In the postgame interview, Rodney Stuckey gave the cliche answer: “If we play the right way… we can beat anybody.” But even he, after scoring 34 points in Detroit’s 88-85 OT win over the Lakers, had to stutter. The Pistons? Beating anybody? Well they did take out the Lakers despite 30 and 14 from Andrew Bynum. Kobe (8-for-26, 22 points) delivered magic once at the regulation buzzer with a jumper right over Tayshaun Prince to put it to an extra frame. But he couldn’t do it twice, and on their final chance in the overtime, Bryant missed a WILD three and World Peace couldn’t convert off the rebound … Kobe was rocking the scariest black mask we’ve seen since the Immortals from 300. But it didn’t take long for him to ditch it. Barely a quarter and a couple of missed shots in and Bryant went back to the clear mask … Danny Granger had a shot at it. Top of the key. Marvin Williams inexplicably backing off. The shot was on target. It was just a little short. Williams eventually ended up getting the ball out of the fray, made his two free throws and that was it for the Pacers. Coming in, Atlanta was 11-0 when Josh Smith scores at least 20 points this year. Last night the All-Star snub dropped 27 points and nine rebounds, and so of course, the Hawks had to walk out of the cornfields with another win, 101-96. For much of the game, the Pacer color guys did a good job of picking and choosing with Smoove, concentrating on every bad shot and bad IQ play he made. They should’ve recognized he was destroying their defense in the process … The Pacers’ color guy, Quinn Buckner, also called Jeff Teague perhaps the quickest half-court player in the league off the dribble, comparing him only to John Wall. This came immediately after Teague BLEW by George Hill on the baseline. We won’t argue that Teague is one of the quicker players, but quickness wasn’t helping him last night once he got in the paint. The dude was super overaggressive and ended up getting caught in the air blind multiple times on his way to a nine-point, nine-assist night … And the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame announced this year’s class: Patrick Ewing, Clyde Lovellette, Phil Ford, Kenny Sailors, Earl Monroe and Willis Reed, coaches Joe B. Hall and Dave Robbins, and contributors Jim Host and Joe Dean … We’re out like Peyton Manning.
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