Categories
Denver Nuggets

Around the Rim: Fight to the finish


1. No Answer for Iverson
The race for the Northwest Division crown reached a fever pitch with the recent reemergence of the Utah Jazz. But right behind Utah in the standings sits the Nuggets and the Blazers who just happened to be in action against one another on Monday night. It took overtime and 53 points between Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, but the Nuggets snuck out of the Rose Garden with a two-point victory, increasing their lead over Portland to two games. The Answer’s 14-footer sealed the deal for Denver and broke the heart of Brandon Roy who spearheaded the Portland attack, scoring 26 points to go with seven rebounds and eight assists. Utah’s one game lead over Denver could evaporate into thin air on Wednesday when the team’s get together for the second of four meetings this season. On Jan. 17, Linas Kleiza dropped 41 points on Utah while Marcus Camby grabbed 24 rebounds and blocked 11 shots in a Denver victory.

2. Turkog-loser

Hedo Turkoglu is doing an awfully good job at make Eastern Conference coaches look like fools. Since being left off the list of All-Star reserves last Thursday, Turkoglu shot a combined 19-of-31 from the field, including 4-of-7 behind the arc, going into Monday night’s game against the Mavericks. Dallas kept Hedo in check offensively, but he recorded his first triple-double with 13 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. Too bad it was in defeat. Josh Howard scored 28 points, helping the Mavericks to a 107-98 victor after letting a 19-point lead shrink to three in the fourth quarter. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists as Dallas snapped a two-game losing skid.

3. Canadian celebration
The Raptors rocked the Heat last night by 32 points, but blowouts are as common as bikinis in South Beach these days. As usual, there were no highlights for Heat fans, but Toronto fans on the other hand were like fat kids in a candy store. Chris Bosh scored 24 points, Andrea Bargnani had 22, Anthony Parker finished with 18 and Jose Calderon went off for a double-double. But the cherry on top of the sundae came in the beginning of the second quarter when T.J. Ford stepped on the court for the first time since taking a nasty fall on Dec. 11. The little guy had a decent return with four points and four assists in 18 minutes of action.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Al Jefferson vs. Houston 38 min, 33 pts (FG: 14-26, FT: 5-5), 16 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl, 3 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Boston (36-8) @ Cleveland (26-20)
If the Cavs plan on making it back to the NBA Finals, they better get prepared to run into Boston along the way. So far, the home team has dominated the series this year with Cleveland grabbing a five point victory on their home court and the Celtics winning by 10 in Beantown. Tonight the Cavaliers will have more than home court advantage to benefit from because Boston will likely be without Kevin Garnett agains. Sounds like a lot for Boston to overcome considering the Cavs are 8-2 in their last ten games, but, so far, the Cs are doing all right being Ticket free. Boston is on a two-game roll, coming off a big win against Dallas last Thursday with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen scoring 26 points apiece.

Buzzer Beater: If chicks really do dig the long ball then Kyle Korver is getting some mad love from the Salt Lake City groupies right about now. Korver knocked down six 3-pointers, leading the Jazz to a team record for treys in a game, converting 14-of-22 in a 110-88 defeat of New Orleans. Mehmet Okur hit four while Deron Williams nailed three 3-pointers in the record-setter. The Hornets weren’t bad from downtown either, making 10-of-18.

Categories
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.

Categories
Cleveland Cavaliers

Around the Rim: Flying high in the fourth


1. “It’s your fault.”
Scoring 39 points for LeBron James isn’t really that big of a deal. Nowadays, we pretty much expect the King to get at least 30 on a nightly basis. But 39 points takes on a whole new meaning when LBJ scores 24 of `em in the fourth quarter. James scored two-thirds of the Cavs points in the final period, helping Cleveland break even on the season (17-17) with a 93-90 win in Toronto. James also finished with 11 rebounds and eight assists, citing some front-row hecklers for his late outburst. The Raptors got 23 points out of Chris Bosh and 16 points and 11 assists out of Jose Calderon, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the opposition’s one-man heroics as Toronto lost their second consecutive game, falling to third in the Atlantic Division.

2. San Antonio’s revolving door

The Spurs rollercoaster ride of a season went for another `up and down’ on Sunday when Manu Ginobili returned to the defending champs’ lineup following a five-game absence, putting in 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench. But in the final minutes of the Spurs 88-82 road victory, the stomachs of San Antonio fans quickly relocated to their throats as Tim Duncan and Corey Maggette banged knees, sending Duncan to floor where he clutched his leg. Luckily for Gregg Popovich’s crew, Duncan seems to have escaped without a major or even minor injury and isn’t expected to miss any time after finishing with 17 points and 17 rebounds against the Clippers. Then again, Pop is known to be conservative in these types of situations, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tim sit a game or two.

3. Remember me?
The 76ers took a cross country trip to see their old running mate, but Allen Iverson didn’t exactly play the role of gracious host. A.I. lit up his former squad for 38 points and eight assists, giving Denver its third consecutive win and control of the Northwest Division. This was just Iverson’s second game against the Sixers since being traded in 2006 with both contests being played in Denver. On March 19, the Answer will make his first trip back to Philly and even Iverson doesn’t know what to expect.

You don’t know what the environment’s going to be like,” Iverson said. “I know it’s going to be strange because I played there so many years and I fell in love with the fans there. I was a part of them, they were a part of me. It’s obviously going to be different.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: LeBron James @ Toronto 46 min, 39 pts (FG: 14-29, 3FG: 4-8, FT: 7-12), 11 reb, 8 ast

Monday’s Game to Watch: Denver (21-12) @ Phoenix (23-10)
It’s not too often that one can say the second best team in the Western Conference is in desperate need of a win, but the Suns are in desperate need of a win. Phoenix is just 6-4 in their previous 10 games with the loses coming to quality teams and the wins coming against a bunch of scrubs, minus a win in San Antonio and one against the Raptors. The result is that the Lakers are now knocking on the division door [1 ½ games separate the two], ready to cross the threshold into first place. Winning a home shootout against the Nuggets would be a big confidence booster for the Suns, but the highest-scoring duo in the league will have something to say about that. Allen Iverson (26.9 ppg) and Carmelo Anthony (25.3 ppg) look to take Denver to their fourth consecutive win, but yet another injury to Kenyon Martin could prove costly on defense as Amare Stoudemire is torching opponents with regularity this season.

Buzzer Beater: Don’t pencil in Stoudemire’s 22 points and nine rebounds per game just yet because there is a small chance the All-Star center/forward could miss tonight’s game against the Nuggets. Turns out Stoudemire missed the Suns’ Sunday practice for “personal reasons.” General manager Steve Kerr will discuss the issue with Stoudemire sometime today and depending on the outcome of the meeting, there could be possible disciplinary actions handed out in the form of a fine or suspension.

Categories
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?

Categories
Philadelphia 76ers

A.I. reminiscing on the good ol’ Philly days


Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary since Allen Iverson left Philadelphia for Denver. So, now that some time has passed, why don’t you tell us how you really feel about the trade A.I.

I know they didn’t get enough”” Iverson, 32, said. “In my heart, they know they didn’t get enough. The fans in Philadelphia know they didn’t get enough. . . . (The 76ers) just wanted me out of there.”

“If I was still in Philadelphia, I don’t think they would be in the predicament that they’re in right now,” Iverson said. “The way the East is, I would think that we would be right there in the hunt. . . . I look at (Philadelphia’s) games right now, and it looks like a rec league game or an AAU game when you see the attendance there. It just looks dull.”

“I always said I wanted to end my career as a Sixer,” Iverson said. “And I wanted that so bad for my fans. . . . We had lost a lot of games. . . . I came into a meeting and I told them that I didn’t think, the way we were going, we could win. And I voiced my opinion on what I thought we could do to help us win. And they didn’t care what I thought.”

Wait, didn’t get enough? What’s next? Are you going to try and tell us the Minnesota didn’t get enough for Kevin Garnett either? There was no way to replace the Answer on that team. Philly could have received 10 players in return for A.I. and they still wouldn’t have the same heart.

And since we mentioned K.G., we’re still not over the fact that Minnesota let Iverson slip through their fingers when Garnett and the Timberwolves were their lowest low. We love watching the Celtics and the Nuggets with their new faces, but, damn, Garnett and Iverson would have been a match made in heaven.

Links:

[RockyMountainNews.com]: Denver, Philadelphia remodeled by Iverson deal

Categories
Portland Trailblazers

Around the Rim: Blazers grab another victory


1. Future Roy-alty
If Portland could ever get a healthy roster, they’d be pretty darn good, but, in the meantime, they’re pretty darn good. Led by the continually improving Brandon Roy’s 26 points and 11 assists, the Blazers won their seventh consecutive game on Sunday, downing Denver 116-105. In addition to playing without this year’s top draft pick for the entire season, Portland was missing their second overall pick from a year back as LaMarcus Aldridge sat out for the fourth straight game with a case of plantar fasciitis. Points in the paint are going to extremely hard to come by once Aldridge and Oden team up to become the Pacific Northwest’s version of the Twin Towers. Until then, it’s up to Roy to carry this squad to the playoffs and with a win tonight over the Hornets, Portland will improve to 13-12, putting them on the cusp of moving into the eighth and final postseason slot.

2. Big Three Two

What a difference a year makes. Last season Boston was enduring one of the worst seasons in the history of the NBA and this year they match their longest winning streak since the early `90s. Go figure. 1993 was the last time the Celtics won nine consecutive games until Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce led the mean green to a 90-77 win in Toronto on Sunday. The duo combined for 34 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in the contest, using a 27-17 first quarter advantage to propel Boston to victory. Ray Allen missed his second game with a right ankle injury, but he is expected to be in the lineup when the Pistons come to Beantown on Wednesday.

3. Shelden Williams got jacked up!
Being rich ain’t what it used to be. In fact, the curse of money is at an all-time high right now for athletes with Shelden Williams becoming the latest victim of greedy goons. Williams was carjacked at gunpoint near Atlanta on Saturday by two suspects. Both were arrested in Williams’ car later that night during an attempted robbery. This could have been a lot worse for Williams, who should be thanking his lucky stars he’s not dead over a freakin’ 2008 Chrysler. Williams played two minutes in Atlanta’s Saturday night game against Charlotte, logging zeros across the board. Next up for the baby birds is a home game tonight against Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and the rest of the Jazz.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Allen Iverson vs. Portland 46 min, 38 pts (FG: 11-22, 3FG: 3-6, FT: 13-15), 2 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl

Monday’s Games to Watch: Phoenix (17-7) @ San Antonio (18-5) AND Orlando (17-8) @ Dallas (16-9)
You’re going to have to do some serious channel flipping tonight because both of these games are must see TV. You can’t go wrong with one of the most intense rivalries currently going in the NBA. Phoenix is still fuming after getting bounced from last year’s playoffs by the Spurs. San Antonio is hoping to have a full compliment of players, but Tony Parker’s sprained ankle is keeping his status up in the air. With a win, Phoenix can move within half a game of the conference leading Spurs.

Just up the road you’ll find the Magic looking to extend their two game win streak with a victory in Dallas. Dwight Howard is giving opponents sweat-inducing nightmares with his play of late. Howard is fresh off a 31-point, 20-rebound performance against Memphis and is averaging 25.6 points, 16.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.6 blocks per game over the team’s last five contests (4-1). In case Dirk Nowitzki needed any more reason to stay out of the paint, there it is. But regardless of style, Nowitzki is averaging 20.8 points to go with 8.2 boards and 4.1 assists and the Mavs have won four of their last five outings.

Buzzer Beater: More sobering news from the NBA, sorta. A judge tossed out former baller Keon Clark’s two-and-a-half year prison sentence, citing that Clark deserves a new hearing. Afterwards, Clark let loose with some surprisingly honest and bewildering comments.

Clark, 32, of Danville, said in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Friday that he is an alcoholic and was drinking a half pint to a pint of gin daily when he was playing pro basketball.

“I never played a game sober, unfortunately,” said Clark, who last played for the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.

Clark said in court that he started drinking in high school and, after he was drafted in the NBA by the Orlando Magic in 1998, he drank at games during halftime.

“It just never stopped,” he said.

Categories
Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Pass happy


1. Phoenix sharpshooter -passer
Everybody knows that Steve Nash is a passing machine, but this is getting to be plain silly. In his last four games, all wins, Nashty dished out a whopping 64 assists! The pass fest began on Nov. 30 when he had 14 assists at home against the Magic. Then the Suns began their current five-game, east coast road trip and the two-time MVP went off for 15 on the Knicks, followed by a 17-assist display against Indiana and culminating with Wednesday’s season-high 18 dimes against the Raptors. Of course, Sebastian Telfair could probably pick up 18 assists if he had scorers like Grant Hill (15.7 ppg), Shawn Marion (16.3), Amare Stoudemire (21.1), Raja Bell (11.7), Boris Diaw (7.4) and Leandro Barbosoa (17.7) running the floor with him. Okay, so maybe Se-Bass couldn’t do it, but a good point guard could.

2. Old friends?

Wednesday’s game between the Bull and the Bobcats served as a reunion of sorts for a pair of former teammates. Not on the floor, but on the sidelines. Chicago coach Scott Skiles and Charlotte big cheese Sam Vincent played ball together in college at Michigan State and then again in the pros when they both landed in the Orlando. Skiles’ Bulls took the game in Charlotte and afterwards the two reminisced on their initial memories of one another.

Skiles said he didn’t think Vincent would end up a coach when he was leading the Spartans in scoring. “I thought he was going to end up being an actor,” Skiles said.

“I thought he was a little [expletive] who couldn’t play basketball,” Vincent joked.

3. Guard-ian angles
Despite playing at home, the Spurs were facing an uphill battle against Dallas as Tim Duncan sat on the sidelines with an injury. But what probably should have been a loss turned into a welcomed W, 97-95, thanks to some outstanding backcourt play by the silver and black. Manu Ginobili was unstoppable as he found himself in the starting lineup for the first time this year, scoring a season-high 37 points (50% FG) to go with four rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block. Tony Parker chipped in 23, but struggled offensively, while Michael Finley came off the bench to score 14 on his former squad. All together, the trio of Spurs guards scored 74 of San Antonio’s 97 points. The Mavericks shot the ball very well, out rebounded the Spurs and scored 23 points off turnovers, but Dirk Nowitzki’s last-second trey from the corner didn’t connect and Dallas went down for the second time in three games.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Allen Iverson vs. Los Angeles Lakers 48 min, 51 pts (FG: 18-27, 3FG: 0-1, FT: 15-18), 2 reb, 8 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Denver (11-8) @ Dallas (12-7)
Both of these teams are coming off Wednesday losses in which some significant truths were revealed. The Nuggets were fortunate to learn that Allen Iverson has still got it. The Answer blew up against the Lakers for a mile-high game-high 51 points, the most he’s scored as a Nugget and the most by any Denver player since Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored an identical amount in 1995. Unfortunately for the Mavs, their revelation is a lot more depressing. Dirk Nowitzki must reinvent himself if he is ever going to lead his team to a championship. His skills are incredible, but his style of play is incredibly soft. The seven-foot jump-shooter has a phobia of the lane and continues to be shut down by smaller players, as he was by Bruce Bowen on Wednesday. Granted, Bowen is a tremendous defender, but he is also giving up five inches and 45 pounds to the German MVP. Nowitzki shot four-of-11 for 15 points in the loss while Tim Duncan’s absence left a huge hole in the lane.

Buzzer Beater: Believe it or not, but Tracy McGrady only had two career triple-doubles before hitting Memphis up for 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists on Wednesday. The last time he accomplished the feat was nearly five ago when he had 46, 13 and 10 against the Nets on Feb. 23, 2003. Last night was certainly a good time to give an all around effort because his normally reliable shooting motion was out of order. T-Mac opened the game by going three-of-15 from the field before finishing with a less than respectable seven-of-22 performance.

Categories
Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Amare Stoudemire shines in a fight to the finish


1. Sun-sational finish
The Suns were supposedly shopping Amare Stoudemire over the summer in hopes of winning the Kevin Garnett lottery. Well, losing out never felt so good. Stoudemire, who was rumored to be an eyelash away from landing in Atlanta, went off in Indy last night, netting 42 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in Phoenix’s 121-117 victory. Of course, with Steve Nash getting the ball to any open player in a purple jersey, even Kwame Brown could thrive in this system. Nashty was on fire, torching the Pacers for an 18-point, 17-rebound double-double. Not enough fat numbers for you? Shawn Marion had 14 points and 12 boards in the win. On the other side of the floor, home fans were thrilled to have a Jermaine O’Neal sighting during the contest as the former All-Star had a big man double-double of 30 and 11, but they could have gone with out the game-high six turnovers.

2. Even nauseous, Kobe’s better 95% of the league

Kobe Bryant spent his Tuesday feeling sicker than a dog. Then on Tuesday night, he took to the court against Minnesota and threw up 20 points, 13 in the first quarter, and a sick 360 dunk as the Lakers killed the T-Wolves 116-95. Andrew Bynum had the same stomach ailment as Kobe, but unlike the team’s sole superstar, the youngster went to the hospital and missed the game. Kobe takes a lot of flack for being selfish, but he’s got more heart and will to win in his pinky finger than most players have in their whole body. We hate when anybody gets compared to Michael Jordan, but we gotta agree with Jerry Sichting on this one.

How are you going to tell if he’s got the flu?” acting Wolves head coach Sichting said. “He’s a lot like Jordan. It doesn’t matter with guys like that. He made ME sick.

Don’t worry coach, he makes opposing coaches ill on a nightly basis.

3. Chalk up another upset for the Kings
The Sacramento Kings don’t exactly instill the same level of fear in their opponents that they once did, but maybe they should. Nobody is expecting the Kings to make it to the Finals or even to get out of the first round, but they have some solid wins over playoff-bound squads of late and they might not be done yet. On Tuesday, Sacramento was clutch down the stretch, scoring 43 points in the fourth quarter to knock off the Jazz by 10, 117-107. Despite being just half a game away from sitting in their division’s cellar, Sactown has wins over the Pistons, Spurs, Rockets and now the Jazz. But Sacramento’s trek is about to become even more of an uphill battle as Kevin Martin, the league’s seventh best scorer (24.5 ppg), is out for the next four to six weeks with a groin tear. Ouch.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Amare Stoudemire @ Indiana 36 min, 42 pts (FG: 15-24, FT: 12-13), 13 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (10-8) @ Denver (11-7)
One game currently separates the Lakers and the Nuggets in the standings out west, but nobody cares about teams anymore. We’re a superstar society and we want points, points and more points when we tune into the Association. Well, there are three players in this game who are capable of dropping 50 on anyone’s head at any time, so that should satisfy the masses. Bryant is sitting at second in the league in scoring with 27.2 points per contest while Carmelo Anthony is fifth (25.3 ppg) and Allen Iverson comes in at eighth with 23.5 points. And you can expect the Denver duo to be looking for some revenge after the Lakers routed the Nuggets 127-99 on Nov. 29 in L.A.

Buzzer Beater: For a minute there it looked like the NBA’s version of Sideshow Bob was going to quit his gig as sidekick to one of the league’s biggest attractions to waste away in Charlotte. According to Cavs GM Danny Ferry, that isn’t going to be happening. Terms of the contract haven’t been disclosed, but Ferry said on Wednesday morning that the team has matched the Bobcats’ offer, meaning Anderson Varejao and his hair aren’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, is appears the Cavs aren’t going anywhere either until LeBron James gets over his finger injury. James was injured in a loss at Detroit on Nov. 28 and has missed the last three games, all loses, with a sprained left index finger.

Categories
New Orleans Hornets

Around the Rim: Changing of the guards?


1. Jason Kidd. Meet Jason Kidd 2.0
It’s hard to say that a guy who misses a triple-double by one rebound is playing second fiddle to a youngster in the point guard department, but last night it was true. Jason Kidd finished with nine rebounds, 10 assists and 14 points, but, like they say, he scores last scores best. At least, that’s the motto Chris Paul is living by after his lay-up with less than three seconds in the game gave the Hornets an 84-82 victory over New Jersey. CP3 has been playing out of his mind over the opening act of the season and last night was just one more chapter in the book. Paul paced his boys with a team-high 29 points to go with six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

2. The Chosen `One’

The Nuggets proved the old adage of “two is always better than one” again last night as Denver’s dynamic duo combined for 59 points during their team’s 122-100 victory over Cleveland. LeBron James wasn’t the only Cav on the court, but he was doing all the heavy lifting and it didn’t work out to well for the defending Eastern Conference champs. Behind LeBron’s 27 points, Ira Newble was the second leading scorer with 17 and it took him 15 shots to get that. In all, Cleveland shot the ball pretty well, 36-86 for 41.9 percent, but the Nuggets were rolling. Keyword being Nuggets, accent on the s. Anthony finished with 22 points and Iverson racked up a game-high 37. And if three is a crowd then Denver has a fetish for hordes because J.R. Smith came off the bench to chip in 29 more.

3. Those aren’t “Booos,” they’re “Boooz”
Carlos Boozer must be getting coached up by Mike Gundy on the side because there’s no doubt he’s a man! The Booze went off for 32 points and 10 rebounds, giving him his seventh double-double in eight games. Perhaps the most important number of all is the team’s six wins in those eight contests. Last night, Boozer led the Jazz as they savaged the poor Kings 117-93. As if having a 6-foot, 9-inch, 266-pound of man meat at your disposal isn’t enough, try throwing in a side of coach-hating Russians to the mix. The previously disgruntled Andrei Kirilenko almost got himself a triple-dip with 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Allen Iverson vs. Cleveland 35 min, 37 pts (FG: 14-20, 3FG: 2-4, FT: 7-8), 3 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (3-2) @ San Antonio (6-1)
It’s been a while since the LA/SA rivalry was really heated, but make no mistake about it, these two teams still can’t stand one another. Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich might not come out and say it, but they’re still fuming over Phil Jackson’s “asterisk” comment in regards to their 1999 championship which was won in a shortened season. But when you tune into this game, the real animosity to concern yourself with is between Kobe Bryant and Bruce Bowen. Bryant is a point-hungry scoring machine and he’s been known to throw a few cheap shots in order to get his fix. Unfortunately, nobody keeps perimeter scorers jonzing more than Bowen and his tenacious D. These two have exchanged plenty of heated words in the past and both take this match-up as a personal challenge. Bring your cups with you, because this could get testy.

Buzzer Beater: We can kind of understand why Bulls fans would start chanting Kobe Bryant’s name when the Mamba comes to town. After all, it’s not too hard to want a guy who you’re watching him put on a clinic first hand. But what’s up with Chicago fans chanting his name during a game against the … Raptors?

The United Center sellout crowd of 22,467 lost its patience midway through the third quarter. With each turnover and each missed shot, the chorus of boos grew louder. Ditto for the chants of ”KO-BEE … KO-BEE … KO-BEE …” Then in the fourth quarter, the remaining fans passed the time by doing the wave.

Really, there was no other way to react to the Bulls’ embarrassing, humiliating — pick an adjective, any adjective for bad — 101-71 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

Oh, yea; 1-5 record. Right.

Categories
Denver Nuggets

Over five years later and we’re still not talkin’ bout the game

In our opinion, it was one of the single greatest moments in the history of sports. It’s a clip that gets played with regularity around here and it takes us back to a time that will never be recreated again. So, what are we talking about? You got it, we’re talkin’ bout practice.

You might be wondering why we’re bringing this up right now; well, it turns out that AI wishes he had never said it. What you talkin’ bout Allen?!

It was just being young and definitely immature. I wish it wouldn’t have ever happened,” he says during an appearance on Fox SportNet’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period.”

The interview, which took place Wednesday, will air tonight.

“But you learn from experiences like that . . . I think it sent the wrong message, especially to kids. You can’t be a scoring champion and an MVP and an All-Star and all of that without practice . . . I didn’t want kids to get the message that you don’t need to practice because when you’re not practicing, someone else is out there practicing, getting better.

C’mon, man, don’t be so hard on yourself. That’s like saying that MLK should have never had a dream or that JFK shouldn’t have requested that we ask what we can do for our country. Maybe we should just forget all about how the Beastie Boys told us to fight for our right to party too.

Embrace your history AI. No matter what you say, you will always be that loudmouth, coach-hating, scoring machine to us. And we will always be talkin’ bout practice.

Links:

[Philly.com]: Iverson regrets bad talkin’ bout practice, bad talkin’ bout practice