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Smack / Feb 23, 2011 / 3:07 am

Lakers snap three-game skid by grounding Hawks; Blake in OKC

Trying to stop a three-game losing streak, start the post-All-Star portion of the season on a good note, and simply protect their home court against one of the NBA’s better teams, the Lakers had a big test in front of them against the Hawks. We just didn’t know it was as big as Chris Webber made it sound. “They need to put the fear of this sport into others,” C-Webb said. So the Lakers needed to make the Hawks fear basketball? That’s heavy … But they may have done just that. Derek Fisher got the ball rolling, sticking three straight jumpers after tip-off to help L.A. get out to an 8-0 lead before Atlanta scored. The champs went up double-digits a little later when Kobe (20 pts) blew past the defense along the baseline for a pretty reverse layup — somehow he’s rediscovered his hops and hangtime from 2002 — and Ron Artest actually made a jump shot (also a long-lost relic). Pretty soon Pau Gasol (14 pts, 10 rebs) was calmly running fast breaks like a point guard, and by halftime it was a 20-piecing. The second half was just a contest to see if the Lakers could get their fans got free tacos … Atlanta’s offense was uglier than the cast of “Bad Girls Club.” Joe Johnson was inventing new ways to brick shots, Marvin Williams committed a 24-second violation, and Josh Smith threw a lob to nobody that smacked off the backboard, all within the first few minutes. Later in the first half, Smith fired another pass to nobody that found only the backboard. Kevin McHale called them two of the worst passes he’d ever seen … Hopefully this win can make L.A. forget about the Cavs loss, which was obviously a traumatic experience because their announcers mentioned it about 10 times in the first five minutes. Good thing the players can’t hear them. Would you stand inside Mike Tyson‘s house bringing up Buster Douglas‘ name? … Cool moment before tip-off when Josh Powell was presented with his 2010 Lakers’ championship ring at center court. Powell was one of Kobe’s best friends on the team, and you could tell by how tight Kobe hugged him after giving him the ring. Powell is also real tight with Dwight Howard. So in other words, he’ll always have a job in the League … Three minutes into Celtics/Warriors, it was painfully clear that Kevin Garnett couldn’t handle David Lee. Crashing the glass and blowing past KG multiple times, Lee was on his way to a monster night before KG started shoving, grabbing and sh*t-talking in order to level the playing field. It worked, as Garnett finished with 24 points, 12 boards and 6 assists to Lee’s 17 points and 5 boards … Boston started to pull away in the third quarter, when Paul Pierce (23 pts) hit a triple and started waving to the crowd. Rajon Rondo (19 pts, 15 asts) hit a buzzer-beating trey at the end of the third to make it a 10-point lead, and a 12-0 run in the fourth put G-State to bed … After Acie Law and Vladimir Radmanovic missed questionable shots on consecutive possessions in the fourth, one announcer said, “Warriors shots: Who’s shooting them and where they’re shooting them from is becoming a problem.” … Lou Amundson sitting on the bench in street clothes looks like a cross between Tim Riggins and Tom Brady on HGH. He’s either getting CRAZY amounts of girls in the Bay Area, or he’s scaring all of them …Read More>>

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  • BRUCE

    Webber would know, his famous timeout and the Game 7 versus the Lakers. Dude is a big coward underneath it all.

  • pipdaddyy

    Anyone has a clip of the Westbrook dunk attempt?

  • http://www,sactownroyalty.com Willis

    Dime, any chance you could share some love and help Sactown Royalty in our efforts to keep the Kings in Sac? This is a little different from Seattle in that we have no other sport to turn to besides NBA basketball. Kings fans didn’t even care that they got killed by Miami last night, we just want to keep our team in the city.

  • K Dizzle

    Props to Josh Powell. 2 seasons. 2 rings. Solid role player.
    As for my Lakers….just another expected win after the Cleveland debacle…..yeah, that’s a word.

  • http://www.lakernation.com smoove chips

    I sincerily doubt Blake ‘s gonna reup after his contract is done.Thorough cats get sick of losing.period.Speaking of reup…

    Dolan..PAY THAT MAN !!
    What donnie has done to bring this proud franchise to respectability,and reduce one of the most ridiculous payrolls cannot be understated.Real should recognize real.Think i’m gong overboard ??

    When arguably the 2nd best two guard the league has ever had(KB)was in free agency,do you know what the knicks had to offer to get him ?

    The MLE..Marinate on that Dolan.PAY.THAT.MAN. Especially,if you want a chance at CP3 or dwill under the new CBA.

    I’m sniffing a three-peat lol ! Glad the boys are back.home stretch now.gotta stay focused.

    when are people gon learn that KG is crazy on the court? u can accept that lohan is a perpetual drunk with emotional issues because she’s in jail,or before a judge evey other week but are surprised when KG gets into it with somebody at the same clip *CMON,SON !*

  • kaboom

    BLAKE is a beast…. 2 more assist……….. and its a triple double for him…….

  • http://www.dynastybasketball.net/ sean.dynastybball

    @pipdaddy

    I don’t have the one where Westbrook crashed in to everyone but if you click my name you can check out WB’s perfect timing on an Eric Bledsoe dunk attempt…

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    Now in news that affects championships, how close are the C’s to trading for Battier/Anthony Parker?

  • QQ

    Every time I read the Dime articles regarding the Melo trade (and seeing things like ‘instant contender’), it reminds me of 14 years old who knows nothing bout basketball but happens to play NBA games in their consoles.

    ‘I heard the Knicks acquired Melo’
    ‘Dammit, best trade ever! Melo is known to average like, what, 53.2 points per game, right?’
    ‘Yes, and of course, the stats and number are all that matters. So this means that I will always use the Knicks when we play!’
    ‘No fair!’

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    Just a thought, a day after the Melo trade.
    Imagine if players from the “good ol days” demanded/requested trades. Nique saying, “I’m tired of winning by myself, send me to LA”. Mullin saying, “I want to go home to NY”. The history books would be flipped on its head.
    The state of today’s league really bothers the shit outta me.

  • First & Foremost

    @JAY – Owners/GMs want players to stay but make bad decisions. Players are still hypercompetitive but when watch your front office make mistakes year after year, the only thing you can do is leave.

    On the flipside players are impatient. You can’t reach the finals every year. Sometimes you have to retool the roster which may set you back a couple years but it could be for the better down the line.

    The New CBA will be interesting

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9RJbLV98fI Showtime

    @ JAY

    I’m a hoops fanatic but I see myself caring less and less about the NBA. The league is turning into a pussy league. The players are bitching and whining about everything and then they get rewarded for that shit. It’s disgusting

    I miss the hard fouls (now it’s a flagrant when a guy takes a hard fall after being barely touched), the rivalries, the taunting (think Mutombo’s finger wave or Shawn Kemp over Alton Lister), the trash talking. I can’t stand everybody loving each other and giving the politically correct answer.

    I know it’s been going on for years but it’s getting worse day by day. I hope this stops somewhere otherwise I might be done with the NBA

  • YOUNGFED

    Correction the Pistons are uglier than the cast of “Bad Girls Club.” BTW them chix r ugly except that 2nd black girl see can GET IT!!!

  • That’s What’s Up

    players used to get paid well for their profession, but they were in no position to make any demands.

    now since the salaries are astronomical there are hundreds of overpaid turds who already have their money, so they can sit to make a point (Sprewell, Tinsley)and lose out…. or they can bitch and whine (Melo) and get their way.

    either way it just sucks

  • Alex “Robocop” Murphy

    Outlaw for J. O’Neal. who says no?

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    @Showtime
    I agree 100% with your whole post bro. Every line you wrote mirrors my feelings as well.
    Everyone involved with the league (players, refs, head office) all had a hand in fucking it up. If I had grown up now watching today’s players and not Bird, Magic, Stockton, Michael, I might not have fallen in love with the game.

    @F&F: “Owners/GMs want players to stay but make bad decisions. Players are still hypercompetitive but when watch your front office make mistakes year after year, the only thing you can do is leave.”

    Or they wait until your contract is done then move along. Even when stars play out contracts, they make dumb-ass primadonna moves like “The Decision”.
    I disagree with the players being “hypercompetitive” only a handful are still competitive. They surely aren’t as competitive as they were in the 80s/90s. The vast majority back then played solely because they loved the game, or at least that’s the impression I got. Nowadays too many players take the Larry Hughes road, get that contract and pretty much retire. Hell, Vince Carter, who I think had all the tools to be mentioned in the same sentence as the greats, his game steadily declined after he signed that 7 yr deal with Toronto. Some blame the injuries… fuck that. He was still pulling out the opposite-way-360s and windmills in NJ. He just lost the fire after the money. Seriously, look at him now. He’s overweight, slow and a pussy.

    The league needs to get non-guaranteed contracts into the CBA. Maybe guarantee 3 out of a max 5 yrs. Not the whole ride. Players get too comfortable and forget about why they started playing basketball in the first place.

  • NYK

    lakers were so good last night i turned the TV off after halftime and went to bed.

  • oobhz

    dime you’re so late deron williams just got traded to the nets for harris and favors.. WOW, just wow..

  • First & Foremost

    True – Just to pick on Lebron, it is pretty clear that he wants to win, but he couldn’t wait another 3 to 4 years for the Cavs to rebuild around him again. So he had to move on because Danny Ferry and others kept over paying small-time players. Lebron may have had something to do with that as well but each year they brought in a new person that wasn’t the missing piece.

    The same thing happened in Denver and is still happeneing in Orlando, Nola, and Utah. The same thing happened in LA until they finally made the correct trade. Players have to be patient, everyone wants to win now, which is why I still feel players are competitive. True, some cash in and mentally checkout from the game.

    Dwight is in his mid 20s, he can play for another 10 years. How many teams stay competitive for an entire decade? NO, the Spurs were not always competitive every year.

  • Claw

    The Nets Melo deal has now moved to Deron Williams, Devin Harris and Favors plus picks to Utah for Deron.

    This would be HUGE! Deron would make the Nets legit and Utah might not be too bad either, but Deron is a stud.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/nba/153762/breaking-deron-williams-to-nets-deal-in-play

  • No Regard For Human Life

    Why shouldn’t the NBA be like EVERY OTHER PROFESSION where employees have some choice over where they work? If you want to work for McDonald’s, you can decide to work at the one nearest your house, or the one downtown, etc. If you’re a teacher, you can choose which schools you want to interview and maybe teach at. But if you’re in the NBA, you have to be at the mercy of whatever owners/GMs want to do with you? Is that it?

  • Claw

    Nets got a face for the franchise but if you are a Utah fan how do you feel? Did Deron push out Sloan or did Utah side with Sloan and said lets get him out of here. The Jazz are a soap opera!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9RJbLV98fI Showtime

    @ #21

    Because the get like 20 million a year to play a kid’s game.

  • No Regard For Human Life

    @Showtime — So the more money you make, you should have LESS freedom of choice? That doesn’t make sense. Making $20 million to play a game, that’s the nature of the business, because the owners are making way more than that to organize a league of “kids games.” The NBA is a billion-dollar business, so of course the players will make millions.

    You guys kill me with all this “love of the game” shit. This is a JOB. Players do this for MONEY. Sure, they’re lucky enough to have a job they love, but it’s still work. You go to work every day in large part (if not solely) because you get paid, right? I don’t care what Russell, Bird, Stockton, Magic and those guys have said: None of them would have played for free or for minimum wage. Dudes wanna make the NBA because making the NBA makes you rich.

    Plus the NBA has to take some blame. If they showed more than just the same 6-8 teams on national TV and made them “big markets,” players wouldn’t all want to play for those same 6-8 teams.

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    @No regard
    I didn’t know McDonald’s hired their employees to 5 yr contracts. :S It’s not the same.

    A contract is a contract. Players can sulk and play below their abilities and get their way. A contract is a binding legal document. It’s like hiring a contractor to build you a deck in your backyard. You do all your homework, see his other jobs, and they all look awesomme. Then when he’s done, it’s not complete to your satisfaction and doesn’t match what he’s done in the past just because he wanted to work on the neighbors house because it’s nicer.

    How would you feel if you paid this guy money, and had expectations in his work but he just gave you a bare minimum of service?

    If you think the players have a right to choose where they play… then the owners should have a right to protect their expectations for services.

  • Claw

    WTF? Talking about how McDs is the same as the NBA?

    THat is f*d up, that has to be the most ridiculous analogy I’ve heard somebody try to make. There are some players that play for the love of the game and there are those that play for the dollar bill. Once players started making ALOT more money then that takes away from why you are ballin and you get into creating a “brand”.

  • The Goods

    Good to see the Lake Show come out strong from the gate after the All Star break. There is no denying how stout the Lakers can be when Bynum is focused, healthy, and active. He can change shots, swat shots, finish around the rim, and when healthy get up and down the court well. With a healthy Barnes back the Show may hit a good stride heading into the playoffs, last night was a good start.

    Tough game coming up against Portland and a very stern test in OKC on Sunday. Cash flow alley has officially begun, lets see who is ready.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9RJbLV98fI Showtime

    @ No Regard For Human Life

    The players should take all the money the can get (if the owners are dumb enough to sign guys like Iguodala to a max contract) but …

    There’s two sides that agree to a contract. These players obviously like the money and the security that comes with let’s say a six year and 120 million dollar contract.

    The franchise has a few risks here. The player doesn’t care anymore, gets hurt, etc etc

    The player has a few risks as well. The organization might go into rebuilding mode, try to save money, trade your ass to Minnesota, etc etc etc

    These are risks both sides are aware of. Gotta take the good with the bad. If you’re cool with making 120 million guaranteed (no matter how you play) you have to live with the risks as well. If not, sign only one year deals. You can sign with a contender every year but might get hurt and have to get a regular job

  • No Regard For Human Life

    I’m not talking about guys who are under contract, I’m talking about when free agents (Bosh, LeBron, etc) get criticized for not being loyal and signing elsewhere. And it’s not like Melo wouldn’t have played out his contract this year, which is all he has to do. He’s not obligated to sign an extension.

    @JAY — Are you saying Melo played below his abilities this year? Isn’t he averaging 25 and 7? Hasn’t he dropped 50 and 40 points a few times this year?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9RJbLV98fI Showtime

    Oh c’mon. I don’t care when guys leave as free agents but Melo started bitching in the summer and the drama dragged until now. He didn’t wait until he became a free agent because he wanted the money and the security right now.

    Like I wrote above: none of the risks all of the rewards

    I don’t think poeople have that much of a problem with guys leaving as free agents. For example Amare, Boozer, … even Chris Bosh wasn’t that much of a drama. I think people mainly had a problem with how Lebron handled his ‘Decision’

  • LakeShow84

    See the problem is that there are people like No Regard..

    People who always have to argue for the other side of spectrum no matter what it is..

    That arguing touches the same feelings off in other people and then u get a majority against a majority..

    And so with that shit like this will happen more often..

    Like people say, i miss the old school where people put they head down and went to work.. people had the honor to put everything they had into it and if they couldnt get it done in their alotted time (contract) then they would feel they owed more and would stay and try even harder..

    or shit at least really consider bro lol

    now u got people who act like they bigger than cities.. people who get fed up when they see something better and start reneggin on their promises because they want it just as good as the next person.. people who listen to idiots like high school dropouts and musicians (lol)

    EVERYTHING influences this new crop of superstars..

    and its sad because adversity builds character.. so a good 80% of these douches will end up douching out and not learning a valuable lesson..

    Sometimes blood sweat and tears pay off.. and even if it doesnt if u gave ur all you have no regrets and you still accomplished what 80% of the people before didnt..

    u didnt bitch out..

  • LakeShow84

    my bad hella long lol

    and that was more directed at Melo.. Lebron and Bosh at least served their dues..

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    @No Regard: “Are you saying Melo played below his abilities this year? Isn’t he averaging 25 and 7?”
    Ask his teammates. Can honestly say he played every game with the sole intent to win the game, and not “get his”? He might be the first guy who put up stats while asking for a trade. He set a new precedent for sulking… put up numbers at the expense of the team. Regardless, he did not put the team before himself and his teammates thank him for it, by not looking for him late in games.

    I’m interested in seeing the dynamic of the players on the Knicks now. Billups is one of the new guys but i think it will be him who steps into he role of holding the ship together.

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    Wow…. somehow I missed this nugget…

    “You guys kill me with all this “love of the game” shit. This is a JOB. Players do this for MONEY. Sure, they’re lucky enough to have a job they love, but it’s still work. You go to work every day in large part (if not solely) because you get paid, right? I don’t care what Russell, Bird, Stockton, Magic and those guys have said: None of them would have played for free or for minimum wage. Dudes wanna make the NBA because making the NBA makes you rich.”

    ^^ That’s what’s wrong. Sadly, some, if not most players have this type of motivation. The league makes you rich. There used to be guys who never want to leave the game. Now they can’t wait to stop playing… get that contract so they can take it easy. Fuck that attitude.

    And FYI, MJ made just 3Mill/yr for the majority of his career, when other players like Ewing were making 10-15Mill. Who won all the rings? Who has their own brand? Who is the GOAT?

  • K Dizzle

    Utah probably got rid of DWill cuz they didn’t wanna put the team thru what Melo put Denver thru. Dudes say shit like these are huge deals, but somebody tell me what DWill and Melo did in the playoffs. Like I been sayin, Melo gonna sell tickets, but don’t plan any parades.
    Same for D-Will. Thing is, Denver and especially Utah were legit contenders as presently constructed.
    I gotta cosign with JAY and Lakeshow. Lakers tradin for Gasol and Boston tradin for KG and Ray is different than dudes whinin to play with their boys.
    As it is, the league is headed to 8 “superteams” with 3 franchise players on em and 20+ teams that have no chance to win it all…

  • No Regard For Human Life

    @K Dizzle — Who whined to go play with their boys? LeBron didn’t whine. Neither did Wade or Bosh. Amare didn’t whine. Deron didn’t whine. If anybody whined, it was Kobe whining that motivated the Lakers to go get Gasol. And yeah, I do recall KG starting to sulk that last stretch in Minnesota before getting dealt to Boston, then he was all smiles at the press conference because he was getting to play with his boys.

    @JAY — Jordan was OK with making $3 million because he was killing everybody else with endorsement money. That’s an entirely different situation. And $3 million ain’t nowhere near minimum wage. Jordan wouldn’t have played for $25,000 a year.

  • First & Foremost

    Exactly K Dizzle, how does a concentration of stars help the other teams? If Detroit only sells out with 5 teams come to town, what does that do for their bottom line? The T-wolves main attraction is some guy rebounding the ball, they can’t even give away free tickets. Let me know how Cleveland’s attendance is in 2 years.

    The league is already divided into the haves and have-nots. These “Superteams” won’t help the NBA. It worked bfore because you had legit personal rivalries. The league is starting to mimic a video game.

  • Claw

    @F&F, Lake, and JAY – I’m under the same line of thinking. I don’t think this will help the NBA in the long term. Yes, the top teams in the past have been in big markets but the NBA wasn’t this big back then. Too much difference between the haves and have nots and you’ll have medium and small market teams going away, you can’t keep losing money in half empty arenas and the value of the franchise drops.

    How can Lebron whine? for what having the best record in the L? That Boston series was tied and I do think the Delonte West “relationship” with his mom f*d up his head for game 5 and he was outta there. I hope Boston and Miami meet in the playoffs, the whole Delonte angle would be interesting. Does his mom show up at the games? And would should be wearing a Heat or Celtic jersey?

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    @No Regard: “@JAY — Jordan was OK with making $3 million because he was killing everybody else with endorsement money. That’s an entirely different situation. And $3 million ain’t nowhere near minimum wage. Jordan wouldn’t have played for $25,000 a year.”

    $3mill isn’t close to the league minimum but it was close to the veteran minimum at the time and it’s even further away from MJ’s worth. Come on, bruh. You think him sacrificing salary is a moot point just because he had other income? MJ was the lowest paid starter for goodness sakes.

    How is it a different situation than LBJ signing for Max?? or Melo now being in the Mecca of basketball? It’s not different.
    LBJ is a walking marketplace. He can fart and sell that scent. He EASILY could have signed for 5 Mill/yr, and left the rest on the table so his team can sign other players. Why didn’t he? Oh yeah… in your words, he has to get his money. So he joined MIA “to win championships” but takes as much money as he can.
    Some goes with Melo. He hasn’t even played a game yet and VH1 already announced the Melo/LaLa reality showed. The opportunity to make money is EVERYWHERE with him in NY. I guarantee you he’ll sign for very close to a max deal.

  • http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/files/you_re_a_homo_767.jpg JAY

    Just to put a period on my argument…

    MJ sacrificed so his team can be successful. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t make the league minimum. He left 8mill/yr on the table so Krause could have some flexibility to add other talent. What current player today would leave 8mill, or in today’s terms with inflation and the pay scale taken into account, roughly 11Mill/yr on the table so they can sign other players??

    BTW, Chicago was not a major market at the time. He built that franchise by himself. and he did it by sacrificing and being patient. 2 things todays’ player know nothing about.

  • First & Foremost

    The blame can be pointed at just about anyone. Players, Owners, AND AGENTS. If you come to grips with the reality you will NEVER win a championship, sure take as much money as you can. Being paid a max player doesn’t make you a champion. You have to take the Jordan route and allow your team to build around you. Peyton Manning a few years ago took a pay cut so they could sign Brandon Stokley. The Heat all took “pay cuts” so they could sign Haslem. Clearly, they didn’t take a big enough pay cut because they can only go 6 deep on a good night.

    Being a me first player isn’t all about stats. If you aren’t willing to come down on your asking price so your team can bring in better quality players to fill out the roster, what good are you doing for the franchise? How can players demand Max money and then demand the organization bring in a better supporting cast?
    Economics – satisfying unlimited wants with limited resources.

  • http://www.CommonUn.com Jonathan Pierson

    So Can someone find me the tape of Josh Smith’s first lob attempt, hopefully it’s not the last but man It’s has to be going into my photo/video album for his career[lol]…what a special day for all the Josh Smith fans out there….he’s really getting the chance to move past shooting three’s on the hawks…hopefully they never see his true value and I can pick him up for under 8 mill one day…..on my ps3…….on my nba live team……without using the force this trade option….

    PEACE….out,
    Jon