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The Show, The After-Party…

By 12.31.08
LeBron JamesLeBron James (photo. Mannion)

If you fell under the spell of the nationwide LeBron James two-day birthday party — marked by NBA TV’s “24 Hours of LeBron” and ESPN’s rundown of the top 24 moments of LBJ’s career — your expectations were probably impossibly high going into Cavs/Heat last night. Imagine seeing the three best movie trailers you’ve ever seen, back-to-back-to-back, and all of them were for the same flick (this may have actually happened when Sin City first came out). Even if the movie itself is great, if it’s not life-altering, there’s still a letdown. So while LeBron dropped 38 points and seven dimes on Miami and turned in some highlight dunks and blocks, it wasn’t the jaw-dropping spectacle worthy of the build-up. And the only thing we really learned is that Daquan Cook couldn’t guard LeBron unless he hired Scorpion to play help D (“Get over here!”) … Not to mention the Cavs lost; D-Wade scored a modest 21, but continually made Cleveland pay for bringing two and three defenders his way by finding the open man (12 asts). With 1:30 left, Wade crossed LeBron up easy, drew the defense and hit Mario Chalmers for a corner three that proved to be the dagger … While we’re on the topic, can we get NBA TV to follow Mike Beasley for two days surrounding his 21st birthday? Mark it down: Jan. 9, 2010. In Miami. Tracy Morgan can even handle the MC duties, ’cause somebody is getting pregnant that night … Is it time for the Celtics to sit down and reevaluate things? Nothing major, mind you, just a team meeting to get their heads together. They lost again yesterday in Portland, which a lot of teams have done this season, but not when Brandon Roy (hamstring) isn’t playing. Rudy Fernandez started in B-Roy’s place, but it was Steve Blake who picked up the scoring slack, dropping 21 and handing Boston their third loss in four games on the West Coast (and their only win was over the Kings, who are barely an NBA team at this point) … Who gets the blame for that debacle where the Blazers had six guys on the court and Travis Outlaw‘s (understandably) wide-open dunk was still allowed to count? The refs deserve a wrist-slap, obviously, but you can’t absolve the Blazers. It looked like Greg Oden was the one who was supposed to come out of the game following a timeout, but he stayed on the court. KG quickly sniffed out the violation like McGruff the Crime Dog, and he almost choked one of the refs trying to call his attention to it. Had the C’s kept the game closer and lost by two in the end, they’d have a good reason to protest …

Michael JordanMichael Jordan (photo. SI.com)

With David Thompson in the crowd, Phil Ford and ABA All-Star Larry Brown on the bench, Clyde Frazier at the announce table, and the possibility that Mike was lurking in the arena somewhere, Knicks/Bobcats had more talent off the court than on it … Play of the game: Wilson Chandler yamming on Emeka Okafor while Nate Robinson pretended to faint on the Knicks bench. Malik Rose was laughing so hard he almost pulled a fat muscle. Tim Thomas didn’t appear to care … How do you lose a 29-point lead? If you’re the Wolves, you purposely have Kevin Ollie and Brian Cardinal guard Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki, and even as the latter two shoot darts in the former two’s collective face and rain threes on their head, you don’t make an adjustment. Do that, and you’ll lose that lead in no time … True, Devin Harris is thoroughly outplaying Jason Kidd this year, but there are still things J-Kidd can do that Devin simply cannot. Case in point: Kidd (14 pts, 7 rebs, 16 asts, 4 stls) drove from the left wing going to his right, faked a behind-the-back pass to Dampier on the left block, then whipped it around in the same motion and hit Josh Howard cutting to the rim baseline right for a layup. Just a sick pass that only a handful of guys can pull off … On the low, Spurs/Bucks has been a consistently (well, occasionally) entertaining matchup over the last few years. Check the recap of their last game HERE. Last night they did it again: Bucks up five with 10 seconds left, Roger Mason hits a three, then Richard Jefferson commits an inexcusable 5-second violation on the inbounds, giving the Spurs a chance to steal one. Tim Duncan had an open look from mid-range, but passed it up and shockingly missed what would have been the game-tying layup … Chris Paul racked up one of those J-Kidd triple-doubles, taking care of the assists early (seemingly all in the first half) and the rebounds before leaving points as the final hurdle. He got it with a couple minutes left in N.O.’s win over the Wizards, finishing with 15 points, 10 boards and 16 dimes … Other big stat lines from Tuesday: Marcus Camby had 24 boards in L.A.’s loss to the Kings; Mike Redd had 25 points and 10 rebounds in that Bucks/Spurs game; and the seven guys who started Grant Hill in their fantasy league got 15 points, seven boards and six steals … We’re out like Tiger Woods‘ b-day getting zero mention …


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