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Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  70 responses

Post Up: Dangerous Duo

KD and Westbrook each cleared 30 points on Monday night.

by Leo Sepkowitz | @LSepkowitzSLAM

Monday night was a competitive one for underdogs. There were a couple of upsets and a few more that came close.

Nuggets 113, Thunder 115

Denver took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter, but OKC jumped ahead with a few minutes left. The Nuggets had a few chances to tie the game late, but couldn’t convert.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both went for 30 points. KD (38) added 8 boards and 6 assists while hitting 13 free throws. Westbrook (30) nearly triple-doubled, finishing with 12 boards and 7 dimes to go with 3 threes. OKC shot just 41 percent overall, but hit 13/27 threes—just shy of 50 percent.

Denver got 29 and 8 assists from Ty Lawson and 18 and 19 from JJ Hickson, but not much from the rest of the squad. It’s worth noting that Nate Robinson scored 10 points in just nine minutes, though.

Grizzlies 106, Clippers 102

This game was a battle throughout, and it went into the fourth quarter tied at 81. But the Grizz gained an 83-81 lead with 11:23 remaining and never relinquished it.

Zach Randolph, who always seems to turn his game up a notch against Blake Griffin and the Clippers, dropped 26 and 15. Marc Gasol scored 23 points with 9 boards and 8 assists. Memphis has a pretty nasty duo of its own.

LA got double-doubles from their duo, Blake Griffin (23 and 11) and Chris Paul (18 and 11). CP3 has posted at least 11 points and 10 assists in every game so far. DeAndre Jordan snagged 16 boards and Matt Barnes came off the bench for 12 points (7/7 free throws), but it wasn’t enough. Lob City shot under 40 percent from the floor.

Blazers 108, Nets 98

The Nets dropped 40 points in the first quarter last night, but slowed down considerably after that. The team finished with a 36.5 percent clip from the field, aided by Paul Pierce (2/12), Joe Johnson (4/12) and, to a lesser extent, Reggie Evans (1/4) and Jason Terry (2/7). On the bright side, Deron Williams’ replacement, Shaun Livingston, dropped 23 on 8/14 shooting in 29 minutes (and had a pretty nasty dunk) and KG posted 16 and 8 with a pair of rejections. The Nets (3-7) are not a good team right now.

Portland got big games from LaMarcus Aldridge (game-high 27 and 8), Wes Matthews (24 points, 5 treys). Damian Lillard did what he does just about every night—19 points, 9 dimes and a pair of triples. Portland has been a brutal road team in recent years, but are now 5-1 away from Rip City this season.

Bobcats 81, Bulls 86

Charlotte pulled within one with under a minute left last night in Chicago, but the Bulls scored the game’s final five points to close things out.

Luol Deng led the winning team with 21 points (10/12 from the line), while Carlos Boozer scored 12 points (5/17) with 17 rebounds. Derrick Rose made only 4/13 shots for 12 points to go along with 5 assists and 3 turnovers. Chicago shot 36 percent from the floor.

The Bobcats weren’t any sharper offensively, connecting on just 36.3 percent of their shots. Jeff Taylor led the team in scoring with 20 off the bench. Gerald Henderson went for 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Kemba Walker struggled and finished with 8 points (3/14), 3 boards and 3 dimes.

Despite the loss, Charlotte is still 5-6 on the season and 3-3 on the road. They’ve beaten the Knicks on the road, played Miami close for two and a half quarters and nearly won last night, too. They’re probably not a Playoff team this season, but they’re not too far off, either.

Warriors 98, Jazz 87

The Dubs led by about 20 for most of the second half before the Jazz cut into the lead in garbage time.

Stephen Curry led the way with 22 points, and David Lee (14 & 14) double-doubled while Andrew Bogut (8 points, 13 boards, 4 blocks) had a major game as well. Klay Thompson and harrison Barnes (7/10) each scored 17.

The Jazz moved to 1-11 with impressively poor performances from guys like Richard Jefferson (2/9, 1 rebound in 32 minutes), Alec Burks (0/5 in 23 minutes) and Enes Kanter (4/12, 6 rebounds, 0 blocks in 30 minutes). They’re obviously no match for this powerhouse Warriors team.

76ers 94, Mavericks 97

Philly hung with the Mavs all night, but ultimately fell short with a few minutes left before re-closing the gap in the waning seconds.

Dallas got 20+ from three guys: Monta Ellis (24 and 10 assists), Dirk Nowitzki (20 and 10 boards) and Shawn Marion (20 points and 7 bounds). They’re now a perfect 5-0 at home to open the season.

Each Sixers starter scored in double-figures, led by Evan Turner’s 26 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. He’s doing it for a bad team, but Turner is finally having the nice season most everybody has been waiting for since entered the L. He has a strong chance to be a 20-5-5 guy if he doesn’t get traded midseason. Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young each double-doubled, while Tony Wroten scored 19.

Bonus: Vintage Show Of The Day

This season, I’ll be posting a semi-random highlight video of a former baller at the bottom of my Post Ups. I stumbled onto a Scottie Pippen dunk reel this weekend and thought I’d pass it on. It’s kind of amazing how similar most of them are—he’d just stick that right arm out there and take off. #5 over Zo is my favorite.

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  • LLC#12

    - I wish Nate hadn’t gone to Denver.
    - D-Rose on the season: 15ppg, 2.9rpg and 4.5apg, to go with 3.5 (!) turnovers per game… How long is it acceptable for Rose to play like this?

    - Westbrook is a beast, looks like he never had any time off at all! (cue people rambling about it only being a minor injury) 12 rebounds from your PG is mad.
    - Most disappointing team of the season, Wizards or Nets?

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    Judge the Nets when everyone is healthy.

  • Sérgio

    You didn’t even post Rose’s FG% numbers…

  • LLC#12

    Just for you, Sergio. FG 34.4% and 3pt 32.5%. The 32.5% you could probably live with, but 34.4% is just ugly.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Imagine how bad those numbers would be if Rose had come back early like everyone wanted him to.

  • LLC#12

    Even with the injuries they have had, a 3-7 record is disappointing. In the offseason everyone was raving about how “deep” the Nets were, where is that depth now? Nearly every game they’ve played, they have still easily had a talented enough squad suited up to win that game.

  • pposse

    yo who cares, as long as the bulls keep playing that sticky defense and if your watching, as long as Rose plays hard on the defensive end of the court like everyone else on the team and keep the back court oppenents in check then he don’t need to score or assist anymore than he is. Also, assists can be a misleading stat. When a team plays inside out, your pg shouldn’t be held to the same level of total assists per game as a pg from a team that plays oustide in.

  • LLC#12

    Yeah, but if he had come back in March and been terrible for 10-or-so games, would he have been better this season than he has been so far? I think so.
    I’m with you though, it made sense for him to come back when he did, I just think his 13-14 season would have been noticeably better if he had got a bit of rust off before summer.

  • LLC#12

    So if Rose plays like this all season, you’d be content?

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    His play can be overlooked for now but even you can’t gloss over that if he keeps playing like this the Bulls have no chance come playoff time.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    He’s really killing my fantasy team right now. Yet for some reason I haven’t given up on him.

  • pposse

    no, but i doubt that will happen. What is happening right now is a lot of D Rose and hell the whole chi bulls squad’s energy is being used up on the defensive end of the court. What Rose is proving right now is that he can shoot the 3, he can score late in games, and he can play some nasty defense in terms of chasing you around, fighting over screens and anticipating what the opponent will do with the ball. For now as a fan im satisfied..the team is winning..this west coast road trip coming up will be huge..we got Steph Curry, Lillard then Paul. This week is a crucial week – people would be rightful to start getting ancy and pointing fingers after this week i suppose.

  • pposse

    i agree with that but mainly because the biggest threats in the playoffs for the Bulls aren’t back court players. MIami, Indi and maybe BK if they get their act together is the real competition down the road. What the bulls are doing to stymie back court production right now might not be relevant when going against Lebron, George and Hibbert, Lopez Garnett Pierce

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    just for all of you NBA Live fans who said Live would be better than 2k …… i really hope you guys don’t spend actual real currency on that product. just watched a review, and holy sh*t is that game terrible.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    It’s still early in the season therefore I will reserve my judgement but I’d like Rose to up his scoring and lower his turnovers but I’m sure he’ll get it together.

  • Harvey

    - Luol Deng has been the best player for the Bulls this season. He’s playing awesome on both ends.
    - Blazers continue to impress us all.
    - Kidd or Woodson; who is first to get fired?

  • i_ball

    - That’s what a contract year does for a players who can get one last biiiiig deal
    - cosign
    - Kidd

  • pposse

    same here, but if his increase in points means a decrease in aggressiveness from Boozer and Deng then there will be another huge problem for the bulls.

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    true, but they have to learn how to play together. impatience caught the best of us thinking this team will mesh instantly but it will be hard. Injuries and Kidd limiting Pierce and Garnett’s minutes definitely add to the problem.

    Plus, Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche shoot terrible shots. Terry has been off and besides Lopez , Livingston has been the most consistent player who can’t shoot.

    They need time , health and AK-47.

  • shockexchange

    The Clippers got knocked off by the Grizzlies? Ain’t that a “kick in the head?” http://clicky.me/7ljm

  • guest

    What kind of mental gymnastics are you trying to pull?

    “When a team plays inside out, your pg shouldn’t be held to the same
    level of total assists per game as a pg from a team that plays oustide
    in.”

    Um…yeah they should, and they should be expected to not have an almost 1:1 ratio of turnovers to assists. I like Rose a lot, but he undoubtedly looks meh right now.

  • pposse

    when you dump the ball in the post the guy in the post is whom the offense is initiated from, not the pg. The bulls are dumping the ball in the high post and looking for high low type action. How is D Rose expected to get assists in those sets? Different teams, different personnel different systems.

  • guest

    Well then how is he managing 3.5 turnovers? Surely by that same logic he shouldn’t be turning it over so much either. I’ve only watched a couple of Bulls games so far so I’m not asking that hypothetically, I’m sincerely curious.

  • Harvey

    Yeah, contract years always inspire players to exceed greater lengths more than usual. But to be fair, Deng has been excellent these past few years now. He is a coaches dream, and always plays hard on the defensive end. Thibs loves the guy. I hope he stays with Chicago…

  • pposse

    if you take out the first 4 games of the season the turnover average goes down to 1.75 per game. Some of it is rust, but it seems that when he is turning the ball over it snow balls, but when he doesn’t turn the ball over, he doesn’t turn it over at all.

  • guest

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a player to do well so bad (and I have no love for the Bulls). It’s still really early and I think he’s gonna be spectacular again, it’s just been a rough start I guess.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Very true. They somehow need to find a way to couple Rose’s scoring and their aggressiveness because that’s their recipe for success.

  • Caboose

    And a half-decent coach.

  • pposse

    im an optomist, to me Rose is looking like a beast on the defensive end and slowly proving that you can’t just leave him open at the 3 pt line. The rest of the game will come in due time!!

  • Caboose

    What happened to that Rose is a top 5 player talk? Now we’re satisfied with 15-5? Way to sleep on that fence.

  • Caboose

    Jameer f*cking Nelson had more assists with the Magic’s old offense where Hedo ran the pick and roll and Dwight played inside out than Rose is getting right now. So, yes, it’s part of the system, but let’s not pretend that’s the ONLY thing holding him back.

  • Caboose

    His Defensive Rating so far is worse than 2 years ago.

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    lol i don’t think firing kidd will change things..

  • pposse

    those first 3-4 games are skewing stats right now. The bulls are in a defensive groove at the present. No guard is doing any real damage to the bulls for the past 4 games, especially the pg’s. Just look at Kyrie, he had 39 pts before playing the bulls and then 41 pts the next game afterwards.

  • star

    link?

  • Caboose

    So is it the Bulls’ defense as a team or Rose being a beast on defense? I’m leaning sternly towards the former.

  • pposse

    i think right now its the intensity on the defensive end that’s holding him back, that and Rose being like a coach’s son and doing whatever that is asked of him. And the Magic still had DH, Jameer was good for like 2 alley oops/lobs to DH every game!

  • pposse

    no its a team thing. But the team concept seems to be to shut down back court production, so if you want to put a particular name to that then D Rose is a candidate. But in all reality, the team minus Boozer is comprised of a bunch of good defenders; thats the identity of the bulls.

  • Caboose

    Lol minus Boozer. True.

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

    wow. this hurts my eyes

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, pretty much a big waste of millions of dollars.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Not gonna lie thought you were just hating on Live but my God that game is just awful. I mean the presentation looks ok but the gameplay is terrible. They took 4 years of absence to make this? NBA 2K14 smokes them again.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    man, i don’t “hate” on stuff lol, if it sucks it sucks. if it’s good it’s good. i could tell Live was trash the moment they released that trailer that looked exactly like the trailer they released for Elite. Which also was a dumpster fire. if your 25 second trailer has more glitches and obvious issues then an actual gameplay clip from your competitor, then your product will be a pile of garbage. no hype trailer for a video game should have any obvious issues. not a single one.

  • Max

    Livingston’s mid range and post game are just unstoppable for other pg’s.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he’s not sleeping on the fence. he has a ladder. and he climbs to whatever side makes Rose look better.

  • Caboose

    I was being kind.

  • Sérgio

    Oh, thanks, man. His FG% has been absolutely horrible.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Lol yea man that was just terrible to watch I could only imagine how it is to play it. 2K has obviously buried EA Sports when it comes to basketball and probably would do the same if they made NFL games. I was going to give Live a chance but looks like I’ll be having NBA 2K14 & WWE 2K14 in rotation.

  • pposse

    you were being wise, but now you are being young.

  • guest

    Is that David Cross reviewing?!

  • LakeShow

    Watch the Nets go grab Jerry Sloan out of retirement lol.

  • LakeShow

    You’re saying Rose is playing too hard on defense and it’s affecting his offense?

    Aren’t Taj, Noah, Butler, Boozer good for a lob or two a game?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i don’t even know who David Cross is.

  • pposse

    yeah pretty much from what i’ve seen. Rose does not/has not been taking off on defensive possessions recently. He goes over all picks never goes under i know for a fact that has to take out energy. Taj, Noah, Boozer are not good for a lob or two a game. They are better at creating their own offense rather than finishing plays like a deandre jordan blake griffin type.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    even more importantly, aren’t those guys playing defense just as hard as Rose is? why don’t they look like complete garbage if playing hard defense is the excuse?

  • LakeShow

    Hmmm, these are interesting points nbk… lol

  • pposse

    So Rose is looking like complete garbage now…okay got it boss great anal-ysis

  • guest

    Yeah you do you just don’t know it. He’s a comedian. Identical voice to that IGN guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YxChiuA398

  • bringbackthesonics

    the graphics/gameplay look like a slightly updated version of nba jam on super nintendo

  • Tarzan Cooper

    gesus, enough about rose already people. there are plenty of guys playing great to get excited about.

  • Harvey

    Would love to see Sloan back on the sidelines.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yes. he for the most part has looked like complete garbage.
    .
    but it won’t last. it’s just rust. not too much effort on defense. it’s not acceptable. and it’s also not a big deal. it won’t last.

  • Shved a Tear

    That Pippen knockdown dunk on Ewing is top 10 all-time

  • pposse

    yo but watch out for boozer, if you consider length of time boozer is slowly creeping towards a top 5 PF discussion in the past 5 yrs. His ‘ridiculous’ contract that everyone here including me has called on to get amnestied is looking more and more like he is truly earning every penny of it.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Post Up: Home Court Advantage

  • LakeShow

    Did anyone actually say that Live was going to be better than 2k?? lol…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yes. a lot of people. multiple on this website.

  • LakeShow

    lol, that’s hilarious. I enjoyed some of the old LIVE games more than 2k. Like 06,07,08 era, but they weren’t “better” they were just more fun to play for me.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Live ’94 through ’06 were awesome games. i like 2k from 2k-2k whatever came before ESPN basketball (2k3?), but i bought every Live until 2007.

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