Smack / Apr 1, 2010 / 3:50 am

LeBron gets another game-winner; Lakers caught slipping

We’ve given Mike Brown a hard time before about his, um, lack of offensive ingenuity, but he deserves credit for drawing up a flawless play at the end of Cavs/Bucks that led to maybe the easiest game-winner LeBron James is ever going to get … Tied up, 30 seconds left in the fourth, LeBron was bringing the ball up when Brown wanted a timeout. At first it seemed pointless because you figured he would just call a clear-out for LeBron anyway, but there was in fact a plan. Out of the huddle, LeBron inbounded to Mo Williams, then walked to midcourt where he stood like a decoy. Mo (21 pts, 6 asts, 3 stls) and J.J. Hickson then ran a pick-and-roll on the left side, and just when the defense allowed itself to forget about LBJ, Antawn Jamison set him a back-pick and LeBron (23 pts, 9 rebs, 7 asts) came flying down the middle as Mo hit him with a pass. Perfect play, executed to perfection, and LeBron got the go-ahead layup. The Bucks had one last-ditch chance, down three in the final seconds, but LeBron picked off the pass intended for Salmons … But hold up with the praise for Coach Brown. After LeBron’s shot, Milwaukee turned it over and the Cavs needed to set something up to make sure Mo got the ball when the Bucks tried to foul. And in that huddle, Brown was literally a bystander as one of the assistants was drawing up the play. Brown might as well have been Danny Green right then. So maybe he didn’t devise that game-winning play after all … Funny moment late in the fourth when one of the Bucks assistants realized the camera was in their huddle, then goes up and puts his hand over the lens. When the cameraman didn’t move, the assistant kept pushing him until the broadcast cut away … If you’re one of those who thinks the NBA is too nice and there are no blood rivalries anymore, Lakers/Hawks was not the game for you. Even beyond the usual pounds and hugs doled out before tip-off, things were extra jokey and smiley for whatever reason. You got the vibe that a bunch of the guys from both teams had hit the ATL clubs the night before and ate pancakes with Prince or something … Once the game started, the Lakers got caught flat again. Mike Bibby had a Sacramento flashback and scored his team’s first seven points on open jumpers, Josh Smith was all over the place getting offensive boards and steals, and then the bench came in to stretch the Hawks’ lead to double-digits by halftime. Zaza Pachulia damn near had a double-double in the second quarter alone on pure effort … You know Kobe (28 pts) chewed somebody out. He scored 20 of L.A.’s 45 points in the first half, but he couldn’t do anything to sway the momentum as the Hawks kept pulling away in the second half and won by 17. By garbage time he was on the bench looking homicidal …

Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)

The Mavs were down 13 to the Grizzlies with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter, and O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley were making Dallas’ backcourt look real geriatric. Then Dirk all of a sudden got hot, scoring 10 points in those last few minutes, including a game-tying fadeaway to eventually force overtime. In the OT, Dirk (28 pts) added another fadeaway and some free throws, and the Mavs were now up three with nine seconds left. Mayo (27 pts) had an open look at a triple, but for what seemed like the first time all night, O.J. missed a jumper. “This one’s gonna hurt,” one Memphis announcer groaned … What the hell happened where the Thunder can go into Boston and win a game and it’s not even considered an upset? Kevin Durant dumped 37 on the C’s, but the biggest shots down the stretch were made by Russell Westbrook — a lefty layup where he went right at Kevin Garnett like he’s never been a DPOY — and Jeff Green, who benefitted from KD being doubled … But on a positive note for Boston, Rasheed Wallace showed up. He scored 18 off the bench, including one huge three in the fourth quarter (fittingly, with 4:20 showing on the clock). It’s April, by the way; isn’t Rasheed supposed to have gotten in playoff shape by now? … Other stat lines from Wednesday: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 to lead Portland past New York; Deron Williams handed out 19 assists in Utah’s win over G-State; Al Jefferson had 19 points, 12 boards and 6 blocks as Minnesota beat Sacramento to snap their 16-game losing streak; Mike Miller scored 27 in Washington’s win over New Orleans to snap their 16-game skid; Chris Bosh went for 34 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks as Toronto beat the Clippers; Gerald Wallace posted 24, 12 and 3 steals to lead Charlotte past Philly; Michael Beasley‘s 28 points helped Miami defeat Detroit; George Hill scored 30 as San Antonio beat Houston; and Steve Nash had 24 points and 14 dimes in Phoenix’s win over the Nets … This morning we’re going to drop the new cover of Dime #56, along with a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot with our cover guy. One hint: It’s a point guard … Also today, come back to DimeMag.com for Part 1 of our debate with the crew at Raptors Republic about this Chris Bosh free agency situation. Is he staying or going? After LeBron, the choice Bosh makes this summer could make or break his current franchise more than any other free agent in the League … We’re out like Danny Green …

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  • b

    why does kobe get to mad when he doesn’t even stick to the offence and just become a ball hog. dude has game, but can’t have all the game. he was better last year when he was buying into the offence… now he’s won a title, he’s just trying to win it on his own now

  • FedEx

    Dime, you’re giving Brown way too much credit. In the postgame interviews LeBron said he suggested the play and Brown confirmed it.

    “With the game tied and the Cavs in a timeout, James suggested the Cavs run a misdirection play with Williams as a decoy. It made sense because Williams was hot and scored seven of his 21 points in the fourth. James — who finished with a good line of 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists — wasn’t truly on his game, making just seven of 17 shots.

    “I told them what we were going to run,” James said. “I just see the game, the in-game strategy. [I'm] not saying it is going to work every time. Me being the leader I’m able to do things on the court other people wouldn’t do or wouldn’t try to do.”

    Williams drove baseline to the basket and drew Bogut, one of the best basket defenders in the league, toward him. Then James sliced in from the backdoor after getting a screen from Hickson for a free layup with 17 seconds to play. After being down by four points just a few minutes before, the Cavs never trailed again.

    “They went out there and executed the play to a T,” coach Mike Brown said. “It tickled me to death that he made that call.”

  • BRUCE

    D-Will was Down-Right-Fierce last night!

  • Sambuu

    and Brown goes back to a clueless douchebag…

  • That’s What’s Up

    Shirts against The Blouses

    Charlie Murphy said “This cat could ball, man”

  • That’s What’s Up

    If CP3 is on the cover I’m marking RETURN TO SENDER when it gets to my house

  • sans

    DEfense, defense, defense…”and then we play basketball”

    Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni should become lifemates…they need each other.

  • ToAn

    in your pool question you forgot Scott Brooks, who will probably win it if OKC gets the 6th or 5th spot in the West. and it really is unbelievable that at this time of the year Boston and OKC have almost identical records. if someone told you that before the season you would call him crazy.

  • ToAn

    sorry…i didn’t read the pool question correctly, so no you didn’t forget scott brooks..

  • Prof. TX

    …pancakes…

    If you see Prince, CHALLENGE HIM! Then you’ll see. And make sure your boys are there to see it!

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I think your bold prediction that NJ will finish the season with more wins than Minnesota inspired the Wolves to break their 16 game losing streak.

    By the way, both Washingtons and Minnesotas 16 game losing streaks ended last night. That’s the first time in the history of the NBA that two teams with at least 15 game losing streaks winning on the same day.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    *ended on the same day

  • Skeeter McGee

    Say what you want about Kobe, but I respect the f**k out of the fact that even though the Lakers don’t really need to win any of these games, he just doesn’t like to lose. In a league where the players get paid millions of dollars, as a fan, I like seeing the fact that one of the marquee players doesn’t wanna take a night off…

    Just my $0.02…

  • Kermit The Washington

    Why didn’t we trade Bynum for Bosh again? If that really was a possibility, why didn’t we do that?

  • Dagger

    Skeeter, what has the world come to when you “respect the f**k out of the fact” that Kobe wants to win – when he gets paid millions to do so and his team is shooting for home court advantage in the finals? Hell, most people would do anything to win in a pickup game!

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    Blouses 1, Shirts 0….

    You can’t make shit like that up….

  • brado

    What? No mention of the nationally televised Utah game last night? Love or hate the Jazz that was a high quality game and deserved some mention beyond D-Will’s stat line.

    LAME!

  • Octopus Jonny

    How about that ref job in the Cavs/Bucks game. 45 to 9 FTA differential. The Cavs attempted THIRTY FOUR more FT’s than the Bucks. Now, the Bucks have consistently been on the wrong end of the FTA differential and I’m okay with that. They play a rough physical defensive style and tend to get called for fouls.

    BUT, another team that plays hard, physical defense is the Cavs. And how many damn fouls do they get called on them? Has LeBron ever even fouled out of a game? If you so much as sneeze at the Cavs you get a fuckin whistle.

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

    @17 – are you serious?? The game was LAME!

    Johnny Buckets did the same thang last year with DA BULLZ.
    Came in lightin’ sh** up. This dude is gettin’ some gwap this summer. OOOPS, Scatch that! This dude is gettin’ BUCKS.
    hahahaha

    Ehh The Cavs run the decoy pick n roll all the time during games. Why is this like only the 2nd time they ever tried it at the end????

    Hawks murdered LA. Wasn’t even funny. NO WAY Atlanta was supposed to cover that! Vegas talk. Also – Lakers’ bench so corny aint even funny.

    CLIPPERS/TORONTO was just a brutal azz game to watch. YUCK

    MIAMI destroyed the Pistons. Bease got loose on Jerebko and Prince. Nice.

    WIZARDS/HORNETS was just scrappy…two mediocre squads going at it full tilt…best thing about the game –

    MIKE MILLER WAS AUTO-F***IN-MATIC.
    I swear he was hittin’ every thing like a bad hurdle jumper.

    BLATCHE continued acting like a BEAST.

    And Livingston was looking like, well, Livingston again…well without the long hair and babyface.

    But I swear he’s hiding a BIONIC LEG under all that damn under-armor.

  • Dave

    The Jazz game looked like a scrimmage with only one team who cared. DWill got his 19 dimes and sat the entire 4th and Boozer was 12-14 or something crazy.
    Beside the fact GState only had 7 guys available and Curry was on the bench with 5 fouls early in the third, this game was boring, no need to mention it further.

  • NYK

    the GSW/UTA game was a sad sight. At one point in 3rd quarter Steph Curry was the only left on the empty bench (Hunter gone, Maggette or someone at the scorers table)