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11.9 The Cooler

Superman meets Lex Luger

By 11.09.09
Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)

Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)


Although Dwight Howard was the one guy on the Magic who didn’t look like he should give his paycheck back after last night’s embarrassing loss to Oklahoma City, that didn’t stop the Thunder announcers from using Dwight for a punchline or two. “Superman has met Lex Luger tonight,” joked commentator Grant Long. His broadcast partner came in for the correction (“Lex Luthor“) but Long had made his point: Orlando looked nothing like a championship contender on Sunday, their second such alarming performance in the last four games. While Kevin Durant (28 pts) was getting velvet hoops on everybody trying to stick him, Russell Westbrook (17 pts, 10 asts) looked like the PG we all expected to see this season, and Nenad Krstic was sticking jumpers on Orlando’s soft D, the Magic couldn’t buy a bucket. They didn’t crack 60 points until midway through the fourth quarter and seemed like they were down by 30-something most of the second half. Granted, Orlando didn’t have Vince Carter, Ryan Anderson and Rashard Lewis, but Vince and Rashard have been out for a while, and Anderson shouldn’t be so important that his absence makes everyone else look like a college team … Definitive sequence for the Magic: Stuck on 59 points with about eight minutes to go, J.J. Redick came off a curl and air-balled a mid-range jumper on the wing. Marcin Gortat got the rebound and proceeded to brick two point-blank shots right in front of the rim … One time Dwight (20 pts, 7 rebs, 10-17 FT) got called for a moving screen that leveled Kevin Ollie. Dwight complained to the refs, but he’s lucky that’s all he got called for. He could’ve been cited for senior abuse … Is it just us or is James Harden not as big as advertised? We weren’t the first media to compare Harden to Paul Pierce when he was in college, but Harden last night he didn’t look any bigger than Redick. The rookie has game, but maybe he won’t be the powerhouse that Pierce is where he’ll be able to just punish some defenders … You could have gone back to the second quarter to find the “dagger,” but one fourth-quarter bucket that helped empty a lot of rows came in the halfcourt offense, when Durant dipped around Gortat in mid-air for a finger roll and-one. Before KD blew a kiss to the crowd, Etan Thomas hit him with some enthusiastic chest pounds. But Etan’s a big dude; he needs to chill before he caves Durant’s chest in … Have you noticed announcers and reporters all around the League happily taking their turns KILLING Allen Iverson right now? Earlier this week the Warriors announcers spent a whole segment taking potshots at A.I. (one of them outright called him “selfish”), and last night for no good reason, the OKC announcers went in on Iverson. “Broken-hearted by that mean man Lionel Hollins not letting him play enough,” said the play-by-play guy, just dripping with sarcasm. “He took his ball and went home.” Then the color commentator said something like, “That’s if he didn’t carry the ball.” Damn, is it really like that? But after years of regularly making things difficult for the people trying to cover him — people who have access to microphones and website space and TV broadcasts while A.I. can only talk so much to defend himself — that’s what happens …

Steve Nash

If you’ve caught any of the Suns’ local broadcasts, you’d know the team has a promotion with Jack in the Box where if they score 99 points on the road, fans get two free tacos or something like that. Did the Jack in the Box employee who thought of this idea ever watch the Suns beforehand? Scoring 99 is nothing to them … Yesterday the Wizards kept Phoenix to 102, and they were being praised by the Suns’ announcers for playing good defense. One huge lapse, though: During a critical stretch in the fourth quarter, Steve Nash (11 pts, 17 asts) took the ball end to end while going maybe the speed of a leisurely jog and still got an easy layup out of it … Washington hung around, getting within six points midway through the fourth, but Channing Frye hit a three and Amar’e (17 pts, 12 rebs) crushed a dunk to basically end the threat. Once upon a time, Frye was being compared to a young Tim Duncan and seen as the Knicks’ franchise. Who would’ve known he’d grow up to be a Black Raef LaFrentz? … Some notable stat lines from Sunday: Tyreke Evans put up 23 points and eight boards in a win over the Warriors, pushing the Kings to a surprising 2-0 record without Kevin Martin; LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 10 rebounds against Minnesota, a blowout win despite Brandon Roy scoring just two points; and Ben Gordon scored 23 while Ben Wallace posted 16 boards and three blocks in a win over the Sixers … Whatever holes the Lakers have shown this season didn’t apply as they spent last night swatting the Hornets around the Staples Center: The bench looked well-rounded and solid, from Shannon Brown and Luke Walton‘s outside shooting to Jordan Farmar‘s floor leadership to DJ Mbenga‘s controlling the glass and blocking shots. (Mbenga started since Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are still out, but he’s normally one of their bench guys.) And the team had no problem closing the door in the second half, even with Kobe (28 pts) only scoring two points after halftime … As consolation for getting outplayed by Mbenga, at least Emeka Okafor got to add his name to DJ’s “I got dunked on” list. In the first half Okafor was being guard by Kobe in the post, pulled a quick spin move on Kobe and smashed on Mbenga when he came over late to challenge. Kobe kept his head down going back on D like he hoped nobody saw Okafor lose him … We’re out like a good 99-cent taco …


TOPICS#DWIGHT HOWARD#KEVIN DURANT#KOBE BRYANT
TAGSALLEN IVERSONAMARE STOUDEMIREANDREW BYNUMBEN GORDONBEN WALLACEBRANDON ROYChanning FryeDJ MbengaEmeka OkaforJ.J. RedickJAMES HARDENJORDAN FARMARKEVIN MARTINLAMARCUS ALDRIDGEMARCIN GORTATPAU GASOLPAUL PIERCERASHARD LEWISRUSSELL WESTBROOKryan andersonSHANNON BROWNSmackSTEVE NASHTYREKE EVANSVINCE CARTER

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