Smack / Jan 30, 2011 / 3:18 am

Spurs hit NBA milestone in beating Houston; Dirk regains MVP form

Tony Parker

Sometimes the Spurs make it look so easy. On their way to becoming the first team in the NBA to reach 40 W’s this season, San Antonio’s defense suffocated Houston in the second half, and Manu Ginobili (22 pts) led the offense in a 13-point win … The efficiency was ruthless. In the first quarter, Tony Parker (17 points) threw a lob to Tim Duncan, which was the quietest, most difficult alley-oop we’ve ever seen: Duncan going backdoor, getting a pass that stopped right next to the rim as TD casually laid it in. In the second quarter, DeJuan Blair (14 points, 12 rebounds) had back-to-back dunks off perfectly executed pick-and-rolls that dissected Houston’s defense. The Rockets are usually one of the hardest-playing and best-coached teams in the League, and the Spurs made them look like a Big 12 squad … After throwing punches with the Knicks on Friday, the Hawks had to worry about dodging different kinds of bombs on Saturday. The Mavs had seven players score in double figures on Atlanta and used a 17-1 run in the second half to wrap it up … Dirk Nowitzki (19 points) said recently that he thought he came back a little too early from his injury, but he appears to be rounding back into the MVP form he showed us early in the year. However, when the Mavs are playing their best basketball, Dirk doesn’t have to put up MVP-like numbers. Not that he cares: He already has an MVP, but is still looking for that big trophy … Joe Johnson won’t be getting any MVP votes, but he’s been playing as well as anybody in the League lately, averaging 26 points per game this month. Last night he had 27 in the loss (with just one free throw), getting into the lane for floaters and runners. Everyone knew the Hawks were fugazy as long as Joe was putting up 5-for-17 shooting nights, but if he’s playing like this they can maybe get over the second-round hump … It’s almost comical listening to the Clippers announcers try to bring attention to guys like Randy Foye and Ike Diogu when the only reason anyone is even watching the Clips is Blake Griffin. It’s like when a popular rapper tries to get his boys put on by association … Blake had another big night, finishing with 24 points and 10 rebounds as L.A. steamrolled the Bobcats by 15. In the first half alone, Griffin caught two lobs — one from about 60 feet — had a missed alley-oop that was more spectacular than 90 percent of dunks guys actually make, and made a 360 reverse layup and-one. The guy is just stupid exciting. (And did we mention he’s the Dime #62 cover guy?) If the coaches don’t get it right next week, David Stern should call the goon squad on whoever gets picked in front of Blake for the All-Star Game … In other headlines around the League: Sacramento ended the Hornets’ 10-game winning streak as DeMarcus Cousins (25 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) had perhaps his best game as a pro; Andrew Bogut had 17 points, 18 rebounds and 7 blocks as Milwaukee beat New Jersey, while Brandon Jennings made his return from foot surgery and scored 2 points in 11 minutes off the bench; Kevin Love‘s 21 points and 12 rebounds helped Minnesota hammer Toronto in a matchup of classroom uglies; Zach Randolph went wild for 24 points and 20 rebounds in Memphis’ blowout of the Wizards; and Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 10 rebounds as Chicago ran away from Indiana. More importantly, who saw Ronnie Brewer crown Josh McRoberts? It was nasty … So Shawne Williams and Marvin Williams get a combined three games suspended for acting like Hank in Me, Myself & Irene, but Kevin Garnett gets nothing for trying to pull a Bruce Bowen on Channing Frye‘s ankle and jabbing him in the jewels? What kind of justice is that? … We’re out like waiting for Boston/L.A. …

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  • jdizzle

    Stacey King made that cram on McRoberts even funnier! “Dont try to run away Josh McRoberts!” LOL

  • johnny kilroy

    another sick 360 lay up by blake

    hope sac gets to build around tyreke and dmc, another duo to watch

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean.dynastybball

    Click my name (see the Griffin play that @johnny kilroy is talking about.

    While Foye my not be the player that viewers are tuning in to watch, he is a good addition for fantasy owners as he fills in for Eric Gordon over the next 3-4 weeks. Jonny Flynn got back into the mix last night too (more minutes played than Luke Ridnour).

  • K Dizzle

    If you see the Ronnie Brewer crush of McRoberts, pay close attention to the Pacers’ bench as dudes see it comin and start tappin on each other’s knees lol

  • Promoman

    I’m not surprised by the KG not getting suspended and Marvin & Shawne getting suspended. The NBA’s disciplinary process is almost as bad as the reffing.

  • Big Island

    KG is fugazi. He is just a flat out buster.

  • bookkwormmaster

    Glad Marvin only got two games after what took place. Luckily for my Hawks they’ve got a relatively soft schedule coming up in the next 5 games Dallas not withstanding. I believe out next game is against Toronto and that’s a very winnable game. Then hopefully after that we can get Marvin and our starting five hopefully gelling and playing great ball heading into the all-star break.

    Props to Joe Jeezy for a great month of balling in January. He has raised his level of play tremendously. He could be a sleeper pick for the all-star game if he keeps it up.

  • Rangerjohn

    I find it funny that anyone really thought KG would be suspended, knowing the next game is in LA!

  • http://cosbysweater.com chicagorilla

    I dont understand why ATL gets no love for their record. Arent they right nxt to Chicago record wise? Sure they bow out too early in the playoffs but so does Dallas and they get all kinds of love. ATL and Dallas both have star players who seem to disappear in the playoffs, the only diff is DALs owner has put a better team on the floor yearly than ATL but with the same results.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ chicago – Mavs get to the Finals and Conference Finals and have a bunch of vets. People take them seriously for a reason.

    ATL? Don’t see why people don’t take them more seriously, agreed.

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    when was the last time the mavs got to the finals or the conf finals? they have only been the conf finals 3 times EVER and the nba finals 1 time where they flamed out after taking a huge lead in the series.

    mavs get respect because they have won 50+ games for 10 years in a row, nothing more nothing less.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ rangerjohn – hey buddy, the Mavericks have been to the Conference Finals out West twice and the Finals once in the last 8 years. How many other teams can say that? The Lakers and the Spurs, that’s right. That’s the company the Mavericks keep. Did I say they won the whole thing? No. Have they been an elite team for the past 10 years? Yes. THAT’S why they’re respected, nothing less.

  • christian

    mavs are NOT respected, especially here in san antonio…mavs may be regular season winners, but they’ll always be remembered for chokers and not being able to win it all….dirk will end up joining the mailman and stockton as the best at never being the best….mavs suck go spurs!

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    “I’m a Spurs fan. My team has won more championships over the last 12 years than any other team has. Therefore, no one else has been good or has been worthy of respect.”

    Good argument! I hadn’t thought of that before…

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean.dynastybball

    Chris Bosh… fake tough guy. Haha

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    lakers, spurs, suns, pistons, celtics have all been there as much or more then the mavs with the exception of the finals for the suns. the mavs are a top team sure, “elite” um not so much. the mavs made it to the finals on a STUPID manu foul. again the respect doesnt come from their trips to the playoffs it comes from their regular season success. if the mavs got respect for playoff success then they lost all respect when they lost to the warriors ugly in the 1st round.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ rangerjohn – Pistons and Celts have made it in the East, true. So we’re talking about respecting the East now…? haha

    Now, if we’re going to say that the Mavs made it to the Finals on a stupid foul, shall we say that they LOST the Finals because of a stupid ref job? Sure, if that’s the way you want it.

    Like I said, not many teams have made it as far as the Mavs. You can ignore that if you want, but it’s a fact.

    You said it yourself: other than the Lakers and the Spurs, no other team out West has made it as far as often as the Mavericks have. A top 3 team in the better Conference…that doesn’t qualify as “elite” to you?

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    do people respect the suns in the same way? they have a very similar playoff history to the mavs (minus the one finals for the mavs)

    see here is the thing, the mavs dont get respected in the playoffs because of their very bad losses. the couple of good wins or deep runs are completely over shadowed by their bad losses.

    think about it, when you think about the mavs and playoffs what is the 1st words that comes to mind? for most people its something like flame out. people remember the loss to the warriors well before the finals appearance. then the bad loss to the hornets the next year. hell the 1st thing you think of when you say they made it to the finals is how they blew it. the biggest plus in that whole year was the epic series they had with the spurs. or how about the ugly losses to the kings in 2002 and 2004. and to the spurs in 2001. the last playoffs they made before that was in 1990. sure people kinda remember that they eliminated the spurs in 2009, but they remember the spurs owning them in 2010 (both because they are fresh more then anything imo as neither where “great series”)

    so IMO the reason the mavs dont get the respect that some of the other teams get (spurs, lakers, celtics, even the suns in some cases) is because while they have had some success in the playoffs (SOME, not a lot) their losses are far worse then the value of their wins.

    dallas mavericks are a very good, maybe elite regular season team, and a mediocre to decent but not good/great playoff team.

  • dagwaller

    Rangerjohn, I think that we are splitting hairs a little. You’re defining “elite” as meaning “won a championship”, because that’s the ONLY thing the Mavs haven’t done over the past decade.

    Do the Suns get the same respect as the Mavs? No, because they haven’t made it to the Finals. What other team do you respect more than the Lakers, Spurs, and Mavs? NO OTHER TEAM has the post-season resume out West that the Mavs do! Period.

    Now, if you’re saying that to earn your respect, a team must have won a championship, then that’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it. I’m sure that there are many, especially in SA and LA, that share your point of view. But for the other 12 teams in the West, and people in their cities, I would say that the Mavs have earned respect.

  • http://www.mmajunkie.com rangerjohn

    see i think you missed the point. i dont respect them as i have never cared for them personally but in general they dont get respect because their losses have been far over shadowing of their wins. thats the point. having 2 years of deep runs and 8 years of questionable does not make an elite team. maybe if the mavs didnt flame out and have some bad losses then they would garner more respect. realize that the mavs have been eleminated in the 1st round 4 times in the last 10 years. none of the losses where even competitive. they didnt make it a close 7 game series in any of them and in 2005 they where taking to game 7 by the rockets where tracy mcbaby and yao ming where the only players on the floor. (rockets starting 5 looked something like tracy, yao, david wesley, bob sura, and jowan howard.)
    outside of the 2 seasons on conf finals + they have never won more then 2 games in the semi finals. not competitive.

    10 seasons of 50+ wins, 2 seasons of playoff success.

  • dagwaller

    No, I do get the point. You consider teams to be elite only when they win the Championship. That’s ok, and I’m sure that there are many that feel the same way you do.

    I put the Mavs into elite company since they’re the 3rd best team in the better Conference in the last 8 years. Obviously, many people feel the same way that I do.

    I’ll say it again: short of the Lakers and the Spurs, who are two of the best organizations in the League over that time, no one else in the Western Conference has the regular OR post season resume that the Mavs do. Plain and simple. You can cite losses, but no other team was even in the position to have those losses the way the Mavs were. You don’t think Golden State would trade that one playoff victory for 10 years of being in the Playoffs?