Smack / Apr 9, 2010 / 1:46 am

Kobe and LeBron sit out, Lakers and Cavaliers pay the price

Joakim Noah (photo. Monte Isom)

As much as we talk about Dwight Howard, have you thought about how much of a beast Joakim Noah would be if he developed an offensive game? With the Bulls battling for a playoff spot and getting a gift on Thursday with LeBron James (rest) sitting out their game as a late scratch, Noah helped them pull into a tie with Toronto thanks to those intangibles he’s known for; namely effort, energy and being in the right place to make the right play at the right time … Twice in the final two minutes, Noah (17 pts, 15 rebs, 4 blks) gave Chicago the lead: once with one of his ugly mid-range jumpers, and again with a tip-in. The Bulls were up one in the last 15 seconds when Luol Deng and Derrick Rose (24 pts, 10 asts) went to the line and missed all of their free throws, but after Rose’s last miss, Noah tapped the ball back out to Kirk Hinrich as the clock ran out … Taj Gibson also deserves a shout-out. He had a big block in crunch time, and on Cleveland’s last possession, Gibson forced Anderson Varejao to pump-fake twice, then throw up an even uglier J on the third try that missed everything … Until that point, it looked like Mo Williams was going to win the game by himself. Without LeBron around, and maybe because he was sporting the green headband for “Go Green” week, Mo (35 pts, 6 threes, 10 asts) had a flashback that he was playing for the Bucks again. Dude looked like a baby Isiah Thomas, dropping deep threes and throwing pinpoint creative passes to set up his bigs for buckets. He hit some ridiculous shots in the fourth that had LeBron dancing on the sidelines like he was on “Soul Train” … Didn’t the NBA say they were going to start issuing fines for guys who block the view of fans sitting in the front row? Somehow we think LeBron won’t be getting a bill from the League despite standing up almost the entire fourth quarter … LeBron wasn’t on the bench for some of the first quarter because apparently he didn’t anticipate sitting out and had to find “suitable attire.” In other words, the NBA decided to enforce the dress code this week … Jamario Moon (14 pts) had himself a decent game, hitting a three, getting a nice reverse layup, and throwing down a hard dunk in the fourth quarter. (Doug Collins: “He’s giving us the full Moon tonight!”) We almost forgot dude was on the Cavs. And on that note, Sebastian Telfair is still alive. Playing his first game in a Cleveland uniform, he had 8 points and 3 assists in 16 minutes off the bench … Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith had a lengthy debate about the Kevin Durant no-call from the other night, and still nobody brought up the fact that James Harden should have been called for an offensive foul for bear-hugging Paul Millsap and not letting him get near Durant. That’s why it’s not such a big deal if you ask us … Kobe Bryant sat out the Lakers/Nuggets game, seeing as L.A. isn’t going to catch Cleveland for the best record in the League and has the West almost locked up. So without his favorite nemesis around, J.R. Smith released the Kraken in the first half, dropping 16 points on four threes (he finished with 26) and getting his “I’m about to act like a dick” swagger warmed up … But with the Nuggets up 10 at halftime, the Lakers got their act together and rallied to take the lead in the third quarter. It was shot-for-shot down the stretch, with everybody from Pau Gasol to Jordan Farmar stepping up in Kobe’s absence to hit big shots. But on a couple crucial late possessions, Gasol (26 pts, 13 rebs, 3 blks) went back to the “soft” bank and got beasted by Nene, who hit the go-ahead free throw with about 1:30 remaining. Carmelo (31 pts) and Derek Fisher traded FT’s after that, J.R. added a freebie, and on L.A.’s last chance, down two, Fisher tried to get off a three over ‘Melo and got blocked at the buzzer … On the play in the final seconds where Chauncey and Fisher both touched the ball before it went out of bounds, Reggie Miller got all Bill Nye the Science Guy on us and made an effective argument based on the laws of physics. Reggie got it right, and Denver regained possession … In Thursday’s only other game, Tyreke Evans put up 28 points, 6 boards and 7 assists to lead the Kings past the Clippers … Lots of NBA Draft defections yesterday: John Wall led a crew of five Kentucky players (or maybe four) going pro, while Ohio State’s Evan Turner also declared. Check out the rest here. The WNBA also held its draft — how mistake-filled would it be if the NBA did theirs a couple days after March Madness? — where UConn’s Tina Charles went No. 1 to the Connecticut Sun … We didn’t even know this until yesterday, but Nolan Richardson is coaching the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock. Anybody up for 40 Minutes of Mild Disturbance? … We’re out like Kobe and LeBron …

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  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Wait wait wait – I fully expect there to be a page dedicated to Derek Fisher getting fouled as he released his attempt at a game winning 3 in the LA/DEN game. Fisher’s hand was clearly contacted by the defender. Someone get on this!

    Jokes. Seriously, good game, scary for the West if the Lakers can play that well without Kobe.

  • the cynic

    lakers didn’t play well, but neither did the nuggets

    im not sure what was funnier JR Smith jacking 3 3pointers in the first 2 minutes of the fourth quarter in a tie game or the Lakers D-Fish crunch time offense

    Seemed like in the last minute the entire lakers game plan was isolate Fisher, drive, trip over his own feet, and hope they call a foul. Its a savvy move, but it doesn’t pack the same punch as clearing out for Kobe

  • rapTOr

    Mo Will blew my mind last night. that is all.

  • quest???


  • That’s What’s Up

    I think your post from LAST April somehow re-posted

  • 808

    -J.R. Smith’s “I’m about to act like a dick” swagger….
    Ha…good sh!t.

    -It’s funny you use Joakim Noah and D. Howard in the same sentence. That’s exactly my point of why I still don’t think of Howard as being dominant….or at least not as dominant as he could be. Noah has that nastiness…that aggressiveness…that J.R. Smith “I’m about to” swagger. D. Howard doesn’t and that’s why he won’t win a championship–this year, at least.

    -“scary for the West if the Lakers can play that well without Kobe.” –dagwaller

    You know, the Lakers ALWAYS seem to play that way whenever Kobe is out, especially the bench. They’ve ALWAYS been that way–even before the Celtic’s championship season.

    Last season, the role players finally figured it out (the presence of Gasol helped out a little too). This season, especially in the last month, we’ve seen that inconsistency pop up again. Which Lakers team will show up during the playoffs?

  • sh!tfaced

    WTF?! Had to check it myself to make sure, Telfair IS still in the league… Prolly the last time Bassy gets “props” on SMACK – unless some of that defective Marbury gene resurfaces and he does something stupid or insane or both…

  • sans

    The run-run-your-ass out the gym Lakers team will show in the playoffs…

    I love Derek Fisher…final seconds I called perfectly…no way he’s passing…dribble…dribble…dribble…badly jacked shot….I love Derek Fisher….makes me look like Miss Cleo….so high I can see the future…

  • sh!tfaced

    Cleveland can match it up with just about anybody in the L. They got mad flexibility in their lineup. Big, small, huge, old, young, fast, quick, long, athletic, rough, tough and/or annoying. They can go 5 players with 3-pt range or 5 who can dunk it all. They can run-run-your-ass with the best of ‘em too.

    Cavs can also field 5 all-stars (Shaq, Z, Jamison, Mo & LeBron) and match the Celtics (KG, Ray, Pierce, Finley & Sheed)

    They can bang with celebrities (Boobie & Keyshia Cole) or someone else’s girl (Shaq & Arenas’ fiance)

    They even got two gunslingers (Delonte & Telfair) who bang-bang it out with the Wizards (Gil & Javaris)

    Now that’s versatility – anytime, anywhere, including high noon at the OK Corral… LOL

  • My Favorite Superhero

    …How about Reggie Miller calling Durant “Ironman” when they showed the clip of Carmelo getting laid out the other night…dude is laying unconscious and all Reggie was concerned with was cracking jokes!

    …shout out to Kalana Greene getting drafted to the WNBA!…one of my buddies from college, his cousin! Good to see a story like this close to home!

    …If the Lakers bench shows up in the playoffs, then we may be seeing a repeat

    …I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it, Dwight is going to continue to get compared to low-class bigs until he gets coaching from a big who plays like him! Pat Ewing is a legend, but he never really played “close” to the basket, like Dwight will!

  • pweezy

    WoooHOooo the Bulls players must be giving Lebron Seat BAck love… the way cavs gave em the win last night…GIFT WRAPPED that mofo sideways with Anderson taking twenty footer shots to win the game. FREAKING FISHY RESULTS…Cavs were fouling the bulls so they can ice the game with free throws but still wasn’t able to nail the game in…That game wrong from the start when lebron didn’t play but ah well Sundays Game will be the decision factor probably. Lebron is not hated in toronto more and love in chicago more CATCH 22.

  • pweezy

    Correction *Lebron is now hated more in toronto LOL GO BULLS

  • kudos

    Fisher sucks. I mean really, really sucks. He can’t shoot the broad side of the rim. Is anyone surprised that he cant shoot?? His shot mechanics (shot-putting while throwing from his right shoulder) is straight retarded. No one can shoot like that, especially him.

    If Fisher is still the starting pg, the lakers could lose. If Phil doesn’t wise up and start either farmar or brown and let fisher stay on the bench, laker’s are gonna be in some close games when they could be blow outs.

  • dmitry of jersey

    how about that coaching by Mike Brown?

    you got 1 shot to win the game and the ball ends up in Varejao’s hands with 5 sec to go….wtFFFF

  • JAY

    @14 Dmitry nailed it. Mike Brown is a horrible coach. Lebron makes him look like a genius. If Corky Thatcher coached the Cavs they’d still win 60 games.

  • QQ

    When in some alternate reality I become a die hard Laker fan, I will surely make sure I will view Derek fucking Fisher in the same light as Canadians see Vince Carter.

    Cause he fucking deserves it.

  • Paul Wall

    Nuggets were playing a back 2 back after being in Oklahoma Wednesday night were they came back and won. Good win regardless if Kobe was playing or not.

  • markf

    Noah had another key block too. He blocked Moon’s put back attempt off of Varajeo’s ugly double clutch miss.
    (aside: Bosh S&T for Noah)

  • ay yo.

    MoGotti2 went off last night, and I wasn’t surprised. He either goes off or stinks it up without LeBron.

    The impressive thing about Noah is that he doesn’t really get in foul trouble much. He’s so wild, and aggressive, it’s really something.

  • control

    When talking about Joakim, you don’t have to specify “one of his ugly jumpers” because EVERYTHING about that guy is ugly. Can’t even watch that fuck in HD because he’s so ugly…you can’t compare him and Dwight at all, Joakim will NEVER become worthy of holding Dwight’s jockstrap.

    BTW, isn’t JR Smith always in “I AM a dick” swagger mode?

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @808 good point. Funny how the Lakers and Cavaliers both were missing their star player and yet had strong showings. Testament to good coaching, or testament to just how deep each team really is? I mean, it’s almost like the Lakers without Kobe would be able to give the Nuggets a series, and the Nuggets are the 2 seed.

    Reminiscent of when Jordan retired (the first time) and Pippen led the Bulls on some quality playoff runs.

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

    Sebastian can get anywhere he wants to on the court.

    Good to see him can those two long azz two’s.

    Antawn and Mo were lights out.

    Good to see Jamario out there.

    @ sh*tfaced – LMMFAO!! SOOOO TRUE

    @ dagwaller – I was thinking the same thing

  • K Dizzle

    Pretty happy as a Laker fan that we rolled into Denver and were in danger of gettin run out the gym after Artest’s TMac like missed wide open layup then we turned it on and made it a game. Then I come onto dimemag.com and read posts by some ignorant ass mofos shittin on DFish like he’s 22. Let’s clear this shit up: Derek Fisher is a 35 YEAR OLD point guard playin a game against the likes of CP3, DWill, Westbrook, Rondo, DRose, Brooks, Parker etc. When u understand that, try to understand that there’s more to ball then just scoring and passing. Try to understand that leadership and toughness are just as important as a statline.
    The only other point guards still playin around Fish’s age are Nash, Billups and Kidd who combined have 1 ring.
    Fish got 4. And without him, there’s DEFINITELY 2 less rings on Kobe’s fingers and 1 less on Shaq’s. Maybe u thinkin we in denial about our guard situation cuz Fish been gettin destroyed in recent years by younger quicker dudes he used to wrap up on d. REAL Laker fans aren’t. Dude’s best days are behind him no doubt. I expect NOTHING from Fish til the PLAYOFFS these days. Ask the Magic what happened when they crushed us by 20 in both regular season matchups last season then hadda eat DFish clutch 3s over and over again when it counted.
    Maybe some of u postin missed last night’s game and saw the highlights and are basin somethin offa that (don’t know what). We went into Denver with a startin backcourt of Fish and Vujacic(pause so that sinks in) who combined to shoot 5-23, Shannon came off the bench to shoot 3-12 and the best 6th man in the league(Terry and Jamal can score, but they can’t bring what LO brings to the hardwood), in a startin role, with no Kobe, managed to go 1-6…
    And we STILL had a chance to take the lead except for a tipped ball outta bounds which coulda easily gone the other way. So haters can bitch about Fish gettin his shit swatted by Melo,but understand that it was BIG that he was even in that position, but in the playoffs, you know who gettin that ball.
    Haters please keep hatin

  • Bizz

    On a side note, how much of a dick move was it by Mike Brown and the Cavs to bench LeBron, and then lose to the Bulls…yet play LeBron and everyone full tilt against the Raptors, who are fighting for the same playoff spot as Chicago? If you think Toronto gets no love from Dime, it ain’t just the magazine, it’s the rest of the league. What kind of B.S. excuse is “rest LeBron for the postseason”, but play him against Toronto, and pretty much hand Chicago a win to help them make the postseason? I hope the Cavs fail to win squat this season. Karma is a bitch.

  • knock knock

    kdizzle – Fish shot something aroun thirty something percent from the field in the finals. dummy.

    his ‘clutch’ 3s woulda never happened had he not been getting run over by every pg in the playoffs. who the heck cares about his offense though, his defense is horrible.

  • K Dizzle

    @ knock knock, u do know what clutch 3s are right?

    It’s hittin the pull up 3 on the right side to tie when u down 3 in the Finals with about 3 secs left then hittin the kick out by Kobe to seal it….jackass

    @ “Fish shot something aroun thirty something percent from the field in the finals. dummy.”

    Then why do I go to Fish’s Finals stats and find this:

    Fisher’s 11.0 points per game, 50% shooting average, and 44% three-point percentage over the course of the Finals were an improvement over his regular season numbers and a departure from his post-season struggles to that point.

    Here’s some more for you:
    Fisher has won four NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and is one of only four active players to have won four NBA Championships. In the past decade, he has played the most NBA Playoff Games (149) and played the tenth most Playoff minutes (4,221). Fisher has the highest cumulative three-point percentage in NBA Finals history. He ranks third all time in NBA Finals three pointers made (41), one shy of Michael Jordan for second all-time behind Robert Horry. He has the second highest three point field goal percentage in NBA Finals history (46.1%), trailing only Ray Allen. The NBA listed his “0.4 Shot” as the 18th greatest playoff moment of all time.

    Next time you wanna start some shit with a laker fan about Fish, make sure it’s not me, punk. I will embarrass your ass with nuthin but stats and facts.
    Class dismissed, “knock-knock”. Go put your head back in the sand.

  • knock knock

    Fisher’s stats – aroun 8 points .38% from the field throughout the playoffs. He sucks. Nuff said.

    If you WATCHED the finals, you’d know he wasn’t stopping anybody.

  • K Dizzle

    You’re a jackass.

    You post that Fish “shot thirty somethin percent in the Finals.”
    I reply that, actually, yo ass was wrong, and you reply with his playoff stats? LMAO!!!
    U remind me of my 10 yr old cousin. Say some shit, get corrected and then change the parameters. We’re talkin Finals so don’t be goin back and forth. I said he hit clutch 3s, which he did and I said he stepped up, which he did. Please explain where in my first post, you saw anything about Fish bein an elite shutdown point guard. I said he’s 35, had his best days and REAL Laker fans don’t expect ANYTHING til the playoffs. So of course, your dumbass comes back with genius statements like “he shot 30% in the finals” WRONG and that he can’t stop anybody. Who cares? The next point guard that shuts down CP3, DWill, Parker, Nash, Chauncey, JKidd, Rose, Westbrook, Jennings, Curry, Rondo, Crawford, Tyreke, BDiddy, Collison, Harris, Brooks or Reke will be the first so remove your head from your ass.
    Maybe you missed the Finals, but the Lakers WON the Finals and Fish shot 50 and 44 so I don’t give a damn if he stopped anyone if he’s givin offense like that and along the way the TEAM happens to beat DWill, Brooks, Chauncey and whoever Orlando had.
    But you’re right. Rafer(10 ppg on 37%) and Jameer (4 ppg on 35%) really “torched” Fish. Did u actually watch the Finals cuz your analysis is suspect?
    Anyways, thanks for wastin up 5 minutes of my life. Next time you think you got somethin intelligent to say, don’t.
    Hatin on a 35 yr old with 4 rings is damn near comical. Matter fact, I bet you when your fave point guard is 35, he either won’t be in the league anymore and damn sure won’t be tryin to cop a 5th RING.
    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?

  • http://www.ticketwood.com/nba/Cleveland-Cavaliers-Tickets/index.php Cavs

    The Cavaliers is the best team that worth the win. Such a big team with all wonderful players it holds won’t be more than a big winner. Go Cavaliers, you’re the best!!!