Light schedule of only four NBA preseason games on a day where the biggest (rumored) news was that the replacement refs probably won’t make it to the regular season due to the League being close to an agreement with the union guys. We hit on this a little bit yesterday, but it’s funny how so many media and fans are bashing the replacements as if they’ve been so much worse than the regulars. We even heard one TV talking head praise the return of the “real” refs, because the ones they’ve had in the preseason are obviously fake refs. How long will it take for NBA players to start complaining about every call again and for the rest of us to remember we thought the “real” refs stunk at their jobs, too? About 24 minutes into the first game? … Dwyane Wade put on his “This one counts” cape for one night, dropping a brutal 35 points (13-23 FG) and six steals in 29 minutes against the Grizzlies while serving O.J. Mayo and rookie DeMarre Carroll two hot bowls of blood pudding. Rudy Gay answered with 28 points and nine rebounds in the loss … O.J. is playing more wrapped up than Allen Iverson on his worst day; with the double arm sleeves and the high socks, O.J. gives off that “Old guy at the park who has stories about playing with Michael Ray Richardson” vibe … How slow is Marc Gasol that he’s got Jermaine O’Neal spinning off him and coasting in for dunks like it’s 2002? Then again, if you’re guarding dudes like Hasheem Thabeet and Hamed Haddadi in practice every day, it’s understandable to let your reflexes slip when you’re facing a real-life big man who can score. It’s like going from playing Tee-Ball every day to facing C.C. Sabathia all of a sudden … The Magic continue to look like a juggernaut, running through the Pacers by 30 while (again) seven guys had double-figure scoring. Vince Carter led the way with 21 points (12-12 FT), while Marcin Gortat had 15, eight boards and three blocks. Roy Hibbert scored 20 with five blocks for Indiana … Eddie House led the short-handed Celtics (Ray and KG were given the night off) with 21 points in a relatively easy win over the Cavs, who got 18 points from LeBron and 16 from Shaq. These teams didn’t even wait until the regular season to get chippy. One time Mo Williams got tossed to the ground by Shelden Williams while they fought for rebounding position, and after the whistle Mo got up and gave Shelden a forearm in the ribs. “The Landlord” — can he still have that nickname? What about “The Apartment Manager”? — wasn’t going for that, so he shoved Mo in the chest, starting an incident where House of all people played peacemaker … Something to keep an eye on: From what we read, Shaq got up off the Cleveland bench during the altercation and started moving towards the fray, but somebody stopped him before he got close. Still, if the letter of the rule says you can’t leave the bench during an altercation, would Shaq possibly be suspended for the season opener? … Who said Paul Pierce is getting old? One time he almost dropped LeBron on a step-back move at the top of the key, then hit a fadeaway over ‘Bron and Varejao while taking a foul … Chris Duhon wasted one of his good shooting nights in Wednesday’s Knicks/Nets exhibition, hitting 8-of-11 from the field with three treys and scoring 21 points in a win. Chris Douglas-Roberts posted 26 points and four steals in the loss, and Brook Lopez — who’s been a Preseason All-Star — put up 12 points, 11 boards and five blocks … CDR had the move of the night when he brought the ball out wide in his right hand like he was going to cross back left, and when Larry Hughes took the bait and went for a strip, CDR went between his legs back-to-front and skated past Hughes for a bucket … Last night reports surfaced that the Blazers reached an agreement with LaMarcus Aldridge on a five-year extension worth up to $65 million. As a player, LMA is important to what the Blazers are trying to do, but otherwise he isn’t really one of those guys you have to lock up before he gets a chance to get away, e.g. Danny Granger in Indiana or Deron Williams in Utah. But if it’s true what they say about LaMarcus being the sensitive type, you don’t want him throwing off the chemistry by sulking through the season feeling unappreciated, and you really don’t want him jealous of Brandon Roy (who got his long-term extension months ago) when they already haven’t always had a tight relationship. So with the core of B-Roy, LaMarcus and Greg Oden locked in for at least the next couple years, what do you think of Portland’s future? … We’re out like Adam Morrison‘s extension …
Smack / Oct 22, 2009 / 12:33 am
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