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Smack / Jan 4, 2010 / 5:14 am

Best Served Cold

Lamar Odom (photo. Tim Tadder)

Lamar Odom (photo. Tim Tadder)

Just like the great champions of individual sports — Manny Pacquiao, Roger Federer, Ric Flair — NBA title contenders make statements by avenging their losses. Last night, you had the Lakers and Cavs up against teams they’d suffered somewhat embarrassing losses to earlier this season, with mixed results that may tell us something about who will be left standing with the Larry O’Brien come June 2010 … Back in October, the Mavericks went into Staples and handed L.A. a decisive loss. This time the Lakers administered an all-out demolition, 131-96, especially impressive considering Ron Artest didn’t suit up, Pau Gasol left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, and Kobe was on chill mode for most of the second half. Lamar Odom (15 pts, 15 rebs, 6 asts) and Jordan Farmar (24 pts) did the heavy lifting … Kobe entered the night just a few points away from passing Patrick Ewing for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. But rather than viciously going after Patrick’s head — surely another Kobe-as-Jordan moment — Kobe (15 pts, 8 asts) was in his facilitator mindset and finished the game tied with Ewing. One time Kobe got the rock by himself on a breakaway and gave it up to Shannon Brown so the kid could enhance his dunk contest application … Nothing went right for the Mavs. Guys were throwing up ugly, disgusting bricks and tragic airballs. Shawn Marion went in for a dunk over DJ Mbenga — about as much of a gimme bucket as you can get against the Lakers — and still got his stuff sent packing … Meanwhile in Cleveland, LeBron was looking for some get-back on the Bobcats, who won the last meeting in late-November when Gerald Wallace simply outplayed LBJ. This one was close throughout, and the Cavs closed a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie it up with a minute left. Flip Murray then dropped a go-ahead triple in Delonte West‘s eye, and down three with 2.5 seconds left, LeBron’s fadeaway trey deep in the corner didn’t go … One of the NBA TV studio guys said LeBron’s attempt was “kind of like Kobe’s” game-winner against Sacramento the other night. Except it completely wasn’t. Kobe had a wide open catch-and-shoot, while ‘Bron (29 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts) took a difficult fadeaway with a guy draped all over him. The only similarity is they were both from the left sideline … If you’ve ever wondered whether a top college team could beat a bad NBA team, Pacers/Knicks was about as close to a test run as you’re going to get. Without Danny Granger, Troy Murphy, Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Foster in the lineup, and T.J. Ford having officially been taken out of Jim O’Brien‘s rotation, Indiana was giving guys like A.J. Price, Solomon Jones and Josh McRoberts major burn, and they got destroyed. Wilson Chandler had 23 points and David Lee had 22 as the Knicks shared the ball and played solid team defense, toying with a 50-piecing and eventually winning by 43 … Nate Robinson followed up his 41-point effort at Atlanta with a quiet six points (2-11 FG), but the MSG crowd gave him a crazy ovation anyway. (Dustin Hoffman was sitting courtside and broke out a picture of Nate when they showed him on the big screen.) On the flip side, Darko got zero love even in the blowout. One of the reporters sitting near us on press row had everybody laughing when he said, “Where’s Darko? Tonight could have been his night.” … Other stat lines from Sunday: Allen Iverson had 17 points and seven assists in Philly’s win at Denver; and Chris Bosh scored 22 with 15 boards as Toronto knocked off the Spurs. During the game Bosh became the Raptors’ all-time leading scorer, jumping over Vince Carter for the top spot. Wonder if they’ll boo Bosh as hard when he decides he wants to leave, too. (Just kidding, T-Dot fans!) … Play of the night: Jarrett Jack threw a bad alley-oop that DeMar DeRozan adjusted to in mid-air, caught off the glass and dunked it … Yesterday’s generic NBA TV halftime show was a replay of TNT’s “Best Buzzer-Beaters of the Decade.” Apparently a decree was signed that every entry had to be from a national TV/playoff game, otherwise there’s no justification for leaving out Rasheed Wallace‘s three-quarters-court miracle against the Nuggets … Speaking of, did you catch the end of Florida/N.C. State? Two seconds left in overtime, Wolfpack up two, Farnold Degand (winner of the Coolest Name of the Week award) missed a free throw that would’ve put them up three. Chandler Parsons got the rebound, took a few steps and launched a 70-foot bomb that dropped at the buzzer. Stunned silence in the N.C. State gym except for the Gators going nuts; that will be tough to beat for the best finish of the year … We’re out like Air Canada …

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  • jonny taise

    3rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • iannyb

    More of those Kobe and we’re unstoppable

  • markyvag

    Vince gets the boos because he’s a quitter.To not play hard for the fans who scrap and save to be able to go see a game is inexusable. He will pull the the the same crap with the Magic when things don’t go his way or he gets a headache,or maybe wants to attend his college reunion.great talent but not a winner.I’m loving the Knicks,I know they are not going anywhere,but they are fun to watch.They play really hard and the youngsters are showing some promise.Chandler’s a player and Gallo’s showing some toughness

  • RC

    Bosh will never be hated in Toronto. The guy is a class act, gives 100 percent every game and never complains on and off the court. Vince on the other hand is on a top contender in the east and still pulling his flops and playing soft antics. If Chris leaves Toronto next season I hope he goes to a top contender, the guy deserves a shot at a championship.

  • http://Diiimebitch Chris Ballz

    Chris bosh to knicks, hands down.

    Bosh-centre
    lee- power forward
    Chandler- small forward
    Joe Johnson- shoot guard
    Ricky rubio- point guard

    bosh will get paid in ny. Wen they can’t get lebrik
    or Wade, they will throw $100 bills at Johnson like no tomorrow.
    Then they will do a sign n trade with the wolves for Jared jeffries, Nate Robinson, cash n probs a draft pik for rubio. Then they will fork out too much cash to buy him
    out.

    Not to shabby tho

    Australia rules

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    * indiana pacers should just forfeit every game and save face.
    * patrick ewing was 15th on the alltime scoring list? FIFTEENTH? for all his non-traveling calls, maybe he should be higher. congrats kobe.
    * NBA TV sucks!

  • LakeShow84

    Man i was looking forward to a good fought out game last night..

    Not to say im disappointed but that game was over @ the half lol.. When we play defense we so hard it aint even funny..

    And when Lamar Odom + just ONE other bench member shows up we unstoppable.. But last night was nutz.. Mbenga was hitting J’s, Farmar looked like he could be a lite Aaron Brooks, VUJACIC hit his open looks.. crazy game.. wont happen again all year i bet lol

  • http://dime eyes

    TJ Ford should go to Boston. It’s time to get out of Indiana. If a team can’t figure out what to do with a player. Trade them. It isn’t always the players fault. It the organization as a whole to put them in a scenario to succeed. You can’t make a player what he isn’t. Sad that players & rookies go to situations where their career can never take off. They get a bad rap & by the grace of luck there’s a turnaround. If a team gives a player money it isn’t the players fault he can’t perform to their expectation. How does a million dollar man play let alone a multimillion dollar man play.

    Why is it easier to believe someone doing bad than it is doing good? SOCIETY & MEDIA.

  • http://twitter.com/therealknowbody GABRIEL BROGDEN

    @8 – I don’t think it’s that deep.

    TJ is a gunner who guns at the wrong time.
    TJ is a distributor who distributes at the wrong time.

    Only occasionally does he get the balance right.

    Throw in the fact that he’s not an excellent shooter, it makes you scratch your head when he ‘guns at the wrong time.’

    Throw in the fact that when surrounded by better shooters or shooters in a better position to score, it makes you scratch your head when he doesn’t distribute at the right time.

    That’s why he’s in the situation he’s in, to be a point guard. But his decision making isn’t the best.

    And I agree that “It isn’t always the players fault. It the organization as a whole to put them in a scenario to succeed. You can’t make a player what he isn’t.”

    HOWEVER, both parties signed the contract so everyone (organization and TJ) contributes to the lack of success in any given scenario born out of this transaction.

  • Kevin

    Even Lebron haters HAVE to admit that his last-second shot last night was WAY harder than Kobe’s game-winner over Sacramento. It was virtually an impossible shot.

    In fact, it was actually more identical to this shot:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG37xsOOvG8

    =P

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Pacquiao I predict will turn Mayweather into a white man.

  • rlf

    Hey Dime…check the game winner kobe had against the miami heat. with 2 guys all over him and him fading away. you have selected memory correct?

  • deeds

    @ Gabriel….AMEN!!

    As as raptors fan it drove me crazy having to watch tj attempt to take over games, only to freeze out teammates and drive the entire fan base crazy. I can only laugh when i see him losing his starting spot now

  • Dirk

    I heard that toronto is sending bosh to l.a. for bynum. toronto believes bosh won’t resign after this year. hopefully this is true..

  • LakeShow84

    Bosh for Bynum??

    Ehhhhhh on the surface that looks great and my initial reaction was shit yes please do it but Bynum is a good long defender.. We dont need more offense.. We need more defense..

    And unfortunately Bosh isnt a great defender..

  • the truth

    What is Ric Flair doing in the same sentence as “champion?” I love pro wrestling but that is not real wraassttlin.