On the night after another wild NBA trade deadline — before which almost 50 players were traded — Chicago looked like the big winner for not doing a damn thing. Trailing Miami by 11 in the third quarter, the Bulls may have been starting to regret not pulling off a deal for somebody like J.R. Smith or O.J. Mayo. Instead, Derrick Rose brought them storming back and the Bulls handed the Heat another loss to an elite team … Chicago was up three with 1:30 to go in the fourth as Rose (26 points) and LeBron James (29 points, 10 rebounds) matched up head-to-head. From the top of the key, Rose shook James with a crossover but couldn’t stick the jumper. LeBron got the rock and drove right through Rose on the break for a three-point play to tie it up. Rose got his revenge on the next possession, though, setting up the biggest shot of the night when he found Luol Deng (20 points, 10 rebounds) in the corner for a three-pointer. When James and Dwyane Wade (34 points) missed desperation threes to close it out, Chicago had one of their signature wins of the year, a win that made Charles Barkley look smart and the Chicago front office look justified for failing to get another wing scorer at the deadline … The Heat rode big nights from James and Wade, but couldn’t sustain it with the rest of the team playing horrendous. The Artist Formerly Known As Chris Bosh went 1-for-18 from the field. How does that even happen for a power forward? Was he stricken with John Starks‘ Disease? Are we gonna find “CB1″ somewhere in Tim Donaghy‘s phone records? … Great clash of styles with these two teams. Both personify their respective cities: Chicago as the tough, gritty one who thrives as a blue-collar worker. Miami as the brash, flashy one with the fancy packaging. Or as Barkley would put it, Miami is that rich girl at school who wears the big earrings with the platform shoes, popularity-obsessed, but ultimately she’s so fine that you stalk her on Facebook. Chicago is that girl who sits in the front of the class, goofy yet smart, but ultimately is cute enough that you come back to her for the prom when your fantasies die. Both options work — it just depends on your taste … Was that really the Denver Nuggets on TV last night? And was that really the Boston Celtics? Or did someone play a trick on us and Danny Ainge and Masai Ujiri decided to field their fantasy squads instead? The Nuggets beat Boston by 14 with an incredible 16-0 run to end the game, combining fabulous teamwork (for a team that’s just getting to know each other) with some ruthless defense while holding the Celtics without a point for the final six minutes … Even after the Nuggets dropped 120 on Memphis in their first game without Carmelo and Chauncey, we were taken aback by how good this version of the team looked. They are two-deep at every spot, they have shooters, shot-creators, a post presence, and still have their signature dose of craziness from guys like J.R. and Kenyon Martin (18 points, 10 rebounds). Steve Kerr alluded to it during the fourth quarter: Denver doesn’t really have a go-to guy, which will hurt them in the playoffs. But if they play with as much energy and cohesiveness as they had last night, they will at least put a scare into somebody in the first round … As for the Celtics, they just didn’t look right. Paul Pierce (17 points) and Kevin Garnett (14 points, 13 rebounds) seemed either lost or tired, as the team had no depth while waiting for Jeff Green to join the crew … Wilson Chandler is going to fit right in on the Nuggets. But we were surprised to see they let Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari suit up. We thought you had to have at least five tattoos to play for that team … Amongst all the trades going down, Barkley said he would give up five first-round picks and $3 million for Sofia Vergara. We’d give up more than that … Late last night, it was reported that as soon as his buyout is complete, Jared Jeffries would sign with the Knicks. If you thought the reception for ‘Melo was crazy, just wait for the parade thrown for Jeffries with LL Cool J spitting “Don’t call it a comeback” blaring through the speakers for The Charge-Taker … We’re out like 1/9 of the NBA …
Smack / Feb 25, 2011 / 2:10 am
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