Smack / Nov 26, 2009 / 12:01 am

It’s a New Day

LeBron James

The Detroit broadcast of last night’s Pistons/Cavs game had one of those text-in polls: Who is the Pistons’ perfect rival: Cavs or Celtics? One announcer argued it was the Cavs, “whether they want to admit it or not.” After re-signing Ben Wallace, sticking to the idea that Rip Hamilton could lead them to the promised land, being hesitant to start an official rebuilding project, and thinking last year’s team would have been a contender if not for Allen Iverson, that statement was probably the greatest indication that Detroit is living in the past. The Cavs ain’t worried about the Pistons; they’ve got real contenders in their path. The Pistons should be more focused on Chicago, Milwaukee, teams like that … Meanwhile, the Cavs went into the Palace and got another convincing win. Detroit’s rotating cast of coaches had it easy with Tayshaun Prince: 90% of the time you could just stick Tay on LeBron and worry about the rest of the matchups, but with Prince now injured, you could tell John Kuester wasn’t sure what to do. In the first half alone ‘Bron saw five different defenders, from Rodney Stuckey (who he’d immediately try to post up) to Jonas Jerebko (who he’s immediately try to beat off the dribble). Jerebko did a decent job of at least frustrating LeBron (34 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts), or else LBJ just had a big chip on his shoulder playing in the building where he got his early playoff baptisms. He seemed to have a snarl on his face all night. One time he drove on Jerebko and as the whistle was sounding, screamed, “And-one, cot dammit!” … The pre-Thanksgiving schedule actually had a few good, down-to-the-wire games. In Magic/Heat, Vince Carter hit a go-ahead three with 14 seconds left. Jeff Van Gundy and Hubie Brown debated whether the Magic should foul Dwyane Wade (24 pts, 11-11 FT) and put him on the line rather than give up a three — tough call because while Wade isn’t automatic beyond the arc, he’s definitely automatic from the line, and he’s definitely clutch as in he hits threes when he has to. (Ask the Nets about that.) Wade got off a corner three that missed, but Udonis Haslem tipped it in. After White Chocolate (25 pts, 8 asts) missed two big free throws, Miami had another chance. Wade airballed a J, but Mike Beasley was there for a follow dunk. Orlando had to go the length of the court with 0.7 remaining, and although Vince came close to hitting the greatest shot you’ll ever see since Jeff Malone, it didn’t go for him … Let’s not even get into a “Chris Paul who?” thing, but Darren Collison has been doing some major dancing on people’s faces ever since CP went down with his injury. Down three to the Bucks with 11 seconds left, Collison got into a lane for a layup and N.O. quickly (smartly) put the rookie Jennings on the line. He made them both, and on N.O.’s last possession, they ran a clear-out for Collison, who forced overtime by dropping a three on Luke Ridnour‘s head. Under a minute to go in the OT, Collison picked Jennings in the backcourt and got fouled, hitting the go-ahead free throws. Jennings responded with a driving layup, so again it was down to Collison on a clear-out. Guarded by Jennings this time, he crossed him up and got fouled at the rim. DC hit one of two free throws, enough for the win …

Rajon Rondo (photo. Christian Kozowyk)

Rajon Rondo (photo. Christian Kozowyk)

Rajon Rondo was the man during crunch time of Celtics/Sixers. He ran off a string of buckets early in the fourth quarter to give Boston what appeared to be a comfortable lead, but after Philly made it close again, Rondo to stick the dagger on a baseline J with nine seconds left … A win is a win is a win, but the Celtics might be a little concerned that they were taken to the limit by a Sixers squad that was missing two starters (Lou Williams and Elton Brand) and had Sam Dalembert as one of the other starters … Mavs/Rockets wasn’t so close. In fact, in the second quarter the Houston play-by-play guy declared it was the worst defensive performance he’d EVER seen from Houston. That didn’t stop Clyde Drexler from giggling all night, but still … Jason Terry had 27 points and 10 assists, but how about Tim Thomas putting in work? He had 23 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Two things: (1) Tim is getting kind of chunky. If you took a quick glance at the game, you easily could’ve thought he was Nathan Jawai. (2) Do you realize he’s been in the League for 13 years? He’s like the chick that came into college looking super-hot and available, quickly went downhill on her way to hooking up with every guy on the dorm floor, and while she was responsible for some good times, now nobody wants to claim her on the record … Other stat lines from Wednesday: Gerald Wallace put up 31 points, 13 boards to beat the Raptors; Steve Nash had 16 dimes and Amar’e had 28 points in a win over Memphis; Marcus Camby posted 15 points, 21 rebounds and three steals in a loss to Indiana; Carmelo Anthony scored 22 to beat the Wolves; Donte Greene had 24 points and six blocks in Sacramento’s win over the Knicks; Brook Lopez went for 32 points and 14 boards in another Nets loss to Portland; and apparently Monta Ellis is a robot, because one day after playing all 48 minutes and carrying GS to a win at Dallas, last night he dropped 42 points on the Spurs in a loss … On this Thanksgiving day, we have to say thank you to Allen Iverson, who as you heard, announced his retirement yesterday. Love him or hate him, A.I. influenced a whole generation of ballplayers, whether it was with his on-court or off-court style. Truly one of the greatest players we will ever see in this lifetime. But really, does anybody think he’s truly done with the game? Iverson is probably going to sit out this season, but when next summer rolls around and teams have money to spend and roster spots to fill, somebody will offer him a shot. We don’t think we’ve seen the last of The Answer … We’re out like the Cavs/Pistons rivalry …

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  • the big fundamental


  • S-SiN

    I thought of something I haven’t thought of before. with NY, Philly and MIA being mentioned as possible destinations for Allen Iverson for a while and the Nets in need of all the help they can get, no one has ever mentioned Toronto. I think it could work out fine if it happened…

  • mcw88

    i dunno… I mean wots the difference between AI signing with any team this season n the next season? If even Memphis wouldn’t let him start, why would that change next year? regardless if he decides to come back or not, his legacy is already tainted by the Detroit and Memphis runs.

    Im tired of hearing ppl say that the league will miss AI when he’s gone. He was practically invisible during his days in Detroit and nothing changed.

  • Big Sia

    Retire In Peace

    John Wall is playing nasty… Brooklyn!

  • Judas

    This Thanksgiving, I am adding AI name to the family dinner toast!

    Thank You AI! Cross Left/Right!

    Over the course of my playing career, I was crossed up AI style, ONCE! I know how you feel, Andre Miller, Antonio Daniels, and Jac Vaughn.

  • Judas

    The Nets might just surprise some people alright!

    I am STILL waiting for that Chinaman breakout game, so is the rest of the China-men!

    Nets Fans are waiting for Yi return and when he does, he will lead them to a victory!

  • rity

    The Pistons rival now is the Bucks; they need to fight off the Bucks, so they would not finish in the cellar of the central div. The difference is that J.D. spent 100 mil, but the Bucks only spent 10 mil (or less ?) in the offseason.

  • eric

    “but how about Tim Thomas putting in work? He had 23 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Two things: (1) Tim is getting kind of chunky. If you took a quick glance at the game, you easily could’ve thought he was Nathan Jawai. (2) Do you realize he’s been in the League for 13 years? He’s like the chick that came into college looking super-hot and available, quickly went downhill on her way to hooking up with every guy on the dorm floor, and while she was responsible for some good times, now nobody wants to claim her on the record …”
    Brilliant analogy, hats off to whoever wrote this piece.

  • sh!tfaced

    Damn, the Celtics are looking old.

  • cdubb

    Damn, DIME. Cold piece on Timmy Thomas…

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Anyone watch the Cincinatti/ Gonzaga game? Was it just me or was the Bearcat pg (Avery?) freezing out Born Ready the whole time, especially in OT taking bad drives that ended in bad tear drops that sometimes got picked up for garbage savior points…someone needs to tell him to pass and not worry so much about his shine…

    happy thanksgiving to everyone who reads this mag, and, of course, to everyone who puts out the best ball mag online. Peace.

  • Soopa

    How about “White Choke-late” missing two free throws for the Magic with seconds left leading to Beasley’s tip dunk?

  • steve nasty

    AI grow a brain. KG is past it.

  • Jay Jay

    Poor Nathan Jawai, being referred as chunky …lol

  • Soopa

    AI is the most influential player not named MJ that the league has ever seen. Cant give him enough props. Freak of nature. How many times in these clips does he get knocked down or hustles on the floor? Pick himself right up and goes to war again.

    I remember a playoff story where AI had been hit in the mouth and it bled and wouldnt stop bleeding. Knowing that if the refs see it, hes out of the game until it stops, he just doesnt open his mouth and swallows all the blood – while playing – until the end of the quarter. And not until after the game does he tell the coaches or his teammates about it.

    If Vince Carter had half the heart AI has, maybe he would have meant something to the league other then dunking. I just watched the Orlando game tonight and Vince looked like he got 4 career ending injuries during that game because of his reactions to hitting the deck. Pfffft.

  • Trey bing bay

    So where can i see this almost amazing shot by half man half amazing?

  • Ian

    “AI is the most influential player not named MJ that the league has ever seen”

  • that’s whats up

    Monta Selfish dropped 42 points, and his team lost by 14.

    He did have 4 assists and 4 turnovers, but just because you’re the smallest guy on your team and you can dribble does not mean you are a point guard

  • http://threeb.forumotion.net/ Dean

    I don’t get how every defender that ever was put on AI got crossed up EVERY SINGLE TIME & LOOKED B A D for it!!!


    He was a great scorer and could put a dagger in your heart! But very selfish and showed it last yr. with the Pistons. I hope he stays retired.
    Once a thug, always a thug.

  • VCR

    What does Rondo’s shirt say?

  • S-SiN

    Allen Iverson @ the 2 spot for the Raptors!

  • Big Island

    AI should go to San Antonio. He’d come off the bench for 30 minutes a night and he and Manu would be a fiasco for anyone to deal with. That second unit would be FILTHY.

  • Big Island

    And Pop and Timmay would keep him in line.

  • Talented

    Need a mobile version of dime for iPhones n blackberrys..thanks

  • Drew

    I can’t say I was ever a real big fan of Iverson, largely because I could see through the impressive scoring numbers he put up and see his real impact on the game. He was without a doubt, one of the best pure players of our generation. I made this comparison to a friend the other day, he will become the Mark McGuire of basketball (i know its a baseball reference, stay with me) when it comes to HOF voting. Being a one dimensional player, a lockerroom “problem”, and never giving up the me first attitude is the equivolent of steriod allegations in baseball. Even if its never officially proven, you are tainted forever. The HOF voters tend to look past the numbers, however impressive, and vote based on character in situations like these. And unfortunately for Iverson, there isn’t a whole lot to look at past his scoring numbers.

  • chris

    raptors were pathetic on d last night, giving up dunks or layups on 10 possessions IN A ROW to popcats in the 3rd. sure hope getting reggie evans back makes a difference, no way the raptors need AI, tho’…

  • rangerjohn

    @ big island, the day AI becomes a spur, is the day i become a suns, mavs, and/or LAKERS fan

  • bluv

    LOL @ #24 comparing steroid user legacy to AI legacy.

  • LakeShow84

    No shit when i saw the box score on NBA TV i couldnt figure out for the life of me who the fuck the Thomas was lol..

  • LakeShow84

    for the Dallas game that is lol

  • hahns

    HAHA there is a fifty cent cologne ad on this post.

  • Skeeter McGee

    Comparing Tim Thomas to the once-hot-now-beat-up girl in college was absolutely priceless. That’s all I gotta say haha shit made my day…

  • Skeeter McGee

    Scratch that…

    To the dude talking about how A.I. is somehow in your convoluted, ridiculous, absurd, you-gotta-be-on-some-fire-weed-argument like Big Mac cheating in baseball: WOW! Cheating and being a distraction are two very different things. AI was at times a distraction, but he never put the integrity of the game in question. As a matter of fact, he wanted to win it so bad he was the polar opposite of Big Mac, someone who juiced so HE and not the TEAM could become better…

    I wish some of y’all Kool-Aid sippers would think twice before posting some of the shit I read on here, DAMN…