Steve Blake offensive rebounds. Pau-to-Dwight lobs. Kobe Bryant M-V-P chants reverberating through the arena. With the way the Lakers’ 113-106 win in Portland ended, you would’ve thought all was right for L.A. They had finally held off the hot-shooting Blazers, going on a 17-2 run to start the second half and then an 8-0 run in the middle of the fourth before putting the clamps on Portland for the final five minutes. Bryant had been masterful, finishing with 47 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and three or four shots that probably saved the Lakers’ season. And the Lakers now sit at 42-37 with three games left, a full game ahead of the Jazz (Utah owns the tiebreaker). Yet it was more difficult than it should’ve been. … Kobe had 28 points by the half, but was getting eaten alive by Damian Lillard (38 points, nine assists, one “that boy is serious” quote from Bryant) on the other end, who nearly matched him with 25. We couldn’t have been the only ones saying the Lakers just don’t deserve to make the playoffs if they can’t stop a terrible Blazers team that’s fallen off the map over the past month. L.A. gave up 41 in the first quarter and 69 in the first half. Perfect example of their ineptitude: with around two seconds left on the clock before the break, Portland had the ball on a side out-of-bounds. Pau Gasol (23 points, nine assists) gave up an easy lob to LaMarcus Aldridge (17 points, 16 rebounds) like this was the fourth game in five days of a road trip in December. Then, Jodie Meeks gets the inbounds pass and doesn’t shoot it to protect his shooting percentage. Did he realize this was do or die? … Doesn’t look like Denver will miss Gallinari all that much. In a 10-point win over San Antonio, Wilson Chandler started and dropped 29 points and eight boards, while Corey Brewer added 28 off the pine. Even Andre Iguodala racked up a triple-double (12 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists). But the best part of the night? JaVale McGee blocked three shots in the first quarter, and on every one of them, we were scared they’d ricochete somewhere and knock someone out. It felt like he was taking batting practice. … Andre Iguodala is also pretty pissed Diddy is dating Kate Upton. (Diddy denies that they’re together) … Andre Drummond gave Cleveland a taste of what happens when he gets starter minutes. The rook dropped 29 points, 11 boards and had one baseline hammer that nearly took off Tristan Thompson‘s (19 points, eight rebounds) head. Detroit took the W in this one by seven after the Cavs’ last chance ended when Kyrie Irving (27 points, nine assists) took a page out of Tony Romo‘s book and fumbled the ball away. … Joining Cody Zeller (and many others) in the NBA Draft this summer will be Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams. He’s a projected lottery pick. It’ll be interesting to see how his game translates to the next level. He’s not a great athlete, doesn’t do anything spectacularly. He’s just a solid, all-around player. The biggest question mark? Defense. Because of that 2-3 zone, we have no idea if he can check the best lead guards in the NBA or if he’ll be turned into skid marks. … Keep reading to hear the reason why John Wall has been so good over the past month…
Smack / Apr 11, 2013 / 1:11 am
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