Smack / Dec 3, 2008 / 3:42 am

Indy Label

T.J. FordT.J. Ford, Dime #23

The Pacers are like the anti-Spurs. With Duncan and Co., there’s no point in watching the first half of their games, since they’ll inevitably rally in the second and make it close down the stretch. With Indiana, it’s become a given they’ll be in good shape at halftime; it’s the second half where they either pull one out in crunch time or painfully implode. Hosting the Lakers last night, Indy managed to do both. Danny Granger‘s squad hung around in the first half, and by the time they grabbed a lead late in the third quarter with Josh McRoberts and Roy Hibbert on the court, you started thinking maybe they could pull an upset … But that’s when L.A. went on a 17-0 run, seemingly ending the threat while the typical Pacers-falling-apart evidence mounted: turnovers, bad shot selection, missing good shots, etc. Trevor Ariza started it with a steal and breakaway, and because he landed hard on a Granger foul — you know in 2008 it’s an automatic flagrant if you hit the ground hard — the Lakers got free throws and the ball. Next thing you know, with Kobe playing spectator, it was Ariza, Odom, Bynum, Vujacic and Farmar looking like Showtime … T.J. Ford (21 pts, 8 asts, 3 stls) sparked a Pacers run to start the fourth, however, drawing Kobe (28 pts) off the bench. Down one with 13 seconds left after a Kobe kill shot, Indy’s last possession was a mess. With Ariza holding Granger (32 pts) hostage, a near-turnover turned into a forced Marquis Daniels wild shot, but Troy Murphy (16 pts, 17 rebs) was there for the tip, and the ball bounced on the rim about 80 times before dropping through at the buzzer to hand L.A. just their second loss … Once in the first half, Kobe was toying with Brandon Rush and got the rookie in the air, then tossed the ball off the glass to himself for a lay-in. Sick. NBA TV’s Chris Webber got on Kobe for not dunking it, which is funny coming from a guy who could barely touch rim in his last stint with the Pistons and Warriors … Kobe had another sick one when he crossed Rush going right, crossed Murphy going left, then hit right-hand finger roll while floating left, plus-one. It gave Gary Payton a minor stroke in the NBA TV studio … By the way, belated congratulations to Vujacic. He recently landed the role as the main villain in Bad Boys III, a straight-to-DVD release starring Shawn Wayans and Anthony Anderson … Granger is climbing the list of elite SF’s, but he’s got some big names in front of him. And after LeBron, it’s a battle for second place. Out of two top dogs, who’s better: Paul Pierce or Carmelo Anthony? We asked yesterday, here’s your chance to weigh in …

Brandon RoyBrandon Roy (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

Some of the Dime crew was at MSG for Knicks/Blazers. In the NY locker room beforehand we got a look at David Lee‘s iPod mix (“Hypnotize” by Biggie, “Live Your Life” by T.I., “My Drink and My 2-Step” by Cassidy); and Brandon Roy stopped by to check out an advance copy of Dime #46 (coming soon) with Nate Robinson, both guys arguing over who had the hottest Dime fashion spread … As for the game, the Blazers didn’t look good at first. Greg Oden bricked two dunks to set the tone for an off night (2 pts, 7 rebs), and Chris Duhon carved them up for 23 and 13. (The subplot to this Stephon Marbury soap opera that no one’s talking about is how good Duhon has been. Remember when we all doubted if he was even an NBA starter?) Portland got it together and pulled away in the fourth, getting 23 points from B-Roy and 18 from Rudy Fernandez, who had a person cheering section about 50 strong … E-mail from Christian inside the Portland locker room: “Batum eats EVERYTHING. His plate is fit for nine construction workers.” This was maybe 90 minutes before tip, and Batum was re-living Thanksgiving. Sounds like someone is under orders to gain weight … Kevin Martin was back for Kings/Jazz, and he had perfect timing. With John Salmons out, Sacto would’ve had ZERO offense. It was tight going into the final minute, when Deron Williams broke off Beno Udrih for the go-ahead layup, then stuck a pull-up J after Beno was swallowed whole in a Paul Millsap pick. Sacramento misses and Utah free throws ended it … Twice during crunch time, Quincy Douby had open looks at corner threes that would have been huge, and both times he missed. Badly. Including one air-ball. Both times, as Q was catching the rock the Kings’ play-by-play man yelled “DOUBY!” only to groan out loud a second later … When it comes to crunch-time play-calling, Mike Dunleavy Sr. makes Mike Brown look like Bob Knight. Down two in Dallas with six seconds left, here’s the “play” the Clippers ran: Inbounds to Baron, he backs down J.J. Barea 25 feet from the basket, then launches a step-back three that misses everything. We all know Baron can make things happen off the dribble and loves taking clutch shots, but come on. You’ve got Z-Bo, Thornton, Eric Gordon — you have options. Even if Baron’s going to shoot the big shot every time, at least do something creative once in a while … We’re starting a new feature on DimeMag.com called “Post Up,” where we let you, the readers, ask NBA players whatever is on your mind. First up: Kenyon Martin. Check it out and post your questions HERE … We’re out like eighty-one and one …

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  • Phileus

    Ouch. Hasn’t Douby missed like four potential game-winners this season?

    Is he the person you want to pass the ball to the least in crunch time by now?

    But good show by the coach to keep throwing it at him so as not to kill his confidence, I guess, but when will it stop?

  • Toan

    not a good day…i put my money on the lakers, nets and spurs this night. but i will keep trying. Bill Simmons wrote a funny story last week on Mr. “Clutch Play” Dunleavy on ESPN. He really is bad. have a nice day everybody

  • Markito

    The Truth over Melo any day…

  • http://www.kikaayacollegeschool.net smity far away

    andre miller took 26 shots? or was it 28? wow…he must have caught feelings over that fall he took last time against rose…

  • baraks

    straight-to-video bad boys 3? That should be made into a real film and star Will and Martin instead of some scrubs. Shawn Wayans hasn’t been funny after Don’t Be A Menace.

    and yeah, Pierce is the Truth. Melo talks about being from the street, but Pierce has already been stabbed in the face. Melo ain’t got ish on him.

  • rick773

    I pray that the bad boys III quote was just a joke. If not I agree with baracks why destroy a classic movie franchise like that. Shawn Wayans is horrible and people don’t wanna pay Vujacic to see him play baskeball and the expect us to watch him act.

  • Three Stacks

    Damn, dude. Just don’t watch the movie.

  • Three Stacks

    Eric Gordon was WIDE OPEN on that last play. Like, alone at the 3 line with everyone else inside the key. But dude took an ill-advised 3 with like 15 secs left on the shot clock on the possession before that one (he bricked it bad) so maybe that’s why Baron didn’t pass to him.

    If Duhon keeps this up, he’ll be a lock for the MIP award.

  • Mike C

    You better believe that Kobe’s gonna be pissed after this loss. I sense a 50 in Philly tonight.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    On some jazz messageboards some guys don’t want to give Morris Almond the props he deserves. After K-Martin was doing whatever he wanted against Ronnie Brewer and CJ Miles old Jerry Sloan had to put in ‘Mobe’ to cool him down. Almond was really trying hard on defense (for the first time ever), and he was able to slow down Martin. He was rewarded with playing time with Deron Williams (again, for the first time ever), and had a pretty good game. (12 points, 5-9 shooting, made a three, 6 boards, 2 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal)

    Jazz don’t win this game without Almond, don’t expect to see much of him when the Jazz get healthy though.

    In other news, Spencer Hawes had the game of his life. 14 points, 7 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    50 hotel employees in his hotel room?

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    I think granger should be an all-star, and get MIP votes

  • Big Sia

    Raptors got SMOKED

    Softest team in the league.

    eww

    And half the time when you guys say “missed everything” its not an airball. Baron hit rim at least lol

  • solomon

    “It gave Gary Payton a minor stroke in the NBA TV studio”

    LOL…

    damn d’antoni… he’s making diamond out of coal… duhon’s barely in the L and perhaps taking notes from fellow dukie trajan on euroleague play, then for some reason only a genius can conceive, he plays for b-ball mecca and delivers like he’s been doing it for years..

    talk about improving… granger’s had it all along… i’d bet even coach k knew duhon’s gonna get this decent…

    btw, 81 and 1′s never gonna happen anyways… not until sasha “the villain” vujacic learns how not to be blown past by on a regular basis…

    we’re out like quincy’s stroke…

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    objectively, douby has to be killing it in practice to keep getting put in the game at times like that . . .

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

    I love how the Raptors aren’t even mentioned today. Guess they were just that bad . . . lost a bet on them last night . . . .

  • control

    Thanks for not mentioning the Raps losing by like 70 points.

    I guess when Bosh has an off night (24pts, 12rbs, 5ast but ZERO blocks) the Raps just fall off.

  • YOUNGFED…”You Can Hate Me Now”

    Damn no Pistons coverage we did play last night. WTF?
    Also Dime yall can tell Pat I read his “3 Ways To Fix the Pistons” article and it stunk royally. 1st who’s to say we’re having problems seeing how we just knocked off one of the best teams in the NBA (Spurs). 2nd I’m tired of everybody acting like AI ain’t killin’ just because he ain’t putting up 40 a nite. 3rd what team doesn’t need a low post scorer. To Pat I say worst review ever.

    YOUNGFEDS BANGER OF THE DAY: Jay-Z
    http://www.xxlmag.com/online/?p=30876

  • dagwaller

    Funny Smack today, fellas – keep up the great work.

  • s.bucketz

    i cant tell if u guys r being sarcastic about the vujacic in bad boys III thas hillarious….also..did u guys see this book??
    http://www.freedarkobook.com/
    it looks pretty sick i love the artwork nd the passages are pretty good too

  • YOUNGFED…”You Can Hate Me Now”

    Derrick Rose clowns Andre Miller on his home court. Check out the video here. This kids handles are Ri-Dicu-Lous. Miller is gonna have to get reconstructive surgery on them ankles 4Real. lol

    http://www.king-mag.com/online/?p=9271

  • Phileus

    “not until sasha “the villain” vujacic learns how not to be blown past by on a regular basis… ”

    LOL, PERFECT nickname for Vujacic.

  • Sallo

    Dime always hate’s on the nuggets. Almost never say anything about their games. Even thought they destroyed the Raptors last night.

  • Brown

    I’ve completely lost faith in the Raptors. I don’t know if I can stomach watching any more of their games this year. Some big changes are desperately needed.

  • d

    Not to mention that Barron was backing down JJ BAREA(!!!). So he definitely continues to certify his “chucker” card with every dumb play he makes.

  • JCARR

    The pacers- lakers game was stunning. I watched it to the end but how can the lakers front line not get a defensive rebound. They got like three 7 footers.
    If CB4 doest get wins under his belt he wont be MVP.
    Vujacic in movies?!!?! booo

  • rell

    1st Boston now the Lakers. I guess the Pacers show up against the 2 top teams in the league. They also played Cleveland tough this year. I hope the Celtics don’t lose tonight against them. When I saw the Nuggets/Raptor score I thought someone went off and hit 40+, but no one had more than 24. The Raptor defense is horrible and Mitchell might be losing his job real soon.

  • P_Dizzle

    Thanks to the Pacers! Now we can put the Lakers winning 70+ games on rest ’til next week.

    Pacers you have done every living outside LA a favor. Thank You!

  • isotope

    Duhon is making my fantasy squad respectable. Who would have thought it.

    But i hear he is playing with a bad back though. And average like the 3rd most minutes per game in the league. He even said he probably wouldnt play as much if the NY PG situation was better. For the sake of my fantaasy team i’m hoping it doesnt get better

  • isotope

    That Rose move on Miller was like what? a week ago? Can we stop talking about it like it was the play of the year. Lets see D do that on someone who actually plays Defense.

  • YOUNGFED

    Your just mad cause you can’t dribble. lol

  • isotope

    I’m assuming you mean “You’re” and not “Your” but its okay i understand. English is a struggle for you. lol

  • Lady Luck

    I really hope the Bad Boys 3 comment is sarcasm.

    The last play by the Clippers and that horrible heave from Baron made my stomach hurt. Are you kidding me? Even if Dunleavy drew that up in the huddle, Baron should have just posted Barea up anyway. They would have doubled him and he could get a shot up especially since Gordon was wide open. That was terrible.

    My Lakers aren’t perfect. There are still many improvements to be made. Complacency is why they lost. The Pacers should not have made that comeback. So defensively the Lakers need to improve.

    Pierce has a better all-around game then Carmelo. Carmelo still has lots of growing and improving to do. Hopefully he continues to work hard because the talent is there. Pierce is the truth.

    Happy for Duhon. I wanted the Cavs to get him in that Ben Wallace deal last year. Smart, steady PG. Rarely gets out of control.

    I like Rudy Fernandez’s game.

    Who is Quincy Douby?

  • Ross

    As if Bad Boys III wouldn’t have sucked enough without him.

  • control

    Lady Luck

    “Pierce has a better all-around game then Carmelo. Carmelo still has lots of growing and improving to do. Hopefully he continues to work hard because the talent is there. Pierce is the truth.”

    The problem is, Carmelo ain’t working on his game. He hasn’t addressed even one weakness of his game since he got in the league. He seems to focus his training on running backwards and bitch slaps. Can’t take this guy seriously until he gets some serious work ethic changes.

  • Celts Fan

    Best line from NBA TV last night:

    GP: I like the Pacers. They can go far in the Playoffs. I could see them getting to the Conference Finals.

    CWebb: Ya, if they buy 12 tickets.

  • isotope

    @Celts Fan. That is hillarious.

  • BEdger

    I wish the Blazers could have given you guys a better show in their one trip to the Garden last night, but they kinda stunk up the joint. Oh well, they found a way to win, like all quality teams do….Go Blazers

  • deeds

    Thank you for not mentioning the raps game last night….the less said about it the better

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…Break ya concentration, murda ya camp

    Now I don’t feel so bad about Houston’s loss against the Pacers. They got the Lakers too.

    I am about ready for another trade somewhere to go down.

    Is it fair to say that during the Anthony Mason years that basketball was the bad boy sport? Now with all the attention football gets I would most def. say they have taken over.

    In light of players getting in trouble and ref scandals. I don’t know if Vegas should have a team.

    GOD forbid but does Wade get all the attention LeBron has been getting if LeBron goes down with a serious injury in 2010?

    Putting them eggs in one basket isn’t always good. Take it from a Tracy McGrady fan lol.

    Think on it!

  • baron von faulk

    OH SH*T y’all gonna be talking ’bout this kid from Wake Forest (Jake? James?) Johnson’s dunk tomorrow, woooooo