Rajon Rondo is one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA. The Boston Celtics, over the past 6-7 years, have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. And yet Rondo nor the C’s could do a damn thing with Kyrie Irving last night. On his way to 40 points, Irving dominated the fourth quarter and handed out buckets to the guys in green like they were demo CDs … The game was back-and-forth until the final minute, when Irving juked Paul Pierce with a Euro Step for a layup, then skated past Rondo (17 pts, 13 rebs, 8 asts) and ran over Jared Sullinger for an and-one. The Cavs went on to win 95-90, the Celtics lost their fourth straight game, and Irving settled any argument over whether he should be an All-Star this year … Kyrie wasn’t just jacking up shots, either. He added five assists, and he played a significant role in Tristan Thompson‘s 21-point effort. This was a pretty accurate vision of what the Cavs’ future should look like: Kyrie and Tristan as the dangerous outside-inside combo flanked by athletic playmakers like Alonzo Gee (he had a vicious dunk over KG) and active bigs like Tyler Zeller (10 rebs, 3 blks). If Dion Waiters had shot better than 3-for-12, it would’ve been a perfect night … The Cavs also made a trade Tuesday, acquiring Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington, Josh Selby and a future first-round pick from the Grizzlies for Jon Leuer. Yeah, that’s it. Obviously the Grizzlies are trying to dump as much salary as possible, but this trade wouldn’t even get approved on NBA 2K13. We loved Jon Leuer when he was beasting kids at Wisconsin, but he has to go down in history as the worst player to ever return FOUR bodies in a trade … Not too long ago, Orlando and Detroit would’ve made for an intriguing playoff series. Now the only thing these two rebuilding franchises might be battling for in May is the No. 1 pick in the Lottery. The difference between them right now is that the Pistons actually have a promising young core. Four of those guys — Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey and Andre Drummond — scored in double figures in Detroit’s blowout win over Orlando last night. They were creating turnovers, flying up and down the court, throwing lobs, dunking and generally turning the Magic into highlight-reel fodder … J.J. Redick (26 pts, 5 threes) was the only guy who showed up for the Magic. They were so bad that muscle-bound Busta Rhymes (who performed at halftime) looked like he might be able to get a 10-day with them … Keep reading to hear about a conference finals preview …
Smack / Jan 23, 2013 / 7:02 am
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