Smack / Feb 28, 2009 / 4:05 am

Employee #8

Stephon MarburyStephon Marbury, Dime #38

Despite some obvious rust — seeing as he hasn’t played in an NBA game that counted since January of last year — Stephon Marbury looked alright in his Celtics debut, a home win over the Pacers. Even at less than his best (8 pts, 2 asts, 12 mins), anyone can see how Good Steph will help the C’s as a backup point guard; the problem is that everyone is terrified of what will happen if/when Bad Steph shows up. Last night the new Employee #8 had a few timing issues, and naturally he doesn’t know Boston’s playbook yet. But Tommy Heinsohn brought up a good point; since Steph will often be playing against backup point guards, his adjustment period will be that much easier from here on out … If the Pacers hadn’t played the C’s so close, this would have been a good opportunity for Doc Rivers to get Marbury a lot of minutes. T.J. Ford and Jarrett Jack will make anyone guarding them have to work, between T.J.’s speed, Jack’s strength, and the fact that both of them are always pushing the pace and looking to shoot. As it stands, Steph could only play in spots as Rajon Rondo (17 asts) had to take care of business … The other day we talked about the Knicks and Nuggets having more tattoos than any other team in the NBA. We may have to throw the Celtics in that discussion now. Marbury, Mikki Moore, Big Baby, Eddie House, JR Giddens and KG all have a lot of ink. A graphic showed that Mikki Moore is the University of Nebraska’s all-time leading shot-blocker. Isn’t that like being the best actor in a Master P movie? Who is Mikki’s main competition, Rich King? Note to T.J. Ford: When Tommy Heinsohn says you’re a “grouch” on the court, you might want to step back and re-examine your enjoyment of the game.

Just to add to the drama, of course the Pistons go to Orlando without Allen Iverson and play their best game in weeks (seems like months), snapping their eight-game losing streak and convincing even more critics that Detroit is better without Iverson. ESPN’s Jon Barry probably said it best during the second half: “The Pistons are starting to believe they’re a good team again.”

Back in the starting lineup and playing like he just found out he’s not the father, Rip Hamilton was unstoppable. He dropped 31 points, running Courtney Lee through the hamster wheel and getting away with all those dirty veteran tricks — elbow to the gut coming off a screen, anyone? — he’s learned over the years. It seemed every time the Magic got close in the fourth quarter, Rip found himself open with Lee a step or two behind him, draining jumpers from close to mid-range.

ESPN ran a segment called “Building the Magic” where they showed a timeline of Orlando’s key franchise moves in the post-McGrady era: drafting Dwight Howard and Jameer, acquiring Hedo Turkoglu, signing Rashard Lewis and hiring Stan Van Gundy after the 20-minute Billy Donovan regime. You know what didn’t get mentioned? Drafting the ACC’s all-time leading scorer with a Lottery pick three years ago … Why doesn’t Van Gundy play Dwight (21 pts, 13 rebs) and Marcin Gortat next to each other more often? Imagine the picks and screens being set between those two, and on the other end, who wants to drive the lane against that? We don’t have to rehash Dwight’s intimidating presence, and Gortat looks like he used to run sh*t at a Colombian prison.

ShaqShaq, Dime #38

It’s hard to get too excited about Shaq‘s 45-point dumping on the Raptors, where he connected on 20-of-25 from the field and added 11 boards. Hell of a throwback performance, but at the same time, Shaq might as well have been in a gym by himself. The Raps played ZERO defense on him; in theory Diesel was getting triple-teamed, but in reality it was more like two Raptors standing there watching him dunk while the third guy was out of the play after trying and failing to steal the entry pass … Chris Bosh placed the blame somewhere else, though. “He was just camping down in the lane. I mean, if they’re not calling three seconds — I thought it was a rule, but I guess not,” Bosh said in the post-game. True, Shaq has been known to park himself in the lane while the refs let him do it, but you’ve gotta have more pride than to let a dude who’s a week short of his 37th birthday hang 45 on you … The Lakers’ 72-win dream (or at least the dream of some of their more insane fans) is dead, as Kobe and crew were just uncharacteristically bad in a loss to the Nuggets. L.A. didn’t even crack 80 on the scoreboard and shot 29 percent from the field, which you could attribute to them arriving in Denver at 4 a.m. yesterday morning, or to the Nuggets playing some tough defense … The Nuggets weren’t exactly an offensive machine, either. Carmelo went 4-for-17 (12 pts) and the team shot 3-for-21 from three, but they were just tougher and executed when they had to. Birdman racked up seven blocks to go with 11 points and 12 boards … Chris Paul had 20 assists against the Bucks. The Hornets won on a Tyson Chandler tip-in with three seconds left. The New Orleans crowd was going nuts. So why was CP extra-pissed afterwards? Because the Hornets had a 17-point lead with less than five minutes to go, and still needed a last-ditch shot to avoid blowing it. Charlie Bell was hitting crazy H-O-R-S-E shots during Milwaukee’s 22-4 run, and stuck the go-ahead corner three with 10.5 seconds left. New Orleans went to David West, who missed a jumper, but Chandler was there for the putback. After Luke Ridnour missed a desperation heave and the Hornets sideline reporter tracked down CP, he wasn’t happy at all. “That never should have happened,” Paul kept saying.

Other big stat lines from Friday: Al Horford had 21 points and 22 boards in a win over Miami; LeBron posted 30 points and 14 boards in a win at San Antonio; Ray Felton had 26 points and nine dimes to beat the Warriors; and Dirk dropped 41 points in an overtime win over the Thunder. Kevin Durant hurt his ankle in the first quarter and didn’t return … That Hawks game was a highlight orgy, with two standouts: D-Wade catching Joe Johnson in mid-air and tossing his dunk attempt when Joe was about to go with the full-extension Jordan Brand special; then Josh Smith catching a follow dunk where he finished it behind his head after nearly jumping over somebody in black … President Obama was sitting courtside for Wizards/Bulls. According to Washington’s play-by-play man, Obama is the first President to come to a Wiz game since Clinton; Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. never made it out to a game. Every time JaVale McGee scored, he saluted Obama … Mark Jones in the ESPN studio: “The Bulls are dealing with a smaller deficit than President Obama is dealing with.” How long do you think it took him to write that one? … As for the game, the Wizards won in a 20-piecing. During one Joakim Noah free throw sequence, the Wiz color commentator was asked to break down Noah’s form. “Ugh, I don’t even want to look at that,” he said … We’re out like Bosh blaming the refs …

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  • http://deleted Duke

    Way to go Iverson. Aces.

  • BRUCE from Vietnam

    I told you………Bosh has the skills but does not have the size or will to lead his team!

  • vince

    that dallas/okc game deserves more ink. great ot game where westbrook managed to score 5 points in 7 seconds late in regulation and forced ot by playing agressively. green had a decent game too but realized he was needed to be agressive too late.

  • http://iannyb9@hotmail.com Iannyb

    My Lakers came out and laid an ege 29% damn that’s ugly.I guess you could attribute it to the tired legs, but as pros you come to expect better.Those things happen very often.Kobe 10-31 fg’s hmmmmmmmmmmmm.i think that’s way too many.Ball movement anynoe???/ Pistons had a statement game,I sincerely feel bad for AI cause he went from being one of the elite fun players to a “I can’t play with this guy” kind of player. He even got mentioned in the 10 most overpaid players.Damn how the tides have swung.If Kobe keeps shooting so much what are the chances he gets way up ther too.
    From the sexy island of St Lucia
    Coming off our 30th Independence anniversary
    Ianny B

  • blah

    the magic didn’t draft jameer. they got him in a trade with denver. Sure the trade was during the draft, but technically they didn’t draft him.

  • ya boy

    My boys were due for one and dropped the ball big time on this one.You could tell the nuggets were shocked into winning the damn thing.the lakers..never checked in.Period.
    Lebron is a fluckin beast.Those back to back crams were filthy.he was also due coz that shyt he pulled in Houston was str8 garbage.
    Orlando came out looking cleaner than outkast in that trade.Once skip gets a hold of the magic offence,Orlando bball is going right where it left off. among the elite.
    And I can’t believe I’m saying this but watching detroit play today was sweet,and rip’s 12 footer is weeeet,im mean damn!Only thing nicer is Allen’s three form.David west has the same production and WILL make you pay for leaving him open but doesn’t look as good.
    Can you imagine what rip would do in NO, with a point guard that finds him instead of him having to run though 4 screens for every J ?

  • heavy d

    The Redick pick wasn’t that bad when compared to my Hawks taking Shelden Williams at #5 in that draft or the Fran Vasquez pick Orlando made a year earlier in the lottery. All in all, Redick has had a greater impact for Orlando than the rights to Fran Vasquez.

  • Luigi

    YES!!! haha wizards sighting. loll..

    but damn i went to bed early since i was tired from lifting n i did NOT know Shaq dropped 45?!?!?!..damn Raptors MUST suck that bad

  • calvin brodus

    call it a trap game for LA, and it may have been just that, but the nuggies NEEDED that win. that’s a huge game for denver. we’re getting back on track at just the right time.

    seems like every playoff team in the west is hot now. im waitibg for someone to snap those jazz/rocket streaks. hopefully, sooner than later.

    mile high.

  • Celts Fan

    Don’t worry TJ, tommy was probably just drunk on G&Ts and pissed he was out of marlboro reds

  • Celts Fan

    @ianny. When was AI ever a fun player toplay with? Dude used to be AMAZING to watch, but his teammates always looked like they were in hell.

  • QQ

    Pistons-Magic. If this isn’t a statement game that Detroit is better with Iverson out of the starting lineup, I don’t know what it is. IVERSON SHOULD COME OFF THE BENCH. He should tell his monstrous ego to chill and shut the fuck up, because the only way to salvage this Detroit season is for him to, for once, think of his teammates and his team more than himself. Do it, AI.

  • that’s whats up

    “Back in the starting lineup and playing like he just found out he’s not the father, Rip Hamilton was unstoppable. ”

    Dime, you just made my weekend

  • vinny

    the hornets game was crazy-they were down 89-71 with less than 5 minutes-after hitting 6 three’s-they were doen 93-89-a gadzuric follow up made it 93-91 and then charlie bell hit another 3 and then went up 1 with 10 seconds.
    the funny shit was that the hornets announcers were talking shit like the game was over-and when damon jones came in(yea he actually played)they were laughing because he said he was the best shooter in the world(self-proclaimed) but 10 seconds later he hit a 3. and then bell went crazy-it was a fun game to watch!!

  • vinny

    boris diaw tied with al harrington with the dumbest play of the night-another clutch turnover by al- But Boris decides to foul with around 20 seconds left in a tie game-like they had to foul because they were down-the expression on larry brown’s face-PRICELESS! but diaw hit the 3 to win the game after that to redeem himself!

  • http://myspace.com/bigfreeze101 Big Freeze

    Like I said immediately after the AI-Billups trade, Pistons need to put Iverson at their sixth man and they will kill. Manu, J Terry, Nate Robinson were all coming off the bench and putting up numbers. Now it’s AI’s turn.

  • Max

    @vinny: I saw that foul at the end of the Bobcat game — that was crazy, it was almost like the Cats were doing what European teams do, foul on purpose to make sure they get the last shot.

    Bad turnover by Harrington, but I think the Sixers played good defense…if Al has to be a passer, then the offense isn’t running the way it’s supposed to be. I don’t think Al did anything particularly dumb (can’t believe I’m defending him). Knicks should blame themselves for falling behind 28-7 in the first place.

  • QQ

    @ 16:

    AI would surely dominate when he comes off the bench. But that’s not even the issue. The question is, will his Ruben Studdard-like ego accept the sixth man role? Cause I think it wouldn’t. This is a guy who would complain about practice. Come on. His ego wouldn’t allow it.

    But by the way things are going, I think it’s inevitable. Curry will send him to the bench. So, another issue comes in: There is an 80-90% chance that Iverson will take the bench demotion as a stab to his ‘talents’, and would blow up, fight with his coach, and destroy the whole team in the process. Damn.

  • doc

    Shaq had a throwback night.Toronto is a team of pussies.Bron stepped it up like he supposed to.U cant lose to them without Timmy playing.Sixers gonna get that 4th seed.

  • baron von faulk

    Wow @ Shaq, even though the Raps have nobody to possibly even start to guard him.

    EVERY TEAM is better without Allen Iverson. He should start a one-on-one league so he truly can do his thang.

    After the Spurs got blown out in the first three quarters, Pops Mensah-Bonsu came in and put on his pogo-stick, including a dunk where he absolutely crowned Z for his first bucket…if they don’t sign him for the rest of the year I’m gonna be PISSED!

  • jryu

    Yeah like heavy D said above, yall forgot about the fran vasquez disaster. Playing the “what if game” is stupid but just imagine if the magic had drafted danny granger(the better player) or david lee(frontcourt depth which it seems like what they were looking for in the draft that year) instead. Sign lewis and then he could play the 3 or 4 depending on which player they draft, slide hedo to 2, and have nelson/alston play point. Thatd be nice.

  • Michael

    Damn does Denver suck. The lakers shot under 30% the entire damn game and the NUggets couldn’t put them away until about two minutes left in the game. And the Lakers are in Melos head, the dude plays awful against them.

  • jzsmoove

    the Raps are severely flawed, Colangelo is losing his touch maybe? prove yourself wrong BC.

    The Pistons ARE better without AI. Dumars made a dumbass move shipping out Big Shot midseason. He’ll be a genius again once AI’s salary come off the books pretty soon.

    71-11 season for the Lakers maybe? hahahahaha

    I didnt mind the Celtics winning the chip this year again, but now since Marbury is on board, I do not want them to win, that sucks!!!

  • E$

    Can you imagine Agent Zero playing in front of President Obama?? Sorry Spurs fans, the Rockets sent a mad LBJ down I-10 :)

  • Big Island

    First post, but dammit the Gortat/Columbian prison line was gold. And if Dwight ever rocked the Artis Gilmore afro and beard, it would be OVER. And the Raptors are just soft soft soft. No pride. Like my damn puppy that got his a$$ handed to him by the squirrels in my yard yesterday. Soft and sad.

  • George W Kush Sr

    I cant believe Marbury didnt blow up the building. He might as well be working for Osama Bin Laden the way he gets hated on here. I’m shocked he wasn’t handing out drugs to kids during timeouts. He’s a bad, bad man.

    8 pts, 2 assts, 12 minutes. Isnt that exactly what Boston was missing? Seriously, he’s a great pickup if he stays in check, which he has every reason to

  • haslem

    it seems like defensive stoppers in the league are just created based on there role on the team, guys like Courtney Lee and Jeff Green just seem like young athletic guys who are being groomed to be defensive stoppers because they are young, long and athletic. Isn’t in conceivable more guys could become future great defensive guys if they were pushed by there coaches, guys like Rudy Gay?

  • dagwaller

    Good point, haslem.

  • tim

    QQ

    It was official before the game friday AI will be the 6th man…he’s not supposed to play Sunday either, so look for a Pistons win against Boston. I think the Pistons can catch Miami for the 5th spot, and then make the conference Finals again…

    that probably wont happen, but it would surely make my year.

  • Bron42 aka Had springs before slamball

    @E, everyone expected lebron to go off with no duncan there…that game didn’t mean anything.

    @haslem, ya but rudy is expected to carry too much of the offense…So they’d rather draft a all world athlete in the second round hoping to shine him into a defensive stopper.

    @Heavy D, ya i been sayin that for a while…fran vasquez? hell I’d rather have gerald green than a 6’11 euro softie who was too scared of the nba. EURO PLAYERS, if your not ready for the nba, don’t put your name in the draft..

  • Bron42 aka Had springs before slamball

    and dime, no comment on the league makin Wade take off his band-aids…no self promotion in the NBA..cept for witnesses lol

  • the cynic

    no mention of AI2′s filthy flush

  • Bron42 aka Had springs before slamball

    @Dime MAg, another funny (yess fake) kobe commercial

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBJZXyfLrpU

  • Bron42 aka Had springs before slamball

    and yes i kno its old but some people havn’t seen it

  • rkraicek

    ya bron i think that’s exactly what haslem was saying about rudy gay. if you read his post, he was saying that rudy gay COULD be a great stopper, but that’s not his role on the team. good link, though

  • Mr. A

    Yeah, Dime! Because Bush Sr. was President AFTER Clinton… riiiight. You might want to clean up that sentence, either it was very poorly constructed, or whoever wrote it is a complete moron!

    And just asking, why is going to a Wizards game as President a big deal? I’ve said this on the site before, and I’ll say it again, now.

    President of the United States & International Superstar Obama is facing the worst economic situation since the recession of the 80′s. And two wars in the middle east. And Iran now has enough Uranium for a nuclear bomb. That man should be holed up in the Oval Office trying to figure out how we’re going to get through this mess, not grab assing at some sporting event. Time is everything, and we’re running out of it. If he’s overwhelmed at the job ahead oh him, he should have reconsidered running during this political and economic climate. We didn’t vote for him to be a celebrity and make public appearances, we voted for him because he needs to fix this and get out out of the hole we are in. Now.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Mr. A — Not even the President should be expected to work 24 hours a day. I don’t think taking in an NBA game is a sign he’s burned out or anything. Not that big of a deal.

  • My 2 Cents

    @Mr. A

    How is going to a basketball game related to being overwhelmed at his job? You fool!

  • dagwaller

    rkraicek, agreed.

    Mr. A, disagreed.

  • http://bleacherbrothers.com/blog/ Al Qaeda Jada

    Al Horford’s a beast

  • jay

    bad loss for lakers…kobe is going nuts tomorrow in phx! going to rock the house.
    i never was a C’s fan and i hated starbury since his days on the nets…he will ruin this team no doubt..i hope bron sweeps the C’s now…i want bron dropping fifty on marbury and is cheap bleepin shoes!!! two words to starbury….go home!!!!!!!!

  • Mr. A

    @AB,
    That’s the thing with being in charge of the free world.. there’s no time off. Remember those Hilary ads about answering the phone at 3 am?

  • Bron42 aka Had springs before slamball

    those 3 hours he spent at the game have doomed us all….doooommeeeddd

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Mr. A — And I see you fell for them.

  • Mr. A

    Not necessarily, but they are true. Being President of the United States means that you literally have no time off, no time to yourself. The world doesn’t stop revolving because the President decides he needs a personal day.

  • doc

    Mr A Hilary would’ve needed at least 3 personal days every month we know that for sure.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    You’re “on call” at all hours, true, but you don’t have to spend every second of every day sitting in the Oval Office thinking about work. And who said Obama took a whole day off? He spent a couple of hours on a Friday night at a game, where it’s not like he turned his phone off or anything.