Don’t Believe The Hype

By: 12.02.08
Paul PiercePaul Pierce, Dime #5

On the same day we ranked the Magic as the 4th-best team in the NBA, they didn’t do anything to back it up or make us look good. Although Dwight Howard‘s crew had some legit excuses — namely a grocery list of injuries that left them in a spot where only seven guys played in Boston last night — they didn’t live up to the Top-5 billing in losing to the Celtics. The first half was close, as Rajon Rondo (16 pts, 12 asts) picked his spots and liberally destroyed Anthony Johnson whenever he felt like it, but Orlando pounded it inside to Howard (14 pts, 15 rebs, 4 blks) and got to the line to make up the difference. The third quarter saw the C’s extend the lead when Paul Pierce (24 pts) went off on Hedo and Rashard Lewis and whoever else was trying to stick him, then Boston closed it out in the fourth as the bench mob (Tony Allen, Eddie House, Leon Powe and Big Baby) put in work … Rough stretch for Tony in the second quarter, when he drove smack into Howard (of course Tommy Heinsohn went nuts when no foul was called) and had his shot thwarted, then on the other end of the court he banged knees with House and had to go to the locker room. Fortunately, Tony was back on the court jacking shots and refusing to pass a couple minutes later … Ugliest shot of the year: Brian Scalabrine went left on Rashard and, while swooping across the lane like The World’s Worst Magic Johnson Impersonator, threw up a running hook that missed everything. No rim, no backboard, no side backboard, no net; the ball hit a fan before it hit anything attached to the basket. Is there still a debate over who is the worst player in the NBA? … Sam Cassell‘s first night in uniform, and he gets ejected in the first half. FROM THE BENCH. The funniest part was that nobody seemed surprised at all. As soon as Cassell got the boot, Heinsohn casually asked, “So what happened to Gabe Pruitt?” … Heinsohn’s overall opinion on the officiating: “They’re calling chicken fouls on one end, and people gotta bleed on the other!” Tommy had another gem following a J.J. Redick brick: “He didn’t do that at Duke. He better look at the tape he made.” Hilarious. We’re all for Better Basketball references during NBA broadcasts …

Michael BeasleyMichael Beasley (photo. Matt Brown)

Even before Michael Beasley hit the go-ahead free throw with three seconds left in overtime of Heat/Warriors, one of the GS announcers groaned, “How many ways can you find to lose a game?” Ahead by four with less than 30 seconds to go in the extra frame, the Warriors squandered chance after chance to close the game out in OT and earlier in the fourth quarter — at every turn they did the wrong thing and kept Miami alive. In the last sequence of overtime, Chris Quinn hit a game-tying three in front of a frozen Corey Maggette (who should have fouled him on the ground), and then Beasley stole a lazy inbounds pass and got himself to the line. Jamal Crawford even had a great look at a game-winner after Beasley’s FT, but it rolled out as the Heat celebrated like they’d won the championship … No matter what jersey he’s wearing, D-Wade doesn’t like seeing Crawford. The Dime crew was in the building a couple years ago when Crawford dropped 52 on Wade’s head at MSG, and in this year’s Knicks opener Crawford gave Wade 29. Last night Crawford finished with 40 points. Wade was a beast in his own right, though, putting up 37 points, 13 dimes and three blocks … Stephen Jackson has to take some of the blame for this one. Throughout the fourth quarter and OT he couldn’t stay in front of Wade, and it was Flash’s penetration that set up everything Miami was able to do offensively … Did you see Emeka Okafor yesterday? (Don’t worry, most people didn’t.) He went for 24 points, 10 boards and five blocks in a win over the Wolves, and helped hold Al Jefferson to just eight points … J-Rich provided all the highlights, though. He caught two disgusting alley-oops, both of them while twisting in mid-air: one of them he finished with his back to the basket, the other did he did a 180 and spiked it on Mike Miller … As the Bobcats were wrapping up garbage time, Wolves color analyst Jim Peterson (who played eight years in the League from 1984-92) was asked if he had any particularly memorable run-ins with Michael Jordan. Peterson relayed a story about beating Mike at the pool table once and taking some money off him. We’re pretty sure 75% of the guys who played during Mike’s era have a story involving the G.O.A.T. and pool, cards, casino games or high-stakes golf … We’re out like Capt. Jack’s D …

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