Dwyane Wade needed a team like the Warriors on the schedule last night. In just his second game back from the calf injury that cost him four crucial games as the Heat try to stay in the playoff picture, Wade was coming off a 6-for-17 effort against Orlando; G-State’s crew of D-League call-ups running Nellie‘s defensive “system” was the perfect opportunity to get back in rhythm … Wade finished with 35 points (15-23 FG) and 12 assists — throwing in crazy-angle bankers, pull-ups, finger rolls and one alley-oop from Carlos Arroyo where he had to move his head out of the way so he wouldn’t hit the rim — but the Heat still got all they could handle for a Warriors squad whose roster of injured guys would beat the healthy guys more often than not. Down by two, Anthony Morrow missed a three with 12 seconds left. After Jermaine O’Neal bricked two at the line, G-State blew its last chance when Ronny Turiaf had a clear path to the rim but dropped a pass from Stephen Curry (18 pts, 8 asts) … One of Miami’s announcers said, “Right now (Jermaine O’Neal) is an underrated player. He leads his team in charges drawn and is one of the NBA’s top shot-blockers.” Do you think J.O. has become underrated? He’s averaging 13.4 points, 7.4 boards and 1.4 blocks and just the other day he outplayed Dwight Howard in a loss … Why were the Lakers (really just Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar) running a full-court press on the Pacers when they were up 20-something in the final seconds? L.A. had already scored 120 points, so the fans probably got whatever chalupa or pizza coupons they were gonna get, so we’re thinking Phil Jackson must have recently dug into those guys about playing better defense and they took him very seriously. Farmar actually got a steal when Indiana had four guys in the backcourt against just him … Kobe had an easy 24 points (14-15 FT), but this game was more about Ron Artest (11 pts, 5 stls) going against his old squad. Ron-Ron had Danny Granger locked in a rusty trunk, allowing him just 9 points on 2-of-9 shooting and completely taking his heart by the third quarter … NBA TV’s studio host said Celtics/Pistons is “not exactly a rivalry anymore.” We wouldn’t go that far — or maybe we just like the idea of a blood feud from the ’80s still going strong — but last night they had a competitive game. Paul Pierce scored 9 points (2-6 FG) in his return to the lineup, but in the end it came down to Nate Robinson sticking some big threes in the fourth quarter and the Celtics making all of their free throws down the stretch … Remember when Ben Gordon was Boston’s worst nightmare? The only notable thing BG (8 pts) did yesterday was have his foot in the way when Tayshaun Prince landed on it and twisted his ankle. Tayshaun returned to the game … In Tuesday’s only other game, Kevin Durant dropped 39 points (13-26 FG) and Russell Westbrook added 30 and 13 dimes as the Thunder knocked off the Kings. Tyreke Evans scored 27 in the loss … When Nenad Krstic made a cameo in the Thunder/Kings highlight, NBA TV’s Steve Smith said, “Let’s give Nene Kristick a lot of credit.” Or we could just say his name correctly … Is this the end of the road for Allen Iverson? With the Sixers announcing yesterday that A.I. will miss the rest of the season, he (whether unintentionally or not) did the one thing his critics were expecting him to do — become a distraction. Now it comes down to what kind of impression Iverson makes on teams in free agency. (Assuming he still wants to play next season.) Will this end up like Stephon Marbury, with zero interest from teams? Will A.I. not even try to give it another shot? Will he be able to finish his career the right way? What does your gut tell you? … We’re out like most of the Warriors …
Smack / Mar 3, 2010 / 7:30 am
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