It wasn’t like we were the only ones to say the Sixers were for real this year. Everyone was saying that, and the numbers backed it up. They were No. 1 in offense and defense – at the same time – for a while this season, and were dominating people at home. But last night, they ran into a real title contender, the Miami Heat, and the Sixers got blitzed worse than anything we’ve seen all year from the Ravens. Even without Dwyane Wade, the Heat won because they dominated on the glass and LeBron (28 points) was an absolute savage on the pick-n-roll. Whenever he got into the lane, it was an automatic bucket. With Chris Bosh dropping 30 of his own, and with James eventually working Evan Turner over in the post in the fourth quarter, the Sixers slowly wilted … Remember when Mike Miller couldn’t make a shot? He hit two more threes last night, and if he keeps this up, it’ll make the Heat almost impossible to beat in a long series … How long until we start calling ‘Melo the biggest NYC flop since Marbury? With everyone talking about how the Denver/New York trade actually worked out for the Nuggets, this was the perfect chance for Anthony to shut everyone up. Instead, he shot 10-for-30, scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds, and was completely out-shined by Danilo Gallinari (37 points) in Denver’s double OT win. We swear the Nuggets don’t even run plays in the half-court. Al Harrington (24 points) went off in the second half because the Knicks constantly left him open, confused the whole time …Nene had a violent dunk over Amar’e that could’ve slapped the defense back into New York’s big man (if it ever was there). STAT had 11 rebounds – which seems like a record for him these days – but only a dozen points … To describe the ending of Detroit-Portland, we might suggest the closing scenes from The Departed. Basically everyone gets blown away and it’s not very pretty for anyone, even Marky Mark. The final quarter at the Palace at Auburn Hills seemed like that, with the Trail Blazers down five, then three, then one, but never taking a lead because of shoddy execution (for the record, the executions of The Departed were much better). Nicolas Batum (14 points, 1-of-7 from three) clanked a wide-open three from the corner, then Raymond Felton (20 points, 9 assists) couldn’t hit anything, either. Even solid-as-granite LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points, four rebounds) got tangled up like it was Jumanji in every move to the hoop in the final three minutes against Greg Monroe (10 points) and Jason Maxiell (7 points). On Portland’s last chance, down three with four seconds, Felton dribbled the ball off Tayshaun Prince‘s foot at half-court. Game over. Even without Gerald Wallace, out with a sprained finger, saying it’s a bad loss is an understatement. Just two weeks ago we said Portland looked like the West’s best. On the flip side, maybe the win is the end of a bad movie for Detroit … One night after pulling down 23 boards, Aldridge had only one at the half. If we can’t find a better stat to describe a back-to-back, someone let us know … Joe Johnson is an official Dime whipping boy at times, but you can’t hate on the way he’s playing now. JJ had another big night (25 points, 10-for-18 shooting) as Atlanta steamrolled Cleveland by 27 at home. After a really slow start for Johnson, he’s now dropped 20-plus in five out of his last six games. All-Star? We think so … The Mavs, sitting out Dirk for injury concerns, barely survived against the reeling Hornets, winning 83-81 behind 16 points from Lamar Odom. Monty Williams told the media he’d like to disclose everything about Eric Gordon‘s knee but can’t right now. Not a good sign … Marc Gasol is the anti-Jerome James: He’s playing harder – if that’s possible – with the new deal. The lil’ bro put up 20 and 11 with six blocks in Memphis’ destruction of Sacramento. With Mike Conley playing better than he ever has, the Grizzlies are once again the best team no one is talking about … Utah beat Minnesota by 10, but Ricky Rubio needs to open up a Lens Crafters. He’s got more than enough vision (11 assists) to go around. In fact, Derrick Williams owes him half of his rookie scale … Chicago and Carlos Boozer (23 points) beat the Bobcats by six … Houston got 25 from Kevin Martin to survive against San Antonio … And the Thunder beat the Nets by 10. Serge Ibaka, one of the guys we figured would break out this season, was playing hard for seemingly the first time all year. His numbers are WAY down this year, but last night he had nine boards and five blocks in limited minutes … We’re out like NYC’s love affair with Melo.
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