Day 1 of the Celtics’ long-awaited West Coast road swing was light work, a blowout W over the Kings at normally-tough Arco Arena (which obviously would have been tougher had Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby been around) in which we didn’t really learn anything we didn’t already know about the C’s: they play suffocating defense (holding Sacto to 69 points), Ray and Pierce (6 treys combined) knock down open looks, and they’ll put you away with the inevitable big run (35-13 in the second quarter) … It was a physical game, and of course Ron Artest and KG were prominently involved in the physicality. Going to the benches during a timeout, someone on Boston said or did something to set Artest off — he started walking over to the Boston bench until Dahntay Jones jumped off the Kings’ bench to sprint down the court to corral him. Coming out of the timeout, KG (14 pts, 10 rebs, 2 stls) was jawing with multiple guys on Sacramento … When the game was basically over, Francisco Garcia was going to the bench yapping at Garnett, and KG just waved good-bye at him … The Jazz needed Wednesday’s win over the Mavs; maybe now they can get out of this slump they’ve been in. Dallas got ripped inside by Carlos Boozer (21 pts, 9 rebs) and Utah’s interior passing, which again made us wonder why DeSagana Diop only played 6 minutes. Brandon Bass is nice, but he can’t block shots or create a presence like Diop. Is the big guy in Avery‘s doghouse for some reason? … Jason Terry: 0-for-10 from the field, six of the misses from beyond the arc. Ugh … NBA TV’s Rick Kamla called C.J. Miles a “Ray Allen clone, at least in the face.” We don’t see it either way. And Ray’s calves are about as big as C.J.’s torso … We also have to give a big thanks to C-Booz for taking time out of his Christmas Day to knock out a quick interview for the Dime crew. You’ll see the results in the next issue … Sometimes a team turns out an inspired effort for a new coach — either because they love the new guy so much and have something to prove, or because they hated the old guy so much and feel like they’ve been let out of jail. That wasn’t the case with the Bulls yesterday. Not that the players don’t like Pete Myers (his second high-profile replacement job for Chicago; remember who was the team’s new two-guard after Michael Jordan left?), but no way they were taking down the Spurs on the road. Even without Manu (finger) in the lineup, San Antonio cakewalked behind Tony Parker (28 pts). Tim Duncan didn’t even have to do anything … Parker put a serious deke on Joe Smith in the open floor before hitting a layup, faking right and going left while keeping his dribble with his left hand the whole time. You saw Joe’s ankles damn near buckle on that one … Triple-double for Marcus Camby against the Bucks: 10 points, 11 boards and 10 blocks. That included a three-pointer (SO ugly) and a swat on Yi that hurt the rookie’s feelings … It’s a shame the Wolves are so bad, otherwise people would be talking a lot more about Al Jefferson. He stamped 20 points and 19 boards in a loss to Golden State … Of course the Heat would bounce back from an embarrassing Christmas Day loss by playing even worse and making the Sixers look good. Not only did Shaq fail to assert himself in the paint, he can’t even say Sam Dalembert was in the way. The Dalembeast didn’t even clock 20 minutes due to foul trouble, meaning Calvin Booth got significant burn … Louis Williams caught Udonis Haslem on a gross baseline cram. We kinda feel bad for Udonis, though; he and D-Wade seem to be the only guys on the Heat roster who aren’t folding up the tent already … While Gilbert sits out, the Wizards aren’t going to win unless they get contributions from their other guys outside Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. So far we’ve seen guys like DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood and Andray Blatche step up on occasion. Yesterday the man was Roger Mason, who dropped 24 points on the Bobcats in a win. Don’t look now, but Mason’s in a contract year and he’s only making about 770 G’s this year. Last night’s game is definitely going on his resume this summer … Caron (25 pts, 7 rebs, 8 asts, 3 stls) got Matt Carroll on a nasty dunk that would have been nastier if it wasn’t on Matt Carroll. Kinda like when Flip Murray crowned Kirk Hinrich last year … Apparently the Grizzlies have problems containing Chris Paul. He hung 40 points on ‘em last night, after dropping 43 on Memphis earlier this month and 28 last month. Multiple times CP was left wide open to stick jumpers, with no one even thinking of guarding him. We know he’s not exactly Mark Price, but you at least need to pretend to step out on him … We’re out like Boston being tested …
Smack / Dec 27, 2007 / 7:57 am
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