12.23 The Cooler

Almost Caught Slippin’

By 12.23.09
Paul Pierce, Dime #5

Paul Pierce, Dime #5

Seeing as Rasheed Wallace didn’t even bother combing his hair, you kind of got the impression early on that Boston was taking the Pacers lightly — and that was before the C’s fell behind by double-digits in the first quarter. (Oh wait, ‘Sheed never combs his hair. Scratch that part.) KG was given the night off with a thigh bruise, and even Tommy Heinsohn called in sick rather than risk his pipes against Indiana when there’s a big Christmas Day game against Orlando looming … Overcoming a slow start in which they made Earl Watson look like Tim Hardaway, the Celtics managed a tie going into the fourth, and that’s when Paul Pierce took over. The Truth hit a go-ahead jumper with five minutes left, then did a Jordan-on-Mailman move by sneaking around Roy Hibbert for a steal that led to two free throws, and then nailed a triple to put Boston up seven. Later on, Pierce baited Watson — who scored 18 points in the first half and zero in the second — into a foul for more free throws, then stuck another jumper over Dahntay Jones that was basically the dagger. Over the final five minutes, Pierce (21 pts, 6 rebs, 5 stls) outscored the Pacers 11-8, and he didn’t even make his first FG of the game until late in the third quarter … The guy sitting in for Heinsohn was cool at first — he actually made a point not to complain and cry about every call — but he blew it when Brian Scalabrine and his new (bad) haircut appeared on-screen and dude channeled his inner Mark Jones. “Scal went to one of the shops the brothers go to. That’s a line-up you get in the ‘hood.” Imagine Tiger Woods delivering that line and you get the idea … For like 10 seconds in the first half, the new Boston Garden was transformed into Chicago’s I.T. Summer Pro-Am. Luther Head found himself on an iso defended by Tony Allen, and you saw it click in his head the moment he shifted into playground mode. Head went between the legs a couple times and busted TA with a crossover going left, laying it in lefty plus the whistle. Even with his sore foot, Danny Granger had to jump off the bench for that one … Bad just got worse for the Blazers, who left Dallas with a hard-earned road win but without a healthy center on the roster. In the first quarter, Joel Przybilla suffered a ruptured patella tendon and a dislocated patella — in layman’s terms, his knee is f*cked up — most likely ending his season. With only LaMarcus Aldridge, Juwan Howard and untested rookie Jeff Pendergraph left to carry the frontcourt load, where this really hurts Portland is in the rebounding department. Last night had to be like Christmas Eve for every decent big man in the D-League, going to bed envisioning a call-up … And if that’s not enough, Brandon Roy (23 pts, 6 asts, 4 stls) hurt his left shoulder in the fourth quarter. He didn’t leave the game, but he was clearly in pain the rest of the way. We’ll let you know when we hear his status … One time J.J. Barea drove and got fouled by Juwan, a regular old foul call before MC Jason Kidd pulled one ref aside and apparently convinced him to make it a flagrant. As Barea shot his free throw, Howard gave Kidd a hard time about being a politician while everybody laughed about it …

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Meanwhile, L.A. got a scare that could have reverberated 10 times louder than Greg Oden or Przybilla, when Kobe Bryant‘s knee buckled on a seemingly innocent play. It looked bad when Kobe was laying on the floor clutching his knee, but a minute later it was like nothing had happened. Besides, with five minutes left in the fourth quarter of a close game, you knew Kobe (40 pts) wasn’t going anywhere until he could close the Thunder out himself … Add OKC’s Kyle Weaver to the list of guys who could go to a club and say he’s Omar Epps and nobody would check his ID. Weaver joins Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and this dude who works at a sandwich shop near the Dime office … Other stat lines from Tuesday: Gerald Wallace had 29 points, 12 boards and four blocks in Charlotte’s win over Detroit; Zach Randolph hung 33 points and 18 rebounds on the Warriors, who because of injuries had to start D-League call-up Chris Hunter at center; Carl Landry scored 27 (13-15 FT) with a new set of teeth as Houston beat the Clippers; Jamal Crawford scored 26 off the bench as ATL routed the Wolves; and Gilbert Arenas dropped 31 points to beat the Sixers … No truth to the rumors that Vinny Del Negro was searching Monster.com at halftime of Bulls/Knicks, but it was looking real bad for him at that stage in the evening. Coming off the Sacramento debacle, Chicago was down 22 to New York at the break, on their way to another embarrassing loss until Derrick Rose and Luol Deng went off. Rose (26 pts) and Deng (23 pts, 4 stls) scored all but two of the Bulls’ points in the third quarter, and they eventually cut the lead to one with 1:40 remaining in the fourth. But some killer turnovers allowed the Knicks to sneak out with the win … Creepy that it happened on the same day Shaun Livingston‘s NBA career suffered another setback, but during the Texas A&M/Washington game, Aggies senior guard Derrick Roland broke his leg in one of the most gruesome sports injuries you’ll ever see. Roland went up for a shot, and given the camera angle, all you could see was him fall to the ground upon landing. The action continued on the other end, although you could tell a lot of people in the building had seen something go very wrong. One of Texas A&M’s players was groaning “Oh my God!” over and over again, and then you saw Roland’s leg bent in a way it’s not supposed to bend. Fellow senior Donald Sloan, Roland’s friend since middle school, was crying and had to be helped off the court himself he was so upset. Watching the clip again, the snap you hear during the play isn’t from the rim snapping back — it’s actually the sound of Roland’s leg breaking. Our thoughts go out to Derrick Roland, and hopefully he’ll be able to play ball again … We’re out like Governor Kidd …


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