Wiz Khalifa Arrested?
11.9 The Cooler

“Don’t beat around the bush: This is the Joakim Noah Show!”

By 11.09.10

On the same night when college basketball officially tipped off, Bulls/Nuggets had all the unpredictability and entertaining sloppiness of an NCAA game, with a slew of former college superstars deciding the outcome. Derrick Rose (Final Four, Memphis) and Arron Afflalo (Pac-10 P.O.Y., two Final Fours, UCLA) traded clutch buckets for a minute, but the game really turned on turnovers — like one sequence when Ty Lawson (ACC P.O.Y., national champion, North Carolina) coughed it up twice in a row, one of which led to a steal by Keith Bogans (All-American, Kentucky), who flipped a no-look pass over his shoulder to Luol Deng (Final Four, Duke) for a dunk that put Chicago up four with two minutes left … Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony (national champ, Syracuse) was bottled up in the fourth quarter in part by Joakim Noah (two-time national champ, Florida) blocking his shots at the rim and Deng denying him the ball … Joakim was all over the place, finishing with 13 points, 19 rebounds and 4 blocks. As Bulls announcer Stacey King shrieked, “Don’t beat around the bush: This is the Joakim Noah Show!” … Stacey’s best understatement came after a play where ‘Melo (32 pts, 8 rebs, 4 stls) lost Kyle Korver on a crossover and converted a layup. “Kyle’s gotta do a better job of keeping him in front,” Stacey said. Apparently he didn’t catch many Utah games when Korver was over there … Down three with eight seconds left, Denver inbounded to Chauncey Billups, but he couldn’t get Bogans to bite on his pump fakes, and ‘Melo couldn’t separate himself from Deng. Billups ended up passing to Afflalfo open in the corner, but he threw up a brick. Deng’s free throw with one second left effectively ended it, so when George Karl called a timeout anyway to draw up a four-point play, Carmelo’s body language spoke volumes. Something along the lines of, “Can we just go to the airport now?” … Rajon Rondo‘s jumper giveth, and his jumper taketh way, due to the fact that said jumper is broketh. With two minutes left in Celtics/Mavs, Rondo put the C’s up three when he calmly stepped into an 18-footer. Paul Pierce‘s pull-up J a little later could’ve been the dagger, except Dirk Nowitzki was too busy making bratwurst out of Kevin Garnett … Tied up with 30 seconds left, Dirk (25 pts) got the ball on the wing and looked up to see Big Baby in front of him. After dealing with KG’s height time after time, Dirk simply measured the shorter defender and buried the go-ahead jumper in his eye. But after being slapped, pushed, poked and taunted all night by Garnett, Dirk was too tired even to make one of his silly dagger faces … Next possession, the Mavs packed in the defense and literally left Rondo (11 pts, 15 asts, 5 stls) alone to where he had no choice but to try a three. He missed, and Boston lost …

Vince Carter, Dime #21

Last time we saw Vince Carter all bearded-up and sneering for a big game, he lasted a little longer than one quarter before he was writhing on the floor holding his back in Miami. Home for the Hawks last night, Evil Twin Vince was back and playing through a hip flexor injury and showed that crunch-time closer ability the Magic are paying him for … Vince (19 pts) was even clutch in the first quarter. Atlanta jumped out to a big lead early, but VC kept Orlando from letting the game get away by getting to the rack for and-ones and knocking down threes. Fast-forward to the fourth, when Vince got a tough driving layup to put Orlando up four with about a minute to go. Vince added a free throw, but then Joe Johnson stuck a triple with 34 seconds left. On the game’s most important possession, Vince took the rock up top, and Al Horford ended up guarding him on a switch. Vince took Al left and powered through a hard foul for another and-one that took ATL’s heart … Other big stat lines from Monday: Zach Randolph posted 23 points and 20 rebounds (8 offensive) as Memphis knocked off Phoenix; Stephen Curry had 34 points and 3 steals in Golden State’s win at Toronto; and Manu Ginobili scored 26 to lead San Antonio past Charlotte … On the college scene, Pitt is a popular pick to win the Big East this year, but they got all they could handle from A-10 upstart Rhode Island last night. Rhode Island’s full-court press and knack for hitting crazy threes had Pitt on the ropes for a while, but eventually Ashton Gibbs (22 pts) and Brad Wanamaker (24 pts) began breaking the press and getting easy transition buckets as Pitt took the lead with a 9-0 run to end the first half and tightened up the D to get a win … Rhode Island had two 7-footers, one of them a 7-3 freshman. The shorter, older one had a little offensive game; the taller kid was like a White Keith Closs … Texas didn’t have such a hard time with Navy, 30-piecing them behind Jordan Hamilton‘s 26 points and 10 boards … When Stu Scott was reporting from the Bengals’ sideline during the fourth quarter of Monday Night Football, was anybody else waiting for him to stop, turn his head and catch a football that was thrown by some intern off-camera? And was anybody else hoping Stu would get separated from that ball by James Harrison? … We’re out like Keith Closs …


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