Smack / Mar 24, 2011 / 2:00 am

The Knicks Debacle Continues, Blake Griffin Holds His Own Dunk Contest, and We Found the NBA’s Softest Team

So, here’s the course that the pulse of New York has taken since the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony in exchange for everyone not named Amar’e Stoudemire one month ago: It started with, “We got ‘Melo! We might win the first of many guaranteed titles this season!” Then that quickly downshifted to something along the lines of, “Wow, this team might need some time to figure out how play together on both ends of the floor before we win our titles.” Then, as the losses began to mount, it turned to anger and boos and complaints of their team playing zero defense. Then last night, after dropping another one at home, this time to the Orlando Magic, the boos at the final buzzer were delivered with the same zeal that best describes the way New York plays D – half-hearted at best … The game was actually close almost the entire way, until Orlando decided to put it away at the end. At one point on the ESPN broadcast, a frustrated Mark Jackson goes, “I don’t understand why the Magic don’t just post up Dwight Howard on Shawne Williams and run the offense through him.” About three seconds later, Orlando iso’d Dwight on Williams in the post and Howard just rolled right through him for an easy two. That was basically the ball game and Orlando went on to win 111-99 … How about the Memphis Grizzlies going into Boston and stealing one last night? They withstood a Paul Pierce run in the fourth (he finished with 22 on 6-10 shooting) to hold on 90-87. Boston had a final shot to tie the game and they went to their Mariano Rivera in Pierce in the hopes of getting to OT. No surprise there. What was a surprise though, was seeing the guy defending Pierce not automatically give The Truth his patented two dribble to the right pullup that he uses every single time at the end of halves and games. Shane Battier forced Pierce left and he put up a three that had no chance … While the game was a loss for the Celtics, it was a huge win for the Boston’s Got Wings program. Rajon Rondo came up with 7 steals, which means an additional $3,500 for Boston playgrounds just from last night’s game alone. Check out more about the program HERE … It was interesting to see that two former Celtics, Leon Powe and Tony Allen played a huge role in the Memphis win, mostly by playing serious defense and attacking the rim. How tough was Powe? After the game, Doc Rivers called him the “baddest man on the planet.” …You know who’s not tough? Everyone in an Atlanta Hawks uniform. They consistently fold like chairs at the first sign of trouble and prior to their game against the Sixers last night, Hawks coach Larry Drew called his team “fragile” and said they need to play harder down the stretch. You would think after getting trounced the previous night by the Bulls, that they would want to come out and get one back. Instead, Drew’s team went out and lost to the Sixers 105-100, letting Philly kick their asses down the stretch, allowing them to go on a 25-6 run to open the fourth quarter … The Miami Heat may have coasted to a 100-94 victory over Detroit in Auburn Hills last night, but what everyone will remember is the baptism Rodney Stuckey gave Chris Bosh … We ended the night with the Blake Griffin dunk-a-thon against the Wizards in L.A. After one of Blake’s many slams, Clippers color guy Michael Smith said, “I don’t know if there’s ever been a more powerful dunker in NBA history.” He then threw out names like Wilt Chamberlain as other potential title holders … By the way, with Blake destroying rims all over the place, JaVale McGee wasn’t even thinking about trying any of this nonsenseDanny Granger went bananas against the Bobcats last night, going off for 33 in the Indiana’s 111-88 win. Danny Buckets poured in 25 of those points in one 16-minute stretch … Chuck Hayes had an unlikely triple-double in Houston‘s 131-112 victorious shootout with the Warriors. He racked up 14 boards, 13 points and 11 dimes … We’re out like being “fragile.”

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  • Slickyrickyross

    First!
    Dime give some love to Gordon’s 3

  • Will*Ducky

    Blake almost delivered a few Lipton Teabags! Love My Rockets!!! They don’t have the mega superstars but they got heart and they scrap. Respect. H-Town up!!!

  • the cynic

    The Chuck Wagon goes for a triple double! Armageddon has arrived

  • nuggnuttz

    nothing bout denver coming from 14 down to beat the best team in basketball?

  • QQ

    Damn Dwight why you have to play like that proving that you’re the MVP?

    HAHA. Just playing Dime fam.

    Or am I?

    Nugs beating the best squad in the L.

    Melo’s new team fell to 7-10.

    *Waits for fools to keep defending Carmelo*

  • http://www.cracked.com/funny-353-kobe-bryant/ Atom

    I know Duncan wasn’t there, but I also would think that win might get a mention. I think a lot of teams will be wanting to steer clear of the Nugs in the first round.

    Wasn’t just a Blake dunk-a-thon. Javale had some nice ones in there too. He’s got to stop doing that saluting thing every time though, its starting to look like the new D-Miles head bump thing. Nobody need that.

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

    I wish there were more players like Battier who use their brain from time to time instead of only relying on their athleticsm

  • BUFFALO BRAVE

    Who does that uncle Tom battier think he is forcing Pierce left? He just got his ghetto pass revoked!

  • http://twitter.com/rodneytaurice Rod

    Mcgee blocked the shit out of Blake Griffin on one play, I guess yall missed this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vtiHP2qohs

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @Rod –

    Wow, we didn’t see that! We’ll post that on the site this morning. Thanks!

    - PC

  • WinDelRoj

    best part is watching ESPN show highlights of the Hawks/Sixers games, spent 5 minutes showing Hawks highlights and then go to the score and they are 10 down and lifeless….

    It seems that the Knicks losing with Melo (way-to-get-back-on-defense Anthony) steals shine from the Nuggets winning without him, why is that?

  • Buckets

    It’s hard not to like Denver. Did anybody see Neal get broke off on the fastbreak by Felton? I think Denver can take OKC in the playoffs.

  • jdizzle

    LOL @ QQ tryin to hi-jack the board. Lets see who takes the bait…

    Remember all that talk a few months ago about how the Knicks were back and The Garden was rockin again? Seems like 12 years ago doesn’t it?

    Good lookin, Memphis! We a full game up on them fools now. It would be fucked up if the Grizzlies fuck around and beat us tomorrow tho.

  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney

    Most powerful dunker ever? Has to be Shaq.

  • First & Foremost

    Without Rudy I don’t see them making that much noise in the playoffs. Props to that organization though having a nice turn around from Iverson.

    I’m done with the MVP talk UNLESS Dime lets me and freakishbehavior do a Whose More Deserving piece.
    Superman vs. Boy Wonder

  • Kevin

    Why is it that Boston can lose to NJ, or Philly, or Memphis w/o Rudy Gay and nobody panics, but Miami can lose a close game to an elite team and haters throw a party?

  • The Goods

    I do not understand how people can complain about New York’s defensive effort and continue to throw Melo under the bus solo. When has a D’antoni team EVER been praised for it’s defensive toughness??? If Melo played for a D first coach who demanded it or you sit I.E. Thibs, Skiles, P. Jackson when he gets hyped, Pat Riley, etc. you would see a different player.

    I like Mike D a lot, always have, but I have never been able to understand his coaching chops that so many people rave about. He comes in, opens up your offense and lets the horses run. Fine, but how is he supposed to get a team motivated to D up and lockdown, especially late.

    I may be wrong, but with the right coach in place and a few more pieces, New York WILL be a beast team. The Melo hate is simply getting out of hand. I love all the bandwagon Knicks fans and fairweather New Yorkers who came out in droves when y’all got Melo. Now that he is battling some adversity and the team is struggling all the sudden its all on him and youre calling it a bad trade?! – GTFOH, you too Donnie Walsh, if you want back to Indiana then grab Mullin and go back.

    Sorry, pissed Knicks fan I needed to vent.

  • Jason

    Whoa! The softest team in the league is Toronto!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @QQ — You don’t think last night’s loss had a little to do with Amar’e playing maybe his worst game of the year? Or maybe all 10 of the losses in this stretch have been Melo’s fault, and all 7 of the wins were a credit to somebody else.

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

    DeJuan Blair had a real nice putback dunk last night. Had to streeetch way back to grab it using all of his “athleticism”. Luckily he didn’t shred what’s left of his knees on the landing.

  • QQ

    ‘Or maybe all 10 of the losses in this stretch have been Melo’s fault, and all 7 of the wins were a credit to somebody else.’

    Hmmm that’s probably just about right.

    (Sarcasm for sarcasm? Stalemate).

  • JAY

    @The Goods: “If Melo played for a D first coach who demanded it or you sit I.E. Thibs, Skiles, P. Jackson when he gets hyped, Pat Riley, etc. you would see a different player.”
    George Karl is a defense first coach. How good was his defense in Denver? S
    You can’t sit Melo regardless if his matador defence. If any coach benches Melo for not playing defence, will lose Melo’s attention. You can’t bench that guy. It’s like walking on eggshells. He’s only been with NY for what? A month?? I’ve seen him shaking his head at teammates pretty much every damn game. You piss him off, he’ll isolate himself. He’s humpty dumpty

  • what_if?

    @The Goods

    ” GTFOH, you too Donnie Walsh, if you want back to Indiana then grab Mullin and go back.”

    i think Walsh deserves credit for bringin’ back the Knicks to some sort of relevance… no hate needed there…

    well… i guess you think Isiah and Dolan are better off runnin’ your team… SMH

  • The Goods

    I appreciate the feedback.

    To clarify my statements further, I give Walsh alot of credit for how he has built the Knicks back up. I was just displeased that he came out and said what he said. It was almost as though he was stepping in front of the bullet to excuse himself from New York so he can head back to Indiana. I certainly do not want the monster that was Isiah and James Dolan leading the Knicks fully again.

    I like George Karl alot and yes he is a fairly demanding defensive coach, but I think over the years he has rubbed guys the wrong way and never really established a relationship with Melo nor did he care too. George Karl isolated and somewhat forced Ray Allen out of Milwaukee and nobody can tell me that Sugar Ray is a prima donna who will go sit on a wall by himself.

    Melo is such an incredible talent and I really believe that given the right coach who can really get through to him you will see a beast player who can D up anybody and board. My biggest concern is that James Dolan is so damn starstruck with Melo and the NY connection that he wont get someone who will try to reach melo and get the most out of him.

    Ill back off the board and let the Knicks breathe a minute, just disappointed with where they are at.

  • First & Foremost

    @ The Goods – True Melo is too good to bench for bad behavior. Since they grabbed their ankles to get him, they can’t treat him like the rest of the roster.

    The Bulls can/could/did bench Derrick Rose earlier this season to send him a message. He responded with a positive attitude. If you do that to Melo he will refuse to check back into the game.

    His attitude is that of a woman who doesn’t get their way in an argument, then proceeds to hold out. So even though she was wrong in one aspect of the relationship, she proceeds to not do the thing she does best which basically makes her pointless. But you eventually cave in because she is one of the top 5 in the world at what she does forcing you to ignore whatever she does below par.

  • s.bucketz

    What “knicks fans” had those reactions?? Most of the ones I kno were completely against the trade and every1 in the world knew it would take time…were not the miami flamers over here dancin around on stage wit pyrotechnics like an early 90s shawn michaels

  • Windelroj

    With the right coach…

    Melo would be bitching to the press.
    Still not defending.
    Still not distributing.
    A younger more talented Antoine Walker

  • QQ

    If Melo can’t shake off his diva strut, the only way for the Knicks to compete is to force Jerry Sloan out of retirement to put some sense into the bitchass’ skull.

    Other than that, he’ll walk all over the Knicks.

  • http://www.DarkWingPro.com DarkWing Productions

    fire Antoni, because there’s no “D”

  • http://www.DarkWingPro.com DarkWing Productions

    matter fact bring back Larry Brown, he’d do well with this squad, he’s just the type of demanding, take no shit, play the right way coach we need for this roster now

    “No D” Antoni was good when we had to maximize our talent by running that high-ish octane offense, but now we need someone to take us to that next level