Sunday, December 8th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  33 responses

Post Up: Monta Have It All

The Mavericks pick up a statement road win as the Pacers offense takes down the Spurs.

by Jay Wallis | @JayWallis11

Mavericks 108 (13-8), Blazers 106 (17-4)

Dirk Nowitzki (28 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, +16) hit multiple patented fadeaway, one-legged jump shots down the stretch as Monta Ellis (22 points, 4 assists) played the role of hero in the game’s waning moments. Ellis certainly has a knack for hitting big shots when he’s dribbling to his right and kicks his right foot out. These two combined to score the final 14 points for Dallas, a team that has now won three in a row, which includes the last two close wins on the road. (This Southwest Division looks like it will once again be one of the stronger division of the League.) The Mavs are now 31-1 all-time in games that Dirk has at least 7 assists. With 18 lead changes on the night, this game went back-and-forth with each team winning two of the four quarters. By halftime, Robin Lopez (14 points, 14 points) already had a double-double and Damian Lillard (32 points, 5-9 on 3-pointers, 9-9 on free throws) had 19 of his points on the night. Over the next two quarters, Rick Carlisle put his trust in his bench, as Gal Mekel (7 points, 2 assists, 12 minutes) and Bernard James (5 points, 6 rebounds, 11 minutes) played some valuable and efficient minutes. DeJuan Blair (15 points, 8 rebounds), who has replaced the struggling Samuel Dalembert (0 points, 2 rebounds) as the team’s starting center, used his wide frame on screens to help Ellis and Dirk get clean looks. LaMarcus Aldridge (19 points, 13 rebounds, 7-16 from the field) got another double-double but was contained due to the Mavericks doubling him from the baseline. And since the Blazers had one of their worst performance from deep Saturday night (9-30 on three pointers), Aldridge’s teammates weren’t making their shots when he kicked it out. The Mavs had a 54-36 points in the paint advantage but only had 11 free-throw attempts, proving the difficulty in getting calls at Moda Arena.

Nuggets 103 (12-8), 76ers 92 (7-14)

Denver overcame playing without the motor that makes this team go in Ty Lawson (left hamstring strain) by relying on the spark known as Nate Robinson (20 points) and the three-point shooting of Jordan Hamilton (13 points, 3-3 on 3-pointers). With Tony Wroten (20 points, 5 rebounds) leading the way as Michael-Carter Williams sat out with a sore right knee, the Sixers kept this one close for the majority of the game. After a Hollis Thompson (10 points, 9 rebounds) 3-pointer with 7:18 left in the game, the game was tied for the 12th time at 86-86. However, J.J. Hickson (12 points, 10 rebounds) and the Nuggets closed this one out by outscored the Sixers 15-2 over the next six minutes, including Hamilton making all three of his 3-pointers on the night in the span of just over a minute. While the Nuggets have won 11 of their last 15, the Sixers have lose 10 of their last 12.

Cavaliers 88 (7-13), Clippers 82 (13-8)

The Cavaliers didn’t let a fan stop them from taking down a Clippers team that has now lost three of their last four games. If you like a high-powered, light-em-up basketball game, this one wasn’t for you. These two teams combined to shoot 59-170 (34.7 percent) from the field and neither team scored 40 points in the second half. After a Jarrett Jack (11 points, 9 rebounds) half court buzzer-beater to end the third quarter, the Cavs led 67-66 and never gave up the lead that point forward. Kyrie Irving (20 points, 6 assists) bounced back from his scoreless performance against Atlanta Friday night while Tristan Thompson (20 points, 13 rebounds) had his third double-double in the last four games. In these four games, Thompson is gobbling up boards, averaging 14.8 a game. With a 60-45 rebounding advantage, the Cavaliers controlled the interior as their big men dominated the Clippers more renowned front court. Anderson Varejao had a season-high 17 rebounds and Andrew Bynum (18 points, 6 rebounds) still looks to be making a legitimate comeback. During the last four games in which Cleveland has gone 3-1, Bynum has averaged 18 ppg, 9 rpg and 2 bpg while shooting 55.4 percent from the field. The Clippers shot 7-35 (20.0 percent) from the arc while Chris Paul (13 points, 15 assists, 7 rebounds, 4-16 from the field) tried to make up for his poor shooting with his distribution. Until JJ Redick returns from injury, the Clippers are going to struggle to stretch the floor and give Paul enough room to operate.

Pistons 92 (10-10), Bulls 75 (8-10)

As often happens the game after an undermanned team pulls off an upset, the Bulls did not show up to play Detroit Saturday night. Brandon Jennings (season-high 33 points, 5 assists, 5-8 on 3-pointers) had his way all night long while Greg Monroe (8 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks), Andre Drummond (8 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Josh Smith (7 points, 10 rebounds) combined to grab 70.6 percent of their team’s rebounds. The Pistons seem to be finding somewhat of a groove, currently on a 4-game winning streak and winning three of these games by double digits. Marquis Teague (10 points, 3 assists, 17 minutes) played well during his time on the floor. Josh Harrellson (season-high 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks) gave the Pistons an unexpected boost off the bench, scoring in double digits for just the sixth time in his 3-year NBA career. Without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng (left calf injury), the Bulls are simply dreadful. They shot 33.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent on 3-pointers while letting Jennings get whatever he wanted. Things looked bleakest during a third quarter in which they were outscored 24-9. However, Taj Gibson (21 points, 10 rebounds) continues to put up big numbers scoring-wise while still playing efficiently. In the past 5 games, the former Trojan is averaging 21.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg while shooting a blistering 60.8 percent from the field. If Chicago plans to compete without Rose, they’ll need Gibson to continue playing at such a high level. (Also—the East has another team at .500! Celebrate!)

Warriors 108 (12-9), Grizzlies 82 (9-10)

From the opening tip, the short-handed Grizzlies never had a chance as Stephen Curry (22 point, season-high 15 assists) and the Warriors led the entire game. With Tony Allen (right mid foot sprain) being a late-game scratch and Marc Gasol continuing to recover from his MCL injury, Memphis seemed to lose their grit and play without that defensive tenacity they so often showcase for its fans. Golden State used a quick 20-6 run over a six-minute span in the first quarter to establish their offense early. With Curry feeding Klay Thompson (30 points, 3-5 on 3-pointers) on the perimeter and David Lee (23 points, 11 rebounds) in the post, the Warriors eventually opened this game up in the second half, outscoring the Grizzlies 59-39. Kosta Koufos (10 points, season-high 16 rebounds, 2 blocks) had one of his best game since replacing Gasol in the starting lineup, but when your most potent scorer off the bench, Jerryd Bayless, shoots 0-11 from the field and your most washed up starter, Tayshawn Prince (4 points, 2-7 from the field), has another disappointing performance, it’s going to be difficult to keep up with an offensively skilled team like the Warriors.

Heat 103 (15-5), Timberwolves 82 (9-11)

Minnesota has looked like one of the worst teams in the West without Kevin Love the past few seasons. The trend continued Saturday night, as the power forward remains with his family after his grandmother’s death. Minnesota took an early 25-19 lead after two Corey Brewer (13 points, 6 rebounds) free throws with 2:51 to go in the first quarter. Nikola Pekovic (18 points, 12 rebounds) and the Timberwolves would actually go on to win the first quarter; however, this point forward, the Heat stepped on the gas pedal, winning the next three quarters 79-57. LeBron James (21 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 9-12 from the field) and Dwyane Wade (19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) were up to their old tricks again while Ray Allen (11 points, 2 steals) and the revived Rashard Lewis (10 points, 2-4 on 3-pointers) hit some big shots coming off the bench. The Heat got the ball inside with ease, claiming a 56-28 points in the paint advantage. Ricky Rubio (1 point, 6 assists, 6 turnovers) didn’t seem to have his normal touch in terms of shooting or passing, as he played one of his worst games of the season.

Nets 90 (6-14), Bucks 82 (4-16)

Finally—a game the Nets can win. Brook Lopez (32 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 11-13 from the field) dominated a young Bucks frontcourt, helping the team with its 44-30 points in the paint advantage. Even though he couldn’t contain Lopez, John Henson (18 points, 7 rebounds) continues to prove himself in the starting lineup. There aren’t many other bright spots for this team as Khris Middleton (9 points, 6 rebounds, 3-9 from the field) made his recent 29-point performance seem like a fluke. Alan Anderson (13 points) filled in nicely for Paul Pierce (fractured right hand) and Joe Johnson (15 points, 5 assists) hit some timely jump shots, including a 3-pointer to give the Nets a 42-40 lead to start the second half.

Pacers 111 (18-2), Spurs 100 (15-4)

In a battle between two of the best defensive teams in the League, not very much defense was actually played. The Pacers had seven players with 12 or more points while the Spurs had seven players with 8 or more points. This game had huge swings with plenty of runs as each team led by double digits at certain points. The Pacers played extremely well during the middle of this game, outscoring the Spurs 67-37 in the second and third quarter. The Spurs used a 15-0 run toward the end of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit from 26 to 11. But Indiana closed this one out behind 5 C.J. Watson (12 points, 4 assists, 2 steals) free throws. The Pacers had the advantage when it came to the matchup of the young wingmen: Paul George (28 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 4-4 on 3-pointers) vs. Kawhi Leonard (18 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 2-4 on 3-pointers). Even though Leonard continues to make strides, George has already made his strides and looks like a legitimate MVP candidate with the way his team keeps winning. Roy Hibbert and Luis Scola each contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds while David West (20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 9-12 from the field) had his midrange game going all night long. The Pacers have another tough West test as they will travel to Chesapeake Energy Arena Sunday to play the 15-4 Thunder.

Kings 112 (5-13), Jazz 102 (4-18) OT

In this battle of the bads, the Kings stopped a 6-game losing streak behind a big performance from DeMarcus Cousins (28 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, 10-15 from the field) and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Isaiah Thomas (26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals). (I will continue to press the issue—why is Greivis Vasquez starting? Ever?) Derrick Favors (sore back) was severely missed, as the Kings had a 58-40 points in the paint advantage and attempted 38 free throws. Gordon Hayward (22 points) and the Jazz seemed to have a handle on this game but ran out of steam by overtime, scoring only 5 points in the extra 5 minutes. Trey Burke (19 points, 7 assists, 10 rebounds 7-7 on free throws), however, had his most complete game of the season and continues to move up the many people’s Rookie of the Year rankings. The Kings rookie Ben McLemore (15 points, 9 rebounds) is making his own case for this award, hitting a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left to send this game into overtime. He has scored in double figures in five of the last six games.

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  • Fan of the game

    The Pacers defense is just fantastic to watch.

    Also great to see Paul and Kawhi go at it one-on-one on the
    defensive ends.

    Drummond is the new Moses (obviously nowhere near as good but I hope).
    Eight offensive rebounds against a tough frontline, leading the league at 20.
    BG outplayed by Thompson. Man he started hot but has cooled off. Hope he gets going again.
    Dirk had 5 asts at the end of the first quarter. How many times has he done that?

  • Fan of the game

    LeBron rebounding. 9-12 from the field. 21/14/8 in 31 minutes but . . .
    7 turnovers. Funny thing is, he had 6 at half time and only 1 in the second half. He has done this a couple times this season and is quite impressive in the sense that he sees the stat sheet at the half and adjusts accordingly, able to limit his turnovers. Starting to warm up with the all-round game, look out.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    1. Blazers are a regular season team. Not going to go far in the playoffs.
    2. Wroten MCW backcourt will be tough as long sixers keep two together. Hopefully both will improve their shooting.
    3. Pistons should trade josh smith for luol deng.
    4. Paul George for MIP and 2nd team all nba
    5. Pacers vs Heat best series in the playoffs
    6. Mclmore needs to improve his handle and strenght but Kings have a guard to pair with vasquez and thomas
    7. Death of a precious human being is an opportune moment for the living human being to ask the question What is the purpose of human existence.. Holy Qur’an 51:56

  • Fan of the game

    Yes on MCW and Wroten.

  • Fan of the game

    Pacers and Spurs.
    Game determined late in the 2nd quarter thanks to the “Remix Scottie Pippen”.
    Pacers trail 5 points. Pacers decide to get PG going.
    Drive and kick to CJ for three.
    TD gets stripped, PG pulls up for three in transition, money.
    PG comes off a screen on the left side, TD opens up stance, PG recognizes and drives hard middle. And 1.
    PG comes off an off-ball screen, again on the left side. Curls to the rim, opening up to the passer at the high post, receives pass and is fouled at the rim. 2 shots, count it.
    PG comes off an off-ball screen, yet again on the left side. Now, here is intelligent basketball. Anticipates Kawhi going under due to being burned on last possession. Hence, flares to the three point line, money. Again.
    Pacers up 5 points. Don’t trail again. Game right there. Less than 2 minutes needed.
    Yes, PG is on another level and still climbing.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Thank you for your prompt response. Is there anything else you are a fan of?

  • Fan of the game

    Nah, just this game and footy (Aussie Rules for those that don’t understand).

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    awesome. I am surprised your not a fan of cricket. anyway. It was nice chatting with you. Your dedication to keeping up with the nba is impressive. Your comparisons and analysis are nice.

  • Fan of the game

    Thank you. I keep up as best as I can.
    Made me laugh about cricket.
    Nice to chat with you too.

  • spit hot fiyah

    ” Kyrie Irving (20 points, 6 assists) bounced back from his scoreless performance against Atlanta Friday….”

    he bounced back by going 6-15 from the field with 7 turnovers. great

  • spit hot fiyah

    good thing he doesn’t play with rudy gay, half time adjustments would be harder without the boxscore

  • Fan of the game

    I concur. Never really been a fan of his game. Great offensive arsenal. Overall game needs to improve.
    However, was there when he dropped 41 on the Knicks last season and that was pretty special. Great game, showed heart and determination.

  • spit hot fiyah

    3. why on earth would chicago even think for one second about taking on smith and his 4 year contract and play him together with boozer, gibson and Noah?

  • KipSmithers

    Beware of The Jorts!

  • Fan of the game

    Hahaha. Very good.

  • spit hot fiyah

    he shows a lot of flashes. and when he dribbles between his legs 17 times before making a reverse lay up it looks REALLY good. problem is, he is not a point guard. he is a scorer that needs to dominate the ball. a lot of people were expecting him to make the “jump”, it has been more a fall so far.

  • Fan of the game

    Agree with everything you said.
    I hope he can put up a dominant stretch soon, just better for NBA game in general if he is ballin.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I don’t think bulls are keeping all three of those players. Smith and Noah makes more sense than boozer and noah for Rose. And secondly gibson is a great back up. Boozer hasn’t performed up to his contract and Deng is out the door soon for nothing if Bulls don’t move.

  • Fan of the game

    I agree with everything you said.
    Hopefully he can put up a dominant stretch soon, it is better for the NBA game if he is ballin.
    Also, Lilliard or Irving? If they switched places, what would the outcome be?

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    I don’t think the Cavs have good chemistry. Plus Kyrie isn’t a so lopsided toward scoring as you portray. I agree he is flashy but I really wouldn’t want to be in the Cavs locker room. Varajeo seems chill with everyone, but I don’t think they are really a good group together.

    I see kyrie thriving in a team like the Heat or Thunder where everyone is down and likes to play with each other.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Lillard would be more successful because he’s more professional. I could never see Lillard being accused of buddy ball and disrupting chemistry on any team.

  • Fan of the game

    Yes, fair point.

  • Fan of the game

    Damn just saw that dude get up on Irving.
    Hilarious how the ref has to stop the game and then security runs out to get him (and proceed to rough him up a bit).

  • Max

    He always seems to go on these spurts by him self which brings alot of momentum and alot of the times a W.

  • Fan of the game

    Yes agree. A rare talent.

  • ToYouForWin44

    I’m liking these recap today…

  • RKJ92

    LOL dkm.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    Rudy Gay traded to the Kings!!!!!!! WTF

  • Caboose

    I told y’all Kyrie wouldn’t be good this year. (to nbk mostly)

  • Caboose

    Dear SLAM,

    I would like to bring your attention to a growing problem on the boards, a commenter named Nathan Shane Long. His presence has hampered not only my experience, but others as well, as I’m sure several will be happy to attest to here.

    Looking through your rules, which states “Commenters who seek to accomplish any of the following may be banned,” I have determined that Nathan Shane Long has violated the vast majority of them. As a result, I am requesting you to ban him for the good of the site.

    As for some examples, the first rule is to not “Personally attack other commenters.” Now, we all get heated sometimes, but the ad hominem words many of us throw at each other are not intended to harm. I have been called stupid, ignorant, nerdy, narrow-minded, elitist, and other similar terms by commenters whom I respect. Does this bother me? No. However, Nathan Shane Long has crossed the line on what I, and several others, deem acceptable. For example, he directly said to me, “You are a typical frail fragile white boy with thin skin lol i know i hurt your feelings and touched your vagina with that one.” This is definitely not acceptable.

    Other offenses include calling nbk a “monkey cunt,” addressing the entire SLAM community as ” doubting retarded monkeys,” insulting T-Ray as a “wigger,” and a flurry of “c*nts” directed at a variety of other commenters. I know I speak for the community as a whole when I say that these constant attacks on us both violate the rules of SLAMOnline and hamper our experience.

    Another rule for the SLAM boards is to not “Make derogatory comments regarding race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation or religion.” Nathan Shane Long has violated all of these, on multiple occasions.

    Race/Ethnicity: “Like you WHITE BOYS are far bigger nerds then i could ever be being brainwashed basketball stat sites and all these discussing all of you have had over the last couple years are pointless because don’t none of you monkey know what the fucc you all are talking about and that is even before i started posting comments but yet my “stupid” comments caught all of the veteran trolls eyes and attention over the last several months and it never was anyone trying to debate me it was all the well knows lifeless trolls that were attacking me for no reason at all NBK AND LAKESHOW the two biggest nerd cunts on here”

    Gender: “You are a typical frail fragile white boy with thin skin lol i know i hurt your feelings and touched your vagina with that one”

    Language: “that all you do boy is type paragraph after paragraph of nonsense meaningless stats to somewhat validate you idiotic “opinion” you talking about the Raptors from the 2000-2001 season like you really focus and follow them 13 years ago instead of replying in complete hindsight and retrospect stop being on that NBATV history channel B.S. boy”

    Sexual Orientation: “Whatever you and your troll slam boyfriend NBK were the first cunts to troll me months ago as i recall and i just fired back and called you and him exactly what you are TROLLS WITH NO LIFE THAT JUST LOOK AT YOUR COMPUTERS ALL DAY CAUSE YOU HAVE ZERO LIFE and the blind hatred started from that moments on”

    Religion: “Just F’N go away brainwashed bible thumper”

    These are unacceptable violations of the most basic rules here on SLAMOnline. He has ruined commenting sections.

    Need I say anything about his “trolling?” He fits this description as well. His constant attacks against other regulars on this site represent trolling. Specifically, he repeatedly refers to himself as “most hated” or other superfluous descriptions in an attempt to victimize himself. This is trolling, or baiting other people to flame. In addition, he has repeatedly called for insightful commenters here to leave, or to at least stop commenting. This again fits squarely into trolling and therefore, violates the rules here.

    In summary, my experience on SLAM has been harmed by Nathan Shane Long’s presence. While I will not list an ultimatum or anything similar, I respectfully request that you ban him from contributing to this site. He has become more than just a nuisance; he is a parasite. If you would like further proof, simply look at whatever his response is to this long comment. To my fellow commenters who have also grown sick of his antics, please do share below as well. I will post this on each Post-Up until I receive a response or action from SLAM.

    Thank you for reading, both SLAM and its commenters,


  • LP @ThisisEther

    Theres like 30 teams in the NBA that disagree with you saying Kyrie isn’t a point guard. He’s a great scorer, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a point guard…he’s one of the best passers/playmakers in the league. He’s having a rough year, is all….

  • LP @ThisisEther

    The Year is not over…….just be patient…

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Starting to warm up??? or been warmed up for 5 years running…