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Smack / Nov 11, 2008 / 1:31 am

Mortal Kombat

Paul PiercePaul Pierce, Dime #5

Last night hurt if you’re a Raptors fan or a Celtics hater. After bludgeoning the C’s for the majority of the game — to the point where Kris Humphries was waltzing down the lane for dunks and hanging on the rim, and Jason Kapono was getting uncontested layups out of the half-court set — Toronto fell apart in the fourth quarter in a few key areas: protecting the ball, getting the ball into the hands of their best player, and not getting their spine pulled out, Sub-Zero-style, by Paul Pierce … Toronto was up by one midway through the fourth when Pierce and Anthony Parker started trading threes. Eddie House‘s triple gave Boston its first lead since early in the first, and while the Raps briefly regained the lead on another Parker three, Ray Allen tied it up with another trey at the 2:50 mark. Then it was the Pierce Show. On his way to dropping 22 points in the fourth quarter alone (two shy of the franchise record), Pierce scored three straight buckets — a turnaround jumper, a pull-up J, and a driving layup — on a hapless Kapono. He finished with 36 points for the game. We were thinking Sam Mitchell would get the hint and switch Parker onto Pierce and let Kapono chase Ray around the three-point arc, but who are we to question the 2007 NBA Coach of the Year? … FYI, Chris Bosh was nowhere to be seen during the entire sequence we just described. Kevin Garnett (21 pts, 10 rebs) went all Eraser on Bosh (9 pts, 7 rebs), and Big Baby/Powe deserve credit too for taking Jermaine O’Neal out of the game when it mattered. O’Neal had scored 19 in the first half, but was held scoreless in the second until he hit a pair of free throws with about 4:30 remaining. Apologies to CB4 if KG saw Austin calling Bosh the best offensive PF in the East and took it personally … Before Pierce took over, you saw why the Raptors were good enough to crack the Top 10 in our NBA Hit List power ranking. They moved the ball around, out-hustled Boston, made their shots, and played the best defense we’ve seen them play so far this season; the C’s had to settle for jumper after jumper (much to the chagrin of Tommy Heinsohn and the booing Boston fans) and looked collectively rattled … Kendrick Perkins (2 pts, 4 rebs, 4 fouls) struggled more than anybody. On one possession Jose Calderon snatched an offensive board from Perk while he just stood there and watched like Lot’s wife. Calderon then re-started the offense and dumped an entry pass to J.O., who freaked Perkins with the okey-doke for a bucket. (Did we just steal a Stu Scott line?) Later on we found out that yesterday was Perk’s birthday, so maybe his mind was elsewhere — an elsewhere that included a bunch of singles and some high-quality jugs … Heinsohn got his first look at Andrea Bargnani and noticed he’s “put some meat on.” The inevitable pasta joke was made 0.7 seconds later … How long before “Trading Luis Scola for nothing” gets leapfrogged by “Trading Rudy Fernandez for nothing” on the Dumb Decisions By Smart GM’s list? We love Matt Barnes as much as the next skater, but it’s obvious the Suns would rather have Fernandez right now. Rudy was big in Portland’s win at Orlando, hitting two threes in a decisive fourth-quarter run, finishing with 16 points and three steals off the bench, and helping offset monster stat lines from Hedo “The Gentleman Masher” Turkoglu (35 pts) and Dwight Howard (29 pts, 19 rebs). Brandon Roy scored 27 for the Blazers … And for you Duke haters out there, you can smile at the fact that J.J. Redick and Shavlik Randolph each registered DNP-CD’s … Just when we were getting on D-Wade for not hitting a three all season, he knocked down four treys against the Nets, most of them during a fourth-quarter comeback (including one off the glass) that helped the Heat pick up the win. Before that it was Yi Jianlian putting on a shooting clinic, as he stuck five threes on his way to 24 points. Wade finished with 33 points, five assists and four steals … O.J. Mayo dropped 33 against the Suns, the second day in a row he’s gone for 30-plus. Memphis was up by two with about two minutes left when Leandro Barbosa hit a three, and a combination of Memphis misses and turnovers and Steve Nash free throws ended it … At one point during Pacers/Thunder you had Robert Swift, Roy Hibbert and Josh McRoberts on the court at the same time; and worse than that, it seemed Jim O’Brien and P.J. Carlesimo were intentionally trying to get each of them the ball. That had to be some kind of inside joke between them. And did Swift lose some teeth recently? As if the World’s Biggest Goth Kid couldn’t get any more weird-looking; any groupie who makes their way over to his table might as well have “DESPERATE” tatted on her lower back … Kevin Durant dropped 37 points along with eight boards and three blocks, and OKC hung in there, but it was too much T.J. Ford (24 pts, 7 rebs, 10 asts) down the stretch. Like we said in the Hit List, T.J.’s gunner style works for Indy; yesterday he was going off to the point we forgot Luke Ridnour doesn’t still play for the other team … Have you seen MTV’s “50 Cent: The Money and the Power”? It’s basically “I Want to Work for Diddy,” only it’s 50 acting out his Diddy fantasies. The first episode shows 50 break the contestants up into teams, chain each team together, and have them race through Brooklyn — only there’s no cheesecake involved. Although it’s a total knockoff, at least Tony Yayo has an actual job now as 50’s lackey. Oh wait … We’re out like running the offense through McRoberts …

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  • sam

    1st

  • McCaff

    2nd lol

  • Bruce

    CB have the skills but does not have the will so impose his skills. Too small for KG.

  • bill

    how about mr efficient Barbosa getting a bigger write up. Scorching and Torching off the bench and lighting up the points per minute…

  • McGuffin

    You know what stinks more than the raptors dropping the game to the C’s last night? Jackasses who have nothing constructive to say. Go back to middle school, virgins.

    Paul Pierce is coldblooded, man. Everytime the C’s needed a basket, he would stick a three or make a terrific play. I’ve hated the Celtics ever since their ugliest collection of white dudes in the 80s days but the Truth looks like a man on a mission this year.

  • biggeddy

    Wasn’t Sam Mitchell coaching the Raptors when Kobe dropped 81 on them? Just saying…

  • Timmy D

    MAYO!!

  • ThisGuy

    Big difference in the Cs vs. Raps game, is that the Cs know how to get it done when it matters most, and the Raps are still learning that. The Raps answered back on many key possessions, but none of the really big ones in the last 2 minutes. Overall I thought their defense was good, but I agree, Kapono has no business guarding Pierce. Should have been Parker or Moon (would have been a good job for Garbo before we cut him).

    On Bargnani – your right he did put on some extra weight in the off-season. It seems to have helped him some, as he has been more of an impact on games, especially in the defensive department. He’s still been inconsistent (especially yesterday), but he has looked like a #1 pick quite a few times this season. The pasgetti was a good choice.

    Also why all the Humphries hate. I know he wasnt exactly loved in Utah, but he has been a solid bench player for the Raps since we got him. And considering all he cost us was Raphael Arujo, I think that’s pretty solid.

  • ThisGuy

    biggedy – don’t remind me.

  • Magnifico

    The Truth simply has that extra gear late in games… really nice player to watch, especially since he is so fundamentally sound when he scores. Lay-Ups, and-ones, dagger threes, clutch free throws. He rarely does the acrobatic stuff but really produces results.

    Sam Mitchell, Kapono is a three point specialist and not Bruce Bowen.

    Mayo is catching fire. Looks like it will be an interesting ROY race.

  • Brazil

    I put some money in Heat and Celtics last night and went to sleep in the 3° …. Mad … When I wake-up, I was rich and happy !!! Thanks Pierce, thanks D-Wade !!!

  • Jeronimo

    The Raptors were up by 15 (fifteen points, dammit!!) in the second quarter. How a professional team loses a lead that big is beyond me.

  • http://www.geocities.com/dimemag Dagomar

    “On one possession Jose Calderon snatched an offensive board from Perk while he just stood there and watched like Lot’s wife.”

    Maybe the best sentence I’ve read at Dime.

    The Raps are still figuring things out. If they can get more than one key player going at once they’re scary; if Calderon, Bosh and O’Neal all play well they can beat anyone. I think they’ll get there by the all-star break, but damn they need defensive help at the 2 and 3.

  • Ashlov

    In the fourth quarter, Wade put the team on his back, and his nutsack on the Nets’ collective chin. Filthy, filthy performance.

  • Nora

    Who looked collectively ‘rattled’ when it mattered? It sure wasn’t the C’s.

  • it ain’t easy being green

    Paul Peirce is the greatest player in the world

  • Celts Fan

    @Jeronimo, 2nd quarter’s too early for any lead to be safe.

    I’m just ecstatic I’m finally following a team that, like SA and Detroit in past years, you always know will make a run regardless of how bad the game may look at the time. We were down 15 in the 2nd with Humphries getting open somehow and our whole section (the sober part anyway) was completely okay w/ it and knew at some point that we’d make a run. Nice to be onthis side finally and not the, “Please God hold on for 10 more minutes” routine we got used to for a decade (last year was somewhere in between as we got to learn what the team was about. This year, we KNOW.)

  • patrick

    @Dime

    A mortal kombat reference and a biblical reference in the same smack. Someone has been holding on to some tag lines.

  • MSkittle

    I blame the loss entirely on Sam Mitchell! What’s up with the substitution patterns?

    He needs to keep JO and Bosh in the game together at all times. They are a terrorizing front line.

    Can’t understand why these NBA coaches insist on resting their stars.

  • TO

    Raptors fan right here! Wow alot of Raptor talk on Dime as of late ~ Thanks.

    Seriously though-hated the Celts run last year and Pierce’s comments after the fact. HOWEVER you have to give it up for him clutch in the fourth and the man can score. Granted Kapono was covering him, had it been Parker he still would’ve scored (at least it would’ve looked more difficult). Raps still need help defensively at the 2&3 badly. I think the Raps play up to their competition and play down to crappier teams. This wasnt as bad as some 4th quarter meltdowns that we are used to seeing. Just think they couldnt handle the pressure and the home crowd of Boston. 4th quarter pressure killed em. At least this time they held their ground for as long as they could. Better team beat them – simple as that.

    KG is F’in intense-almost comical. I love the fact that Calderon grew some balls and was talkin ish to KG right back in his face. Just seemed to fire him up even more.

  • Ansonious

    Rashard is killing my fantasy squad his last two games have been horrible anyone know if his yeast infection has resurfaced

  • Max

    Shaq and Nash looked really, really old last night against the Grizz.

  • http://deleted Ian

    so bosh is a superstar??? gtfoh with that

  • P_Dizzle

    I agree w/ post 23. Bosh is no SUPERSTAR! Man flat out disappeared like Jimmy Hoffa. He ain’t no SUPERSTAR, y’all need to chill out with labeling people. Losing the luster of the label when people get prematurely labeled something and end up pulling a Harold Miner on us.

    Please somebody that’s a Nets fan, why was Vince Carter guarding Wade in the 4th quarter? He was flat out putting a clinic on Carter. Why didn’t Frank go to a zone or try to double him? It’s not like the Heat have a PG that can hit the ocean from 15 feet out, so throw another body at Wade. Wow, Vince got worked in that 4th quarter.

    That 4th quarter working is why the Nets are in a heap of trouble unless they can get someone to take Vinsanity off their hands.

  • http://ESPN Marc Stein

    KG made Bosh disappear – you cant say that KG didn’t get up more for this one vs. any other game.

    If you go back to the game tape, Bosh was swarmed by KG and Toronto couldn’t effectively run their pick ‘n roll (against the best pick ‘n roll D in the league)

    #23/#24 Post – Bosh might not be a superstar, but aside from the other superstars in the league, he’s the closest thing to it right now in the league.

  • YOUNGFED

    DAMN Dime thats bullsh@t I DVR’ed that show now yall done ruined it for me WTF. (lol) BTW It looks like Yi is gonna be alright.

  • Kevin

    They didn’t get Bosh the ball! How you gonna fault a superstar for not scoring when the ball is going to his counter-part JO and he’s turning it over or taking bad shots. That one is not on Bosh, and it looked like he told Calderon after the game that HE should be the one getting the ball and not JO. Maybe that was just a testament to the Celts D, oh well.

    Really GOOD SMACK!!!

  • loganlight

    LOL.

    “While Perk was standing there like Lot’s wife.”

    Way to drop the Biblical reference. Hilarious.

    This is why you guys are the best.

    LL

  • nick

    sam mitchell cost the raps the game by leaving kapono on pierce. bring moon or move parker over to guard him. when dude drops 22 in the 4th and kapono is guarding him it says something.