1. Forgive and Forget? Uh, No.
J.R. Smith is hoping he can earn back some of the cash he lost during his suspension by participating in either the three-point or slam dunk contest at the All-Star Game in Las Vegas. Apparently Smith hasnt heard about the vendetta David Stern has against the leagues trouble makers. The aftermath from the brawl in Detroit is still being felt in the league today; its safe to bet he hasnt forgotten about Smiths bad behavior in New York just yet. Smith returned from his ten game suspension on Wednesday and proceeded to shoot and miss all four of his three point attempts; not a good endorsement for his long range skills. But Smith can certainly dunk in impressive fashion and its a shame that the fans wont be able to enjoy his talents because of a flagrant foul gone wild.
2. New Life in New Jersey
For a guy whos supposed to be going through one of the more traumatic experiences in life, Jason Kidd sure isnt showing any ill effects on the court. His team is currently winning the Atlantic Division and Kidd picked up the 82 triple-double of his career with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over the Bulls last night. Since filing for a divorce from an allegedly violent Joumana on Tuesday, J-Kidd has led his team to a perfect 2-0 record and the Nets have won five of their last six games. So, something about the bachelor life must be treating Kidd right. It could be the cold pizza in the morning. It could be Jason simply finds sanctuary from his problems on the court. But its probably the lack of physical abuse.
3. The Antique Road Show
The Kings use to be one of the best home teams in the NBA; now, not so much. But one thing remains the same from the early part of the decade, and that is that the Kings are not good hosts. As of now, visitors have a 50/50 chance to take home a win when traveling to Sac Town but thats still not enough motivation for some players to want to take the trip to Arco Arena. Even coaches hate the accommodations. Phil Jackson recently compared the locker room to a dungeon. Its situated in a confined area with a small rack for clothes and theres no television for players to watch while they are kicking back in folding chairs during their stay. Oddly enough, one of the most hated men in Sacramento loves the amenities offered by the Kings. I’m a traditionalist, said Kobe Bryant. Look at that chalk board, the stains all over it. This is Arco. I love coming here. I don’t want them to change a thing.”
Thursday Player of the Day: Jason Kidd @ Chicago 43 min, 23 pts (FG: 8-17, 3FG: 3-5, FT: 4-6), 14 reb, 11 ast, 2 stl
Fridays Game to Watch: Orlando (22-14) @ Los Angeles Lakers (23-13) Orlando has worked their way back to the top of the Southeast Division after a stretch where they lost ten of 14. Behind the play of Dwight Howard, the Magic are riding a five game winning streak into Los Angeles where the Lakers are 16-4. L.A. has amassed a remarkable list of victims who have all fallen within the walls of the Staples Center, including Phoenix, Utah, San Antonio, Houston, and the recent, streak ending victory over Dallas. But the Lakers have lost their last two games; a defeat to the lowly Grizzlies and a 25 point beat-down by the Rockets.
Buzzer Beater: Could any one play better sum up the season of the Boston Celtics than the attempted dunk during the final moments of the game against Indiana on Wednesday? The answer is no. Late in the fourth quarter, guard Tony Allen went for an unnecessary, uncontested dunk after the whistle had blown and in the process of landing tore two ligaments in his left knee which will cause him to miss the remainder of the season. Poetically, Boston lost the game, 97-84. In addition to Allen, the Celtics are without Paul Pierce, Theo Ratliff and Wally Szczerbiak.