Watch your head, because the LeBron Haters Street Team is gonna be out in full force today. Although LBJ posted a triple-double (29 pts, 12 rebs, 12 asts) and hit some big-time daggers down the stretch to lead the Cavs past Detroit, it’s the one blocked shot on his stat sheet that’s causing problems … With 1:30 to go in the fourth, Detroit was down three and Will Bynum was on his way in for a breakaway layup. Of course that’s when LeBron came flying into the picture to smack the ball off the backboard. Chalk up another Top-10 highlight and MVP resume-builder, right? Not quite. While it was an amazing athletic feat, the replay clearly showed Bynum’s shot hit the glass before LeBron touched it, meaning it should have been called a goal-tend. But there was no whistle, Detroit didn’t get the points, and LeBron later added a jumper, a three, and some free throws to seal the win. LeBron even admitted afterward that the ref missed the call, and that his reputation probably played a role … If you’re the Sacramento Kings, you can live with Kobe dropping 30 points on you on 26 shots. What’s gonna hurt when you look at that box score is Pau Gasol‘s 28 points and 12 boards, and Andrew Bynum‘s 21 and 12 on a combined 28 FG attempts. Like they couldn’t do as effectively as you’d think in recent wins over Toronto, Phoenix and G-State, the Lakers took advantage of their size up front and dominated the Kings in the paint. Then you throw in Lamar Odom, who was able to beat his man off the dribble and find open teammates on the interior, and you see why L.A. is tough with or without Kobe … It’s really too bad that the Kings and Warriors are going nowhere this season, because the Rookie of the Year race between Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry would be a lot better if both guys weren’t eating losses every night. Knowing his point guards can’t hang with Tyreke, Phil Jackson put Ron Artest on him for stretches, but even Ron-Ron was getting buckets from the kid. One time Tyreke (25 pts, 11 rebs, 9 asts) broke out a crossover/spin combo for a layup that had Artest lost in space … If you’ve followed Jason Richardson‘s career closely enough, you know two things: (1) He can dunk, and (2) His game-by-game performance is completely dependent on how well he starts. Last night J-Rich came out of the locker room on fire, dropping 15 points on Minnesota in the first quarter on an array of threes and layups. And this time his hot start got the whole team going — the Suns dumped almost EIGHTY points on the Wolves in the first half and finished with 152 in a rout. Yeah, 152. Those are NBA Jam digits … Richardson had 27 points, Amar’e scored 25, Lou Amundson added 20, and Steve Nash handed out 14 dimes. Everybody was getting theirs easily, and yet somehow Jarron Collins still managed a goose egg in seven minutes against a D that was only slightly more stingy than an empty gym … Minnesota did have one highlight: Corey Brewer smashed an insane dunk on Robin Lopez‘s face that was even nastier than what he did to Derek Fisher. Lopez immediately took knee after the dunk, like he was praying nobody saw it … Other stat lines from Tuesday: Carmelo Anthony put up 29 points and 12 rebounds in Denver’s win over Washington; Manu Ginobili went for 22 points to help the Spurs beat Miami; Danny Granger scored 26 to lead Indiana past Charlotte, but suffered what appeared to be a concussion late in the fourth; Al Horford posted 15 points, 11 boards and 7 assists in Atlanta’s blowout of the Nets, while Josh Boone went for 13 points and 20 boards in the loss; and Mike Conley‘s 19 points, 10 dimes and 5 steals led Memphis past the Bulls … While you were busy filling out your Big Dance bracket, the Little Dance — a.k.a. the N.I.T. — got underway. UConn, N.C. State and Mississippi State were among the notables advancing, while 1-seed Arizona State was knocked off by Jacksonville. But did you hear Roy Williams‘ foolishness? After North Carolina beat William & Mary, Coach Roy was talking about how great the home crowd was: “The crowd tonight, if they were like this all year maybe it would have helped us win more.” Really, Roy? Your team went .500 and by all rights wouldn’t have even made the NIT if not for reputation, and that’s because the UNC students didn’t cheer loud enough? You sure it had nothing to do with your inability to develop a decent point guard or post game from that roster full of high school All-Americans? Crazy asterisk … We’re out like goal-tending …
Smack / Mar 17, 2010 / 5:51 am
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