Around the Rim: Somebody must pay with their head!



One of these people just doesn’t
belong here.

1. 45-point blowout!?
Does the NBA need to start investigating players for being involved with fixing games? Sounds stupid, but how else do you explain a 45-point victory? Well, coach? Explain your team’s performance.

I don’t know where this game came from. I thought we played extremely selfish tonight … Definitely didn’t see this type of game coming after the last two games we played. This was just not a good night.

Not a good night? Try the third-worst beating in the storied franchise’s history and the second-lowest offensive production since the shot-clock went into effect! Oh, and if Nate Robinson didn’t get lucky and nail a half court, desperation heave at the end of regulation to make the score 104-59 then it would have been the lowest output EVER. That a getting-caned kinda night, Zeke.

2. 45-point swing

The Lakers fell down by 17 points early to the Denver Nuggets, but by the time the final buzzer sounded, Kobe Bryant was chillin’ on the bench and the Lakers had a 28-point victory, 127-99. Bryant had 24 points and Andrew Bynum had a nice double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Even Sasha Vujacic got into the act and scored 22 off the bench. But the real news out of Los Angeles has to do with the Zen Master signing on for another two years of drama, which begs the question: Does this move effect whether Kobe is in or out of L.A.? $24 million says Phil Jackson really doesn’t care.

3. Back to their old Mavericks-beating form
After starting the season off by dropping their first six games, the Warriors coasted to an 8-7 record by beating the Rockets 113-94. Since Stephen Jackson returned from his suspension, Golden State is 7-1. And while some of those wins are coming against creampuffs, they have quality Ws over Toronto, Phoenix and now Houston. Al Harrington deserves an expensive steak dinner from his coach after manning up big time against Yao Ming on Thursday. Harrington (6-9, 245) limited Ming (7-6, 310) to 4-of-12 shooting for 10 points and seven rebounds while scoring 18 points on the offensive end.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Baron Davis vs. Houston 40 min, 27 pts (FG: 9-14, 3FG: 1-3, FT: 8-11), 5 reb, 8 ast, 5 stl

Friday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (14-3) @ Phoenix (11-4)
Remember the good old days when you anticipated big-man match-ups like Charles Barkley vs. Karl Malone or Hakeem Olajuwon vs. David Robinson? Well, in 10 or 20 years, you might be reminiscing in the same way about Amare Stoudemire vs. Dwight Howard. These are two of the most blinding young stars working the post today and both of their teams are continually improving. Unfortunately, since these two studs are running in different conferences, this individual battle doesn’t come along all that often. In fact, the only way this becomes a truly intense 1-on-1 rivalry is for the Suns and Magic to square off in the Finals. Fortunately, that’s not an impossibility.

Buzzer Beater: Nicknames are some of the coolest things in the world. The great ones just naturally fit with the person and no explanation is needed, like “Magic.” Then you’ve got nicknames that just seem uncreative and forced, like “Youngrich.”

Nuggets guard J.R. Smith is nicknamed “Youngrich.” It’s even written on his shoes. So why the nickname? “Because I’m young and I’m rich,” the New Jersey native said.

What? Was “Denvernugget” taken by a teammate already?

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