D-Wade brings the rookie wall to O.J. Mayo, and Phoenix isn’t done

By: 03.24.09  •  31 Comments

Dwyane Wade

O.J. Mayo might be battling the rookie wall, or else Dwyane Wade just makes the young’uns feel that way. Two minutes into Heat/Grizzlies (with Miami already up 7-0), Wade brought the ball up on O.J. and skated past the flat-footed rook with a move that wasn’t really a crossover or a lethally quick first step, just a simple change of direction for a layup in the lane. When he wasn’t giving O.J. the business, Wade (27 pts, 8 asts) seemed to be on a mission to make Memphis’ big men look silly. Later in the first quarter, Wade beat Greg Buckner on a cut to the rim (no rookie wall for Buck; he’s just old) and smashed on Darko after taking off from the dotted. Then right before halftime, Wade wound up on a breakaway with just Marc Gasol between him and the rim, losing Gasol by dribbling over his outstretched arm and went in for a dunk. In the third quarter he crammed on Darko again; Hamed Haddadi was only safe because he never got off the bench … Two plays summed up Celtics/Clippers, a typically embarrassing sequence for a badly-coached team that barely cares: Midway through the third quarter, the Boston set up a formation where Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins were standing in a bunch on the right side of the court, Rajon Rondo had the ball far on the left, and KG was at the free throw line in the middle. KG came over to set a pick for Rondo, allowing Rondo to get into the lane and dish to Perkins (who’d snuck over to the rim while Zach Randolph wasn’t paying attention) for an easy dunk. Two minutes later, same formation, only now the Clippers were wary. So while they’re all standing there waiting for the same play, KG (12 pts, 18 mins) instead goes straight to the rim behind Marcus Camby‘s back for a wide-open alley-oop. Garnett couldn’t help but laugh on his way back downcourt … Or maybe more embarrassing was the play where Big Baby jumped (yeah, jumped) in front of a pass intended for Randolph — can you imagine the flesh sounds of those two bumping bodies in the paint? — lost Steve Novak with a behind the back dribble, and continued rumbling, bumbling and stumbling into diming Eddie House for a corner three in front of L.A.’s bench. It was awfully reminiscent of when the Celtics were playground clowning the Lakers at the end of Game 6 in last year’s Finals … Z-Bo is like the complete and polar opposite of his college teammate, Jason Richardson. Of all the guys in the League, J-Rich might be the No. 1 guy you have to watch if he gets out on a breakaway. Zach? Last night he (somehow) ended up all alone on a breakaway, ran right under the rim and did a Mikan Drill layup. You know how the bench guys on most teams go nuts for a sick dunk? No one on the Clips’ bench moved a muscle … Dwight Howard

The Suns aren’t done yet. Last night’s comeback win over Denver was their fifth straight, keeping them within striking distance of the Mavs for that 8th seed in the West. Rallying from a double-digit deficit in the second half, Phoenix had it tied up in the final minute when Grant Hill (23 pts, 10 rebs, 5 asts) hit the go-ahead jumper. Denver had a couple chances to tie between the Suns making their free throws, but Chauncey Billups missed an off-balance runner (nice job by Steve Nash of forcing Chauncey into a tough shot) and ‘Melo (29 pts) missed a three at the end … Nene got thrown out in the second half when he head-butted Lou Amundson, then used his elbow to push Amundson to the ground (it wasn’t really an elbow swing, nor was it a takedown). Between Nene and Zach Randolph, it’s clear Amundson is great at getting on guys’ nerves. He’s like the new Frank Brickowski … Some big stat lines from Monday: Antawn Jamison had 34 points and 12 boards in a loss to Chicago; Flip Murray scored 30 off the bench in ATL’s win over Minnesota; Andre Miller went for 27 points and 10 boards in a win over Portland; and Dwight Howard went for 29 points, 14 boards and four blocks in a win at New York … Dime’s Andrew Katz was at MSG for that Knicks/Magic game, and sent this from the Orlando locker room pre-game: “I think that Hedo Turkoglu wins the award for worst jewelry in the NBA. He has one giant diamond stud that he rocks in his left ear. It couldn’t be more Euro Trash.” … In the Knicks locker room, Nate Robinson and D-League call-up Courtney Sims were talking about the NCAA Tournament, with Nate bragging about Isaiah Thomas and UW, and killing Sims because Michigan lost. Sims couldn’t remind Nate of the fact that the Huskies weren’t in it either, because he might’ve lost his job … Of course Patrick Ewing got a lot of camera time back in his old building. But really, somebody needs to get Mr. Chewing to go with a baldie. As Dime’s Pat Cassidy put it, “His hairline looks like the results of a polygraph test.” … We’re out like the Clippers …

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