Just two games on the NBA’s Thanksgiving schedule: one matching up two Eastern Conference title contenders, the other matching up maybe the two most inconsistent-yet-dangerous squads in the League … Dwight Howard hadn’t really had a Dwight Howard Monster Stat Line in a couple of weeks — as a matter of fact, so far this season he’s been pretty quiet by his standards — but he broke out yesterday with a 22-point, 17-board, 4-block effort against the Hawks. The Magic were bad in the first half, but came back in the second behind Dwight holding it down inside and the shooters capitalizing on open looks outside. It was Atlanta’s first home loss of the season, but at least their alternate red “ATL” unis were hot … Not sure if White Chocolate (0 pts, 3 asts) was still in a funk over those big free throws he missed against Miami the other night, but fortunately Anthony Johnson picked a good time to have one of his occasional “Oh yeah, Anthony Johnson is still in the League” games, scoring 17 off the bench. Do you realize AJ’s only been in the League for 12 years? It seems like he’s been around since 1987. Spud Webb looks younger than him … Rashard Lewis‘ beard is getting out of control. He tripped over it one time in the third quarter … The Jazz and Bulls are both routinely up-and-down, and yesterday was a bad combination of Chicago’s bad personality catching Utah in a good mood. You can tell when the Jazz are rolling: Deron Williams (21 pts, 6 asts, 3 stls) and Carlos Boozer (28 pts, 8 rebs, 3 blks) are clicking with the pick-and-roll, and their athletic guys — Ronnie Brewer, Wes Matthews and Paul Millsap — are taking turns dunking on everybody … Aside from a win at Sacramento, the Bulls have generally looked terrible on this West Coast road trip, getting smacked by the Lakers, Nuggets, Blazers and Jazz. Yesterday they were sluggish on both ends of the floor and outclassed by a team that really isn’t that much better than them. Derrick Rose is rounding into a form after a slow start and Luol Deng (26 pts, 4 stls) was solid, but the front line needs to step up and rebound and the defense needs to tighten up. It can’t all be a result of Tyrus Thomas being out … Who got worse news this week: The Sixers, who found out Lou Williams will be out for two months, or Lou Williams, who broke his jaw right before Thanksgiving? That’s a torture we don’t even want to know about … In all seriousness, this is a big opportunity for Jrue Holiday to show why he was a first-round pick and put his name next to Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Darren Collison and Ty Lawson as rookie PG’s putting in work. And if Holiday struggles, don’t be surprised if you hear a few Allen Iverson-to-Philly rumors … We’re out like Lou Williams’ Itis …
Smack / Nov 27, 2009 / 6:11 am
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