Boston Hands Miami A Rare Home Loss; Chicago Is Just Fine Without Derrick Rose

By: 04.11.12
Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo (photo. Gary Land)

In a calmer, maybe more reasonable world, the Miami Heat could lose a game like the game they lost to the Boston Celtics last night and it wouldn’t be a big deal. In that world, LeBron James and Miami fans could adopt the same attitude Kobe Bryant and L.A. fans have after every one of their high-profile L’s in the regular season: Don’t panic, it’s only (fill-in-the-month). This is bigger to them than it is to us. We’ll be fine in the playoffs. … But there are five diamond-studded reasons why a Kobe-led team gets that kind of leeway and a LeBron-led team does not. These Heat can’t say they’ll be fine in the playoffs because they haven’t proven they’ll be fine in the playoffs. Every big loss is a potential warning sign … This game wasn’t so much about the Heat being bad as it was the Celtics being really good. Paul Pierce dropped 27 points and Kevin Garnett added 24, as Boston hit 60% of their field goals and had almost twice as many assists as turnovers. Rajon Rondo posted 18 points and 15 assists … LeBron (36 pts, 7 rebs, 7 asts) seemed headed for one of those win-this-by-myself efforts in the first quarter until things got weird. During a three-minute stretch in which the Celtics pitched a shutout, Greg Stiemsma was getting buckets like he’d traded bodies with Dino Radja, Shane Battier was playing basketball like Shane McMahon, and even Rondo hit a three that gave Boston an 11-point lead that they would never lose … Miami went on a mini-run to begin the fourth quarter and pulled within one point, but Ray Allen hit a three and KG canned four straight jumpers to give Boston its cushion back … We kind of miss the comically huge version of Eddy Curry. If he were getting any PT for Miami in those all-black uniforms, he’d look like December 22 on the Mayan calendar … You know what must hurt for Kemba Walker? If NBA scouts actually made draft picks based on production instead of potential, Kemba would’ve been the No. 1 pick with his name all but engraved on the NBA Rookie of the Year trophy and a bright future in Cleveland. Instead, that all belongs to Kyrie Irving, while Kemba is stuck looking like he wants to get in his car after the next Charlotte Bobcats loss and just keep driving until he runs out of gas … Kemba got a peek at how the other side lives on Tuesday, scoring 20 points off the bench in — of course — another Charlotte loss. Kyrie sat this one out (shoulder), so Lester Hudson carried the load with 25 points, 8 boards and 6 assists for the Cavs … True or false: Cam Newton could crack the Bobcats rotation right now … True or false: Michael Jordan would trade the Bobcats’ starting five for Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes, James McAdoo, John Henson and Tyler Zeller. At least they might sell some tickets in N.C. …

Click for more Smack: Kyle Korver(!) goes Beast Mode; The stats say ‘Melo is killing the Knicks and more…

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Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver (photo. Converse)

The Bulls aren’t supposed to keep doing this. They’ve played so well so consistently without Derrick Rose in the lineup that it’s almost beginning to devalue the MVP Rose won last season. Seriously, if this team can still post the best record in the East with guys like John Lucas III and C.J. Watson running point, maybe Rose wasn’t a one-man wrecking crew after all. Rose (ankle) sat out again last night as the Bulls hosted the Knicks, and Chicago again won easily, led by Rip Hamilton‘s 20 points and Luol Deng‘s 19 points and 10 boards … The Bulls have played 58 games this season, and in about 55 of them we’ve seen Kyle Korver dive on the floor for a loose ball and make a play that results in a Taj Gibson dunk. Those two are like the Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne of hustle-play chemistry … Korver was all over the place last night and turned the fourth quarter into his personal playground, finishing with 14 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks. It was like a highlight tape that a small-town high school kid would send out to colleges to show he can do everything on the court. After the game, in fact, we heard DePaul offered Korver a partial scholarship … Carmelo Anthony finished with 29 points, 5 assists and 4 steals and shot 11-for-19 from the floor. And somehow he had a negative-4 on the plus/minus scale. And that’s exactly why most of us don’t take that statistic seriously. ‘Melo couldn’t lead NY to the win, but if you watched that game and thought his impact on the Knicks was negative, you didn’t watch that game … Please tell us you caught Scottie Pippen at the game looking like he was escorting the cast of Pretty Little Liars to the prom. Looking back, we’re surprised Scottie chose MJ to present him for the Basketball Hall of Fame when Mighty Casey was probably available … Other NBA stat lines from Tuesday: Dirk Nowitzki and Roddy Beaubois scored 15 apiece to lead Dallas past Sacramento, while DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 18 rebounds and 6 steals in the loss; Kevin Seraphin put up 24 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks as Washington beat a Dwight Howard-less Orlando squad; and Lou Williams scored 20 off the bench in Philly’s win over New Jersey … Recently it was announced that Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Byron Mullens will play for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London. If Vegas is taking prop bets on how many FGA’s Gordon will chuck per game, take the over. Whatever it is … We’re out like Bobby Petrino

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