will. I was just saying I don’t see LAC as a bad matchup for the Lakers. I see them as almost even honestly. I’d give LAC just a slight edge, because of how they seem to handle the better teams.

  • LakeShow

    Good stuff.

  • LakeShow

    Haha, it was you probably you I was thinking of. You’ve said that before.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    McHale did come off the bench. Just his “coming off the bench” was basically starting. He played 30MPG in ’84, and 40 in ’85. – basically Cedric Maxwell was starting, but McHale was their PF.
    .
    That situation isn’t going to happen for Gasol. If he’s coming off the bench, he sure as hell isn’t going to be playing that many minutes. So i just assumed you were thinking of Walton.

  • RayJr

    ABC wants this more than any of us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Also, in-case you haven’t heard, Leonard’s one of the best perimeter defenders in the L. So I doubt Kobe will do whatever he wants.

  • LakeShow

    Alright, good, you had me feeling like I was on crazy pills.
    Kevin McHale-lite
    Key word “LITE”
    Pau can be a passing, blocking, scoring big man. It depends on where he mentally and physically is when he comes back. I’m as usual, hoping for the best. If he is at his best, this team will be a big threat. Neither you or I know where Pau will be in 2-4 weeks.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh yeah that’s my bad, i didn’t see the “lite” part.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    I do agree with you on LAC not having a huge advantage over the Lakers but mostly for different reasons. It would basically be all home games for the Lakers.

  • RayJr

    Yeah thats the one. If Gasol is smart enough, and I think he is, he is going to realize where they need him and embrace coming off the bench by watching the team while he’s been injured.

  • RayJr

    Oh yeah forgot about him. There cannot be any team in the NBA that has gone against so many obstacles this season.

  • LakeShow

    I really wish Ant Davis was getting more PT. This should have been a much more competitive ROY race.

    Per 36 minutes :

    Davis: 17-1-10- 2.4 blks 51% FG’s

    Lillard: 18-6-3-1 steal on 43% FG’s, 35% 3 Pt. FG’s

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Get a room!!!!!!!!

  • RayJr

    Through rebounds he will.

  • RayJr

    Agree with you on Leonard but you can’t be serious about him slowing Kobe. He’s killed SA no matter who is on him for as long as he’s been in the L. Ever heard of Bruce Bowen?

  • RayJr

    lmao

  • Sérgio

    Man, I really think LA can win against the Spurs and the Clippers. This would be ideal, since they would play 7 games at home.

    But OKC, I don’t think they can beat. They are uber athletic, and have two great closers. On the other side, LA had the same problems last year and could have easily gone 3-1 in the western conference semifinals if not for collapsing in crunch time in games 2 and 4, and now the team is better…

  • LakeShow

    Bruce Bowen, Bruce Bowen…. No.
    ……
    ….

    Oh wait, yeah. lol

  • LakeShow

    Technically the Timberwolves… Sorry to keep correcting you lol.

  • bike

    Not only in the playoffs but they go farther than anyone thinks right now. Chemistry issues are becoming nonexistent, Dwight seems to be getting to where we all thought he can be, the role players are stepping it up a notch, and they have the Kobe Motherf’n Bryant factor.

  • RayJr

    Idk…LA went through a coaching change, Dwight coming in and not playing until Dec because of injuries and still healing, no training camp or preseason with a full team, Jamison is new, Steve Blake was hurt, Hill got hurt, Pau got hurt, and not too mention the Kobe/Dwight mini drama that was going on.
    Hey bro, did we just become best friends today? lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That is a terrific point

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    DJ and Hollins are poor to terrible 1 on 1 defenders. Blake is a horrible help defender. So either you risk getting Blake in foul trouble, or their front line shouldn’t be included in this.

  • LakeShow

    Bestestest ever.

    Your right the Lakers have had the most tumultuous season by far. The Timberwolves have just been more injured.

  • LakeShow

    Nice, thanks.
    Interesting guy that Bean. Terrible teammate at times but a greatly intense motivator also…
    Howard is so fragile. I wish he understood life lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I do too. All the records that guy could probably compete with…smh.

  • playa

    Thing is,kobe is playing very well against whoever spurs throws at him,for a looooong time,year after year,sooo I partly disagree with you

  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Nah, but yeah that would be like a passing-of-the-torch series as to who the face of NBA is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    …and the Grizzlies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    That’s 2K peak, I just did that recently. I dropped 238pts on the Bobcats and Bosh had 50 as well, Chalmers had 40, Battier and Allen both had 20 and Norris Cole had 8.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Davis has been the best rookie. Really. Lillard has just been on a better team, and winning + minutes, trumps whose actually been “better”

  • LakeShow

    Out of all people I appreciate you saying that the most, since you were a stated Lillard fan. He’s great, but I too find Ant to be the better player.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Come on man, i try to be as impartial as possible. i leave my likes/dislikes (the basketball player/team related ones) on the sideline.

  • LakeShow

    I didn’t say you don’t. It’s debatable right now who is better imo, so you could have sided with Lillard, but I do think Ant is the “right” choice.

    My guess is he will be a 20-12-3 on 50-55% Fg’s by his third year.
    Lillard I would ‘guess’ will be a 20-8-1.5 steals on 45% Fg’s, 40% 3 pt fg’s.

    It’s great to think about where they will be in 5+ years.
    These two should be great, and challenging for the top 3 spots at their position for the majority of their careers.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i don’t see Lillard like that. I see Lillard like an already prepared version of Chauncey Billups. He’s going to be around this level his whole career. And defensively he’ll never be in the conversation.
    .
    Davis on the other hand has that 20-12-3 potential. He’s going to compete for countless DPOY awards (ok, we can count them, probably 7-9, winning 2-5) and will develop into a substantial offensive weapon. He even might usher in a new era for Centers (he will transition to that position eventually), where having a player with guard skills at every possession becomes the new thing.

  • LakeShow

    I dig this perspective. I think it’s quite accurate too.
    I think Lillard can be a top 3 PG. Not so sure he will be though with how stalked that position is these days.
    Rubio, Westbrook, Irving, Wall…. Damn haha… But I still think he will have seasons (think Tony Parker) where he could be called the best PG, but technically really isn’t. If that makes any sense at all.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Man idk, Holiday – Steph Curry still out there at the same age too. I really don’t see Lillard ever getting to THAT level. Top 5? maybe. decent shot i’d say. but, not at all am i really arguing with you, just a different opinion.

  • LakeShow

    Oh yeah those cats too…
    That’s definitely fair. I might be taking his maturity as a player at his age a little to far along with my prediction for him.

  • Mike From Spain

    Ricky Rubio triple double! With over 50% shooting from the field! Here’s to the first of many to come

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    That’s just a fundamental difference in how we think. I see how mature he is and think, “well he can’t mature much more than this, and physically he’s only going to start to regress 2 years from now” – and you think “he’s so young and so mature, he’s only going to get better” – so basically we see the exact same thing. It just registers differently.

  • Doola

    it stops the clock homie

  • Max

    Hahahaha.

  • LakeShow

    Ohhh….

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