Raymond Taylor: Wheelin' & Dealin'

D-Wade buries the Hawks; Chauncey puts CP3 on the brink

By 04.23.09
D-Wade (photo. Mannion)

D-Wade (photo. Mannion)

The Hawks should have known Dwyane Wade wasn’t gonna have two bad playoff games in a row. After being held to 19 points in Miami’s ugly Game 1 loss, Wade came out last night with the Terminator scope on, and ATL didn’t help their cause by giving him some wide-open shots. In the second quarter Wade (33 pts, 7 asts, 6 threes) went on a run where he scored 13 straight points in three minutes, hitting up Flip Murray and Mo Evans for buckets. On the trey that capped the run, Evans for some reason decided to switch on a screen and leave Wade, a mistake that Josh Smith (17 pts, 10 rebs, 2 blks) couldn’t cover in time and gave Wade a wide-open triple that was good from the moment he set his feet … Daequan Cook (20 pts, 6 threes) hit the triple with about a minute and a half left that sent them filing out of Phillips Arena, but Flash’s shot a minute before that was the real dagger. With Miami up by seven, Joe Johnson dug in again Wade and wasn’t letting him get past him. With the shot clock winding down, Wade rose from WAY beyond the arc and banked one in. Sick-ass shot, but the death stare he gave the Hawks after it went down — like he expected to make it — was a little much … Mike Beasley‘s cornrows: Bad decision-making by the rookie. B-Easy looks like he’s in the third year of a six-year bid. And Luther Head looks like his public defender … Is it just or does Chris Quinn look like an age-progression photo of H.W. Plainview? … No NBA arena has more C-list celebrity look-alikes than Atlanta. We saw a girl that could have been New York from “Flavor of Love,” a dude who looked exactly like Anthony Anderson, another dude that could’ve been Lil’ Cease, and an older lady who looked like Jackie Joyner-Kersee … Is Courtney Lee gonna become this year’s Rodney Stuckey? Lee played like a seasoned vet while saving Orlando’s ass against the Sixers; initially by stepping in and helping contain Andre Miller when ‘Dre was destroying the Magic early on, then later by hitting big shots and keeping Orlando running with the uptempo Sixers. Lee (24 pts, 3 stls) was calm, under control and hardly made a mistake. He did have one awkward moment, but that was just to see how it felt … Even when Dwight Howard (11 pts, 10 rebs, 4 blks) was kind of a non-factor and eventually fouled out, Orlando was up by as much as 18 in the second half. But Miller (30 pts) and Andre Iguodala (21 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts, 3 stls) helped get Philly back in it with a run, and late in the fourth quarter it was close … With about 30 seconds left, Orlando was up six and the Sixers were still breathing. Hedo Turkoglu missed a jumper, but out of nowhere came Rashard Lewis for the offensive board and putback while literally FOUR Sixers just stood there and watched him. Like, all of them were within arm’s reach of the ball when it came off the rim, and none of them even jumped for it …

It's all bad for CP

It's all bad for CP

And in Wednesday’s “Oops I Crapped My Pants” Special, the Hornets got smacked around (again) in Denver. Byron Scott put Chris Paul on Chauncey Billups this time after Chauncey declared “Drainage!” on Rasual Butler in Game 1, and it still didn’t matter. Chauncey took CP down to the block, and when he wasn’t hitting turnarounds on him, got to the line and converted. Billups went 11-for-11 at the stripe and scored 31 points … Smooth only had four assists, but made some slick passes in the process: One where he ran a pick-and-roll with Kenyon Martin and skipped him a pass between the legs; another where he deked a defender who thought he was going for the “walk-up three” (as Kenny Smith called it), went into the lane and wrapped a pass behind his back to Nene for a bucket … Peja is kind of a wrap right now. He can still shoot, but that’s literally all he can do. If he’s not spotting up he’s useless on offense, he doesn’t rebound, and his D is comical. Last night Carmelo (22 pts, 9 asts) was shooting Peja’s face off with ease … How great is TNT’s graphic where it lists each guy’s role on his team? For example, K-Mart’s says, “Team role: Elite Defender,” while Chauncey’s says “Team role: Commander-in-Chief.” Can we please get one of these going for every player in the League next year? Al Harrington: Unfeeling Jack Artist. James White: Layup Line Entertainment. DJ Mbenga: Highlight Victim. Greg Oden: Treated with Kid Gloves … There wasn’t much question of whether Derrick Rose would win Rookie of the Year, just by how much. Rose got 111 of the 120 first-place votes; O.J. Mayo got five, and Brook Lopez and Russell Westbrook split the remaining four. Eric Gordon, Kevin Love and Beasley were the next three in the voting … One major problem we had. How in the holy hell did Robin Lopez finish ahead of Mario Chalmers? Lopez only got one vote, but it was for 2nd-place, which trumped Chalmers’ two 3rd-place votes. Whoever actually voted for ROBIN LOPEZ as the 2nd-best rookie in the NBA needs to have their ballot rescinded and should probably be fired. The only acceptable excuse is they meant to vote for Brook Lopez and made a mistake … Welcome to the Brandon Jennings fallout: High school Class of 2010 big man Jeremy Tyler, a top prospect out of San Diego who had been verbally committed to Louisville, said he is skipping his SENIOR YEAR to play pro ball in Europe. Tyler is nice; he’s about 6-11 with a strong inside game and a smooth outside jumper. But he’s still 17 years old with three years of high school experience. We’ve gotta say, he should have waited … We’re out like Beasley’s ‘rows …


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