When the NBA preseason first started, we told you how much everyone hate going into overtime in games that don’t count. Yesterday we got a couple clear examples. After the Suns escaped Atlanta with a two-point win following Acie Law IV having his last-second layup swatted by Louis Amundson, Grant Hill — who’d hit the go-ahead jumper a few seconds earlier — told reporters, “I’m glad Louis blocked that so we could go to the airport.” … Over in Denver, the Nuggets went into OT with the Jazz after Ruben Patterson was hit with a tech from the bench in the final 30 seconds of regulation for yapping at the refs. That gave the Jazz an opening to tie it up and force the extra frame. “I think I wanted to strangle Ruben Patterson,” George Karl said afterward. (BTW, Karl is all about the smart-ass-ish comments, but he might wanna watch it around Patterson unless he’s got Zach Randolph around to protect him.) Carmelo Anthony, who scored 16 points in three quarters, said about preseason overtime, “It’s terrible. I was joking with George, telling him put me back in with eight seconds left on the regular clock, in regulation.” If you missed the implication, ‘Melo was fairly certain he’d stick the game-winner necessary to send everyone home … Back to Suns/Hawks. Despite the new commitment to defense and half-court execution, Phoenix looked a lot like Mike D’Antoni‘s squad early on. “There wasn’t that much defense to be played in the first half,” Terry Porter said. “It was like we had signed a peace treaty with each other.” Coincidentally, the Suns got more defense-oriented after Steve Nash went down with an ankle injury right before halftime … Preseason or not, ain’t nothing changed when it comes to Kevin Martin‘s numbingly efficient style. K-Mart dropped 29 points in a little over 20 minutes against the Clippers last night, but was ultimately overshadowed by Eric Gordon, who hit six threes and scored 33 points. Because Gordon was hurt during the summer league and the Clippers had so many other story lines going on this offseason, no one’s really been talking about him as a Rookie of the Year candidate, but the kid could be a monster. Especially with Baron Davis feeding him the ball and some other scorers around to open things up for him, Gordon can be an instant impact player. On the flip side, though, touches could be limited with guys like Baron, Al Thornton, Chris Kaman and Ricky Buckets involved. Whereas someone like O.J. Mayo or Derrick Rose will have the ball in their hands all the time, Gordon might have to work harder for it … Bucks/Warriors in China was supposed to be Yi Jianlian‘s show, but you know how that turned out. Instead, Joe Alexander (born in Taiwan) was the token fan favorite, putting up 11 points in Milwaukee’s win … Yesterday we previewed the ’08-09 Indiana Pacers, who are in the middle of a rebuilding effort not just with the on-court product, but with their off-court image. Danny Granger and Brandon Rush are theoretically at the core of the new movement, but at the same time you have to wonder how much Indy really believes in Granger when they’ve been slow-walking on his contract extension. The Pacers did look pretty good last night, knocking off the JV version of the Mavs while Granger scored 18, Rush had 15 and fellow rookie Roy Hibbert scored 15 … Meanwhile, Eddie Jones decided to retire after being traded from Dallas to the Pacers last week. EJ played 14 years in the League, and he turns 37 years old in a few days. For those of you who don’t remember anything about the Lakers post-Magic and pre-Shaq/Kobe, Eddie was one of the guys who bridged that gap, making three All-Star appearances and three All-Defensive teams during his career … Who knew that Sam Cassell could affect the Portland Trail Blazers so much? After word broke yesterday that Cassell may start the season not as a player, but as an assistant coach with the C’s, Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard must have been furious. Since the Celtics have 16 guys signed and only 15 roster spots, this opens the door for all the guys to get a spot on the bench opening night (including Scalabrine). More importantly, it means that Darius Miles would get to stay, and if he makes it onto the court for 10 games, Portland is on the hook for his salary … Which kicks would you rather play in: the adidas TS Commander Tim Duncan colorway, or the Dwight Howard version of the same shoe? Before you judge strictly based on the player involved, check them out first. You might be surprised … We’re out like Eddie …
Smack / Oct 16, 2008 / 5:40 am
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