3.11 The Cooler
Flashdance Cat, Disapproving Cat, and Paul F. Tompkins

Dwyane Wade and the Heat Figure Out How to Win; Kobe Bryant Proves He’s the Hardest Working Man in the NBA

By 03.11.11

Did anyone else see this one coming? New York walked into a setup in Dallas as they got crushed by the Mavs 127-109. Kevin Harlan hit it perfectly during the first half when he said the Knicks had the look of a tired team. They did just come off a grueling buzzer-beating win in Memphis the night before so in the first half, guys were giving up driving lanes, weren’t hitting open shots and Amar’e Stoudemire left with a stinger to his shoulder. The Knicks went 22-22 from the free-throw line and scored 51 points in the half and yet were still getting blown out. Dallas had 72 at the break! … Is there a deeper team in the league than the Mavs? Last night, all 10 players who saw legit game action scored at least five points, led by Shawn Marion’s 22 and Dirk Nowitzki’s 23. They had the EZPass working, driving around, through and over the Knicks and were never seriously challenged. Still, the question remains: do they have the go-to offensive players to get them buckets when it gets tight in the playoffs? Outside of Dirk, we aren’t sure if they do … In the third game of the night, Denver blew it open during a crazy third-quarter run to beat Phoenix by 19. Nene (22 points) was a beast for the Nuggets as was Ty Lawson (20 points, 11 assists). Things were going so well in the third quarter that the Nuggets color guys jokingly asked J.R. Smith to hit a buzzer-beater for them to end it. Of course, he did from about 24 feet away … It was interesting to watch two teams with eerily similar styles go at it. They both wanted to do the same things, but the difference in talent levels was obvious. The Suns have three or four players that could get floor time on Denver. For the Nuggets, all 10 of their rotation guys would play big minutes in Phoenix … This was actually Denver’s first win in the Valley of the Sun in almost seven yearsYesterday afternoon, Kemba Walker (24 points) dished out something ferocious against Pitt on the final play of UConn’s two-point Big East Tournament win. One on one with Pitt’s Gary McGhee, Walker put a step-back move on him that had the big man doing the Cupid Shuffle just as Walker’s game-winner was going through the net … The Miami Hurricanes are sitting desperately on the bubble right now and played like it during their seven-point overtime win against Virginia in the ACC Tournament. The ‘Canes somehow forced OT after furiously coming back from 10 down with just one minute left in regulation … We wonder if Billy Packer is going to respond after Barkley called him out for his TNT bashing. The Chuckster heard Packer diss TNT’s tournament coverage, saying they don’t know college ball. Charles and told Packer to “shut the Hell up” and to “stop being a jackass!” … We’re out like playing second fiddle.

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