Sometimes we wish the NBA was more like the NFL. In football, you must bring your best effort or you’ll be left looking like Mark Sanchez on Monday Night Football, getting your skills compared to Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite. But in basketball, the best teams can drift through games, and then turn up the intensity when they absolutely have to. It happened in Miami last night during the Heat’s 103-92 win over Minnesota. Midway through the third, the Wolves had led most of the way before LeBron (22 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks… the fifth time in the last 15 years he’s put up those numbers. No one else has done it.) had passes on two consecutive possessions that almost had us spitting out our dinner. First, he threw a backdoor lob to Chris Bosh, who finished with a reverse. Then, James caught a pass on the break and in one motion without coming down out of the air, flicked it forward with a bounce pass to Dwyane Wade (24 points) for a layup. Miami rolled the rest of the way … Kevin Love (18 boards) outrebounded Miami by himself in the first quarter. For a while, he was hitting the glass so aggressively we thought he might challenge the 30-rebound mark, helping to make up for the fact that no one notices he’s shooting 36 percent this year … Toronto ran away from the Cavs in the second half of their 113-99 win. Jose Calderon (23 points, six dimes) was obviously reading DimeMag.com yesterday. After we called him out for basically not being a starting-caliber guard, the Spaniard went out and outplayed Kyrie Irving (23 points, seven assists) for long portions of the game … Speaking of the site, Dion Waiters told us yesterday in his new Rookie Journal that before he got hurt, he hadn’t been attacking the rim like he wanted to. Last night, he had a finish that made whoever originally made the Wade/Waiters comparison look like a genius … Behind 21 a piece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, as well as Joakim Noah‘s second-career triple-double (11 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists), the Bulls destroyed Boston, 100-89. Nate Robinson was a beast off the bench with five treys and 18 points, and after he drained a triple from somewhere outside of the arena in the fourth quarter, Stacey King said Nate has the “nerves of a cat burglar.” We don’t always enjoy listening to King – a few minutes later when Robinson hit another triple, he started singing, “Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson…” – but at least he’s creative … And reportedly, Amar’e Stoudemire is almost all the way back. While certain New York fans are silently thinking, “Noooo!!” this is a necessary step for the team to get to the next level. STAT will start out with the Erie BayHawks of the D-League, and Mike Woodson says the practices must end pain free for the power forward. As long as Amar’e doesn’t go through any grueling workouts, his health should be fine. It’ll be the back-to-back games that’ll be the real test … Keep reading to hear how Utah almost blew a game against the Nets …
Smack / Dec 19, 2012 / 1:27 am
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