Remember When Ice Cube Died?
11.2 The Cooler

J.J.’s Big Day, another J.J.’s big quarter, and Rondo gets paid

By 11.02.09
J.J. Redick

J.J. Redick

Even with Vince Carter‘s ankle keeping him sidelined for his latest return to Toronto (where he could get booed in an Orlando uniform this time), there were more than enough ready-made story lines going into Magic/Raptors: Hedo Turkoglu‘s first game against his old squad, the next chapter in the Dwight Howard vs. Chris Bosh rivalry (quietly and consistently more exciting than Deron Williams vs. Chris Paul), and the intrigue of seeing which players would be visibly sleep-walking for a 1 p.m. EST tip-off the day after Halloween. So you can understand why nobody was ready for J.J. Redick to become the headliner. In his best game as a pro by far, Redick dropped 27 points (5-8 3PA), five boards and six assists in helping Orlando stay unbeaten. Remember that automatic limitless-range jumper J.J. used to have at Duke? It was back on Sunday … Bosh (35 pts, 16 rebs) got the better of Dwight (24 pts, 11 rebs), but he almost got his ass whupped in the process. Midway through the fourth, Dwight got the ball under the rim and was winding up for a Hulk-Smash when Bosh horse-collared him a little too aggressively. Players got between the two, however, so there were no blows and no coaches hanging on anybody’s leg … Even without Redick, the game tape would’ve made a good instructional video for the art of the jump shot. Jameer Nelson (30 pts) and Ryan Anderson knocked down five threes apiece, while Turkoglu (19 pts) hit his share, and Andrea Bargnani (26 pts, 4 threes) was shooting Brandon Bass and Anderson’s faces off … Sunday also had to feel like a career day for Rajon Rondo, who reportedly agreed to a five-year, $55 million extension with the Celtics. Rondo’s agent said he wanted a deal consistent with a top-five point guard in the League. Do you think Rondo belongs in that class, on paper or in paper? … We really got a look at what the Lakers envisioned when they signed Ron Artest over the summer. After Joe Johnson went berserker and dropped 18 points in the first nine minutes of the game, Artest took over the defensive assignment full-time and allowed Kobe to focus his energies on offense. Johnson (27 pts) was held in check for the most part, and Kobe (41 pts, 15-29 FG) led the way during an 18-0 run in the third quarter that put ATL to bed. It looked like somebody was doing dunk contest practice with Kobe on a video game; a montage of Hawks turnovers and breakaway dunks for #24 … But don’t think Kobe gained any ground on League-leading scorer Carmelo Anthony. Giving the Grizzlies 42 points (15-26 FG), ‘Melo bumped his average to 37.6 through three games and is looking flat-out unstoppable right now. “I think ‘Melo’s awareness to how he’s being covered is the best it’s ever been,” George Karl said after the win. “I think it’s his ability to move around and be placed in different positions and his efficiency is pretty incredible right now, from jump shots to post-ups to penetrations to good passing decisions.” …

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Taking turns giving Rudy Gay and rookie Sam Young the business, ‘Melo even overshadowed O.J. Mayo‘s career-high 40 points (17-25 FG). Maybe O.J. knew this would be his last stand before Allen Iverson makes his Memphis debut on Monday and starts challenging his spot as the go-to guy … Between losing some weight in the offseason and getting a haircut, Marc Gasol looks like a different person. And if you thought that uncomfortable free-throw line routine had something to do with Marc not being able to see his stuff under his gut, well, apparently it didn’t. He’s still fondling away … Paul Pierce (27 pts) only hit two shots in the fourth quarter against the Hornets — one being the dagger — but more impressive was the way he expertly ran a two-man game with Kevin Garnett down the stretch that exposed N.O.’s defense in Boston’s 10-point win. With a little over a minute left, Pierce and KG ran their game and got David West (on KG) and Peja (on Pierce) to switch, then Pierce pump-faked West out of the way before canning a three that put the Celtics up by nine. And rather than put his head down and just destroy Peja in the paint, Garnett (14 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts) was actually being a playmaker. Peja must have had that feeling DBs have when Adrian Peterson is bearing down on them but decides to run out of bounds … KG didn’t take any mercy on poor Bobby Brown. One time Brown was either trying to actually score or just draw a foul on KG at the rim, but got his shot sent back in his face. KG then proceeded to yell at the kid and call him all kinds of names we couldn’t quite pick out on the replay. Just more ammo for the people who get on KG for picking on smaller guys … And even though Rajon got paid, it apparently didn’t make him any nicer to Chris Paul. The two got tangled up under the basket in the second quarter, and it ignited a game-long battle that got so heated, CP3 pursued Rondo to the Celtics’ locker room after the game and had to be blocked by Boston staff. We’ll have more on this today … Other notable stat lines from Sunday: Steve Nash put up 14 points and 14 dimes and Channing Frye scored 25 with six threes in Phoenix’s win over Minnesota; and D-Wade scored 25 in a win over Chicago, while Luol Deng went for 26 points in the loss … Brandon Roy (16 pts, 5 asts) was the facilitator and Steve Blake (18 pts) hit the daggers, but a lot of credit for Portland’s win at Oklahoma City has to go to Martell Webster. Starting at small forward while Nic Batum rehabs his shoulder, Webster has been showing he’s more than just a spot-up shooter. He opened up a cushion for Portland in the third quarter when he ran off a baseline J, hit a three on the wing, and hammered a dunk on Etan Thomas in succession; but more importantly, Webster’s defense kept Kevin Durant frustrated all night. Shooting just 3-of-21 from the field, Durant (16 pts) was even missing dunks and layups after a while … LaMarcus Aldridge hurt his knee in the first half and didn’t return. Already off to a slow start this season, this isn’t what he needed to have happen. We’ll let you know when we hear more on his status … We’re out like anything Rondo had on layaway …


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