1. Even the Blazers are punking out Miami
The Heat were easily extinguished by the Blazers last night as the Portland upstarts came through in the crunch. Meanwhile, the vets on Miami just let another game slip through their fingers, their fourth consecutive botched contest. Pat Riley appears to have finally accepted the fact that his squad is pitiful, 4-14 pitiful to be exact. Dwayne Wade did all could, coming up one assist short of a triple-double, but Brandon Roy torched the Heat for 25 points while Travis Outlaw chipped in with 20 off the bench to go with one humongous slam dunk in the 112-106 victory. Shaq’s performance continues to decline in the twilight of his career, but he still managed to give a facial to Portland center Joel Przybilla, just not in the manner you’d think. Less than a minute into the game, Shaq sent Przybilla to the floor and then proceeded to smash the ball into his face, bloodying his nose, as the Diesel stumbled over the top of the fallen Blazer. Enjoy this face-smashing view from the cheap seats.
2. They just got (everybody now) MIC’D UP!!
The Nuggets and Mavericks got together last night for a contest that saw Denver take a 122-109 victory, giving Dallas their sixth loss in nine games. But the play on the court was only half the story, coaches Avery Johnson and George Karl became the guinea pigs for the NBA’s latest experiment. The coaches in general don’t seem too happy about the league’s decision to mic up coaches, which is mandatory, and players, which is optional. So, how exactly does the average fan benefit from the latest multimedia move? Well, you get tremendous insight that you never had access to before. Besides the newly implemented and binding media timeout interview with coaches, there are all sorts of other juicy sound bites for your pleasure. Check out this stuff and just try to keep your mind from melting.
Soon after, TNT showed a montage of audio collected from the microphones.
“Let’s go, enjoy this thing,” Karl said at the start of the game.
“Good hustle men, keep it up,” Johnson said during a timeout.
“Let’s go. Let’s go, let’s go,” Stackhouse said, clapping his hands on the court.
“Way to go, Stack,” Johnson was later shown saying following a basket by his microphone-wearing swingman.
3. Now Jason Kidd probably has a headache
Wait, wait, wait; you mean to tell us that Jason Kidd might have actually had a migraine headache on Tuesday? That’s not possible, it was a power play to highjack the Nets’ cash or to get traded. Remember, he was “on strike.” Or maybe not. Kidd laid out his side of the story and, guess what, it makes sense. He had a headache and he didn’t play, simple as that. Give the guy a little credit, he’s a veteran and a professional when it comes to the game of basketball. Heck, the guy is 34 years old and he’s 1.3 rebounds away from averaging a triple-double for the sorry franchise. We don’t doubt that he might want out of Jersey, nobody could blame him for that, but Kidd has never given any indication of being a complete numbskull like, oh we don’t know, Stephon Marbury.
Thursday’s Player of the Day: Josh Smith vs. Minnesota 45 min, 28 pts (FG: 11-19, FT: 6-7), 7 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 7 blk
Friday’s Game to Watch: Utah (13-6) @ San Antonio (16-3)
Less than a week ago things were looking grim for the San Antonio Spurs after Tim Duncan was carried off the court by his teammates. Four days and a huge win over Dallas later, Gregg Popovich is saying the Big Fundamental has a 50/50 shot to be in the starting lineup against the Jazz. Duncan’s return only adds to Utah’s uphill battle. The Jazz are 13-6 and went to the Western Conference Finals last season, but the franchise hasn’t won a game in San Antonio since Feb. 28, 1999 – 19 consecutive losses. But you can’t count out the Jazz based on history alone because even if Duncan logs some minutes, he’ll have his hands full trying to stop the NBA’s player of the month for the West. Carlos Boozer averages 24.9 points, 11.4 boards and 2.9 assists for the Northwest Division leaders.
Buzzer Beater: With 2.2 seconds left on the clock following Marko Jaric’s layup, it appeared that Minnesota was about to grab their third win on the season. But appearances can be deceiving, just ask Joe Johnson who nailed a jumper at the buzzer to give Atlanta the slightest of victories, 90-89. While winning is normally good enough, when you barely eek out a win against the most pathetic team in the league, even a buzzer-beater leaves you bummed out.
It’s got to stop sooner or later, man,” he said. “I honestly thought this was a 25-30 point win for us tonight.
25-30 point win? Don’t flatter yourself Joe. You do know that your team’s average margin of victory during its eight wins is just 7.5 points, right?