Two things had to happen for the Bucks to extend the Lakers’ losing streak (they have those?) to three games: Brandon Jennings had to take advantage of the biggest weakness in L.A.’s defense drop a big number on Derek Fisher, and Milwaukee had to keep Kobe Bryant from torching them. One happened. One didn’t … Jennings scored 31 points, leaving Fisher wearing cinder block sneakers and playing defense with his hands, but with designated defensive stopper Luc Mbah a Moute in foul trouble most of the night, the Bucks couldn’t prevent Kobe from scoring 31 of his own. Posting up, hitting fadeaways, driving or scoring in transition, Kobe just got way too many easy looks as John Salmons did the innocent bystander thing. The Lakers found a good rhythm, stretched the lead to double-digits in the fourth quarter and secured the W not long before Andrew Bogut had to leave with an elbow injury … OK, NBA teams, it’s been more than 10 games: Stop leaving Shannon Brown open. The kid is a legit three-point threat now, knocking down four triples and scoring 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. Just because Jimmy Jackson became too diesel to shoot back in the day doesn’t mean Shannon can’t hit ‘em from long range … So if Carmelo is “The Bully,” would that make Corey Maggette “The Toadie”? Grover Dill put up 15 points off the bench … Whether it’s Brandon Roy or Wes Matthews or whoever taking on the bulk of the scoring, the Blazers have found a reliable formula: Keep it close going into the fourth quarter, where Andre Miller and Marcus Camby can make enough old-school vet moves to win the game. With B-Roy (knee) sitting out against the Grizzlies, Matthews stepped in and scored 30 points, and in the fourth ‘Dre took over. Along with a couple of steals down the stretch, Miller (19 pts, 9 asts, 5 stls) ran off six straight points in a key stretch midway through the quarter and found Camby (17 rebs) underneath for a bucket to put Portland up three. Rudy Gay tied it with a pull-up jumper and-one (he’s developing a decent go-to guy sneer), then after Nic Batum’s putback put the Blazers up two, Miller got another steal, walked Mike Conley down into the post and stuck a turnaround J on him that was basically the dagger … Here’s the thing with Marc Gasol: You can see elements of Pau’s style in his game, it’s just everything is uglier with Marc. It’s like watching a guy on the playground trying to play like Pau Gasol, only Marc is doing it against NBA competition … Speaking of ugly, Zach Randolph and Antawn Jamison definitely lead the League in shots that announcers cannot describe. Jamison may have caused the invention of the term “half-hook” … Kyle Lowry is in the NBA in the first place in large part due to his quickness, athleticism and defensive tenacity at the point guard spot. And last night, Derrick Rose made Lowry look slow, stiff and like he had no idea how to defend anybody. He was that good. Rose scored 33 points, including four three-pointers and a bunch of layups with Lowry snacking on dust, as the Bulls kicked off their annual “circus road trip” with a win … Of course the Rockets would be the team whose sponsored “Above The Rim Replay” was a Kevin Martin layup. When you look at the roster, there’s maybe two guys you’d call dunkers (Chase Budinger and Courtney Lee). Yao Ming doesn’t even have to jump to dunk, and he barely does it … Other notable stat lines from Tuesday: Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points in Denver’s win over New York; Josh Smith posted 25 points, 8 boards and 7 blocks in Atlanta’s win over Indiana; Boobie Gibson had 18 points and 8 assists off the bench to help Cleveland beat Philly; and in his first start of the season, Gilbert Arenas dropped 20 points, 7 boards and 6 dimes to lead the John Wall-less Wizards past Toronto … Allen Iverson made his Turkish League debut, scoring 15 points while his Besiktas Cola Turka squad lost to Hemofarm Stada … Unfortunately, ESPN’s 24-hour college hoops tip-off marathon had to come to an end. Overall impressions: Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger is a BEAST (we told you so), Michigan State and Duke should accept no less than the Final Four this year, Butler should expect no more than the Sweet Sixteen, and Baylor frosh Perry Jones may as well change his middle name to “Potential,” as it’ll be attached to his name about one million times between now and the 2011 Draft … Also, keep an eye on UCLA point guard Lazeric Jones. He goes by the nickname “Zeke,” he’s from Chicago, and he wears No. 11. We fully expect Zeke 2.0 to be ruining one of the NBA’s signature franchises around, say, 2035. Beware, Lakers fans … We’re out like a Rockets dunk contest …
Smack / Nov 17, 2010 / 2:15 am
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