Dwight Howard’s Gone; Everyone Playing Thursday Tries To Fight

By: 04.20.12

If you thought Indiana-Milwaukee was going to be the standard for physical play, Chicago-Miami did it one, actually a few, better. Dwyane Wade (18 points) giving a forearm shiver to Rip Hamilton was one-upped by James Jones‘ ejection after giving two fists to Joakim Noah‘s neck on a blockout. Oh yeah, and LeBron (27 points and 11 boards) nearly took the head off of John Lucas on a blind screen at halfcourt. Wade got a flagrant 1, Jones got tossed and James looked like he set a good screen — but it’s just that Lucas is a foot shorter than him. … TNT caught what looked like the after effects of a bad fart on the Miami bench. Hilarious. … That Derrick Rose is valuable is unquestioned, of course, but the Bulls play damn well without him. So even without the reigning MVP, this is still a nice win for Miami. Well, at least one they’ll use as a confidence booster, internally. Plus, it seems like they have the weakest temperament of any team, so you get the feeling the combination of a win over a top-four team in either conference while playing the role of tough guy is a huge boost for their psyche. … The Celtics signed Sean Williams for the playoffs today. … In the desert nightcap Phoenix is back from the ashes and hanging onto playoff hope. Chris Paul (19 points, 10 dimes) was a stud again in the fourth with eight points but Steve Nash (13 points) and Marcin Gortat (14 points, 14 boards) held them off to win a 10th straight against the Clippers. Jared Dudley got things started by trying to take on Blake Griffin (16 points, 11 boards) after a rough jump ball. Said Chris Webber: “I played with a good flopper and I think Vlade would be proud of Blake Griffin there.” Didn’t look like acting later when Robin Lopez went around the neck to hit Griffin high on a break (he got tossed). Gortat also leveled Griffin earlier, too. Dear NBA: Is the compressed schedule just getting to everyone? Side note, we loved Phoenix putting five security officers around the refs as they reviewed the Lopez flagrant foul. Oh, of course: Suns fans were barely making noise all night, so they thought someone was going to freak out over an obvious flagrant? … We’re out like Dwight Howard.

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