Around the Rim: Garnett regret


1. Run, Kevin, Run!
Last night was not a good night to be on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Well, it wasn’t so bad until about halfway through the third quarter. That’s when Seattle decided to put the Super back in front of Sonics and erased a 25 point deficit with 51-18 run over the remainder of the game. Rashard Lewis single handedly outscored the Timberwolves 27 to 18. If that isn’t bad enough for Minny, they ended the game by getting smoked on a 25-2 run. It was the biggest lead ever to be blown by T-Wolves and marked the first game in over three years in which the visiting team pulled off a 25 point comeback. The last team to do it was 2003-04 Knicks who came back from 26 down in Milwaukee to snatch a three point victory, 103-100, from the jaws of defeat. Kevin Garnett really doesn’t deserve this; actually, he does. It’s time to demand a trade.

2. New Jersey’s losing finally pays off

Thanks to a monumental meltdown by the Pacers since the All-Star break, New Jersey, yes New Jersey has moved into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. For almost the entire season it appeared that the Pacific Division would be sending only one team to the post season but the Nets are hoping to continue their limp into the playoffs. New Jersey has lost eight of their last 12 games but that sorry performance actually improves their positioning because the Pacers have lost 15 of their last 17. If that’s not the sign of a pathetic conference then nothing is. So, all things considered, what would you expect from the basketball gods in a situation like this? Why a match-up between the two teams tonight in Jersey with a playoff spot on the line, of course. The only positive thing about this game is that one of them has to win.

3. Big Ben buys in
Stephon Marbury has been selling cheap, I mean affordable sneakers for long enough to know that he can’t build a successful corporation by himself, so he has brought in some big help. Ben Wallace has jumped aboard the Starbury Movement and is now sporting the new $14.98 Starbury II shoe, and it won’t be long until his own sneak (Big Ben) is released on the line. So, while Marbury’s team struggles on the court, his business team is growing by leaps and bounds. His line has expanded from 50 to 200 products that are all available for under $15. And nobody understands about the need for affordable apparel more than Wallace. Big Ben grew up poor as the 10th of 11 children and the youngest of eight boys. “I had to wait in line,” said Wallace. Now he just hopes that others will be lining up for a piece of his new investment.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Josh Howard @ New Orleans 32 min, 25 pts (FG: 10-16, 3FG: 2-2, FT: 3-3), 10 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Houston (45-26) @ Los Angeles Clippers (34-36) The Clippers are just barely holding onto the final playoff spot in the Western Conference but they have currently won five of their last six games. That’s the equivalent of winning 15 straight for any normal NBA team. Houston is enjoying having their man in the middle back and they have now won nine of their last 11 games. Since returning from his injury Yao is averaging 21 points to go along with nine rebounds. And Tracy McGrady is playing pretty well himself as the team hopes to catch the Jazz which would get them home court advantage against Utah in the first round but Houston would still remain in the fifth spot.

Buzzer Beater: Well, the streak is officially over for Kobe. After games of 65, 50, 60, 50 and 43, Bryant finally returned to earth and scored a human-like performance of only 23. Now, that might sound like a small number but, for comparison’s sake, that’s the amount of points that former MVP Kevin Garnett currently averages (22.8). The Mamba started the game hot and looked like he was getting ready to explode for another 60 point performance after he scored nine of the team’s first 11 points. But after that Bryant went cold as he was a pathetic 4-of-23 for the remainder of the game. Bryant also received a taste of his own medicine in the second quarter when he took a forearm to the melon from Pau Gasol that sent him to the famous LA hardwood. Mmmm, tastes like pain.

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