Smack / Oct 24, 2009 / 5:15 am

Hostile Environment

Stan Van Gundy, Dwight Howard

They all count from here on out. Friday was the last day of NBA preseason action, with a nearly full schedule that included two national TV games: Hawks/Magic and Nuggets/Lakers … Orlando effectively ended their contest early, going up by 20-plus in the first quarter and capping an undefeated preseason with a near 40-piecing. Vince Carter dropped 26, hit all five of his threes, and was throwing down double-clutch dunks along the baseline while the Hawks basically watched. Dwight Howard put up 25 points, 13 boards and three blocks … Even more impressive about Dwight’s performance was that he managed to beast Al Horford. Did you see the arms on Al? He looks like a Dominican Terry Crews, like he’s been eating raw antelope and drinking Diesel Juice all summer … Orlando didn’t seem to miss a beat with Ryan Anderson in the lineup replacing Rashard Lewis. Now is that an indication of how good Anderson is, how good Stan Van Gundy‘s system is, or how expendable Rashard is? … At least from a hostility standpoint, the Nuggets and Lakers are in midseason form. In the second quarter, Lamar Odom and Birdman Andersen got into a shouting/shoving match. Since the contact leading up to the “fight” didn’t seem like anything serious, do you think it had anything to do with the Birdman’s impostor destroying L.O. on Twitter after he married Khloe Kardashian? Odom was extra anxious to start throwing blows, and might’ve torn into Birdman’s face if Kenyon Martin wasn’t there to string him up by his collar. Maybe Odom didn’t know it was an impostor insulting his wife. Maybe we’ve had our first NBA Twitter fight … With Carmelo and Chauncey Billups sitting out on one side and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum on the other, Denver got the W behind Ty Lawson‘s 29 points (13-16 FT), six dimes and five steals, and J.R. Smith‘s 18 points (6-20 FG). Kobe made a 9-minute cameo and scored six points … Even the announcers were in full stride: Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy had a hilarious exchange that started when Jax said Tyler Hansbrough is arguably the greatest college ballplayer of all-time and JVG vehemently disagreed. Van Gundy then launched into his usual insane statements, saying he could name 20 UCLA players who were better than Hansbrough — one of them being Swen Nater. It ended when JVG suggested Mike Warren and Jackson said Warren was a better actor than a ballplayer. “Have you seen Hansbrough flop?” Van Gundy shot back … Actual line from JVG: “If you can’t respect Kobe Bryant, you can’t respect anybody.” Um, well, there was that one — ahh, nevermind … Rockets/Mavs also saw some playoff-caliber tension, when Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Drew Gooden got into a spat that Gooden started for no good reason. When the refs hit both guys with technicals, Gooden immediately headed for the locker room, assuming he’d been ejected when he actually hadn’t been. Either way, he’s lucky somebody stepped in. Drew is from the Bay, but Pops looks like he’d hand him a nice ass-whuppin’. As for the game, Dirk dropped 32 points in 32 minutes before getting ejected for arguing calls … Some bad news for the Grizzlies — or maybe good news for Allen Iverson — as Mike Conley hurt his ankle in the first quarter of last night’s game against the Bobcats and didn’t return. With A.I. still sidelined, Marcus Williams took over and finished with 11 points and five assists in the win. Hasheem Thabeet has still done nothing to prove he won’t be a bust, posting three points, three boards and four fouls in 16 minutes … Meanwhile, Blake Griffin has done nothing to prove he won’t be a beast. His stat line against the Hornets wasn’t very notable (8 pts, 6 rebs), but he definitely stood out on the play where he ate up a Hilton Armstrong dunk attempt at the rim, then ran to the other end and finished with a dunk off an alley-oop. Another time Blake came barreling through the lane about to put somebody on a poster, only Peja saw it coming and smartly slid out of the way … Some other notable stat lines from Friday night: Deron Williams posted 19 points and 11 assists in Utah’s win over Sacramento, while Tyreke Evans had 21 points, five assists and three steals; Ben Gordon scored 19 to lead Detroit over Milwaukee, while Michael Redd went for 23 points in the loss; Yi Jianlian had 22 points and 11 boards, and Terrence Williams added 23 points, eight assists and four steals in Jersey’s win over Philly; Chris Bosh put up 27 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in a loss to Minnesota; and Danny Granger had 29 points, 14 boards and six assists in the Pacers’ win over San Antonio, while Tim Duncan posted 15, 11 and six. FYI, if you haven’t seen San Antonio play yet, Duncan is still at PF while Antonio McDyess plays center. Going into the season, some people thought this would be the year Duncan finally played center officially … We’re more than used to TV talking heads never taking a strong position on anything — we think Steve Smith has 12 teams in the East going to the playoffs according to NBA TV’s season preview shows — but Jamal Mashburn had a gem of a quote last night: “I think Gilbert Arenas needs to show up for this (Wizards) team to be really successful.” And in other news, LeBron needs to stay healthy in order for Cleveland to win a championship … We’re out like the preseason …

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  • KB24

    Let the Season Begin!

  • BRUCE

    I want to see LO reaction after Khloe Kardashian consumes all his Gummi bears!

  • vince

    From Deandre Jordan’s blog:

    “We have a game Halloween day. I think I might come to the arena dressed as Steve Urkel from Family Matters. It’s just a thought. I was going to dress up as Michael Jackson, but I have a feeling everybody’s going to dress up like Michael Jackson this year so I changed my mind. I’m thinking I’ll come in a plaid shirt, red glasses, suspenders, some Wranglers (which I’m going to fold them up at the bottom), high white socks and my bowling shoes. Or I’ll do something else. ”

    Dime needs to interview this guy, he’s one of the most entertaining guys in the league. Also did I mention he’s got some crazy potential? Escpecially for a second rounder. Yesterday he had 5 dunks in just over 30 minutes. Kid will be a good starter one day.

  • That’s whats up

    Khloe’s punani tastes like sour patch kids

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    Terrence Williams=Beast

  • fLaVa

    lol @ Thats Whats up!

    more like sour peaches… lol

  • rangerjohn

    ohhhh noooooooo, blake griffin is dimes new love affair.

    is blake going to be talked about in the same ranks as kobe and lebron around these part? i think so.

  • D-Nice

    Dime,the answer to your Ryan Anderson question is yes he’s good,plus his game is perfect for Magic’s system & no,Lewis is not expendable.Don’t get carried away lol.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    dime talks about the best players in the sport they cover, clown, blake just happens to be the most talented rookie since, well, maybe Kevin Durrant, but KD couldn’t lift a buck eighty when he came in, so blake’s rookie upside is there.

    who do you want them to cover the most? Lou Williams? The Bucks? Sydney Dean?

  • rangerjohn

    i assume you are referring to me as “clown” LMAO now thats good shit. i have been called a lot of things around these parts over the last 5 yrs or so but i think this is the 1st time clown was one of them.

    now to the point, the dime guys have a select few players they devote EXTRA coverage to, IE lebron, kobe, wade and chris paul to a lesser extent. this is pretty common knowledge around here. so does blake get moved past guys like durant, wade, and the others and put into the same “love fest” class of lebron and kobe?

  • LAballer

    clown just wants them to talk about blair since he’s on the spurs and he’s now leading them to the chip..

  • nckdmss
  • Phileus

    If Thabeet ever averages 15 and 10, or anything close to that, I’ll gobble down some bull’s testicles. He was shit in college, and he won’t be anything in the NBA.

  • Scotty Walnuts

    Lamar’s got the Kardashian curse…just ask Reggie Bush about that…

    Ty Lawson looked REALLY good against the Lakers last night..looks like a poor mans Tim Hardaway. everyone said Tim had no jumper comin out of college too

  • M Intellect

    I reckon LO and Birdman got tension from the Nuggets-Laker series last year when Birdman blocked LO on a dunk attempt, I think later in the series LO crushed it on him though.

    Pops is from Hackney, which is a tough ‘hood in London. I know Juelz got stuck up there and I think The Game got caught slippin’ round there too.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    “First NBA Twitter fight.” Where amazing happens…

  • Kobeef

    Here’s that Blake Griffin block and dunk sequence from last night….nasty.

    http://www.nba.com/video/games/clippers/2009/10/23/0010900115_noh_lac_3play.nba/

  • Rangerjohn

    @ # 11
    yeah you got me, we need more Blair love.

    That koming from one of the big Kobe lovers.

    All “clowning” aside, spurs over lakers in 6 befor beating the celts in 7.
    The shaq/lebron experiment flops, bynam will be a bust because he dropped kaream, and kloe and Ron Ron will be just enough freak show to bring the lakeshow down.

    There I said it!

  • ponky_alolor

    magic looked legit vs hawks. dwight has that awkward sweeping hook but its going in 4 him. plus they play good help D.

    East will be great to watch with the top3.

  • rangerjohnisamanlover

    ranger john talks shit… spurs just look good in paper…but they are sooo old they should play with canes

  • Dean

    Fist of all, PETE MARAVICH is the greatest all time for college hoops. There’s nobody else that compares!

    Can’t wait to watch CDR and Evans of the Kings play.
    Also Courtney Lee! Shit, there’s alot of dudes I can’t wait to watch.

    Ryan Andersen was killing it! Damn.
    Magic are DEEEEEEEEP with that bench!

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    I’ve got my junk food stash!! Bring on the games!!!

  • Diego

    Magic team is just loaded. Remember last year when they were ripping teams with 3s after 3s? This year it will be even more of that with Vince and Anderson adding 5 or 6 each game between them. Magic are going to have a ton of blow-out wins.

    Anderson is that good. He looked nice last year with N.J. also. Where did this guy come from? What was his draft spot?

    Yes, Rashard is expendable.

    The odd man out for the Magic will be Barnes. He just doesn’t add all that much. I just see him as being Magic’s 11th man–behind Bass, Anderson, Gortat, Williams, Reddick on the bench.

    Magic’s week spot? Back-up point guard. Only savior there may be the never-aging, utilty point, papa smurf Anthony Johnson. I am not believer in white chocolate in long haul–not as good as Skip at this stage.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Wow after looking at Ty Lawson on sat. I’ve some to the conclusion that he’s a killer and may be the best point guard taken in the draft.

  • JH

    Lawson is one of the fastest PG’s I’ve seen in a long time. His ability to steal the ball might be somewhat enhanced by the fact he can run under most player’s arms at full speed.

    On other news…Spurs are gonna take the West.