Carlos Boozer is promising a championship. Well, not totally. But he does say Chicago has a championship-level team and that he will be back this season better than ever and ready to quiet the haters who called for his head after he played as soft as the Pillsbury Doughboy during last season’s playoffs. But the Bulls still need to make a splash in free agency. They maxed-out last season, and if they go back to battle with the same squad – and don’t plug the offensive and shooting guard holes they have – it won’t matter if Boozer comes back playing like Godzilla … You can cross Zach Randolph‘s name off the “Shawn Kemp Lockout List.” Z-Bo looks skinnier as ever … Thank you Kyle Singler for confirming to all of us what we’ve long suspected: that it sucks to be a Piston. Singler basically told the team that drafted him this summer, “Hey, you guys are cool. But I think Imma try my luck overseas… seems to really be the popping off thing right now. No hard feelings though right?” Singler, reported by Yahoo! Sports, reached an agreement with Real Madrid and won’t play in Detroit this season … We figured Ohio State would beat Duke. They were home. They have better athletes. Their four best are better than Duke’s four best. And they have the best player. But 85-63? A game that wasn’t even close right from the start after the Buckeyes went up 11-0? No one expected that. Every few years, Duke fields a team that just isn’t tough enough or physical enough to really contend with the best squads in the country. They always have skill, but this feels like one of those years: They’ll beat the less talented schools, but then will have trouble with the top of the line. Ohio State had four players with at least 17 points: Jared Sullinger (21), William Buford (20), Deshaun Thomas (18) and Aaron Craft (17). It’s not like the Buckeyes are overwhelmingly athletic, but Duke didn’t have a prayer in stopping them, allowing the hosts to shoot nearly 60 percent for the game and let the crowd stay frenetic all night. With what seemed like 20 NBA players in the house (including D-Wade and LeBron), you’d think Duke would’ve made it at least somewhat interesting instead of being barbecued and served … Syracuse wiped the floor with Eastern Michigan, 84-48 while Baylor won (as Perry Jones suited up for the first time this year and went for 27 points on 10-14 from the field). No. 25 Saint Louis was upset by seven by Loyola Mary, and Michigan was terrible in the second half against Virginia. The No. 15-ranked Wolverines ended up losing 70-58 … Gary Payton is saying Nike will indeed bring back the Air Zoom Flight “The Glove” kicks next October, which is some of the best news we’ve heard in a while with the sneaker game. It’s a long way off, but we’re glad we got the heads up. This might be a situation where you buy more than one pair. Nike always kills it when they bring back some of the older classics – at least compared to JB – so this has us extra hyped … Did you know Diddy‘s son, Justin, is going to play football next year at UCLA? … And congrats to Deron Williams for getting his jersey retired. Seriously. Look … RIP Patrice O’Neal … We’re out like the Dukies.
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