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Smack / May 24, 2011 / 2:28 am

Dirk Brings The Noise

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)

Hello? KD, you there? Russell? Heeelloooo? Scottie Brooks is that you? Damn, Dirk really shut up an entire team, an entire city. Brooks said in the postgame that if you aren’t upset after a loss like this, then you can’t get upset over any loss. He’s right. Blowing a 15-point lead in the final four-plus minutes in a pivotal Game 4 is about as low as it gets. Oklahoma City had everything lined up to punch a 2-2 ticket back to Dallas. Except Dirk wasn’t cooperating, and after Dallas’ epic 112-105 overtime win, it’s not even a question anymore. Dirk Nowitzki won’t let his team lose. Perhaps the Thunder’s only hope? Calling Mike O’Hara and Jimmy Flaherty Trailing by 15 with under five minutes to go, Dallas executed. Most squads would’ve caved. But most teams don’t have Dirk (12-for-20 shooting, 40 points) who hit three or four shots down the stretch that had Chitwood shaking his head. During timeouts, the trainers must’ve been pumping David Hasselhoff into Dirk’s headphones while throwing a hot jacket over his shooting arm. His two free throws with 6.4 seconds left completed a 17-2 run and sent the game to overtime where Jason Kidd‘s (17 points, seven assists, four steals) crippling three with 40 seconds left put the dagger in OKC’s heart … Meanwhile the Thunder love to learn things the hard way. Awful possessions heading into overtime went against the great pace they set for three-and-a-half quarters. Whether it was KD’s (29 points, 15 rebounds) terrible heave on the final possession of regulation or Westbrook’s (7-for-22 shooting, 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) pull-up J’s and awful offensive management, we kept looking at them sideways. Someone should’ve put a stop to all that (we’re looking at your Scott Brooks). Do they have anything left heading into Game 5? It’s frustrating to see this, seeing the Thunder cower into an L that makes them look like kids playing against grown men (which in a way, is true) … During the third quarter, the color guys talked about Durant’s work ethic. Brooks says he has the work ethic of a backup. We’re assuming that’s a good thing, but didn’t Eddy Curry have the work ethic of a backup? What about Adam Morrison? Slava Medvedenko? We never thought Stacey King and KD were so similar. Shocking really … Oklahoma City came out and hit their first nine shots. Durant’s game was on point, sharp as a razor. You had Durant out there leading like Leonidas, Serge Ibaka (18 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks) putting the hex on Dirk with an out-of-nowhere crossover and even Kendrick Perkins was beasting. But Dallas made enough plays to hang around. Then at the end of the first half, they made their move, cutting the lead down to three. Dirk had the quietest “I’m-too-nice-to-stop” half, missing just one shot on his way to 22 points. And as hot as he was, KD got just eight looks in the first 24. Westbrook took probably that many in wild, off-balance, running jumpers. Then in the second half, Durant struggled with double-teams. Dallas was bringing a second defender whenever he made a move, often catching him at the best time. He finished with nine turnovers, and was completely out-of-sync late. The credit must go to Kidd and Shawn Marion. Marion was rock solid against KD, and Kidd was constantly picking at Durant’s dribble. His critical swipes late in the fourth disrupted OKC’s flow … Van Gundy: “If I was Scott Brooks, I would grow a beard, because I would love James Harden that much” … Let’s pray that Jason Terry (20 points, four steals) never coaches our daughters. We don’t want them running around out there with nine pairs of socks on and throwing up JET signs after every big bucket … It’s one of two ways now for the Thunder: man up or check out. It’s one way or the other. The NBA’s favorite Brady Bunch can’t act like kids anymore. We are way past that. No matter how young you are, opportunities like these don’t come often. There’s no guarantee Westbrook doesn’t go Starbury. There’s no guarantee the Beard doesn’t find better barbers somewhere else. There’s no guarantee of anything. These are some killer growing pains. What will the Thunder do with them? We know what Nowitzki is gonna do: Get ready for the Dirk Snarl on Wednesday … We’re out like James Harden.

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  • yves

    First!
    and gotto love Dirk GOD DAMN

  • VIntakular

    damn, what else can you really say about dirk. That off balance heave was ridiculous…Can’t see how ppl keep considering him soft and not clutch.

  • VIntakular

    And honestly, Dallas woulda lost this had Harden not foul out.

  • J

    Harden was the key to that collapse. The Thunder can’t win without him out there to space the floor against Dallas’s defense. Durant was plain awful in the last 10 minutes of the game because he had smothering double-teams anytime he was within 10 feet of the ball.

    On one end you got the Mavs doubling up on Durant the moment he steps over midcourt because the Thunder have no outside threats to worry about, while on the other end Dirk gets the ball in his hands with ease off pick and rolls because the Thunder can’t afford to leave Kidd or Jet. Better luck next year Thunder, hopefully Russell Westbrook develops some higher basketball IQ and Thabo Sefolosha develops a jumper.

  • Me

    damn, i turned it off when okc had that double digit lead. dallas wasn’t hitting anything.

    Check twitter and see it’s in OT, like WTF!!

    Dirk is the man, but I can’t give him too many props, just got done watching bamboozled.

  • yoda

    and once again dirk showed that its not his fault that dallas teams failed to win championships pervious years. dude is bringing it up every year in play offs. its other guys on the team. hopefully this will force haters to shut up

  • UncheckedAggression

    Marion was making Durant look silly toward the end of that game. I don’t know what to say, other than Dirk is a badass.

    Although Durant’s attempt at the end of regulation was not a good one, I couldn’t help but notice that Westbrook got out of Marion’s way, giving him a better shot at contesting the jumper. What the hell was that all about? Maybe he didn’t think Durant was dumb enough to take that shot? I mean, there was still time and it looked like Durant was a little shaken. Either way, it made them both look stupid.

  • Ian

    Vintakular
    Cuz most haters are ignorant.

    Yoda
    Agree

    Again for the 150th time dirk over kg any day. How was dallas without dirk this year 0-7?? Dirk and howard were the mvps this year.

  • M Intellect

    The crazy thing is Dallas still don’t have Caron Butler?! They’ll be cold when he comes back…

  • cdubb

    Dirk No-quit-ski, all day, all night. Like Magic said, this guy is absolutely the mvp of this year’s playoffs. Ridiculously good. Just watch those contested pump fakes and spin moves at the rim, those off balanced one-legged Euro jump shots you gotta love it. Sure OKC choked this one away. But you better get all those points on the board in the biggest game of the year, down 15 with 5 minutes to go(sic!). Dirk is one of the greatest closer of all time, hands down.

  • mario

    Huh, allas no more. Must have been painful to watch for Thunder fans but man – watching Dirk doin his thing is amazin. Dude is awesome in crunch time.

  • trollne1

    i wonder who greg oden is rooting for between dallas and okc

  • Soopa

    Dirk is bringing it, freaking unstoppable! He could average 45 if Dallas played through him an entire game/series.

    But that foul on Collison which gave Dirk the game tying FTs was bullcrap.

    That doesnt change the fact the OKC collapsed with Harden on the bench, but it absolutely allowed Dallas to force OT which was the same as a loss for OKC the way they played the last 3mins.

  • egypt

    @9…. thats crazy, I completely forgot about caron butler’s injury

  • That’s What’s Up

    OKC lost their Hard-en, went limp and couldn’t please the crowd.

    it’s happened to us all

  • Buckets

    I would think the work ethic of a backup is a good thing, although I didn’t hear the way it was used. You would think a backup is trying to start so they’re pushing the guy ahead of him everyday. That’s a compliment in my eyes.

    I’m trippin on how the NBA fines players over words. If “faggot” cost anywhere btwn 50K-100k “nigga” must be free b/c Lebron called Spencer Hawes that a couple weeks ago and I didn’t hear a thing about it. And KG might be broke if they fined you for saying that. Crazy how the media works.

  • BUFFALO BRAVE

    Dirk is AMAZING!

    One handed fall away 18 footers?

    Not fair.

    And Scott Brooks isn’t that dude. There’s a reason why collision is a career backup that plays less than half of a game and now he’s your saviour? Perkins should’ve been in the game with ibaka checking Dirk and maynor should’ve been in for thabo to help the offense. Brooks has been exposed severely as a step above clueless.

    Smh

  • sh!tfaced

    DOH!!! The Oklahoma City Blunder…

  • First & Foremost

    Will Rich Cho still be invited to do the draft for Portland?

  • EN FUEGO

    Mavs are crazy deep. They still got Caron Butler and Rodrigue Beaubois in their lineup.

  • Ochosiete

    It doesn’t matter if you are up by two or twenty two, with five minutes to go you know you have to take care of the ball and code out the game. Watch Westbrook’s lazy passes and lack of leadership and you see why Harden was needed on the court. Up fifteen you close it out, hit your free throws. Durant hits a three and celebrates like the game was over- five minutes were left on the clock! Is that youth or just stupid?

  • Chaos

    I left the damn game when OKC was up 99-84 tthinking it was oveer and saw this morning that Dirk lost his damn mind in the last 4 minutes…in-f*ckin-sane! Dirk officially needs a nickname…and if he already has one its not good enough….I’m calling him The Howitzer for now on….Dallas is winning the chip. With butler and Roddy B coming back, thhey will be too good tto stop if Caron can lock down on D

  • jdizzle

    Damn. Dirk is on a mission (shooting peoples faces off is merely the side mission). I said to myself before the Lakers series that I had a funny feeling that Dirk was gonna surprise a lot of people and shut some haters up, but I had no idea it was gonna be like this. Since blowing that lead to Portland Dallas has just been locked-in.

    I wonder if that guy in LA is taking notes from Dirk on how to be clutch lol

  • karmatic

    durant -9 buckets, 9 turnovers.
    westbrook – 7 buckets, 6 turnovers.
    harden – 3 buckets, 4 turnovers.
    19 buckets, 19 turnovers

    durant, westbrook, ibaka, harden average age -21.5 yrs

    dirk 12 buckets, 4 turnovers
    jet, kidd, marion – 4 steals each

    dirk, jet, kidd, marion average age – 33.8 yrs

    Geezer power in the nba playoffs-gotta love it!

  • http://coolone woohoo

    Here’s Dirk’s nickname: Thor!

    “Thor brings the hammer down!!!!!” Cuz that’s what he did to OKC last nite.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @vintakular – u can call Dirk soft still. He still cant rebound or defend well for his position. Clutch? Ya, no longer a debate (unless he starts missing late FTsin the finals again, which aint happening. Dude been stewing on 06 for 5 yrs now. Looks like its his yr finally, but no, still gotta take KG over Dirk historically, regardless of what happens this yr. Hes still got a lot of work to do to pass KG historically.)

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @woohoo – awful. I like Howetzer, but it should be Sheiza Film, cuz dudes gonna shit all over you and you just gotta grin and bear it

  • http://www.nbadunks.org NBA Dunks

    Kevin Durant’s Dunk from last night:

    http://www.nbadunks.org

  • King

    Gotta love how teams get exposed in the post season.

    they def need to move Westbrook off the ball Monte style so he can just focus on scoring. that running a team thing doesnt suit him.

  • LeRoy Green

    CHOKELAHOMA CITY???

    99-84 with under 5 minutes and i really stopped paying attention. I can’t believe the way the Thunder broke down in the clutch. If Harden doesn’t foul out, the Mavs lose that game. He’s the 2nd best player on that team and he’s proved it this series. Give my boys credit, they D’d up when they had to and made the right plays on offense when it was most crucial and got a crazy comeback win. Thunder fans….the pain you feel today doesn’t even COMPARE to the hurt us Dallas fans have felt in recent years due to choking games away. This was a great win but we got one to go.
    Actually, FIVE to go.

    DALLAS BITCH.
    #MAVS

  • First & Foremost

    They can only move Westbrook off the ball if he can guard opposing 2s.

    KD will learn from this and hopefully add something to his game next year, that will actually be used in games.

  • Tha Boddy (that just happened)

    Dirk career stats
    Reg season 23pts 8.4rebs
    Playoffs 26pts 10.4rebs
    He picks it up in season 2 and do u know how many players wish they could average that and would welcome being called “soft”
    Fk labels enjoy skill

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ 28 – that was a travel.

    @ Celts – ha I disagree with you about Dirk’s place in history (already), but I like your nickname ideas.

    Does anyone know when Caron is due back, if at all? Maybe the Mavs should let the Thunder win one to get him back in time…

    I’m one of the biggest Dirk/Mavs fans around, so there really isn’t much to say today.

    Bron42, are you still out there? I was wondering what you thought of your boy J Kidd playing for a team that you hate haha…

  • SWAT

    lol @ 33-when was the last time bron42 was on here? its been a minute. but what was with tht softass pick tht westbrook laid on marion at the end of regulation? matador defense.

  • bixby

    dirk’s nick this series:

    THOR: God of Thunder

  • Big Island

    Leave it to a CeltsFan to besmirch Dirk’s good name by bringing KG into it. That’s an argument that will not be settled until after they’re both retired, but I’m taking Dirk.

    You have to give credit to Dallas. I hope they win it, but even if they don’t, that is how you want to put together a team. You have your stud scorer, another guy who can get buckets, and then a bunch of hustle/defensive guys who can get some points. I don’t know what to make of OKC, they have all of the same stuff but just can’t put it together. KD and Westbrook looked retarded sometimes.

    I would feel bad for Nick Collison because of that BS call at the end, except that everyone knew that when Dirk got the ball it was going to be cash anyway.

  • VIntakular

    @dagwaller
    Donnie Nelson said Caron’s return for the playoffs would be nothing short of a miracle. Even Caron mentioned it wasn’t gonna happen. And Beaubois? He’s back, he suited out before playoffs began but Carlisle just doesn’t like him.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Island – I don’t feel bad for Collison. Dirk should’ve gotten 2 foul calls in a row at the end of regulation, when he had a Collison Snuggie on him. Even the commentators, who are wearing orange and blue colored glasses, were saying so.

    @ Vintakular – you da man. Beaubois is good, but as far as I can tell, he does the same things that Barea does. Not a good time to reintegrate someone so young.

  • Sporty-j

    Can’t believe OKC choked that game away. That is unacceptable in the playoffs. Harden fouling out had nothing to with. That’s a loaded Thunder team and Scott Brooks deserves all the blame for the execution at the end of that game. I have no idea what plays they were trying to run and it was not Westbrooks fault this time…

  • doc

    Dirk Diggler is a monster.His nickname should be the German FireCRACKER.

  • QQ

    I really don’t know bout the KG vs Dirk argument. There’s really no sense in pitting those two if you’re an NBA fan. These are two cats who has to lick their wounds just to get where they are.

    KG: an athletic kid that can’t lead his team out of the first round… then the Celtics chip happened.

    Dirk: a scoring machine who always chokes on the big moments highlighted by the loss to a number 8 seed and the 06 Finals loss… then this year’s playoffs happened.

    These are two HOF players who had earned their places by overcoming their worst moments and working hard to be where they are. As a fan, I don’t get why people pit them against each other. Hell, you can appreciate them BOTH.

    PS: Watching Dirk this playoffs is like watching Allen Iverson circa 2001, where you would just know he WOULD dominate. But the wierd thing bout Dirk… Isn’t he supposed to be 4 or 5 years over his prime? DAMN. JVG is right: What we’re seeing now from Dirk is LEGENDARY.

  • Scoob

    Put a fork in em. They’re done.

    I kept telling people that Memphis would have been a better opponent.

  • Ian

    tha boddy
    lets go with garnetts numbers now
    playoffs
    21ppg 12rpg

    garnett is the same dude in the playoffs dirk gets better.

    dirk avgs 5 more pts only one less board 11rpg and yet he cant rebound and garnett is a monster??? had kg been in dallas instead of dirk there is 0 percent chance of that type of comeback

  • Ian

    QQ
    in 06 dirk was great he avged 27 and 11 knocked out the defending champs in game 7 on the road. he was on his way to his first chip and then refs happened. 07 was just bad luck in match ups like the spurs this season. 10 he again knocks out the champs and is on his way to his second finals. besides when has dirk ever had a really good team to win it all?? check out the roster of the 06 team its sad.

  • Ian

    just for fun
    td
    playoffs 23.3ppg 12rpg 3.5apg 2.6bpg on 50 plus percent shooting something kg doesnt do.

  • QQ

    @ Ian:

    My post was not even a slight dig at Dirk, man.

    I might constructed it in wrong way. What I actually meant is Dirk is ‘perceived’ as a choker. Hell, his Mavs this year was the ‘hip’ choice of a team most likely to lose to a lower seed.

    And fairly or otherwise, Dirk has carried those labels.

    My point is Dirk and KG shouldn’t be compared to each other because they both had bad labels attached to them, and they both worked hard to overcome those.

    PS: I’ll put Dirk and KG on the best PF of this generation number 2a and 2b. And if I HAD to choose the better one, I’ll go with Dirk.

  • Ian

    QQ
    i know man i just pointed the 06 thing out because like you said people think dirk choked when his team wasnt even supposed to be in the finals. i can go with 2a and 2b and like you pick dirk.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @big island – if arguing Dirk vs one of the 5-7 best PFs ever is disrespectful to him, your opinion of him is waaaay too high

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

    Dirk has been unfairly labeled a choker in the past, BUT don’t act like the refs were solely responsible for the 2006 Finals loss. The refs weren’t making Dirk, Terry, Josh Howard, Stackhouse and Devin Harris miss shots and turn the ball over.

  • http://dimemag.com/2011/05/dirk-brings-the-noise/ Mike

    -OKC play down the stretch was so stupid, jumper after jumper
    -Look at the current Mavs team, & tell me they should be close 2 a championship, they got players 3-5 years past their primes but Dirk is not letting them lose, give the man credit instead of bringing up his failures SMH. It’s not about losing, is how u respond 2 losing, maybe all those failures are motivating him now, ever think about that haters?

  • http://dimemag.com/2011/05/dirk-brings-the-noise/ Mike

    & the refs did help out ALOT in 06, Mavs couldn’t touch Wade just watch the last min of game 5 & u’ll see wat I mean

  • Celts Fan

    Posted this on the KG Bday thread, but it bears repeating. Dirk’s a better scorer. That’s literally THE ONLY thing he’s better at KG than. If you took 4 #1 picks from the Mavs in Dirk’s prime, do you honestly think he’d have done as much as he did?

    still a legit all star and one of the 20-25 best ever in my opinion when you look at the longevity, how godly he was at his peak, the MVP, DPOY, ring, could play either forward spot and legitimately guard anyone on the floor.

    top 40 ever in SEVEN different categories besides obvious min and games played – he could/can do it all. (source http://www.basketballreference.com)

    Pts – #20 all time, should pass AI next year
    FG made – #21
    boards – #16, will be at 12 by the end of next yr and pass Shaq
    def boards #3 all time
    off boards #26 ever
    steals #25
    blocks #19

    He’s also #53 all time in dimes ahead of guys like Mark Price and Doc Rivers and less than a season’s worth behind Kobe

    Throw all that in w/ the fact he was probably the best all around defender we’ve seen since Pippen hung em up and we honestly may have underappreciated him.

    Dirk is filthy and last night’s highlights will be replayed til the end of time, but he’s not historically better than KG.

  • Michorizo

    Dirk > Garnett

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Celts – again, you seem to forget that offense is half the game.

    You also are placing an awful lot of emphasis on career totals for a guy that’s been in the league 3 years longer than Dirk.

    KG got by for a long time on athleticism. Freakish, once in a generation athleticism, for sure, but can you see him continuing to put up numbers once he Shaq-ifies?

    KG is EASILY at LEAST the 3rd best PF of his generation, and I think many here agree, as QQ said, that he’s even with Dirk.

    But he’s not AHEAD of Dirk by any stretch of the imagination, except on the defensive half of the floor. That point, I think that anyone would concede.

  • Ian

    celts totals??? comon totals make jeter a better hitter than pujols. we are comparing long careers here give me avgs.

    you can argue whos better between dirk and kg but you cant say kg is way ahead.

    so most of us agree td is the best?? cuz ive been reading some dudes here (2 actually) saying kg is better than td.

  • Vintakular

    Overall I’d say Garnett’s a better talent. Defense,scoring, rebounding, never give up attitude are stupendous, but for some reason I can’t see myself building a team based around KG and believe they’d seriously compete for a chip. Don’t get me wrong, I love KG, but a team built solely around KG doesn’t strike me as strong like one built around Dirk. The Celts had three stars and Rondo that year they won it. I don’t consider that building around KG imo.

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

    Clearly Dirk is better now, but if you’re looking at each player during his prime and over the course of his career, I agree with Celts Fan that KG ranks higher. Garnett is/was better than Dirk in every facet of the game except for scoring/shooting; in fact, Dirk is only clearly better as a mid-range to perimeter scorer, because KG is better in the post.

    Now if you think Dirk is SO much better at scoring than (prime) KG that it trumps everything else, fine. But I think they’re close offensively. The last time KG was the #1 option on a team, he was putting up 22 points and 4 assists per game. If he were the #1 option on a team today, even with all the injuries, I think KG could still put up about 18 points and 4 dimes a night.

  • Vintakular

    The fact that Dirk can create mismatches and draw doubles opens up the game for his teammates which probably would take the cake for me. He’s not a great defender like KG, maybe decent at best but a good team defense covers up his shortcomings.

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

    @Ian — Don’t get started with Jeter again LOL. Quit denying that Jeter is one of the best shortstops of all-time.

  • QQ

    I think that what Dirk has that KG doesn’t is that Dirk is one of the biggest ANOMALIES in sports ever.

    You just can’t categorize him.

    A jump shooter? Yet he’s much more than that.

    A tweener? Yet he has a stretch in his career where he averaged 9.5 rebounds. Amare’s best rebounding season was 9.6, back when Amare was the typical BEAST power forward.

    He’s not really a post player eh? Yet he’s dropping 40 on Nick Collison, a rugged post defender.

    He’s past his prime right? Yet he’s dropping stats right not far from his MVP season… 4 YEARS AGO.

    He’s an anomaly. He’s more ‘one of a kind’ than KG’s one of a kind traits are.

    And that’s why I would take him over KG.

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

    @QQ — Yeah, but it’s not like KG was “normal” during his career. How many 7-footers had we seen who could play just about all five positions? How many 7-footers were handing out 5-6 assists per game? Before Dwight Howard took over, KG was the guy considered a lock to lead the NBA in rebounding every year, yet he was also one of the most effective mid-range players around. Both KG and Dirk have changed the game and helped redefine the PF position.

  • goattree

    I called for the “Get out the Salami & Cheese Mama!” at 99-84 (all the Raptors fans will know what I’m talking about), then cried myself to sleep….

  • QQ

    Your last sentence was basically what I am saying. I said that in my first post: No need to compare the two cause they both are once in a millenium players who redefined what it is to be a PF.

    It’s just my opinion that Dirk is the most ‘one of a kind’ a basketball player could go ‘one of a kind’. And that’s saying a lot.

  • QQ

    And yeah, I never said KG was ‘normal’.

    ‘He’s more ‘one of a kind’ than KG’s one of a kind traits are.’.

    I’m just saying Dirk was MORE ‘not normal’ than KG, and that makes him thrive after he’s seemingly past his prime.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @ian – dont think i ever said “way ahead” and anyone saying KG over timmy is high as fuck

    @vintakular – when comparing careers, total #s tell a huge story and were only there to prove how much of an all around beast KG was

    To me, this is like comparing pippen to AI. Iverson was amazing and a better fit as a #1, but if u want to win games (only reason u play) youd rather have Pip/KG as GODLY #2s than Dirk/AI IMO. And dont start on talent on their teams (too lazy to look back amd see who said that.) Take away 4 #1s in Dirks prime from Dal and guess what he’d’ve done on squads starting Trenton Hassel and Troy Hudson.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @QQ – one of a kind is diff than better.

    Amd ya, were arguing over who slides in behind Timmy,Malone, McHale, and maybe Chuck in the best 4s ever list. Not exactly a shot at wither guy, but to me, Dirks below KG.

  • Ian

    Celts
    My bad thought u did and agree.

    Austin
    Can’t let that go man hehehe I’m sorry.

  • QQ

    Well, I’m basically saying the type of one of a kind that Dirk has is what makes him a beast.

    Same way as KG.

    Of course I’m not talking bout the other one of a kinds, like Eddie House.

    He goes on a game for 2 minutes, makes a 3, YAPS like he won his team a chip. That’s one of a kind douchebaggery right there.

  • Dayinho

    KG is a better defender but defense is not offense and that’s why Carmelo Anthony is a max contract whereas Tony Allen earn 3 millions/ year.
    There is full of good defenders in the league. True scorers are rare.

  • sh!tfaced

    It’s all about the wagon… If the Celtics were in the ECF, and playing like Dallas right now with KG playing like the old KG, everyone would prolly be saying KG is much better than Dirk… lol

  • Ian

    Celts fan
    Neither are top 5 they are fightin for the 6th spot (well maybe mchale would drop down) you forgot bob pettite. Chuck is slightly overrated imo.

  • sh!tfaced

    Did we just find the next episode for the next “Who’s Better” series…?

  • http://www.gofukurselves.idiots.org Chicagorilla

    lmao@ people ignoring the fact that in the last 4min of the game a jumpshooting team just got blessed with 15 ft attempts in the mist of a “comeback”.

    Yeh thats exactly what i look for when watching NBA games….entertainment. Fluck sport, just entertain me and tell me how i’m watching legends and all time great performances. Yep, thats hot sh!t.

  • First & Foremost

    True scorers are a dime a dozen… Carmelo is a max contract player because of his marketing appeal. Guys grow up scoring on other people, it becomes natural. Playing defense to shut someone down is the hard part of basketball. Think about football, it is easy to run away from someone, the hard part is catching the person running away from you.

    True scorers – Nick Young, Kevin Martin, Jamal Crawford, Monta Ellis [most nights], Mike Beasley, Prime Vince, Melo, Nate Robinson, Earl Smith, Clarence Black [Flint Michigan Tropics], OJ Mayo, Lou Williams, Ben Gordon. All of those guys can flat out score. 360 layups, long range 3s, crossovers all put fans in the stands, electrify the crowd, and sell tickets. So yes, they make more than the above average defender because people don’t want to see guys get shutdown.

    Offense fills the stands. Defense fills the rafters.

    Every low scoring game is classified as sloppy. No one says both teams played great defense. Since rules across most sports benefit the offensive player, people devalue defensive contributions. Everyone is quick to point out so and so’s great jumpshot but then a block that leads to a transition fastbreak is overlooked.

    Dirk didn’t drop 40 on Nick with all post moves. IF Nick is a great post defender why would a great jump shooter play to his defender’s strength? You take big guys away from the basket and small guys get put in the post.

    KG > Dirk. He put Minny on the map. High level complete player at both ends of the floor.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    KG has ALWAYS had better talent than Dirk. Like I said last week, KG has had Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, Tom Gugliotta, and Wally Szczerbiak, to say NOTHING of Ray Allen, PP, and Rondo.

    Dirk has had Steve Nash, Josh Howard, Michael Finley, and Jason Kidd.

    That’s it. Those are the entire lists of players to be all-stars or all-nba selections WHILE PLAYING with KG or Dirk. Some of you guys that are quality posters that know basketball are completely overlooking these FACTS.

    The year that Dirk went to the Finals, he had ZERO all-stars playing with him, and ZERO all-NBA players playing with him.

    When KG went to the Finals with Boston, Pierce was All-NBA and an all-star and Allen was an all-star.

    Why is KG considered better simply because of his defense? Because “Defense wins”? Then why does Dirk’s career winning percentage look so much better? Why does his playoff win percentage look so much better? Why are Dirk’s personal numbers so much better? Why did Dirk’s team BEAT KG’s team in the playoffs? Why did KG need to jump to a different team to become successful?

    If you value defense, why is it that Magic Johnson is widely considered the best point guard of all time? He never once made an all-defensive team. Before this generation, Charles Barkley was on the shortlist of best PFs of all time. Never once made an all-defensive team.

    Then you look at Gary Payton, Dennis Rodman…guys that were among the best ALL TIME defensively at their position. Neither would be considered “the best” at their position.

    Dirk and KG are different, yes. Neither’s career is over. I’m happy with 2a and 2b of this generation.

    But to put KG ahead of Dirk is narrowminded.

  • Sporty-j

    I am shocked that nobody has mentioned Chris Bosh. What does he have to do to get mentioned in these conversations? Drop 50 on on the Bulls entire frontline head?

  • ash

    KG is more “gangsta” than dirk. Thats about it. KG is a better rebounder and defender, dirk is 10x better scorer, better in the clutch, creates more mismatches, and opens the game up for his teammates. KG dosent do that on one end.

    KG is great, dont get me wrong. But KG has never EVER carried a team. In fact, Dirk’s team swept KG’s team in the playoffs. Dirk averages 30 against KG.

    Dirk > KG, but its really 2a and 2b.

  • shuttles

    Not sure what you’re complaining about regarding ft’s chicagorilla. OKC just made some stupid fouls down the stretch going for offensive boards. They were good calls other than that last one on collison.

  • Dayinho

    @First & Foremost: Guys you’re talking about never scored in PO except Prime Vince and maybe Gordon in 09.
    Regular season is one thing…
    That’s why Dirk is so particular… He is a better scorer in PO and few guys can say that. Lebron, Wade, Ginobili, maybe Paul Pierce… but the others superstars?

  • First & Foremost

    LOL… I know you’re kidding right. Go read yesterday’s comments. Bosh isn’t carrying the team. He is benefiting from the Bulls choosing to let him beat them. Putting Bosh in the mix is like saying Peja beat the Lakers. The Heat are sooo good that you have to double someone and Bosh is the man being left open.

    Any of their main core can drop 30. The Bulls picked Bosh, the weakest link, to prove he can beat them. Unfortunately for Chicago, Bosh has risen to the occasion.

  • QQ

    @ sporty J:

    All time? Chris Bosh?

    Don’t tell me you’re serious. PLEASE don’t tell me you’re serious.

  • Ian

    spory
    because we are talking about 2 elite players.

    dagwaller
    agree

    now guys defense fills rafters?? well whenever you guys have some free time check out scorecasting.

    ff
    how many of those in your list are superstars like dirk not counting mr black.

  • Ian

    someone posted kg put minny on the map?? because dirk came into a powerhouse in the 90s? 2nd longest 50 wins and playoffs streak in the nba.

  • First & Foremost

    @79 – You brought money into the equation, saying why Melo is a max player and Tony Allen makes below the MLE. Scorers will always make more money because the game is geared around offense. QBs make more than LBs even though they have the same responsibilities just on different sides of the ball. WR > CB; LT > DE;

    Look at Chicago. People say they need to upgrade their SG spot for offensive purposes. Whoever they pick will get Brewer and Bogans’s money combined. No one overpays for defense. True Scorers can only succeed when you put a defense around them. This year, the biggest improvement for Dallas was their… defense. Look at them now.

    Carmelo was never on a defensive team. He still showed up in the playoffs but 1/2 his bigs were coming off of injuries. T-Mac… his teams were weak on defense because of him.

    Bottom line – it is easier to overpay for offense than it is for defense. Bruce Bowen never had a lucrative contract even though he contributed primarily on defense. However, Joe Johnson and Melo get 17M+ per year to not play defense and just score.

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

    @dagwaller — What you’re overlooking is that many of your facts are based in opinion. All-Star and All-NBA spots are subjective rewards decided by the OPINION of media and coaches. Josh Howard and Jason Terry weren’t official All-Stars in 2006, but they were both very good players and arguably All-Star caliber that year. On the other hand, the All-Star spots given to Cassell, Sprewell, Szczerbiak and Gugliotta and could have easily gone to other All-Star caliber players if coaches had a slightly different opinion. This is not concrete evidence that KG had better supporting casts than Dirk.

    You also never mentioned coaches or front-office talent. Even if we say KG has always had better surrounding talent than Dirk, has KG always had better coaches? Better organizational support? Dirk has been coached by Don Nelson, Avery Johnson and Rick Carlisle. KG has been coached by Flip Saunders, Dwayne Casey, Kevin McHale, Randy Wittman, Bill Blair and Doc Rivers. KG’s Minnesota front office lost 4-5 years of first-round draft picks, which also has to be mentioned. Championship teams aren’t just the 12 guys in uniform, it’s the whole franchise.

    I don’t think KG is better “simply” because of his defense. It’s his defense, ball-handling, passing, rebounding AND scoring. Whoever said Dirk is 10x better than KG as a scorer is just wrong. KG was routinely averaging over 20 points per game in his prime, just like Dirk. It’s a close argument, neither is “hands down” better than the other, so nobody is way off to pick Dirk or KG as their preference.

  • Sporty-j

    You guys need to quit watching stats. If we bas everything off of stats. Than Lebron James is the greatest player to ever play and we all know that’s not true. In his prime KG was just as deadly as Dirk offensively and dominated his opponents defensively. Rather KG talked his opponents out of there game or had to anchor the whole Minny defense by “himself” like Howard has to in Orlando. KG was a machine, left his heart and soul on the court after every games, and is the only guy comparable to Tim Duncan in this generation. Let’s stop acting like the soft German is now all of a sudden the next coming of Jesus because his big time defensive flaws will be exposed when Wade and Lebron blow past the “GERMAN MUMMY”(that’s my name for him since 06 finals).

  • Sporty-j

    Unless Dirk can get Dallas a defensive stop. Heat in 5 EASILY

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

    @F&F — Bosh isn’t carrying Miami, but don’t act like he’s only scoring 30 points a night because Chicago is LETTING him do it. Teams aren’t double-teaming Marion, Peja, Sefolosha, Ibaka, Noah or Deng, yet none of them are dropping 30-point games against one of the best defenses in the League. Give Bosh his credit.

  • dude

    What about comparing both when they matched up against one another?? Dirk historically owned KG whenever they played each other…

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    funny how you niccas wasnt talking that Dirk > KG ish the other day when he was 7-22 FGs.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @dag – those guys w Dirk were pretty pretty good. Nash was really good even before the rules changes opened things up for him, Josh Howard was a fringe all @tar back then and Finley was SICK back in the day. How soon we forgt. SMH

    Meanwhile, KG had Spree/Cassell for 1 yr and went to the wcf w them when he finally had talent around him. And youd really want Wally over finley, preruleschange Nash, or beforehewascrazyandhurt Howard?!? You just lost all credibility dude.

  • First & Foremost

    @AB – No, I will not give Bosh credit. [-_-]

    He is feasting on the scraps provided to him by the big dogs. I can’t blame him for playing within their system but I’m not going to give him awe inspiring praise for the job he’s done. The only difference in the game he went 1-18 in is that he is making those shots. Chicago picked how they want to lose and are losing because of it. Instead of the glory being spread across the other role players, Bosh is making the most of it. Not like the Bulls are sending a double team forcing Bosh to pass the ball. He is playing 1 on 1 vs. the best team defense not the best individual defenders.

    Everyone thought Lebron would benefit from playing alongside Bosh and Wade. In this series, Bosh is benefiting the most from playing with Wade and Lebron. [Yea, I’m a hater… And?] That is the reason this team is dangerous. You can only “shutdown” two guys and hope the 3rd has an off night. Chicago is trying to limit James and Wade but Bosh is on fire right now. That is a close as you’ll get to a compliment. Is he carrying the team, looking at the stats yes, but who is really doing the heavy lifting?

  • First & Foremost

    Let me clarify the 1 on 1 sentence. Chicago isn’t sending help so he is putting in work on sub par 1-on-1 defenders as opposed to the entire Bulls team coming at him.

    Think of a receiver going across the middle as oppose to a fade route.

  • Ian

    austin
    just because two dudes avg 20ppg doesnt mean they are on the same level offensively.

    manu avgs 15ppg careerwise and i bet hes better offensively than most players that avg 20ppg.

  • Celts Fan

    @chicagorilla – thanks, you just made my point. If Dirk’s going 7-22, he can’t help you win (short of spacing the floor,) meanwhile, KG can impact an entire game without taking a shot but can put up 20ppg without breaking a sweat (in his younger days anyway) I’ve always been a versatility over does-one-thing-really-really-really-well kinda guy. Dirk only does one thing, albeit amazingly.

  • Celts Fan

    @ian – of course, but averaging 20ppg many times does prove that you can score, even if it’s not on the level of another guy putting up those #s (and no one’s gonna argue KG’s better than Dirk at scoring, but he is better in EVERY SINGLE FACET OF THE GAME BESIDES IT, offensive and defensive, and isn’t thaaat far off in scoring, even if it’s not as pretty and unstoppable)

  • Michorizo

    chicagorilla…he was 7-22 but made them when they counted at the end of that game…check it out…he hits the big shots

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

    @F&F — I get what you’re saying, and I’m not saying Bosh is carrying Miami either. LeBron has been the MVP of their two wins if you ask me. But Bosh isn’t just scoring 30 points a night on accident; you were talking like any old body could drop 30 if he’s facing 1-on-1 defense. That said, sure Boozer isn’t a great defender, so why isn’t Thibs having Noah or Gibson stick Bosh more often? Wasn’t everybody on Gibson’s jock after Game 1? Isn’t Noah 2nd Team All-Defensive? If Bosh is killing you, try to find a way to neutralize him.

  • Sporty-j

    Dirk has had 11 50 win seasons and blah, blah, blah. So freaking what! Stop telling me how he’s such a great regular season machine because he’s has been a notorious “POST SEASON CHOKER”. I wish life was that easy and I can just forget about the past, but I can’t. Sooner or later your team is going to need a couple of big stops on D with the O and Dork does not give me that. Dirks feet on defense make it look like he’s stuck in quick sand and like he’s about to trip over his own feet. Watch the Finals and you will see how badly he struggles. On defense he is the opposite of what he is on offense. Compared to K.G. who in his prime was Dominant on both ends of the floor like T.D. was…

  • Ian

    Let’s just all agree its close and it can go either way.

  • Skeeter McGee

    @ Austin

    I agree that Bosh should be deserving of his recent praise rather than blaming the Bulls’ defense for “leaving him open,” as some are saying on here. I think the most intriguing improvements Spoelstra have made start with line-up management and having LeBron facilitate the offense from the point guard position more and more. Last game he had 10 assists and 0 turnovers, fueling that decisive third quarter.

    Yeah the Big 3 deserve a ton of credit but Little Greaseball (Erik Spoelstra) has been coaching real well this series, also…

  • Sporty-j

    Bosh is killing them all. Noah, Gibson, and Asik. I guess tonight it will be Kurt Thomas turn to get some from the new Big man of the NBA. Bosh is a equal opportunity employer because he is such a “gentleman”…

  • Big Island

    Screw it, I’m all in. KG is overrated. Kevin Love is putting up better numbers now than KG did at the same age. He stole his tough guy shtick from Ray Lewis, but Ray will actually kill you. He gets all kinds of props because he’s in Boston and they got a ring even though it was Rondo, Pierce and Ray Allen that did everything. Everyone goes nuts when a team from Boston or NY wins, even Chicago, and since KG “plays hard all the time and brings a toughness” he gets loved. Dirk, TD (breaking my he’s a center rule), Love, Bosh, Dirk again, Randolph, Boozer, Millsap, Pau, Josh Smith, Biedrens, Amare, Birdman, Aldridge, Brand, Griffin, Collison, Ibaka, Big Baby, David West, Mark West, any other Wests, Scola, Charlie V, me, Austin, JJ Hickson, and Dirk yet again are all 158.6X better than KG. KG couldn’t tie Celts Fan’s shoes on his best day. My dog, who is very athletic actually, but dumb as a fucking rock, could drop 50/30/12/18 blocks/19 steals on KG right now and he’s sleeping on the sofa. I wouldn’t let KG toss my salad.

  • Big Island

    I feel better now.

  • Skeeter McGee

    Nah KG was big the year they won the ring. I agree with everything you said other than the part about how Rondo, Pierce and Allen did everything. KG was their interior defense and he did work…

  • Sporty-j

    People seem to forget. Chris Bosh went 1-18 during 1 regular season game in Chicago. He still has to make the shot is the bottom line and I don’t care how wide open he is. Bosh made some big shoots in game 3 even when a hand was in his face. Bosh jumpshoot is effortlessly and a thing of beauty to watch. He is #2 on the list of players right behind Lebron, that has had to go thru a lot and #2 on the list of players that had to perform under the most pressure this season right behind Lebron. Bosh knew Wade and Lebron would never be going anywhere if they failed. And he would be the fall guy along with the coach. And he has succeeded through it all. Hope he wins finals MVP so that he can get his endorsement deals up. Since he is the 1 who had to sacrifice the most…

  • Sporty-j

    lmaol @Big Island. WoW settle down “Big Boy”. Its going to be alright and the world will be a better place after tonight …

  • Ian

    Hahaha big island nice post I think kg is overrated also putting up stats in losing teams big deal. The ny thing you said is true tony parker said it best “if we woulda done what we did here in sa in ny we would be rockstars”. He didn’t lie. I only know dirk can carry his team to the finals kg is a second banana. Didn’t wanna call the man overrated but since you started it what the hell.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Celtsfan – I can tell you’re getting a little hot under the collar about your man. I don’t remember the last time a poster on a website told another poster on a website he “lost credibility”. What credibility is that, exactly?

    No, dude, you’re still off. Did Dirk help his team win with a 7-22 performance? No, but that’s the point of my entire paragraph about how Dirk has won more than KG has. In other words, KG has had more games that are 7-22 than 40 point games, figuratively speaking.

    And again with the supporting casts. You really must have glossed over the parts where KG has had a half dozen allstars and even an all-nba player on his team (in Minnesota). I was thinking, wow, I really thought Celtsfan had paid attention to the NBA before KG went to Boston, but that must not be the case.

    Sam Cassell, all NBA team. 3rd team, which means that KG had the 3rd best PG on his team that year. I figured that maybe you’d seen Latrell Sprewell on the Knicks once or twice, because he was pretty decent if you remember. And so on.

    The reason I tell you and others like you about KG’s supporting cast is because everyone acts like he was toiling for years by himself, when that simply wasn’t the case. He had just as many chances for his defense to carry a good team farther than the first round as Dirk, and he did it exactly once.

    Wow, just remember how bad Anthony Peeler punked KG. And people give Dirk crap for letting David West do the same thing…

    @ Austin – I’m going to ignore the point that one of my favorite media members (you) made when saying that all-NBA teams are just the opinions of media members. Because it sounds a lot like you’re trying to invalidate your own opinion…?

    And if we’re going to bring up KG’s defensive numbers, we’d better bring up Dirk’s offensive numbers, which are all ahead of KG’s by a healthy margin. Dirk will pass KG in a few totals in the next couple years, and is light years ahead already in a few categories. And when all is said and done, his defensive numbers won’t look so shabby, either.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @dag. You missed my point. I said they only gave him a good supporting cast (spree and sam, who were damn good) for one yr then blew it up. Now lets talk Dirk. Right now hes got Jet, Matrix, still effective Kidd, Caron (hurt now, but wasnt all yr, seem@ likely to resign,) Chandler. Hes had, over the years, nash (before rules changes turned him from fringe all star to MVP, but still,) in his prime mike finley (who id take over anyone else on this list cept kaybe Spree,) josh howard before he was crazy, marquiz daniels in his “best” yrs, and devin harris.

    KGs cast in Minn 1 yr of spree and sam, wally world (saw him as our #2 and it was not pretty), joe smith, ricky davis, and young starbury, with a dash of troy hudson and terrell brandon mixed in

    Are you seriously telling me those lists are even close?!?

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    @dag. The peeler thing was the playoffs. U let that slide to keep playing. Same for dirk (not sure if the dwest thinf was playoffs past, dont really remember it honestly. I dont care if u love or hate a guy. You keep ur shit together in the playoffs or end up getting tossed like a chump like fucking Pierces dumb ass in game 1 vs Mia

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Celts – agree on the playoffs thing with Peeler/West. Otherwise, you’re Amar’e Stoudemire and getting tossed for a pivotal game. Dirk’s was also in the playoffs.

    The lists aren’t close, no. In the other direction though, haha.

    What you’re talking about are fringe all-stars and role players, who ultimately are improved by their stars. Dirk took Josh Howard and Marquis Daniels to the Finals. Look back now and realize that Howard had one good year and one very good year, and that’s been IT. His whole career. Quis had one good year. That’s it. And so on. They had their chances and COULDN’T even make those teams.

    Meanwhile, as we hear all the time, Minnesota is a media wasteland. And yet the fans and coaches STILL realized (partially because of the Big Ticket) that they had some damn good players up there. All-Stars and All-NBA teams aren’t selected on accident.

    And really, what have Dallas’s players done since leaving Dirk’s side? Outside of Steve Nash, the same thing KG’s have: nothing. But WHILE ON their teams, KG has had more all-stars and all-NBA players, while Dirk has WON more games and playoff series.

    What do I take from that? Not that Dirk is necessarily BETTER, but that he must be doing SOMETHING RIGHT. It’s not like he had Shaq and Malone on his team.

    PS the Wolves only lost 3 #1 picks I believe. Still a big deal.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    Ok, the spree/cassell mix was the only really talented one and it lasted ONE YEAR, meanwhile, i still think the Nash (mvps after dirk and rules changes) and finley (one of the best players on this list when playing w these guys IMO, loved finley though) were there longterm, which then switched to devin harris (all star after leaving,) josh howard (microfracture afterwards i believe, major injuries either way, not fair to say on him) and marquis (fair pt, but he was damn good at his role w them and us and granger said he was the most irreplacable player on the squad besides himself in Indi,) switching to Matrix (bunch of AS nods,) Chandler (team usa last summer,) Terry (a 6th man or 2,) and old but still effective jkidd.

    Youre really gonna tell me that ONE YEAR of Spree and Sam (still not that much better than those Dal teams IMO, and i loved that squad) and a bad marriage to Starbury that ended before either was even 24 outweighs almost a decade of wally/ricky buckets

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    *and a lmost a decade of wally/joe.smith, or ricky buckets as the #2 outweighs those squads? Come on now. They put talent around him, he went.to the wcf. For the most part they didnt. And it was 4 #1s, reduced from.5 originally, taken right in his prime. You can say dirk vs kg all you want, but the talent surrounding them isnt an argument. KGs was worse all but 1 yr of their careers, pre-Celtics.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    My bad, you were right about the 4 picks not 3.

    I loved Michael Finley. He, Nash, and Dirk are the reasons I root for the Mavs.

    Getting Shawn Marion after the Heat and Raptors years, 2 months of Caron Butler (3 yrs removed from last all-star), 37 yr old Jason Kidd, pre-All-Star Devin Harris, and pre-All-Star Steve Nash really doesn’t count though. They don’t give trips to the second round as lifetime achievement awards.

    The fact of the matter is that KG played with more guys that were among the best at their position WHILE THEY WERE WITH THE WOLVES. By many? No. I don’t think either of us is arguing that these were world beaters.

    But you continually saying, “the talent surrounding them isn’t even an argument” when I continually tell you, straight up, that KG had more players on his team recognized the League over as being among the elite at their position, is a little confusing haha.

    Let’s please count them up.
    Sam Cassell, All-NBA and All-Star.
    Tom Gugliotta, All-Star.
    Wally Szczerbiak, All-Star.

    Steve Nash, All-NBA and All-Star.
    Michael Finley, All-Star.
    Josh Howard, All-Star.

    If you want to say that Gugliotta was when KG was too young, I counter and say that Nash and Finley were only with Dirk when he was young.

    If you say that Wally was bad, I present you with Josh Howard.

    You give me Devin Harris, I give you Chauncey Billups. You give me Marquis Daniels, I give you Terrell Brandon.

    I love that we’re talking about early 2000s NBA here. Just like with so many points between these two players, I just don’t really see how you can say that KG hands down had worse players with him.

  • http://dimemag.com Celts Fan

    I do. Wally World or Ricky Buckets was KGs #2 for like 5 ears.

    And your lifetime achievements award point assumes that before and/after their athletic primes, that all stars, some HOFers, were useless. The only guy that may go to the Hall that didnt show signs of being any good was actually KGs old teammate Chauncy. Kidd is still giving yoi a lot as a #3/4. The guys still one of the best passers Ive ever seen. TOs are never an issue. Nash was a legit #3 to Dirk and Finley, consistent all star candidate. Devins D against Parker in particular is a huge reason you guys went to the finals. He was a quality starter for you guys that no ones surprised he became an all star. Matrix is still a quality starter Josh Howard was damn good for that all star year, so call that Spree.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    I’m seeing a lot of similarities – hard to say DEFINITIVELY one way or another.

    PS HATE the way the game ended tonight. Bulls and Thunder showing their youth in these series at the end of games.