Principal D-Stern had to have been pleased with his product yesterday, as two of the NBA’s three preseason games took place outside the United States. In Taiwan, the Pacers blew out the Nuggets: Troy Murphy put up 20 points with four threes, and Brandon Rush (20 pts) knocked down six triples, but the real story was Roy Hibbert. The kid was a BEAST, going for 20 points, 11 boards and eight blocks. Granted, Nene being out meant Denver started Johan Petro at center, but he only played 10 minutes before Birdman and K-Mart assumed most of the duties inside. It’s just preseason, but in the Nuggets‘ two games against NBA teams (they smashed a team of kids from Belgrade), they haven’t looked good at all … Carmelo scored 17 and J.R. Smith added 16. Smith is wearing #5 this season, FYI … T.J. Ford was all over the place with six points, 10 dimes, four steals and six turnovers, while backup A.J. Price scored 16. Have to admit, we didn’t see Price as an NBA player for most of his career at UConn, not really until that epic six-overtime game against Syracuse when he went toe-to-toe with Jonny Flynn … In Spain, the Jazz 20-pieced Real Madrid. Paul Millsap led the way with 20 points (9-10 FG) off the bench, while Carlos Boozer scored 14 in 20 minutes and Deron Williams had 16 points and five assists … Madrid was led by ex-Michigan star Louis Bullock, who scored 18 but somehow only had one three. Remember when Bullock was in college? He was a three-point machine, like a poor man’s Curtis Staples. Madrid also had Jorge Garbajosa and Cheick Samb … Speaking of UM, Chris Webber was doing color commentary at the announce table for NBA TV. (Well, more like he was in the announcer’s studio. You could tell it was one of those cases where the network didn’t want to spend money flying announcers to Europe when they could just watch the game on TV and tell us about it.) As usual, C-Webb was pretty funny. One time when the cameras showed Darryl Dawkins in the crowd rocking a hideous/amazing yellow suit, Webber busted out laughing for about a minute, then said, “I forgot what I was saying. I don’t know if the NBA will be allowed back here after that.” … In the one game from this continent, the Bobcats beat the Hornets in what was supposed to be a homecoming for Chris Paul in Greensboro, North Carolina. CP put up 24 points and six dimes in the loss, and rookie Marcus Thornton scored 19 for the Hornets. D.J. Augustin led the ‘Cats with 22 points (16-18 FT) and three steals. Emeka Okafor and Tyson Chandler both sat out with injuries … Pistons rookie Jonas Jerebko (one game) and Miami senior citizen Jamaal Magloire (two games) drew suspensions from their fight the other day that will go into effect when the regular season starts. No problem for Jerebko; he probably would’ve logged a DNP in his first game anyway. This one’s not even worth the “Who would win in a real fight?” conversation … You knew Shaq would go about his regular practice of burning bridges and overzealously talking up his new team/teammates at some point, but doing it before the regular season even starts was a surprise. In a recent interview, Shaq said the Cavs are, “Probably the best team I’ve ever played on, on paper anyway. I’ve always been on management to get me the power forward I’ve needed and the shooters I’ve needed.” … And then Mike Brown threw in his two cents: “When the big fella talks, you have to listen because he’s been around a long time and his resume speaks for itself. He’s been on a lot of teams. If he says that, it’s something that has to be heard.” … OK, so apparently the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Lakers couldn’t compare to LeBron‘s current group, and Shaq also forgot he played with Horace Grant in Orlando, Udonis Haslem in Miami and, oh yeah, AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE in Phoenix. (Wasn’t it Shaq who said he was gonna make Amar’e the best PF in the NBA?) And shooters? Dennis Scott and Robert Horry might have something to say about that … We’re out like Curtis Staples …
Smack / Oct 9, 2009 / 2:51 am
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