Sometimes the mismatch is as clear as the nose on Humpty Hump‘s face. As soon as the Lakers and Grizzlies tipped off last night, L.A.’s announcers noted that O.J. Mayo has traditionally been unable to contain Kobe Bryant. On cue, Kobe went for the kill. It seemed every Lakers possession in the first half started with Kobe posting up his shorter, younger counterpart and figuring out how he could torture him. First it was a quick spin move to draw a foul, then it was a turnaround fadeaway, then a pull-up from the elbow, then a straight blow-by for a layup … Just when you thought O.J. was going to escape this oubliette, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins brought his defensive stopper Tony Allen off the bench and inexplicably stuck him on Ron Artest. So Kobe and O.J. resumed their reenactment of My Soul To Take, as Kobe dropped 23 points in the first half and the Lakers toyed with a 30-piecing before halftime. “Most players have an A, B, maybe a C move,” said Lakers commentator Stu Lantz. “Kobe has the whole alphabet.” … The second half was a formality, a montage of Rudy Gay layups (30 pts), Shannon Brown threes, and Kobe going to the rack, getting bumped and yelling “HEYYYYY!!” as the refs kept the whistles on mute. They probably just wanted to wrap it up ASAP. Kobe actually went scoreless in the second half, but it didn’t matter … The company line says Shannon Brown is playing with more confidence because he spent the offseason working on his shot. We think it also had a lot to do with the fact that dude pulled Monica over the summer and slapped the ring on her. That would make any guy very proud of himself … Discussing Mike Conley‘s $45 million extension — and the fact that Aaron Brooks and Jeff Green didn’t get extended — Joel Meyers said, “You could make a case that (Brooks and Green) have had a stronger first three years in the League than Conley.” You could make a case, or you could make a gigantic understatement … Are the Lakers playing better than any other team in the League? Where do the Celtics, Heat and undefeated Hornets stack up? Check out our first NBA Power Ranking of the new season … By the time Gilbert Arenas makes it back on the court, hopefully Wizards fans remember who he is. John Wall stole the show in Washington’s home opener last night, hanging 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals on the Sixers in an overtime win. While the open-court speed is the first thing you go to, Wall’s mid-range jumper was looking solid and makes him even more of a threat when defenders have to respect it … Down the stretch, Philly went with their favorite strategy of not having a strategy. With 30 seconds left in OT, they were down one with the ball as Lou Williams (30 pts) dribbled around aimlessly looking for a shot. He finally gave it to Elton Brand, who squeezed off a fadeaway that banked in for the lead. Next possession, Andray Blatche got a 1-on-1 with Brand and skated past him, getting fouled and making the go-ahead free throws. Seven seconds left, another WTF play led to Andre Iguodala taking an awkward fadeaway that never had a chance … Not that we’re into gambling, but we heard Heat/Wolves had some kind of crazy betting line: Something like if you’d put down $3,200 on Miami to win, you got a Double Quarter-Pounder back without cheese … LeBron had 20 points and 12 dimes, D-Wade scored 26, and James Jones hit five triples in a 32-point blowout that everybody saw coming … Michael Beasley made an early impression in his return to Miami with a huge one-hand follow dunk in the first quarter, but he left shortly after with a bruised hip sustained while taking a hard fall … Other big stat lines from Tuesday: Brandon Roy had 17 points and 5 steals in Portland’s win at Milwaukee; Rajon Rondo posted 9 points, 17 assists, 4 steals and zero turnovers as Boston routed Detroit; and J.J. Hickson dropped 31 points in Cleveland’s loss to Atlanta, while Joe Johnson led the winners with 22 points … The Dime crew was going to give you an on-site report from Knicks/Magic, but as you’ve probably heard by now, the game was postponed due to asbestos issues in Madison Square Garden. It’s just as well. If we hadn’t put ourselves in danger with the asbestos, we would have been running another extreme risk by venturing near White Chocolate‘s locker … We’re out like going to MSG without a SARS mask …
Smack / Nov 3, 2010 / 1:30 am
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