Detroit Pistons

Around the Rim: Not in our house!

1. Detroit outshines Phoenix
In what very well could be a preview of this year’s NBA Finals, the Pistons proved they still got it when it comes to breaking Shaq’s heart. The Suns were on a seven-game winning streak going into Detroit on Monday, but Detroit posted 14 points in overtime to take a 110-105 victory. Since joining Phoenix, the Bad Boys have twice defeated Shaquille O’Neal and the last time the Diesel was sporting a Western Conference uniform, the Pistons sent his Lakers home brokenhearted from the game’s ultimate stage. O’Neal managed to have a solid outing, posting 12 points and 10 rebounds to compliment Amare Stoudemire’s 33 points and Steve Nash’s 23, but Chauncey Billups was too much to handle down the stretch, scoring nine of his 32 points in the extra frame.

2. Beantown letdown

Philadelphia’s shock-n-awe tour continued on Monday night when the Sixers stopped in Boston and knocked off the league’s top dawgs 95-90. Andre Iguodala finished with 28 points and went bonkers in the fourth quarter, going on a personal 10-0 run as part of a 19-0 run to claw out of an 11-point hole. Boston’s “Big 3” combined for 44 points, but only posted five in the final quarter and the Celtics lost their second straight. Philadelphia improved to 8-2 over its last 10 games and now sits in sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

3. The Nuggets keep rolling
On Sunday, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony combined for 69 points in a victory over Toronto. On Monday, the dynamic duo posted 49 points, but the results were the same – a win. The Answer finished with 26 points and Carmelo Anthony tallied 23, however neither could hold a candle to J.R. Smith in Denver’s 120-106 win. Smith went nuclear in the final period, ripping off 25 of his 27 points, including seven bombs from downtown. The W was the Nuggets third consecutive as they try to work themselves back into the playoff picture in a stacked West. The Grizzlies got big games out of a pair of blossoming youngsters as Rudy put up a game-high 30 points and Hakim Warrick finished with 29. But don’t let the inexperienced talent fool you, this team stinks. In fact, if it weren’t for Seattle’s current 1-11 streak, Memphis might very well own the conference’s worst mark.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Lamar Odom @ Golden State 53 min, 23 pts (FG: 10-15, FT: 3-5), 21 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 5 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: San Antonio (47-23) @ Orlando (46-26)
The last time the Spurs visited Orlando Dwight Howard slam dunked his Magic to a victory with less than one second remaining in the game. Until he went Superman at All-Star Weekend, it was the defining moment of his short career. The Spurs have now won three in a row after dropping six of seven and just added Brent Barry back to the roster to give them some solid perimeter shooting for the playoff push. It’s a strategy the Magic are quite familiar with. Orlando averages the second-most treys in the league (25.1 3FG per game) and Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu and Keith Bogans are amongst the top 12 in the league for 3-point attempts.

Buzzer Beater: Fans in Seattle chanted “Save Our Sonics!” at any chance they could get last night and apparently the players just aren’t used to hearing anything other than boos when they play in front of the home crowd after dropping 11 in a row before beating Portland 97-84 on Monday.

Messed me up a little bit,” [Kevin] Durant said. “But I heard them and that’s something I love. The crowd was into it tonight and that shows they’re going to stick behind us.

Detroit Pistons

Around the Rim: Rasheed indeed

1. Pistons’ slide ends at two
The Pistons desperately needed a win after dropping their previous two games, so when they traveled to San Antonio on Thursday, they didn’t bother asking; they simply took it. One quarter into the game, Detroit had already doubled-up the Spurs, 30-15, and they hardly gave an inch from there, winning 90-80. Rasheed Wallace was huge for the Bad Boys, scoring 23 to go with 15 boards, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. While the Spurs’ All-Star trio was healthy for the contest, they certainly weren’t firing on all cylinders as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 21 points and six assists in the defeat.

2. Injuries were music to the Jazz’s ears

The Suns are good, but they’re not that good. With Shawn Marion, Steve Nash and Grant Hill all out of the lineup against Utah on Thursday, Amare Stoudemire was expected to pick up the slack. He did what he could, scoring 21 and grabbing 14 rebounds, but the Jazz finally showed a little pride and took the undermanned Suns behind the woodshed for an old fashioned beat down, 108-86. The knockout punch came in the third quarter when Phoenix could only produce five field goals and 12 points. Five players finished in double-digits for the Jazz, including Carlos Boozer (22 pts, 17 reb) and Deron Williams (17 pts, 11 ast) who both grabbed double-doubles in the contest.

3. Kings of the court, at least against the Grizz
Memphis and Sacramento played a nail-bitter in California and points were plentiful for almost everyone who stepped foot on the floor. Nine players scored ten or more points in the game, led by Rudy Gay’s 31. In the end, the Kings eked out a 116-113 victory with four starters hitting for at least 22 points. The Grizzlies have now lost 18 consecutive games in Sactown, going back to when they called Vancouver home.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Rasheed Wallace @ San Antonio 40 min, 23 pts (FG: 9-15, 3FG: 1-4, FT: 4-4), 15 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (23-14) @ Denver (21-13)
The Magic already have 22 road games in the book this season and, surprisingly, they are dominating. With a 16-6 record outside of Orlando, Dwight Howard & Co. are far better on the road then they are at home (7-8). Denver is basically the opposite, owning a 14-5 record at home with a subpar 7-8 showing on the road. If O-Town wants to win, they’ll have to pay special attention to Allen Iverson tonight. A.I. scored his career-high 60 points against the Magic when he was still in Philly and in his last three games against Orlando he has topped 30. And if that’s not bad enough for the Magic, Iverson has scored a combined 103 points in his last three contests.

Buzzer Beater: Utah is desperate to get their players into the All-Star game. How desperate? Apparently, they’re desperate enough to bribe fans for votes.

First there was Chris Bosh, with his home-made “vote-for-me” video on YouTube. Now the Utah Jazz are weighing in as the season for NBA all-star voting nears conclusion, offering free hot dogs to fans in exchange for home-team votes.

The Deseret News reports that the Jazz offered fans free hot dogs in exchange for 10 ballots filled out at their home game last night against the Phoenix Suns – stuff your face, stuff the box.

LA Lakers

Around the Rim: Just like the good ol’ days

1. Boston beat the pants off L.A.
The Lakers completely humiliated themselves on the court last night. Forget all about the 19-point plunking they received from the Celtics, we’re talking about their numbskull decisions to wear the old school short shorts. Talk about motivation, there was no way in hell that Kevin Garnett and the “Boston Three Party” were going to get beaten by a group of guys wearing purple and gold nut-huggers. The Showtime wannabes came to their sense at halftime, donning the contemporary parachute shorts, but it didn’t make a lick of difference as Boston won easily in L.A. 110-91. Paul Pierce had 33 points, Garnett finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Ray Allen added 19 for the Leprechauns. The Lakers four-game winning streak went down the tubes as Kobe Bryant shot six-of-25 for 22 points and Lamar Odom went six-for-17, scoring just 14 points.

2. No Answer

On Friday night, Allen Iverson scored 39 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 30 as the Nuggets escaped Oakland with a 124-120 victory, but in the home-and-home rematch it was the Warriors dynamic duo that stole the show. Baron Davis (28 pts) and Stephen Jackson (23 pts) combined for 51 points and Golden State snapped a seven-game losing skid in Denver despite being outrebounded 56-42. Anthony finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, but Iverson couldn’t find his rhythm, missing 10 of his 12 shots for just 13 points. After starting the season winless through six games, the Warriors are 18-7 and now own the eighth best record in the West.

3. That’s a wrap
The NBA season is only about two months old, but the Spurs and Grizzlies are already done with each other. San Antonio took the season series 3-1 with a 111-87 victory deep in the heart of Texas on Sunday night. Tim Duncan had 17 rebounds to go along with a game-high tying 24 points, matched by teammate Tony Parker who also dished out nine assists. Michael Finley chipped in 22 as he continues to pick up the slack for an injured Manu Ginobili. The Spurs trio of wins were by a combined 40 points while the only loss to their division rival came by way of a Rudy Gay buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Needless to say, Memphis is sick of seeing silver and black.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Tim Duncan vs. Memphis 33 min, 24 pts (FG: 10-20, FT: 4-7), 17 reb, 7 ast, 1 stl, 3 blk

Monday’s Game to Watch: Portland (18-12) @ Utah (16-16)
The last team Utah wants to bump into right now is the Trail Blazers, so, as fate would have it, the Jazz are scheduled to face the white-hot Blazers twice in the upcoming week. Portland is riding a 13-game winning streak into Salt Lake City with two of the franchise’s second longest string of victories coming against Utah. The Jazz are currently three games behind the Northwest Division leading Blazers and desperately need a quality win to help snap them out of their current 3-11 slide. Knocking off the league’s hottest team would be a perfect cure to what ails them.

Buzzer Beater: Scottie Pippen doesn’t like Scott Skiles, but don’t take our word for it.

I didn’t like him,” Pippen said.

See. Well, now that Skiles got a pink slip from the Bulls, Pippen wants to his shot at dropping the “Baby” from the Bulls. And, according to Pippen, no experience is no problem.

What’s the key to this good ol’ boy system they have?” he asked. “You’ve got to go to Europe and coach two years? Sit next to someone for a year? And then looking at someone like me and trying to figure out how your team did it, how you got there every time? Guys like Skiles have never been there. Can he give a motivation speech like someone who’s been in those games? I’ve played for championships.

“What experience do you need? You have assistants who have been there. If I made a mistake, I wouldn’t be the first coach to make a mistake. I’d love the opportunity to be part of the organization now that Skiles is gone. I’ve won championships with this organization and been in the competition when everything was on the line. I was a coach on the floor. Why isn’t that experience?

Memphis Grizzlies

Yes, those were areolas you just saw on the Jumbotron

We always thought Jumbotrons were being underused in arenas and stadiums across the country. Well, we were right and earlier this week at a Memphis Grizzlies game, Stephanie Simpson proved that the million-dollar, giant televisions weren’t just meant to show highlights and dot races.

Wait, arrested! For flashing! Geez, seems a bit harsh considering how many times the Grizzlies have been exposed on the court this year. Teams are robbing Memphis of its dignity every night. Trust us, there is no way a pair of cans could be more traumatic than sitting through 48 minutes of horrible basketball. Unless Rudy Gay is dropping a game-winner on Tim Duncan then we say all eyes in the FedEx Forum should be fixed on the big screen in hopes of catching another glimpse of the “Flash Cam”.


[Awful Announcing]: You’re Not Going To Believe This One, A Woman Was Arrested At Grizzlies Game For Flashing The Jumbotron

NBA General

Around the Rim: Spurs and Suns get even more physical

Nash is mad as hell and he’s not
gonna take it anymore!

1. Wait; who won that game?
If you decided to turn in early last night and skip out on the end of Game 4 between San Antonio and Phoenix then shame on you. The Spurs were in control for almost the entire game, but almost was just enough space that the Suns needed and they put together a late surge that closed an 11 point gap and gave Phoenix a 104-98 victory that tied up the series at two games apiece. It was a stunning turn of events in SA as it looked like the Spurs were ready to take a commanding 3-1 advantage but it quickly fell apart as Tim Duncan got nailed to the bench with his fifth foul. As the game was coming to an end tempers began to flare as Robert Horry delivered a hard forearm shot that sent Steve Nash flying into the scorers’ table. A brief melee broke out with Horry, Nash and Raja Bell but the situation was quickly diffused as Horry was ejected from the game. However, what could prove to be quite costly was Amare Stoudemire‘s and possibly Boris Diaw‘s decisions to leave the bench area when the scuffle broke out. If David Stern decides to go by the book then their actions are worthy of an automatic one game suspension.

2. Cavs advance; well, almost

The Nets stuck around until the final buzzer but when the horn sounded it was Cleveland who had grabbed a 3-1 lead in the series and put themselves in an excellent position to finish this thing off at home on Wednesday. LeBron James is just one little victory away from etching his name into Cavaliers history by taking the team to their third conference finals ever. It has been 17 long, long, long years since the Cavs last made an appearance in Eastern Conference’s big show. And New Jersey made it a lot easier than it should have been as the Nets’ big three just couldn’t get anything going offensively because they combined for a pathetic 11-of-48 from the field. Sorry, Jay-Z, but that’s just not gonna cut it when King James is exploding for 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Cleveland fans finally have some positive postseason memories to hold on to; hopefully Michael Jordan’s runner over Craig Ehlo hasn’t been too damaging over the years.

3. Could Larry Brown and Greg Oden be a package deal?
It looks like Larry Brow is the top candidate for the open head coaching gig with the Grizzlies, but in typical Larry Brown fashion he’s not making any decisions until he’s sure he’s going to get exactly what he wants. And apparently what Brown wants is the same thing that every coach is desires, Greg Oden. The draft lottery will be held on May 22 which means that we should know exactly where the ol’ ball coach stands by the time the last logo gets pulled from its oversized envelope. Memphis has a great chance of grabbing the top pick which would give the Grizz a solid core for the Yoda-like guru to mentor into young Jedi masters. But the journeyman doesn’t have the patience these days to groom some stick figure into the defensive stopper that his systems so desperately require. It’s an all or nothing situation for Memphis in this year’s lottery. But, then again, we can’t imagine the Grizzlies being too disappointed if Kevin Durant falls into their laps.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Steve Nash @ San Antonio 41 min, 24 pts (FG: 8-12, 3FG: 2-3, FT: 6-8), 2 reb, 15 ast

Buzzer Beater: After two long years of singing the praises of Steve Nash, today we finally usher in a new era of elite as Dirk Nowitzki dons the MVP crown and reduces Nash from “reigning” to “former” MVP. Dirk will probably be so stoked during his press conference that he starts doing his best impersonation of German sensation David Hasselhoff during his acceptance speech. Not! But if Dirk started mumbling while picking at a plate of food with his shirt off, you’d have to admit that it would make for some entertaining television. Hell, we couldn’t really blame the guy if he did show up to the ceremony in a drunken stooper just like his childhood hero. It’s gotta be rough when your best friend and the previous MVP is still ballin while you’re having to pretend to be happy and smile for the cameras when all Dirk really wants to do is hide under a rock until training camp begins.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Even Mr. Clutch can’t save Memphis

1. West walks away
Jerry West will always be the logo of the NBA, but yesterday he announced that he will no longer be the face of the Memphis Grizzlies. West told reporters that his five year run as the Grizzlies’ director of basketball operations will end on July 1. Mr. Clutch said “I’m not a youngster anymore,” and said that the constant losing, uncertainty and injuries have all added up to be too much for the soon-to-be 69 year old. West has done all that he can for the Memphis franchise and while they might have some pieces to build on; they seriously need a centerpiece to build around. And according to West, Pau Gasol is not that guy. But with the luck of the bouncing ping-pong balls, perhaps Kevin Durant could become what Gasol never did.

2. Skiles shoots down Curry’s season

If the Tim Duncan/Joey Crawford drama isn’t enough to keep your NBA interest peaked, then perhaps a coach/player rivalry will be more intriguing to you. Last week, Bulls coach Scott Skiles said that the Knicks Eddy Curry is “having a very good year but it seems like he’s being put on a pedestal awful quickly here.” It sounds to us like somebody is upset that Curry didn’t have his breakout season while playing in Bulls’ red. Curry said that his former coach was “very disrespectful” in his comments. This is a great start to a bad blood rivalry, but it’s not going to get a chance to get fully rolling until next season since New York won’t be participating in the post season.

3. Jamison doesn’t mind carrying the load
With Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler out of the lineup there are gobs and gobs of points available for the other 12 players on the active roster. And on Tuesday night Antawn Jamison did his absolute best to make sure that he grabbed as many of those points for himself as he could by scoring 48 points against the Magic. Unfortunately, the 48 point effort was in vain as the Wizards fell by six to Orlando, 95-89. Jamison jacked up 26 of the Wiz’s 80 field goals and attempted 24 of the team’s 44 free throws. Talk about a one many show! Jarvis Hayes was the only other Wizard to finish in double figures with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Antawn Jamison vs. Orlando 48 min, 48 pts (FG: 14-26, 3FG: 5-9, FT: 15-24), 9 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Golden State (41-40) @ Portland (32-49) Portland might be the home team in this contest, but the Trailblazers have nothing to play for. Golden State, on the other hand, has everything to play for as their post season hopes ride on the last game of the last day of the schedule. If the Warriors can pull out the victory, then they are in the playoffs for the first time since 1994, snapping the longest current streak of going without any post season lovin’. However, if Golden State fails to win against Portland then the Clippers can sneak into the post season by beating the Hornets in LA.

Buzzer Beater: Jermaine O’Neal didn’t try to hide the fact that he wanted out of Indy if the Pacers failed to reach the playoffs, but now that the season is over O’Neal is backing off of his demands for an off-season trade. “I want to retire here, but I understand the business part of it. The business part is brutal. If they feel they can’t rebuild the team, they have to tear the team down.” While O’Neal isn’t admitting it, he’s probably still looking for a change of address and one attractive location is in LA; with Kobe Bryant, not Elton Brand. The Lakers desperately need a big man to compliment their superstar scorer but they’ll have to give up some young talent in return; perhaps Andrew Bynum. Unfortunately, The Captain would not be happy with that.

NBA General

Around the Rim: King sized comeback

1. LeBron at 80% is better than most players at 100%
After missing a game versus the Celtics on Sunday due to tendinitis in his right knee, LeBron James returned to the Cavs lineup last night in Minneapolis and nearly torched the Timberwolves for a triple-double. King James finished the game with 31 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals in the Cleveland victory. And LeBron’s performance came at a time when he considered himself to be “about 80-85 percent.” If that’s at 80 percent, just wait until we get to see him run the floor at full strength. Just one game separates the Cavaliers from the Bulls, but if Cleveland loses their grip on the slim lead they would slip from the second seed to the fifth seed and lose home court advantage in the post season.

2. Indiana locks up losing record

With eight games remaining in the season for Indiana, they have already clinched a Pacer benchmark that hadn’t been touched in a decade. Thanks to a 15 point loss at the hands of the Pistons, Indiana secured the franchise’s first losing season since 1996-97, which was also the last year that the Pacers failed to make the playoffs. But, that’s what happens when you go 3-18 over your last 21 games. Jermaine O’Neal refused to talk to reporters after the game as his frustrations continue to mount. This season could be last time O’Neal suits up in the yellow and blue; but a change of venue would be good for O’Neal. Unless he wants to follow in Kevin Garnett’s footsteps and simply decides to sink with the ship.

3. No Dirk, no problem
The Dallas Mavericks were forced to take the court against the Kings without their superstar and MVP candidate, Dirk Nowitzki, due to a nasty case of food poisoning. But the Mavs still managed to stay the course without their stud and defeated Sacramento by four points, 97-93. The loss of Nowitzki didn’t weaken the club, as the Kings hoped it would, but instead it simply allowed for other players to step up offensively and fill the scoring void. Josh Howard led the way for Dallas by scoring 29 points to go along with eight rebounds, while Jason Terry finished the game with 27 points. Oh, but that’s not enough 20+ point games by one team in a game; Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench to rack up 23 points of his own.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Gerald Wallace vs. Washington 44 min, 34 pts (FG: 16-24, FT: 2-5), 14 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Toronto (41-33) @ Orlando (34-40) The Raptors are coming off a close, three-point loss to the Heat last night but are still sitting one game ahead of Miami for the third spot in the East. Chris Bosh continues to impress as he scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Miami’s stout frontcourt. But Bosh will have to take on another All-Star big man as Dwight Howard will look to slow down Bosh in the paint. Howard’s numbers have fallen a bit since the season began but he is still only .7 rebounds per game away from becoming the youngest player ever to win the league’s rebounding title.

Buzzer Beater: Apparently, the Memphis Grizzlies are prepared to offer Billy Donovan a multiyear deal. As a two-time NCAA champion, Donovan really has nothing left to prove on the collegiate level so it would make sense to advance his career to the next stage. But, then again, the Gators could probably smoke the Grizz at this point so it’s not going to help his legacy any to jump on the back of the sorriest team in the NBA. In the end, this will be a financially motivated decision for Donovan; the only question remaining is will the cash be stuffed into his pockets by Florida, Memphis, Kentucky or someone else?

NBA General

Around the Rim: Memphis wins again?!

1. The Grizz are rollin’!
For the first time all season, the Grizzlies have finally won two games in a row after they knocked off the Lakers on Tuesday and then the Trailblazers last night. Pau Gasol has been playing some excellent ball lately but it took an entire team effort to overcome Zach Randolph and his 43 point, 17 rebound performance. What’s even better fot Memphis is that they actually have a shot at extending this win streak. Tonight they will to Seattle to play a banged up Sonics squad before receiving a pretty tough test Golden State on Sunday. The Warriors sit just one game out of the playoff picture, so they should ready to put away the Gizz if they truly want to make a post season appearance.

2. Total eclipse of the Suns

It’s not very often that the Suns are the team getting run up and down the court by their opponents, but that was exactly what happened last night as the Warriors gave Phoenix a taste of their own medicine. Golden State opened the game by scoring 45 points in the first quarter before finishing the first half with a whopping 77 points and a 14 point advantage. The Suns struggled to fill the hoop with as much frequency as their opponents until the fourth quarter when they managed to outscore the Warriors 18 points but that was only good enough to get them within five points at the final buzzer. The Suns have been slipping in the standings lately, thanks to a 6-4 record over their last 10 games, and now they are just two games ahead of the Spurs for second place in the West. Next Thursday the two teams will get together for what should be a barn burner in San Antonio.

3. Chicago showdown
With a two point victory over the Pistons last night, Chicago was able to clinch a post season spot. Ben Wallace had a big game against his old team and helped to reverse a trend that has been plaguing the Bulls since Michael Jordan retired. Since 1998, the Pistons have owned the Bulls inside of the house that Jordan built, also known as the United Center, to the tune of winning 15 of their last 18 in the building. Now, Big Ben knows what it is like to be on both winning sides of the rivalry, but he almost didn’t get the chance to enjoy it. With under three minutes remaining in the game, Ben Gordon went to the line and missed three consecutive free throws which left the door open for the Pistons to take over. But Gordon lucked out and these two could just be warming up for a seven game series in the playoffs.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Zach Randolph vs. Memphis 40 min, 43 pts (FG: 16-26, FT: 11-16), 17 reb, 5 ast, 2 blk

Friday’s Game to Watch: Utah (47-24) @ San Antonio (51-20) The Spurs almost dropped an easy game against the Hornets on Wednesday, but they had a late rally and won their fifth game in a row to pull within 2 ½ games of Phoenix for the number two spot in the Western Conference playoff picture. But they are going to have to play for a full 48 minutes against the Jazz if they expect to pick up a victory. Utah has already wrapped up their division title and they have won four of their last five games thanks to Carlos Boozer who has been putting up some of his best games of the season of late. There are so many great individual match-ups when these two teams get together, hopefully we can see these two hook it up at some point in the post season.

Buzzer Beater: In October, the Cavaliers and the Magic will be meeting up for a pair of preseason contests on a neutral court in China. Talk about a road trip! Good thing there are a lot of youngsters on these squads who can recover from jetlag in a jiffy. Dwight Howard and his boys will be playing an additional game against the Chinese national team in between the other contests. But this should be becoming routine for the NBA starved nation, after all, David Stern did send their native son Yao Ming along with the Rockets to play against the Kings back in 2004. And next year the United States will send an outfit of the NBA’s best and brightest talent to Beijing for the Olympics. They did qualify for the Olympics, didn’t they?

NBA General

Around the Rim: It’s all in the family

1. That’s my boy
Rumor has it that if Boise State senior Coby Karl isn’t drafted, he could still end up making a roster. And the team that is already showing interest in the mediocre just happens to be coached by his dad, George Karl. Can you say nepotism? Coby isn’t expected to be picked during the two rounds of the draft and ESPN doesn’t even have him ranked in their top 100 suspects but for some reason daddy seems to think his little boy would be exactly what the Nuggets need. “Right now, my feeling is he fits what we need,” George Karl said. “We need kind of a playmaking bigger player.” Um, have you ever seen your kid play coach? Coby is a decent player in the WAC but we wouldn’t exactly consider him a “playmaking bigger player.” Coby has said that it would be difficult to accept an invitation from his old man, but when it comes down to playing in the NBA versus getting a real “nine to five” the choice becomes pretty easy. Geez, it must be nice having daddy there to save your NBA aspirations.

2. King for a week

Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats is the current player of the week. Wow, that’s a sentence I never expected to be writing, but that’s not to say that he doesn’t deserve the honor. The Bobcats were only 2-2 during the week but without Wallace they would have probably gone 0-4. He averaged 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.33 blocks and 1.33 steals over the span and put up a tremendous all around effort in a 108-100 victory over one the Eastern Conference’s best teams in the Cavs. Wallace had four assists, five blocks and 11 rebounds to go along with 27 points. And for Wallace, his great performances couldn’t have come at a better time considering that he’s going to be a free agent when this summer rolls around. Cha-ching!

3. Do you believe in miracles!?
After serving a one game suspension, the Pistons were thrilled to have Rasheed Wallace back in the lineup against the Nuggets last night. Especially after he grabbed a loose ball and nailed a 60 footer to force overtime. During a time out, right before Denver was to inbound the ball with a 98-95 lead and 1.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Flip Saunders predicted that something like that could happen. “I told them that strange things happen,” he said. “We might as well try to get something crazy.” And after Tayshaun Prince tipped the inbounds pass, Wallace made “something crazy” become a reality. Wallace then went on to score several big buckets in OT and led the Pistons to a 113-109 victory. Watch out Chauncey, Sheed is gunning for your moniker of “Mr. Big Shot.” Here’s the video.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Carlos Boozer vs. Washington 36 min, 41 pts (FG: 15-21, FT: 11-14), 16 reb, 2 ast

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Memphis (17-54) @ Los Angeles Lakers (38-32) Sure, Memphis sucks but Kobe Bryant is definitely worth the price of admission. Bryant has redefined “showtime” of late after he ripped off 268 points in five games. Oh yea, he also dropped 60 points on the Grizz last Thursday and that was in Memphis; tonight’s contest will be held in the friendly confines of the Staples Center. Historically, Bryant has used Memphis as his own personal punching bag. But, then again, who doesn’t post career numbers against the Grizzlies. While the game will probably not be much of a contest, at least you can watch Pau Gasol as he continues return to his former All-Star form. In March, Gasol has averaged over 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks while Memphis has gone a pathetic 2-10.

Buzzer Beater: With 5:43 remaining in the first half of last night’s game between the Heat and the Hawks, Shaquille O’Neal hit a free throw of all things to surpass the retired Reggie Miller and become the 12th most dominant scorer in NBA history. The free throw gave Shaq 25,280 points for his career after entering the game with a 26 point per game average over 15 seasons in the league. Just imagine how many points the Diesel could be sitting on if he could hit his freebies with any consistency. But after the game, Shaq seemed to be more excited about the opportunity to use one of his self-given nicknames than he was about the record. “I’m known as The Big Baryshnikov,” O’Neal said in reference to a particularly hard foul that sent O’Neal tumbling to the ground where he performed an impressive 350 pound backward summersault before bouncing back to his feet.

LA Lakers

Phil Jackson doesn’t care about March Madness

Turn that crap off!

A lot of people in Memphis last night might have considered Kobe Bryant to be the enemy as he dropped 60 points on the lowly Grizzlies. But there were a lot more people who would have preferred to get their hands around the neck of the Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson.

Last night’s LA/Memphis contest was being played at the same time as Memphis was matching up with Texas A&M in the Sweet Sixteen and the game was being shown on the jumbotron as Bryant was humiliating defenders live. There were sudden outbursts from those in attendance over the game on TV instead of the game on the court and Jackson got fed up with the fans loyalty to their school after Lamar Odom started clanging free throws because of the unexpected cheers.

So, completely devoid of any school spirit, Jackson went to referee Bob Delaney and demanded that he turn the close college contest off the big screen. And he did; with three seconds remaining and the Tigers up by a deuce.

I went to the scorer’s table and said, ‘That’s not right,’ “Jackson said later.”This is the game that’s being played here. Delaney did the right thing.

Eventually Memphis would advance to the Elite Eight after defeating the Aggies and the crowd in attendance would give a standing ovation when the score was finally revealed. While Jackson acted like his normal pompous self, at least Lamar Odom could roll with the punches.

Their team is in the race for a national championship,” he said. “It wasn’t surprising
at all.

The Zen Master could learn a thing or two from his pupil.


[]: NCAA action is distraction to Jackson