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Smack / Nov 27, 2009 / 6:11 am

Return of the Centaur

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

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 …

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  • porkpiehat

    The Bulls always stink up their early road schedule since Jordan retired. They’ll get better as the season goes but del Negro has to go if they wanna be serious players. He’s in over his head.

  • Quedas

    Dwight is back. Let’s hope it’s for good. We need him, my fantasy NBA team needs him, the league needs them. Give them hell Dwight!

  • Soopa

    So Chicagos frontline is apparently the new version of G-State’s frontline giving up huge numbers to opposing big men? Gasol, Oden and Boozer both torched them during this stretch. Luckily they got Milwaukee and Detroit coming up cos those teams aren’t exactly know for having dominating big men.

  • arisloco

    @ Soopa

    “Luckily they got Milwaukee and Detroit coming up cos those teams aren’t exactly know for having dominating big men.”

    Put Houston on that list. This team and it’s front office needs to shake their heads off for not doing a great job rebuilding. This team will not be in the playoffs this year unless they trade off Yao for a decent big man and bring back T-Mac. Pathetic!

  • that’s whats up

    @ post 1
    they used to say the same thing about Popovich in his early years….and Phil Jackson.

    Del Negro may suck but he needs a few years to prove he sucks, consistently

    I think White Chocolate is realizing that even though he came back to play, his knees didn’t

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-490-Chicago-Bulls-Examiner Christopher Cason

    The problem hasn’t been the Bulls frontline, they’ve just run into some huge lineups on the road trip, the problem has been with the backcourt not shooting well, I say they still miss Ben Gordon;

    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-490-Chicago-Bulls-Examiner~y2009m11d27-The-Bulls-miss-Ben-Gordon

  • no j mayo

    If there is a god, Iverson to Philly.

  • jzsmoove

    Dwight historically comes to play when facing hometown pal Josh Smith. I want ATL to play a key figure in this year’s playoffs but would like to see a Spurs VS Magic Finals (if that doesnt happen i guess i’ll take the Lakers/Cavs like most.)

  • S-SiN

    Co-sign with #7..

  • QQ

    Damn, it feels good to be the number one team in the East. Good to see Dwight and crew give it their all in the second half. That’s why we are the team to beat in the East. Lebron and his tiring antics can try all they can, but that Finals experience last year gave us that edge that those pretenders don’t.

    It’s all good.

    And yeah, we STILL don’t have our all star point guard.

    PS: Dick Stockton is one shithead of a commentator. ‘Josh’ Howard? ‘Anthony’ Carter? And of course:

    The Czar: Jason Williams played great last night; He scored 24 points, on 9 of 12 shooting. He carried the team

    Dickhead Stockton: And don’t forget, he shot… 9 of 12 on the floor.

  • shake&bake

    @5 – Phil Jackson won a championship in his 2nd year.

  • K Dizzle

    Figured out why Melo’s been killin this season:

    SI’s Bball Preview All NBA teams predictions

    First Team
    F Lebron F KG C Dwight G Kobe G DWade

    2nd Team
    F Duncan F Dirk C Shaq G CP3 G DWill

    3rd Team
    F Gasol F Pierce C Al Jeff G BRoy G Gilbert

    Good to go back and see how wrong predictions are

  • Taj

    Yeah, Lou Williams won’t be getting any “Ethnic fatigue” drinking turkey soup this thanksgiving! LOL!

  • George Kush Sr

    AI announced his retirement too early, he can go back to Philly now.

    By the way, I am officially crowning Donnie Walsh as a certified idiot for passing on AI. He didn’t need to dump those contracts last year but he tanked the season in doing so. Now we’re on pace to give Utah a top 10 pick this year. AI would have been perfect in NY and he wouldn’t have hindered anybody’s development. If anything, he would have shown the young bucks how to play with some balls.

  • kauhl

    OMG! Another “Anthony Johnson is/looks old” joke. How creative!

  • pdxballer

    B. Roy still needs to get on track
    lets hope he does tonight

  • D.H.

    I got my Aug/Sept Dime mag in the post yesterday. Funny thing is I got my October Dime in the mail the day before. Suppose I can’t complain; I get to peruse through two new magazines this weekend.

  • Dirtball Rotten

    dont forget to put Eric Maynor in that group as well, he is doing his thing also

  • That’s what’s up

    melo just dropped 50 on the knicks

  • http://dimemag.com eyes

    If the warriors don’t count. It’s worse on the knicks. Everyone marks the date for a big game. The knicks are a joke. WNBA Teams are more entertaining. I’d take taurasi/cappie any day. BO KNOWS. The critics don’t.