Smack / Mar 25, 2010 / 1:03 am

Josh Smith crams Atlanta into a playoff spot; the Nets win a game

Josh Smith (photo. Blake Peterson)

Talk about a hell of a way to clinch a playoff spot. The Hawks have been in a stretch where their last 4-5 games have all gone down to the wire, winning some and losing some. Hosting Orlando last night, it was the same ol’ story but with a surprise ending … With 12 seconds to go in the fourth, the Magic were down three with the ball. Making a strong case that we might have low-balled him on this list, Vince Carter casually drilled a triple to tie, and with no timeouts, Atlanta had to improv something. Joe Johnson got a good-looking baseline fadeaway going left, but it bounced high off the rim. Then out of nowhere, Josh Smith (15 pts, 7 rebs, 4 blks) came flying in with a Dr. J-like paw and smashed home the game-winning dunk just before the buzzer … It wasn’t even J-Smoove’s first buzzer-beating follow dunk to win a game this year — but unlike the one against Houston, this was a clean throwdown that would’ve made the highlight reel had he done it in the second quarter … Earlier in the fourth, Dwight Howard (19 pts, 24 rebs, 4 blks) came down with an offensive rebound and Jamal Crawford of all people tied him up before Dwight could get the putback dunk. Props to Crawford for risking his skinny arm like that; he looked like somebody trying to take a fish from a grizzly bear … And you thought the Cavs had something to worry about. Literally one minute into their game at New Orleans, David West baited Antawn Jamison into his second foul and Jamison had to sit down. Then a couple seconds before halftime, LeBron came down on somebody’s foot and appeared to hurt his ankle before limping into the locker room. No problem. ‘Bron came out for the second half like nothing had happened and finished with 38 points (15-22 FG) and 9 assists while Cleveland ran N.O. out of the gym. And for those who say LeBron only scores on reckless drives and easy dunks and relies too much on the refs, he only had eight free throws in this game and had maybe one dunk … Defensively, the Spurs did what you ideally want to do against Kobe Bryant: Keep him off the foul line, and make him take a lot of tough-angle contested jumpers. Kobe had “only” 24 points on 16 shots, he never made it to the stripe, and he had a defender in his face all night — except for that dagger three late in the fourth when Richard Jefferson somehow left Mamba wide open. But then San Antonio didn’t count on Lamar Odom (19 pts, 13 rebs) having a monster game or Tim Duncan (6 pts, 2-11 FG) not being able to buy a bucket. Frustrating loss for a Spurs team that just cannot seem to find a consistent rhythm … At the end of the third quarter, DeJuan Blair got an offensive rebound and instead of kicking it out to re-start the offense and get the final shot, he went solo and missed a pointless shot. Gregg Popovich was so pissed, not only did he not look at Blair, he didn’t even talk to him; Pop sent Manu into the game to yell at Blair for him … Make it EIGHT wins now for the Nets. But there’s a dilemma: Do you throw a party after beating a bad Sacramento team that doesn’t have Tyreke Evans, or do you hang your head because your season has come to this in the first place? It’s kind of sad that despite a double-digit lead the entire fourth quarter, the fans couldn’t allow themselves to safely celebrate until Jersey was up by about 15 in the final minute and a half. Brook Lopez put up 26 points and 13 boards in the win … Other stat lines from Wednesday: Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 11 points, 11 boards and 15 dimes to go with 4 steals as Boston beat Denver decisively; Stephen Jackson dropped 37 points in Charlotte’s win over Minnesota; Stephen Curry went for 30 points, 11 dimes and 4 steals as G-State beat Memphis; Deron Williams posted 18 points, 16 assists and 4 steals as Utah routed Toronto; Jrue Holiday had 15 points, 7 dimes and 2 steals to lead Philly over Milwaukee; Kevin Durant‘s 25 points led OKC past Houston; and Danny Granger scored 31 in the Pacers’ win over Washington … Hilarious moment in the first quarter of that game when James Singleton (19 pts, 21 rebs) threw up a disgustingly ugly jumper that didn’t hit anything, and after an awkward pause, Indiana’s play-by-play guy mentioned that Singleton has been playing on a sore ankle. That sent announce partner Quinn Buckner into a laughing fit. After like two minutes of being unable to talk, all QB could manage was, “Bad ankle? That was a bad shot! He almost broke the glass!” … Oh, and Andray Blatche was in the starting lineup for Washington, and the sideline reports indicated he and Flip Saunders hadn’t really resolved anything from their Tuesday spat. Way to crack the whip, Flip … We’re out like teaching points …

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  • johnny

    First!!!!
    Lakers all the waaaayy!!!

  • http://www.nikeitaly.com/12-nike-shox-series Nike Shox

    i nostri prodotti sono belli ,buone qualita’ ,bassi prezzi ,con gran sconti~

  • A.R.

    early dime tonight.
    gotta give it up for the Lakers tonight. they really made the adjustments in that second half. Artest was picking pockets and straight bullied Manu mid court on one of them. Glad to see it, here’s hoping they’re getting into playoff mode.

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    Random thought:

    I dont know if they do this but I was thinking maybe Dime Magazine should run articles called “Dime’s Dime Pieces”. Articles basically interviewing females in position of power in the NBA (if there are any. Im sure they’re are some) and WNBA players as well as cheerleaders on a weekly or monthly basis. On a male dominated site, i’d be good see a little “information eye candy” on here

    *shrugs*

  • Yoooo

    Joe Johnson had the ill walk on that last possession

  • sh!tfaced

    LOL@Nets fans still holding their breath up to the last minute. Just like a superstitious out of luck gambler who feels like he’ll get a bad beat until the river card comes out…

  • FedEx

    Do alley oops don’t count as dunks, because LeBron had at least one of those.

  • Coop

    Blatche has a screw loose but Flip should have sent a message there. Tut tut.

  • Sweet English

    @ #4 Gunner J. Matthews

    Yeah, and they should do an article called ‘Smack’ where they talk about last nights basketball related events, right?

    Duhuuuuuuuuuhhhh —-> 1.Look where it says COLUMNS 2. Click on DIMEPIECE 3. Enjoy (Except the blazers dancers… *shudder*)

  • raysir

    Flip should have sent a message, suspension and fine…its not like they have anything to play for.

  • jimmhumm

    blatche gotta learn, he the best guy on the team he has to be a role model.

    @ Yooo #5
    Garnett had an i’ll walk last night on a bricked lay up. The NBA doesn’t never call traveling. Wade and LBJ do it at least three times a game!

  • porkpiehat

    Smith’s put-back to clinch was sick.

    The Spurs lost control of that game when they took Manu out in the third. Without Tony Parker, only Ginobili can really create for them, against a defensive team like LA that is an issue. Also, no one has an answer for Odom as long as someone tells him there’s a game being played.

    Blatche may be talented, but after five seasons he’s still a dummy, trade him for some smoked salmon already.

    One last thing, I know it’s a meaningless scrub game, but 21 and 19 from Jimmy Singleton??? Wowie!!

  • Celts Fan

    Celts look like they’re finally back to full strength and Pierce is finally completely healthy. Sure it was the 2nd night of a back-to-back for the Nuggets, but we weathered Melo’s 30+ and that 3rd quarter run they put on us to make it close again, Nate hit some big shots and Finley looks to be a good fit. We still ain’t winning ish w/out a few key injuries throughout the league, but it’s nice to be confident we’ll make it to the 2nd round again…

  • Celts Fan

    @Jimmhumm – the refs call traveling all the time now compared to 10 years ago. In the past month alone I’ve seen both LeBron and Kobe called for a walk late in the 4th in close games. They def call it a lot more now. BUT, KG took quite a stroll to the bucket last night. Our entire section (and I think all 10 players on the court) just looked around surprised, waiting for a whistle that never came.

  • Ian

    pork
    i was watchin the game with my gf who doesnt know anything about basketball and even she said the samething. well it was more like “your team looks retarded without ginobili (one of three players she can name)”.

  • Paul Wall

    Damn the Nuggets are struggling right now. No defense in the post without Kmart. George Karl is out for who knows how long. Home court is not looking so good anymore. I believe if they get Kmart and Karl back before the playoffs they will be alright regardless of seeding but that home court would have been nice!

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    Bullets of Randomness

    I can live with Sheed, Nate, and Tony as the ONLY three dudes comin’ off the pine for the Celtics.

    Rondo is as good a floor leader as any guard in the league.

    Josh Smith really came thru with the put-back. Nice.

    Rashard really didn’t come thru with the box-out. Not Nice.

    Good win for the Hawks.

    Curry and Evans might take home co-ROY honors.
    ‘Cause both of them is ALL DAT!

    Reke Havoc better get healthy or OH BOI Steph takin’ that thang!

    Like a die-hard wino, I’m ready for the EJ to be GONE!!!!
    Cottamn!!! Give Kapono and Jason Smith extended minutes and you get the W.
    Even with Brand Bummin…so what’s Coach’s excuse for not playin the pale brothers?!? Coach got to go.

    Just like Haywood said the other day, Eddie Jordan teaches “Losing Basketball.”

    LBJ was wettin’ all types of jumpers at all types of angles from all types of spots on the floor.

    Okurfur and David West are sorry excuses for a front line

    Delonte went absolutely NUTZ in the 2nd.
    Dude hit everything, drives to the cups, mid range pull ups, 3-pointers.
    Why does it seem NO ONE reads the scout report on this guy??? He’s left handed…why does EVERYONE surrender the left to him????

    N.O is wiggity whack by the way. The only good thing they got is those 3 guards.

    Spurs won’t survive a playoff series this year. Book it. Mark my words.

    Jazz DESTROYED the Raps on the road by damn near 30!!!!

    Raptors won’t survive a playoff series this year. Book it. Mark my words.

  • SP@UM

    Anyone catch the interview Coach Pop had with the Spanish guy before the 4th quarter? Funny shit!

  • http://www.slcdunk.com AllThatJazz

    Jazz are tied w/ nuggs (at least for one night) for the division lead. Good thing the Jazz went out like france in wwII in all those head-to-head games vs. Denver . . . smh

  • RC

    It would be a different story if Tony Parker isn’t injured. The Spurs just don’t have enough offense anymore. TD and Manu try to get the offense going but they also guard the best scorers on the other team. Manu did a good job on Kobe and TD just rotates to whoever is in the lane. It’s tough to carry your teams scoring and play all out defense on the other teams best players too. Although let’s be honest if Bynum was there I don’t think the Spurs would have a slight chance. The Spurs need a young 7 footer who can help Timmy defend the paint and get some boards.

    Boston is looking good lately. Rondo proves time and time again he is a top 5 point guard.

    Sac town should have not lost to the Nets.

    Raps stink! Hedo and Calderon should play for wnba they are too soft!

  • LAballer

    havent posted on here in a MINUTE..some random thoughts..

    -J-Smooves put back dunk was probably the coolest game winner ive seen in a while..not the best..not the toughest..just the coolest..although joe did walk on that last play

    -kobe has got to be the best at making the toughest shots look easy..gotta give him that one

    -td is hitting his shaq/kg stage..u can see his game starting to drop a bit..the lift isnt there..

    -can we atleast mention the jamison going to cavs trade in the same breath as the gasol to lakers trade? all im saying is..we gave up a serviceable backup defensive center and marc gasol who is a productive starter in this league for pau..(yes its still a lopsided trade)..but what did the cavs give up? NOTHING..they got Z back..so i mean..its comparable at least right??

    -everytime matt bonner shoots i want to stab him with a used plastic fork..fool is just an annoying presence..

    -lakeshow are starting to click a lil bit..could be on a ten game winning streak after their next couple..should be wins..

    -sick of farmar..we need a better pg..this dude had the greatest opp to take over the starting gig and run this team..wtf is up with him?

    -i love alcohol…

  • LakeShow84

    Coming from a Laker fan that was the sickest buzzer beater this year.. Bigups to Smith for not thinking and just GOING.. talk about PUNCTUATING a game..

    Im still waiting for a game where i can honestly agree that Kobe is NOT a deep threat.. Funny watching Pop’s reaction to Jefferson leaving Kobe open on that 3 ball, “you must be the biggest idiot ive ever coached”..

    Either the Nuggets are slipping HARD or Boston is damn near back.. I expected the Nuggets to roll after that loss to NY and they still lost by a decent amount to a Boston team getting its legs back under them..

    Playoffs will be interesting..

    Well in the East :)

  • Heckler

    SHOUTOUT to:

    JAMAL CRAWFORD for finally being on a team thats headed to the playoffs!!!

  • Claw

    Was Pop comatose on the bench near the end of the game? He takes out Manu and Lakers start a run, why not call a timeout and get him back out there? By the time he did the game was done. Terrible coaching.

    @Lakeshow – You don’t think a matchup with the Mavs will be interesting? Haywood, more than Butler, has given that team an interior D and Kidd forgot that his ass is old. I’m looking forward to that series, the Nuggets on the other hand look like the wheels have come off.

    What the hell has happened to Westbrook? That Jay Z concert really threw off his game.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    Yeah Joe Johnson walked to like Orlando and back and the refs acted like they didn’t see it. I mean I guy take one extra step fine let it go. But Joe picked up the ball like he was playing football…LMAO

  • JH

    Timmy D isn’t “entering” the Shaq phase of his career. He is already there. Spurs continue to be a western conference playoff team with a punchers chance at winning a series. But after witnessing beatdowns from the Jazz (0-4), Dallas (1-2), Denver (1-2), and now the Lakers (1-2)…I can’t consider them an elite team anymore. Regardless, I’m still a loyal fan & think their experience will give em a shot come playoff time.

    Did anyone else think the “Latin Night” theme of last night’s Spur-Laker game was retarded? I speak Spanish and didn’t think too highly of it.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Claw

    Nah not too worried about the Mavs.. ill admit Haywood was probably their biggest pickup seeing that they dont have to rely on Dampier or Dirk as their interior D but i know Phil would have something for Dirk..

    And Dallas still rides or dies with Dirk..

    Honestly i doubt we will even see them.. i dont think they’ll make it to the WCF.. If they play Utah or Denver i think one of them will take them out.. Deron would burn Kidd plus they big enough and in a Denver series i could see Denver neutralizin Kidd with Billups (plus Billups would drop more buckets) and they got good interior D with Nene, Anderson and Martin..

    But Dallas does have enough weapons to do it.. and if Dirk plays lights out not too many peeps can guard him so i really dunno..

  • the cynic

    there is going to be a riot in San Antonio when the spurs can’t re-sign Manu because they have Richard Jefferson. Richard Jefferson should take 10 mil of the 15 mil he’s making and send it to Jason Kidd. I’ve seen the warriors bring up 2 or 3 d-league guys with more game than him.

  • mang

    The Lakers are an interesting bunch. If they commit to defense like they did last night against the Spurs, even I have to agree they’ll win the championship (and I am a proud laker hater). It’s funny, even though Kobe always has the ball, I never really thought of him as having great handles. After seeing those And 1 moves he was pulling, I was impressed.

    But let me ask a question to the lakers fans. I think they have a great chance at the title this year, but do you guys still think they’ll win multiple championships? Personally, I don’t think Kobe will catch MJ’s 6 rings.

  • Claw

    Asking Laker Fans? They’ll say 8!

    I don’t see them winning this year, Dallas I think they get past but probably in 6 or 7 and if they play the Cavs they will need Bynum. Jamison and then Delonte West has been ballin lately, and the PGs for the Lakers are either old or not that good. I’m still not sold that Artest was an improvement over Ariza watching Lebron just go around him, Artest couldn’t keep up.

    Saying Cavs in 6, bringing Ctown a championship.

  • Roman

    the reason why you dont see the Lakers winning this year is because you cant see past the hate. but its cool because, just like last year all you haters had to sit there and watch L.A bring home the trophy. Dallas? You definitely dont know ish about basketball. Aleast say Denver. fyi- the only on that can keep up with Lehype is Melo.

  • Ian

    mang
    why is the magic number 6?? didnt someone win 11??

  • Ian

    cynic
    if that shit happens i would never watch basketball again (just kidding ima watch manu and his new team).

    why did we trade scola again?

  • Roman

    Still think Dallas has what it takes to make it to the finals- Not suppose to be losing games this time of the season. Good luck!