12.19.07 10 years ago 64 Comments

In the “Player Who Looks the Least Like What His Nickname Implies” contest, we might have to hand the trophy to Sasha Vujacic. On NBA TV following Lakers/Bulls — where Sasha was the leading scorer with 19 points — Vujacic was being interviewed by Andre Aldridge, who was positively giddy over the fact that the Lakers call Sasha “The Machine” because “he makes shots from everywhere” in practice … With Kobe (18 pts) slowed by the groin injury, Sasha and Lamar Odom (17 pts, 16 rebs) stepped up and led L.A. on a big fourth quarter run to put Chicago away. And yes, the Bulls have reached the point where Kobe will suck up the pain and will himself to 30-plus to beat the Clippers, but playing Chicago on the road is an opportunity to pull back. Aside from a sky-high alley oop in the first quarter and a nasty reverse in the second, he let the other guys do the heavy lifting … There was a kid sitting courtside wearing a Bulls jersey with #24 taped across the front … Andrew Bynum continues to put notches in his belt, this time thoroughly outplaying Ben Wallace. So long as you get the next-Shaq idea out of the way, Bynum’s ceiling is very high; even Kobe would have to admit that now. At this point he’s one of the top centers in the West, and it won’t be long before a Lakers/Rockets game can be hyped as “Kobe & Bynum vs. T-Mac & Yao,” and everyone can keep a straight face … Speaking of Shaq, as you know, he’s the cover subject of Dime #38, which hit newsstands this week. Here’s some behind-the-scenes footage of The Godfather’s cover shoot, plus an excerpt from his cover story, where Shaq talks about taking out his young rivals like Yao and Dwight Howard and suceeding in what he feels is an environment set up to stop him … Today’s finally the day: After all the “Boston hasn’t played anybody” talk and wondering how legit the 20-2 record is, the C’s have the Pistons on the schedule. We gave KG and crew the #2 spot on this week’s NBA Hit List, despite them having the League’s best record by far, precisely because their schedule has been so weak and we were waiting for a game like this one to come along. And while the Pistons have a knack for sometimes coming out flat before turning on the “Dominate” switch, we don’t see that happening tonight. Chauncey, Rip, Tayshaun, ‘Sheed and the rest have something to prove … Everyone’s talking about the Wizards possibly being better without Gilbert Arenas (kinda like they used to say Toronto was better without Vince back in the day), but what are the chances that Sacramento is playing better without Kevin Martin? The Kings were 7-10 before K-Mart II went down with a groin injury, and have gone a respectable 3-4 since. And if the team itself isn’t better, at least John Salmons is. Taking over Martin’s spot in the lineup, Caviezel has had some big games, like last night’s 31-point effort against slumping New Jersey. Salmons and Francisco Garcia (24 pts, 5 treys) even had their poor-men’s Paul Pierce/Ray Allen thing going, as Salmons drove and hit ‘Cisco for a crucial three in the game’s final seconds to help ice the win … Speaking of poor-man’s, Jason Kidd went for 11 points, 10 boards and 9 assists, while Beno Udrih had an imitation Kidd line with 8 dimes and 0 points … The injury bug is killing the Clippers, who last night had to start Richie Frahm due to Cat Mobley coming down with a stomach virus. Then the team went out and got shut down by Toronto — who’s defense has been pretty impressive lately. Chris Bosh put up 24 points, while Jose Calderon had 9 assists and 0 turnovers. It wasn’t the Raptors’ prettiest win (few of them have been recently), but you gotta beat teams like that and stockpile W’s. The battle for second place in the Atlantic is on … Who’s the best power forward in the League? One of the Dime crew is taking Tim Duncan in the “TD vs. KG” argument, and has the rest of his Top-10 list HERE. Some of you guys didn’t agree with Boozer going ahead of Dirk, or Zach Randolph being on the list at all; if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out and let us know what you think … Did you hear about Michael Jordan practicing with the Bobcats yesterday? We know, we know; don’t think much of it. But we do have one question: Would a current-day MJ give a healthy Adam Morrison buckets? Signs point to “Yes” … We’re out like the Clippers’ health …

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