The Post Up: Miami Continues to Search for Answers

By Holly MacKenzie

I missed the Washington/Miami game because I was doing some family stuff, but I am here and watching the Lakers/Spurs. There is currently 4:10 left in the second quarter, but, I had some phone calls and distractions from friends so, I am trying to get into the game. I also sliced my middle finger really badly tonight because, in my haste to pack up my apartment, I did not pack very safely and when I reached into a bag to search for some hand sanitizer (because I am convinced I am getting sick), I reached directly into a razor that somehow had the protective cap/cover thing off of it. Sliceeeee. Gah, I was slightly panicked as the damn thing would not stop bleeding and it was like a severe paper cut, which I hate. So now, about 5 hours later, I just tried taking the Band-Aid off since it is super annoying to type with and the damn thing just started bleeding all over the place again, making me miss even more of my game.

Since it has been NBA Heritage week they have been showing old Raptors games on Raptors NBATV and last night they had on a contest between the Raps and the Vancouver Grizzlies. It was sad to think of the Grizzlies being moved from Vancouver, but really cool to see the Raptors and how they have grown and are so popular now. Seeing Bryant Reeves was frustrating, seeing a young Damon Stoudemire reminded me that Toronto had both Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady at one point. It was funny when Oliver Miller checked in and Leo Rautins gives his height then says, “we don’t have any information on the other stat, but, he’s got some long arms, doesn’t he?”

While I didn’t get to see the Miami/Washington game, I did watch Inside the NBA after the Lakers/Spurs contest and I agree with Charles who said that Dwyane Wade needs to be their leading scorer in most cases, and to be their superstar, he needs to take over Wade attempted only 11 shots last night, hitting 5 of them. While he attempted only 11 shots, he dished out 7 assists, but also had 8 turnovers to offset them. In comparison, no one else on the team had more than 2 assists in the game. I feel badly for Wade, because you can tell he is doing his best but, he needs to be able to worry about scoring and doing the things that he does best. He is a great passer, but seems to be still working off some of the rust, and it would be nice to have someone else for the Heat to rely on to get the offense flowing. Of course, not watching the game, I don’t know how many assists he would have had if teammates would have been able to knock down their shots and it was great to see that Quinn had a big game. When Wade is on, like he was in those final two victories on the road-trip, he is amazing to watch and cannot be stopped, I hate seeing him on a team that is struggling so much right now.

Since I can, I wanted to link to a few things that made me laugh in the past few days. The first is a video of NBA player Hanukkah greetings. Meaning well, Ricky Davis absolutely kills me. His voice gets so high, he sounds so earnest before totally screwing up the traditions of the holiday. Davis is at the 1:55 mark, if interested. Just ignore Paris Hilton at the end, please. Dorell Wright is pretty funny, too and Kapono looks like he hates the reporter.

The second is an older article on Steve Nash but it is one of my favorites. It’s long, but it is also Friday and maybe you need something to eat up some time. I love the stuff about the charity work he does, and how he is so much more than just a ball player.

I have two more videos but, I can’t get them to link for some reason and I have already spent far too long on trying to get it to work this morning and now this post is late!

Washington 104 Miami 91

Things appeared to be looking up for the Miami Heat after finishing up their road trip with a two-game winning streak but, returning home did not bring any favors for the Heat and they went down to the Wizards 104-91 last night. The Heat led for only 38 seconds in the beginning of the game, and once Washington took the lead, they never relinquished it, thanks to a season-high 26 points from DeShawn Stevenson. Stevenson scored 10 points in the first quarter, as the Wizards took a 28-16 lead after the first period. The Heat were able to keep up with the Wizards in the second quarter as Coach Riley went with a smaller lineup that included Chris Quinn, who scored a career-high 22 points in the loss. The Wizards still led by 10, 59-49 at the half but, they scored the first five points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 59-54. Washington responded, going on a 16-42 run that was lead by Caron Butler and his 10 points during the spurt that stretched the Wizard lead back to 75-56 at it’s largest and had Washington leading 82-70 at the start of the fourth. In the final period, it was Stevenson who clinched the win for Washington, hitting his sixth three-pointer of the night, giving Washington the 96-84 lead with 4:41 remaining in the game. In addition to Stevenson’s 26 points, Butler finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, Antawn Jamison had a 16-point, 16-rebound double-double, Brendan Haywood had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Heat were out-rebounded 48-36 and Antonio Daniels added 11 points as all five of Washington’s starters reached double-figures. Udonis Haslem had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead Miami, Dwyane Wade had 17 points and Quinn had the career-high 22 points off of the bench. Shaquille O’Neal scored 7 points in only 27 minutes of play.

LA Lakers 102 San Antonio 97

Even without Tim Duncan and Tony Paker the Spurs pushed LA to the brink last night and it wasn’t until an 18-5 run in the final period was complete that the Lakers looked like they had the game in hand. The Lakers quest for the victory was helped by the sub-par play of Manu Ginobili who, expected to lead the team in the absence of Parker and Duncan, scored only 14 points and committed 7 turnovers. Without their superstars and their bench star playing like he normally does, the Spurs still managed to play quality basketball, move the ball and get open shots. Bruce Bowen was the recipient of many of those open shots, as he connected on5-7 three-point shots as he lead the Spurs in the loss with 22 points. Even with the great ball movement, the Spurs could not contain the Lakers in the fourth, and the Laker reserves scored 18 points in the final quarter alone. The Lakers suffered a blow late in the third, when Andrew Bynum and Fabricio Oberto got tangled up and Bynum, frustrated by the officiating, picked up two quick T’s and was tossed from the game. Still, when it mattered, their bench came up big and behind the 30 points from Kobe Bryant, they got what should have been an easy victory. In addition to Bryant’s 30 points, Lamar Odom had 15 points and 8 rebounds and Bynum had 11 rebounds before getting ejected. Oberto had 9 points and pulled down 16 boards for the Spurs as Brent Barry had 17 points off of the bench in the loss.

Notes from the Lakers game. Not much analysis, sorry Eboy, I could not get into this game and I continuously drifted off during the contest. I know, horrible from a Lakers fan, but I am blaming it on being sick.

Laker/Spurs Notes

It looks like someone tipped TP into all of the comments everyone has made concerning his looks, because rather than playing tonight, he has decided to try and look good on the bench. I kid, apparently the ankle sprain has gotten worse. Should be interesting, no Parker or Duncan but, they do have Darius Washington!

KOBE TO BYNUMMMMM I will never get tired of watching that.

LOVE Ariza’s aggressiveness. He brings a lot more than just defense

I find it amusing that Eva and her BFF Mario Lopez are at the game, even though Tony isn’t playing. Having to hang out with someone like AC Slater may be reason enough to make Tony wander. I think it is safe to assume Slater doesn’t hang out with the model-chick.

Darius Washington is only 6-12 from the free throw line on the season. I thought after that awful college memory, he would have forced himself to become a great ft shooter.

Can the Lakers STOP shooting threes, please.

Horry has hit both of his three-point attempts tonight, and every single time I think about his three against Sac-town in the playoffs.

Ginobili with the tip in of his own miss. Yeah, he’s pretty good. That the Lakers are only up 3 to a Spurs team without both Parker and Duncan… Not so good.

WOW. Bynum with some anger. Got double t’d up and tossed. Kobe was FURIOUS. How does he not get t’d up, really? If any other player was in a refs face like that, they would be gone. Bynum is a big guy. I missed the initial foul/contact because I was looking at the Heat boxscore. Man, Bynum was heated.

How does Bowen get open in the corner game after game after game.

And again? Come on Lakers.

Lamar has got to get rid of that star on the back of his head. Even without their stars, the Spurs still have that great ball movement to get their guys open.

Ariza with the sick pass to Turiaf. Yes, I love this trade for the Lakers. Ariza again, hand-off from Turiaf and he gets to the free throw line.

Sasha needs a haircut. A name like Sasha and hair like that as well is really not a good combo.

Bowen open three, fourth time tonight.

How cool must it be to be Jack Nicholson? Those seats and the reputation as one of the craziest Laker fans? I loved the playoffs when he almost got ejected for heckling the officials so much. I also remember reading somewhere that in his movie contracts it says he can attend all Laker home games and they have to work around the Lakers schedule. That is insane and my kind of insane.
Coby Karl had a big game in the D-League contest earlier yesterday, scoring 26 points, dishing 7 assists and grabbing 8 rebounds for the LA D-Fenders.. How is it that we have two Kobe’s on the Lakers bench sitting side by side?

In the fourth, things look easy as pie for Bryant who has 28. Oberto always surprises me with his play. I never expect him to get the rebounds and loose balls that he does.

Man, I love Turiaf. He dunks off of the pass from Kobe and he looks like a kid in a candy store!

Javaris Critt looks so lost on the bench. I feel you JCritt, you deserve a chance to shine out there. Rookie or not, you’ve got skills!

Blah, blah, blah, Bowen 5th three of the night. Now Finley and Kobe look like they are discussing something.

Golden State and LA re-match should be fun tomorrow night. Can’t wait for that one. San Antonio has a few tough games coming up if they will be without Duncan and Parker.

Turiaf and Bonner collision. Turiaf looks angry until good ol’ Bonner asks if he’s okay on the walk up the court. I love Matt Bonner. Any guy who takes the subway to games is cool with me. A friend met him in a bar one night too and he said Bonner was the coolest guy ever, I don’t doubt it.

Good win for the lakers, but it would have been a disastrous loss, so I am not really impressed.

After the game, Kobe says Bynum should be proud of his first ejection because, “… first ejection, national TV, he went out in a blaze of glory”. Not sure about that, KB, I think you should just be thankful you didn’t get tossed out yourself.