The way things are playing out, Tyreke Evans is going to be the next Deron Williams. How’s that? Because as nasty as he is, due to all the talent in the Western Conference, ‘Reke might have to wait 2-3 years later than he should to make his All-Star debut. By all means, Tyreke is having an All-Star season right now. He’s one of only three players in the League averaging at least 20 points, five boards and five assists (along with LeBron and D-Wade), he has the Kings playing better than anybody expected, and he’s getting it done as a crunch-time performer. But with Kobe, Nash, B-Roy, CP3, Billups, TP, Manu and Deron (and, um, T-Mac) routinely vying for All-Star spots in the West, ‘Reke too much veteran competition to overcome for now … Last night Tyreke bolstered his resume a bit, taking out the Nuggets and one-upping Chauncey in the clutch. While J.R. Smith and Chauncey were slinging threes throughout the fourth quarter, Tyreke (27 pts, 10-15 FG) was scoring all over the place. He hit go-ahead free throws with 29 seconds left, and after Beno Udrih added two more FT’s, Chauncey (27 pts, 8-20 FG) tied it on a triple that allowed every announcer/studio guy on the planet to scream, “That’s why they call him ‘Mr. Big Shot!’” … By now, you already know what the Kings are doing when they need a big shot: Clear-out for Tyreke. Being guarded by Kenyon Martin — who stopped LeBron on two crucial late-game possessions on Friday — Tyreke gave him a right-to-left crossover, a little hesitation to get into the lane, and when Nene came up to challenge, ‘Reke did the Derrick Rose fake-pass/turnaround and stuck a fadeaway with 0.7 on the clock for the game-winner. Frigid … Bobcats/Grizzlies also went down to the wire. Charlotte was up three with 20 seconds left when Ray Felton passed it right to O.J. Mayo (not sure how he didn’t see him standing right in front of the target), and O.J. went coast-to-coast for a layup — or at least he thought so until Gerald Wallace caught him from behind and spiked his shot. But Felton bricked two free throws on the other end, so still trailing by three, O.J. (25 pts) went one-on-one facing Crash Wallace and dropped a three in his mug with eight seconds remaining. ‘Cats ball, Felton put a little too much air on a baseline floater, but Wallace was right there for a tip-in at the buzzer. Zach Randolph actually had position on Crash and did everything you’re supposed to do to get a rebound, but Wallace just flew higher than him. (Not a tremendous feat when you’re talking about Z-Bo, but still.) … Crazy play at the end of the first half: Zach missed a corner three, and Marcus Williams chased the loose ball out of bounds. From behind the backboard, Williams lofted it over the backboard, and Rudy Gay almost finished what would have been a Highlight of the Year-type alley-oop. Rudy missed the clean dunk, but the ball still bounced in so he got credit for the bucket … The Hawks seemed to have a letdown after their big national TV win over Boston, and the Magic seemed desperate after losing four in a row to inferior teams. And when they met yesterday, it wasn’t pretty. Looking more like the balanced squad with tons of weapons that was destroying teams in the preseason, Orlando had seven guys score in double figures and dominated Atlanta in a 30-piecing. Dwight Howard probably didn’t get as many touches as he’d like and was dealing with foul trouble again, but he’ll take 12 points and seven boards (in 22 minutes) if it’s in an easy win like that … Not that anybody was paying attention due to a rampant outbreak of Tony Romo Fever, but the Mavs were handed their worst home loss of the season by the Jazz. Deron Williams (20 pts, 9 asts) was back after missing a couple of games with a bruised wrist, and he had the offense clicking on one of those nights where Utah looked like a legit title contender … Other stat lines from Saturday: Kevin Durant hung 40 points (12-18 FG, 14-16 FT) and 12 boards on the Pacers, while Danny Granger scored 25 in his second game back from a heel injury; Elton Brand dropped 25 off the bench to lead Philly past Detroit; Luis Scola had 23 points in Houston’s win over the Knicks; and Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich scored 20 apiece as Chicago knocked off the Wolves … If anybody caught Charles Barkley‘s “Saturday Night Live” appearance, let us know what you thought … Post from Brandon Jennings‘ Twitter: “Man Mike Redd got on the Plane. Looking like Kanye West, had bout 10k worth of clothes on. Gnr. Must be nice.” … Young Money’s squad has a rematch with the Lakers tonight. Last time Kobe went all Avatar on the Bucks, and we’re sensing a repeat. The Lakers are coming off a national TV loss to the Clippers, and in the following loss at Portland, Kobe was fuming as the Blazers fans chanted “M-V-P!” for Brandon Roy. Things could get disgusting on Sunday, just warning you … We’re out like Kanye Redd …
Smack / Jan 10, 2010 / 7:03 am
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