Smack / Mar 15, 2010 / 7:03 am

LeBron poses tough test for Boston; NCAA Selection fallout

All week long, we’ve been saying Sunday’s game at Cleveland was a crucial test for the Celtics. Win or lose (seeing as it’s tough for anybody to win in LeBron‘s gym), the most important thing would be how much fight Boston had in them. So on that level, you can’t be too disappointed if you’re a Celtics fan; they hung in there well into the second half before LeBron (30 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts, 3 blks) become too much down the stretch … Midway through the third quarter, Boston was up by one and Paul Pierce (18 pts) appeared to be heating up, but then LeBron scored eight of Cleveland’s next 14 points in the quarter, and Leon Powe became a foul magnet and converted at the line. Up eight going into the fourth, LeBron scored 11 more as the Cavs won by double-digits … One huge factor was Cleveland’s bigs — namely Antawn Jamison (15 pts, 12 rebs), Anderson Varejao (17 pts, 10 rebs), Powe and J.J. Hickson — were simply more active than Boston’s. Those guys can all run and when they cut to the rim and went hard for rebounds, they left the C’s in the dust. KG (18 pts, 7 rebs) and Rasheed know how to play, but knowing where you should be and actually getting there are two different things … Was Jeff Van Gundy seriously arguing with Mark Jackson over Isiah Thomas‘ ability as a passing point guard? JVG said Isiah doesn’t deserve to be in the same conversation with Magic, Stockton, Kidd and even LeBron as a great passer. Never mind that Isiah averaged 10-plus assists four times in his career, retired averaging 9.3 dimes per game, and led the League with 13.4 apg one season. We’re gonna trust Jackson — the guy who ranks THIRD ALL-TIME in assists — when he says Isiah is one of the game’s greats at distributing the basketball … What’s eating Carlos Boozer lately? On Friday he basically gave the Jazz/Bucks game away when he lost his head after a no-call in the final seconds and got two costly technicals. Last night, toward the end of a solid 18-point, 11-board outing in Oklahoma City, Booz’s temper again cost his team. With about five minutes remaining and OKC up by nine, Booz missed an easy layup — one of a few gimme shots he missed on the night — but thinking he got fouled, screamed at the ref and got T’d up. After Kevin Durant (35 pts, 13-13 FT) hit the technical free throw and Jeff Green got an and-one dunk on the ensuing possession, the Thunder were up 13 and that was pretty much it … One of our writers has predicted Deron Williams vs. Derrick Rose will become the NBA’s must-see PG matchup, but how about D-Will vs. Russell Westbrook? If they stay in the Northwest they’ll meet up four times a year instead of two, and if the Thunder keep progressing, will battle it out for several division titles. Yesterday Williams had 27 points and 14 dimes, while Westbrook had 30 and 11 and got the W …

Stephen Jackson

The way the playoff seeding is shaking out, we could get a Magic/Bobcats matchup in the first round. Dwight Howard has a history of destroying the ‘Cats, but this version won’t be an easy out. Yesterday they met in Orlando, and even without Gerald Wallace (ankle), Charlotte snapped the Magic’s eight-game win streak. Dwight got his numbers, finishing with 27 points and 16 boards, but every time Orlando got within a bucket or two in the second half, it seemed Stephen Jackson (28 pts) answered with a three or a drive … Mickael Pietrus passed the “Skipped a haircut after a long road trip” stage a while ago, and now he’s moving beyond “mini-fro” stage. He’s obviously working on something long-term here. Braids? A flattop? A Gumby? Seeing Pietrus with a Gumby for the playoffs would be hilarious … Other stat lines from Sunday: Amar’e Stoudemire had 36 points and 12 rebounds to lead Phoenix past the Hornets; Tyreke Evans barely missed another triple-double, hanging 29 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists on the Wolves in a Sacramento win; Andrew Bogut had 17 points, 12 boards and 3 blocks as Milwaukee beat Indiana; Dwyane Wade posted 38 points (14-25 FG) and 5 steals in Miami’s win over Philadelphia that included a Jermaine O’Neal/Sam Dalembert fight that was better than Pacquiao/Clottey; and Toronto lost while watching LaMarcus Aldridge go for 22 points and 13 boards and Brandon Roy score 20 in the What You Missed Out On Invitational in Portland … Question: Considering how Hedo Turkoglu has played this season, why were the Blazers fans booing him? If anything, they should give him a standing O for allowing them to use that money on Andre MillerThe NCAA Tournament field is set. Not many arguments on the seeding — although Washington getting a No. 11 after winning the Pac-10 tourney is a bit low — but Mississippi State getting snubbed was flat-out wrong. Going 23-11 overall and 9-7 in the SEC isn’t easy, and while MSU performed below expectations this season, they just played Kentucky down to the wire literally a couple of hours before the Selection Show and they have the best defensive player in the country. Unless the Bulldogs are just crushed mentally, they’re going to reign holy terror on the NIT … And if you’re looking for a potential 16-over-1 historic upset, keep an eye on Vermont vs. Syracuse. T.J. Sorrentine lives … We’re out like Jarvis Varnado

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  • Magicman

    Bla Labron sucks

  • Magicman

    Bla Lebron sucks

  • BRUCE

    Texas is the dark horse this year.

  • http://www.sactownroyalty.com Willis

    Tyreke is PG-13 (position and number)
    Can’t wait til he goes Rated R on some fools. Tryna put them in the Hurt Locker.

    Divisions need some serious re-alignment tho.

    WEST-
    Pacific:
    GSW
    SAC
    POR
    LAL
    LAC

    SW:
    SAS
    DAL
    HOU
    OKC
    PHO

    Northern (renamed):
    MIL
    MIN
    UTAH
    DEN
    CHI

    EAST-
    Atlantic:
    NYK
    BOS
    TOR
    PHI
    NJN

    South East:
    NOH
    ORL
    MIA
    ATL
    CHA

    Central:
    DET
    CLE
    WAS
    MEM
    IND

  • Skeeter McGee

    Antawn is a valuable asset to the Cavaliers, especially with Shaq out, but shooting 6-17 isn’t being effective or efficient.

    On another note, did you hear JVG tell Marc Jackson that LeBron could go down as the greatest passer ever? Blasphemy… Uhh Stockton or Magic anyone!?

  • The Journeyman

    @ 4

    you’re stupid…how is DC (Wiz) in the Central??

    Central of what, the metropolitan area?

    We are Atlantic or East, example

    Maryland – ACC
    Georgetown – Big East
    DC – East!

    lol I just needed to get that out there Geography wizard

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    JVG is a terrible coach. The is a reason why he is still announcing and not coaching. Isiah not a great passer? That’s not even funny. That’s like saying Janet Jackson wasn’t sexy. Or that Mike Jordan could barely jump. Or that Mike Tyson was an ok puncher. I want JVG’s job. How do I get signed up for that?

  • RC

    Wow Tyreke is just phenomenal. This guy is gonna be a superstar.

    Cavs all the way to win it all!!! One more ring for the big aristotle! I hope the supporting cast dont choke in the playoffs though. Seems like Mo Williams cracks under pressure. But I think Jamison would keep them a little bit more steady this time.

    Raptors lost and continue to. Hedo should be traded for cash. Lets sign a better 2 guard or a 3 that can actually defend and shoot.

  • raf

    “Those guys can all run and when they’re cut to the rim and went hard for rebounds, they left the C’s in the dust. KG (18 pts, 7 rebs) and Rasheed know how to play, but knowing where you should be able actually getting there are two different things”

    did anyone else notice the grammatical errors? typos in comments is fine, but editors need to step up their game.

  • LoBezn0

    @ Willis: Nice division realignment. Hope it happens.

  • Coop

    ^ that is pretty terrible. Come on guys!

  • Skeeter McGee

    @ Post #9:

    Pretty much read my mind dawg. I thought I was just real hungover reading that and I was trippin’ but glad to see that wasn not the case.

    This rookie class has been surprisingly great. Steph Curry (I know he plays for Golden State and that offense, etc.) is better than I thought and, as mentioned earlier, Tyreke is straight filthy. But even guys like Brook Lopez, someone who I honestly didn’t think would be as good as he is in the league, are turnings heads.

    So now I pose this question: Which current college player do you think will be the biggest steal in the upcoming draft?

  • erichv96

    @ 4

    Switch WAS and PHI or WAS and TOR and I could live with that.

  • srb

    van gundy and mike breen like lebron way too much. Anyone else notice the highlight-style call when lebron got a defensive rebound away from marquis daniels? And I think it was in the third quarter.

  • K

    Docs rotations are fucked up. He starts th 4th with second unit out there we fall behind and then he assumes he can put the staters out there and win every single game it’s the same thing.

  • Roman

    Doc, has to start the 4th with the bench. Starters are so gassed, they need a break. KG and Pierce really need to shut it down. Their legs are shot. No quickness at all. My question is why do they still continue to talk smack, when the house is running on them.

  • http://www.haywoodplanning.com D.H.

    I agree leaving Mississippi State out is super harsh. Those guys must be crushed. I still can’t believe Cousins got that shot off.

  • ab_40

    ey they didn’t even name stockton in that greatest passers ever mix and oscar was a 2 and averaged a triple double so the best passing non pg is that dude. he also did it in a time where an assist was a direct score so a direct shot or a layup not getting an assist for a dribble drive or any of that dumb shit. boston needs a tough rebounder and an energy guy KG/Powe was that guy but now they have sheed and baby coming of the bench and they don’t bring that energy. they need that maxiel, noah type of player and sheed, KG, Davis and Perkins just aren’t rebounding like they used to. Pierce isn’t either dude used to get 7 to 8 per game for full seasons now he gets 4. The celtics are bad on offense. have so so D. and aren’t the ubuntu team they were in 08 or in the beginning of last season they were KILLING people untill they lost KG

  • http://www.sactownroyalty.com Willis

    Division realignment needs to happen. Don’t matter if WAS is in the Central, its close to other cities. Needs to be convenient for travel. Besides, that embraces the CLE-WAS rivalry. You could switch TOR and WAS though no problem. But really, MEM and NOL in the West while MIL and CHI are in the east? don’t make sense.

  • http://www.sactownroyalty.com Willis

    Dime, you give me a pass the mic I’ll clean up that idea and make it look real nice.