Smack / Apr 3, 2009 / 5:27 am

Wizards/Cavs is a rivalry again, and the best dunk contest of 2009

Gilbert Arenas (photo. Tim Tadder)

Gilbert Arenas (photo. Tim Tadder)

Even without Gilbert Arenas, Cavs/Wizards games have managed to stay interesting this year. There was the closer-than-expected Christmas Day game, where Mike James came out looking like an All-Star and the Cavs had to score 11 straight in the final 1:30 to pull out a win. Then a couple weeks later there was the infamous Crab Dribble game. But with Arenas on the court last night, the rivalry felt official again. Just like he’d done in his season debut the other night, Agent Zero was playing more like a point guard than a points guard, racking up 10 assists along with 11 points (3-11 FG) and six boards as the Wizards snapped Cleveland’s 13-game win streak. “We hope that this’ll give people a bit of a preview of what we will be next year,” Wizards coach Ed Tapscott said afterwards. “It’s what we thought we would be this year.” … LeBron put up 31 points and helped bring the Cavs back from a 14-point hole in the second half to get them within four in the last minute and a half, but some turnovers and bricked jumpers down the stretch kept them from catching up … For the second time this week, the Jazz went to the gym of one of their Northwest Division rivals and got outclassed. While the Blazers pretty much dominated from start to finish in Portland the other night, last night the Nuggets fell behind early, allowed a late rally in the fourth, but owned the game between those stretches … You know how ballplayers always act like they don’t know what kind of numbers they’re putting up? Like the dude who drops 40 and says with a straight face, “I didn’t even know I had that much until the guys on the bench told me I had 38″? (This obviously doesn’t apply to Ricky Davis or Anthony Bowie.) Well, Birdman Andersen isn’t one of those dudes. He was definitely counting his stats; flashing the number of blocks he had with his fingers after each one, and in the fourth quarter you could see him head toward the scorer’s table and clearly ask somebody how many rebounds he had. Birdman ended up with seven points, 10 boards and eight blocks; if the Jazz hadn’t started sending him to the line in the last few minutes, he had a decent shot at getting a 0-point, 10-board, 10-block binary stat line … Coldest move of the night: J.R. Smith (28 pts, 7 asts, 8 threes) mixed Kyle Korver up in the corner, stuck a three in his eye, then smacked him on the ass. That was some prison basketball league sh*t right there. Serious question: If Korver really is an underrated defender like some Jazz fans keep insisting, why does every one of Utah’s opponents want to run iso’s for the guy he’s guarding? …

Carmelo Anthony (photo. Mannion)

Carmelo Anthony (photo. Mannion)

Carmelo (23 pts) has been more mature on the court and better defensively this year, but he still has his lapses. Once in the second half ‘Melo didn’t get a foul call he wanted, so while the Jazz went down and started their offense against four Nuggets defenders, ‘Melo was arguing with the ref before finally making it past half-court like 10 seconds after everyone else. He was still outside the three-point line when AK-47, unguarded, went up for an alley-oop and ‘Melo just pointed at him like it was somebody’s else’s man … Maybe the Sixers won’t be too bad after all without Thaddeus Young for the next couple weeks. It took them a minute to get used to playing without Young — turning the ball over 13 times in the first half against Milwaukee and getting booed by the home Philly crowd — but eventually they turned it around and ran away from the Bucks in the second. Andre Iguodala scored 20, Andre Miller had 18 and 11 assists, and Lou Williams put up 21 points off the bench … When can a player go into the stands at The Palace at Auburn Hills and everyone cheers for him and wants him to throw stuff? When it’s part of the NCAA dunk contest. UNC-Charlotte’s Charlie Coley III enlisted Rhode Island’s Jimmy Baron (who was in the three-point contest earlier) to go into the crowd and toss him an ‘oop from DEEP, which Coley caught off the bounce and tomahawked. Even if the dunk itself wasn’t majorly impressive, the fact that they got it on the first try deserved a 50 by itself. Coley also got a 49 or 50 when he touched the backboard with his left hand and spun around to dunk with his right (finally, justice for Darvin Ham); had another sick dunk where he jumped over Jack McClinton (who won the three-point contest) and windmilled; and one where he put Jalen Rose in a director’s chair and hurdled him … But beating Coley out by literally one point and taking the title belt — yes, it was actually a title belt — was New Mexico’s Tony Danridge. Getting moral support from UNM coach Steve Alford (who would have mopped the three-point contest field even in his loafers), Danridge pulled off a two-ball dunk, a right-to-left J.R. Smith behind-the-back dunk, and capped it with a cuff reverse windmill where he circled it around twice in mid-air. Danridge and Coley are gonna wreck shop on the AND 1 tour next summer … We’re out like Birdman keeping it humble …

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  • Flying_Aussie_Dutchman

    Brendan Haywood = best reactions after scoring a basket :)

  • http://nba.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    that tony danridge dunk at the end of round 1 (the spinning windmill ala VC) is daaaaaaaaaaaaammmmnnnnn siiiiiickkkkk…

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    First off props to fellow UNM alum T Dandridge for winning the dunk contest. His athletcism is off the charts and has been for four years. It’s nice to see him get some national shine.

    I was impressed with Arenas’ unselfishness last night against the Cavs. I don’t expect it to last but he could win me back as a fan if it does. I still think he’s overrated though.

    The Jazz vs. Nuggets game was one of the better NBA games I’ve seen in recent memory. Although the Jazz have the rep as being boring to watch I thought both teams played a brand of exciting ball last night. It was a good game start to finish. As a Boozer hater, I couldn’t help but love Birdman kicking his shit a few times.

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

    Rivalry:

    noun
    the act of competing as for profit or a prize; “the teams were in fierce contention for first place.”

    In other words, don’t teams have to be A) relatively equal, B) competing for something (ideally)?

    When one team has clobbered the other in three straight playoff series, and, irrespective of this game, when both teams are on opposite sides of the win/loss column . . . that’s not a rivalry. Cavs didn’t even get up for this game.

  • http://deleted Luigi

    the price of pride and bragging rights are at stake. when ever it comes to wiz/cavs

    I woudnt have said clobbered in 3 straight years but have gotten beaten. not humiliated like u cavs fans feel when you beat the Wizards… but honestly. i dont wanna make excuses but hopefully people across the US saw how good we can be with Gil in our lineup..n hopefully found a flaw in your game cavs.

    They say all great teams must put away the bad teams and Cleveland didnt do it tonight. If you are considered a great team then you must beat the ones who are headed for the lottery and have nothing to lose.

    This year has been a blessing in disguise for Washington because all of our yung’ns got great experience and know how to take a loss. and now they can experience the joy of winning when next year comes around

  • bobby stew

    Gilbert looked a little chunky last night. He’s gonna have to lose 10-15lbs to eventually be back to his old self

  • calvin brodus

    mile mafuckin high!

    that korver ass slap from jr was ice cold. birdman daddy. you know he flies in any weather, right?

    nuggs playoff tix go on sale saturday. im gonna to try to be cheap on first round seats. because maybe, just maybe, ill get a shot at buying second round tix this year. things are looking obama hopeful in denver.

    mile mafuckin high!

  • Kobeef

    The Sixers won’t admit it but you have to think it crossed their mind that they could trade Brand for more young talent, let Miller walk and still be a playoff team with Lou Williams, Iggy, Mareese, Thad Young and Dalembert.

  • Diego

    Birdman is a scrub.

    Teams with no hope in the playoffs: New Orleans, Mavs, Nuggets, Detroit and Miami.

    Hating in the a.m.,

    Diego.

  • POPPI GEE

    Houston Up!

    Back on my Rob and Big ish!

    It’s my hopes that somehow the Lakers won’t be on it tonight and feel some lag or something. Otherwise I fear that the Lakers have Houston’s number. Still I trust my Rockets can keep it close and get this one. Certainly need it.

    Dang I want the Suns to win, but it’s almost futile when Dallas get Memphis. Hope Rudy and O.J. go off tonight.

    A-yo Snoop I can’t even front yo Denver squad is looking fun to watch. Between the tattoos, swagger and Birdman I am really enjoying watching them cats play.

    Did I see a Warner Bros. tattoo on Carmerlo or Kenyon last night?

    If only the Wiz could meet the Cavs. in the playoffs just for quotes, fouls and antics.

    Here is to hoping one of the other teams in the West slip up tonight besides the Suns and Houston!

  • Kermit the Washington

    Wizards woulda gave Cleveland PROBLEMS in the playoffs…DANG!

  • Bigdoggchad

    Yeah on melo it stands for west Baltimore.

  • Yog friend of Jurg

    Very lose definition of what “infamous” means. OJ is infamous… go ask a stranger about “infamous crab dribble” and they will be looking at you with stupid look.

  • srb

    dime, a heads up on this

    http://www.courant.com/sports/college/husky/men/hc-hamilton0403.artapr03,0,6176778.story

    interview with Rip about the uconn recruiting scams

  • QQ

    Melo has his lapses? That dude has a career of lapses. Never won anything, a one dimensional asshole, and a prick outside the court.

    And nice to see a last place team beating the first place one. I still consider it a rivalry, seeing that all the Wiz players STILL wants to murder Lebron LOL.

  • Chaos

    The cavs/wiz rivalry is more Sugar ray robinson/jake lamotta rivalry. it took like 6 tries for lamotta to be robinson once but each fight was vicious to the end and thats what it is like with these two. the games ending maybe one sided but the games are usually great (especially with Zgent Zero in there). You can see how different of a team they are with him in the line up…how does the wiz team look next year…get rid of haywood, stevenson and james and go with arenas, butler, jamison, blatche, mcgee, young and mcguire

  • that’s whats up

    When Birdman gets his own shit sent back is it fair to raise your own bird to him, signifying the first block?

    Dude is beastin’ blocks lately though.

    I agree, that dunk contest was much better than the NBA’s version. The stats said Coley only had a 29″ vertical. I ain’t buyin’ that.

  • Abe504

    Cmon dime, I waited all year for a good writing from you guys about the wizards, and we get 3 sentences. This season been painful enough, i need some good motivation for next year.

  • Collaboro

    I know why they insist on running ISO’s on Korver and so does everybody else. NAACP syndrome! everybody wants their shot at going one on one vs. the blue collar white defender.

    You watch anyone with an ego on the court, and if Korver/ Kapono/Roko is on them…its going one on one.

  • Sanpitch

    lol @ 19

    anyone else think the tnt broadcast of the nuggets/jazz suck last night? they are showing “old footage” when someone got their shot swatted and don’t even tell us what happened. then when melo gets a t, we get no mention of it.

    from now on can we boycott pj carelismo from ever being behind a mic.

    horrible

  • LAballer

    damn it took the wiz to end the cavs streak? LOL..so umm the lakers ended one streak..and now the wizards?? im with it..

    coley was NOT HAPPY after he got that 48 when hit the dunk over jalen rose..not saying it wasnt sick..but umm this dude jumped over a nissan..i think he could have put a couple judges and yacked over them..now that might have got him the belt..

    birdman is comedy..i wonder what he would have been like had he not lost a couple years snortin yay..

    cant wait for the line up tonight on espn..those games are gonna be siiiiiiick.. Gee..i hope ur wrong player..the lakers need to come out with some fire tonite and the bench needs to show some friggin heart..

  • LakeShow84

    @ GEE..

    yeah boy its going down tonnight.. Kobe/Artest pt 2.. we back at home too so that will be a good shot in the arm.. i hope Artest starts yappin at KB again.. we need something lol..

    if Arenas plays like that for the rest of career he could be DYNOOOOOOOOMIIITTTEEEEE!! they got a good 3 over there.. and whoever said that aint a rivalry is trippin.. when two teams hate each other like that and the garbage teams steps up and plays hard just for that game.. oh yeah its a rivalry..

  • BDK23

    @Diego – add hawks, magic, 76ers,jazz, basically everyone else not named lakers,spurs or cavs..

  • BDK23

    @Diego – add hawks, magic, 76ers,jazz, basically everyone else not named lakers,spurs,celtics or cavs..

  • BDK23

    @Diego – add hawks, magic, 76ers,jazz, basically everyone else not named lakers,spurs,celtics or cavs..

    LOOOOL@19

    But yeah I noticed that too, melo got t’d up in the second half and they didnt even speak about it the whole game. If he got another I woulda been dumbfounded as to why he would have been ejected.

    Anyone else think my proposed iverson to raptorland trade would be solid for both teams?

  • foolio_iglesias

    “We hope that this’ll give people a bit of a preview of what we will be next year,” Wizards coach Ed Tapscott said afterwards. “It’s what we thought we would be this year.” …

    No,you were,who we thought you were,Tap…

  • LakeShow84

    How silly does NO feel.. i can dig the whole “we have to be a classy organization” but that dont mean not giving someone a 3rd or 4th chance lol.. they could use Andersen big time back there.. he caught Boozers shit so cleannnnnnn… a couple of times at that.. damn..

  • knock knock

    lebrons a garbage player..lmao..cavs are really a 40 win team with lebron and without him…with the refs help this year they a 60 win team..be real

  • 2.0

    Chuck and Kenny, for some reason, did not mention how Gil was dominating the game without scoring. He gives the ‘zards a certaing swagger that they don’t have without him. He is still a top 10 player in the league!

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    @2.0

    If Gil is looking to pass first then I agree he MIGHT be a top 10 player in the League but if he’s just jacking there’s no way. Purely scoring does not make you a top 10 player in the NBA. If it did Kevin Martin would have to be considered a top 10 player as well.

  • LakeShow84

    Damn i aint feeling Lebron but i would never call him garbage.. dudes top 3 in league no doubt..

    Lets just say with the refs help they would be 50-55 win team lol their homecourt whistle advantage is realllllll rough..

  • DurrtyInjun

    lol, top 10 is a stretch for him at the moment, but do you notice how all the Gilbert haters have been quiet since he come back with back 10 assist games? I still don’t like Brenda but I got to admit that he is more physical than any other big the Wiz got, and that makes a huge differnece.
    Glad to see the Wiz get some hope though. Now if only I can get this stench of failure off my Pistons I could be a happy man.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I just don’t think Gil cracks top ten over

    Lebron, Kobe, Wade, CP3, Pierce, Duncan, Howard, Garnett, Roy, D Williams. Hell I even would take Tony Parker, Durant, Bosh, Dirk, Yao, Amare, Joe Johnson, and Granger before I take Gil. Just my opinion.

  • JC

    jokes… not the NBA, not overseas, not even the D-league — the And 1 tour.

  • LakeShow84

    I would take Deron Williams over Arenas too..

  • rell

    Glad to see Habachi back. The Wiz going to be a problem next especially if they get the number 1 pick. There bench will be set with Blake Griffin coming off of it along with Nick Young and Blatche.

  • POPPI GEE

    21 and 22 you LA cats lol.

    I am hoping for a good game. Hopefully Yao can stay out of foul trouble and turnover trouble at critical moments and be THAT DUDE.

    Still I am hoping Ron just plays D and lets that speak for him, cause if he opens up that trap….at Kobe’s house.

    Kobe might drop FIDDY!

    I will say Lakers vs. Houston is always fun to watch …except for the outcome so far lol. I need Houston to really try and steal this 1. It’s gonna be a happenin fa sho!

  • the cynic

    no more pj carelismo before he gets choked out for being annoying

  • http://www.uneedathink.wordpress.com nate

    Go Thugs. Denver WCF

  • dagwaller

    Chaos, I’m with you on the Wizards rivalry. Also, last year, the Wizards were up on the Celtics 3-1 season series. They’ll be good next year. I’m glad that they gave the fans something to be excited about next year.

    I wish that at the end of the game, Gil had made up for this season by throwing out a home jersey for every home game that he’d missed so far this year…all the more sweet for the win. Did anyone else notice that not only has he put up 20 assists in the last two games, but also has only one TO?! Thats nutty. I wonder what the best two game stretch is for that all time. 20-to-1 ass/TO ratio is pretty nasty, especially for a rusty gunner.

    Also, to whoever said that Birdman was a scrub…wtf?! Diego, you must know that he had 8 blocks last night, blows everyone out of the water with bl/48 minutes, and is breathing down Dwight Howard’s neck for the league lead? Just because he’s not leading his team in scoring doesn’t mean he’s a scrub.