NBA’s nastiest rivalry renewed; Hedo makes Toronto debut

By: 10.15.09  •  37 Comments

LeBron James

Imagine the disappointment that swept across the NBA TV studios when they found out LeBron was sick and going to miss last night’s big preseason game between the Cavs and Wizards. No tense ‘Bron/DeShawn encounters, no real reason for highlight montages of LBJ taking Washington’s heart in the playoffs, no smooth segues to talk about Mike Miller wearing LeBron’s signature shoes. And to top it off, starting in LBJ’s place was Jawad Williams, who scored 21 points (4 threes) in his last Smack mention of the season, a Cleveland loss … Gilbert Arenas put up 18 points for the Wiz, while Miller scored 24 (5 threes) and Randy Foye scored 21. However, Antawn Jamison hurt his shoulder in the first quarter and didn’t return. The way the shoulder bent when Jamison tried to block a shot and the way he was holding it afterwards, it looked like a possible dislocation or something else pretty bad … Before tip-off, one of Washington’s announcers said about Shaq (13 pts, 6 rebs), “The question is, will he get in the way of LeBron, or give this team more depth inside?” Can’t it be both? … BTW, Shaq’s arm sleeve looks like it could fit around Boobie Gibson‘s leg. Or Jamario Moon‘s torso … It wasn’t intentional, but just as the Wizards play-by-play guy mentioned Delonte West‘s name for the first time, the color commentator let out a loud groan. He was actually reacting to a nice pass that led to a Caron Butler dunk, but the timing was just perfect to make Delonte feel bad about himself … Suns/Blazers had the feel of a regular-season game, even though Phoenix had Carlos Powell in the starting lineup and Portland’s “Rip City” jerseys kind of looked like something you’d see in a sitcom where they can’t use real NBA names. Steve Nash went for 23 points and 15 assists in the win, while Leandro Barbosa dropped 25 off the bench and Amar’e scored 15 with three blocks. Andre Miller put up 25 points and six dimes in the loss, while Greg Oden added 17 points, 13 boards and three blocks, and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20. Brandon Roy was relatively quiet with 11 points and five assists … Since it’s midway through October and LaMarcus still doesn’t have his contract extension, how much do you think he could get on the open market next summer? How much would you be happy with your team spending to get LMA? … Paul Pierce scored 17, and Kevin Garnett posted 16 points and six boards to lead Boston past the Raptors. Matched up with Hedo Turkoglu (6 pts, 5 asts) for the first time, Chris Bosh went for 21 points … Kevin Durant had his second straight 30-point game, hitting 10-for-16 from the field on the Heat while Jeff Green added 25 points in the win. With D-Wade sitting this one out, Mike Beasley led Miami with 24 points … Mo Evans put up 27 points (8-10 FG) in the Hawks’ win over the Grizzlies, while Zach Randolph had 18 and eight boards. Hasheem Thabeet posted four points and seven boards off the bench … Next time the Grizzlies have film session, we’re guessing O.J. Mayo will conveniently have to take a bathroom break for this part: Trying to cross up Joe Johnson alone on the perimeter, O.J. got his pocket picked clean, then Joe got it ahead to Josh Smith for one of his typically vicious dunks. Shockingly, Z-Bo couldn’t catch up to J-Smoove in transition … The Bulls don’t even have room for all these power forwards and centers, do they? With rookies James Johnson and Taj Gibson looking like draft-day steals and bolstering a group that already includes Joakim Noah, Tyrus Thomas and Brad Miller, last night Chicago got a 17-point, 13-board effort out of Chris Richard in a win over Minnesota. Noah had 14 and seven, and Johnson grabbed 10 rebounds. This is unquestionably Derrick Rose‘s team, and there’s talent on the wings with John Salmons and Luol Deng, but Chicago’s frontline depth could really give them an edge in the East … Finally in the starting lineup — although it had more to do with Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman not playing — Blake Griffin posted 23 points and seven boards in a win over the Spurs. Richard Jefferson scored 15 for San Antone, while DeJuan Blair had 11 points and 12 rebounds … The NBA warned teams about criticizing the replacement refs before the preseason started, and they’re enforcing it seriously. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins got fined $25,000 yesterday for talking bad about the refs, and then Larry Brown got hit for $60,000. And remember, this is the preseason and these are coaches on Lottery teams. What happens if this labor dispute stretches into the regular season, and Phil Jackson makes one of his sneaky remarks about the refs after a national TV game? Is he going to get the six-figure treatment? The dumbest part is that it’s partially the NBA’s fault that replacement refs are even working; it has nothing to do with the coaches and players who might want to criticize them … We’re out like LB’s money …

Around The Web