Derrick Rose said he was gonna go crazy against Washington last night, and dude did go a little nuts. Not only did he pick up a technical, but he was as aggressive as we’ve seen him all year in the first half, weaving into the lane and throwing up more of those high-arching floaters he’s grown fond of. John Wall gave him some run during the first half of Chicago’s 10-point win, but there’s still one glaring difference between the two: John Wall makes tough shots. Derrick Rose makes tough shots look easy. Early in the first, Rose (35 points, eight assists) split a double and then went up and under at the rim, scoring over three guys. To follow that, Wall (20 points) got on the break and somehow threw in a leaning floater that hit the top of the glass (a shot Wall hits probably 10 percent of the time) … At some point in the third quarter last night, we realized we’ve watched an inordinate amount of Wizards game this year. They’re like watching one of those movies that’s so bad it actually becomes funny … Orlando lost again, and scored 69 points in the process. The Sixers weren’t exactly smoking offensively (Ryan Anderson had 20 rebounds. Did anyone make a shot?). But the Magic were dreadful. Hedo Turkoglu was playing brain dead, shooting fallaway threes out of the offense. Van Gundy was even putting Larry Hughes into it. Dwight Howard (17 points, 11 rebounds) can’t be left off the hook either; He was 6-for-17. Forget contracting anyone else. Contract this team as a punishment for being an embarrassment … Big Baby went flying into the stands chasing a loose ball at one point down 16. Malik Rose goes, “That is one time you don’t want to catch the baby.” We love this guy … As bad as Orlando has been, Rudy Gay might’ve taken the cake for worst performance of the night. He scored one point, and didn’t make a single shot in 34 minutes. The Spurs destroyed the Grizz, and the score – 83-73 – doesn’t do it justice. How ugly was it for Memphis? In the third quarter, Tony Allen actually had to restrain Lionel Hollins from strangling the life out of the officials. Think about that. That’s just like Sonny telling Michael to “Sit this one out bro” … “Where’s T-Mac?” Down 10 with under two minutes to go, in a game they would go on to lose 120-108, that was all the Houston color guys could say. That’s what happens when you give up 58 percent shooting for the game and 42 points in one quarter. The Wolves in the third quarter smelled blood, and with Ricky Rubio (18 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds) making pinpoint passes on every play – including a ridiculous lob to Martell Webster – they ran away with it. Rubio is changing that culture. Their third quarter was probably the best 12 minutes of passing we’ve seen all year. Even Michael Beasley (34 points) is back, staying under control and thriving … The statistical site, Hoopdata, has begun tracking charges drawn, and through 20 games, Rubio leads the NBA with 18. You’re not gonna believe the two guys who round out the top three: DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall … Keep reading to hear about how hot the Clippers got …
The Blazers and Jazz met up in a high-energy bloodbath last night that Utah eventually ended up winning 93-89. The Utah fans always seem one 5-Hour Energy away from rushing the court, but last night they were unusually antsy. Jeremy Evans had one putback dunk in the fourth quarter that turned the arena into a Toby Keith concert, and down the stretch it felt like life and death. While Gordon Hayward had a huge block on a fastbreak against Jamal Crawford, and Paul Millsap (19 points, 15 rebounds) worked his spin move again in the final two minutes, Nicolas Batum (15 points) was the Blazers’ fourth quarter, hitting four threes, including three in a row. His steal with 35 seconds left gave Portland a chance to tie at 89. But on a drive from the left wing, Batum’s left knee buckled and he fell to the floor like a baby deer, screaming and clutching his knee. Turnover. No foul. Game over. Batum had to be helped off into the locker room … Biiiiingoooo. That was the only way the color guys could react after the Clippers nearly ended the half with a 12-0 run – on four treys by Caron Butler, Mo Williams and Chauncey Billups – in literally like 10 seconds. The game became a mere formality in the second half, with Butler (22 points), Chris Paul (26 points, 14 rebounds) and co. brushing off Kevin Durant (36 points, 13 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (31 points) in the Clippers’ eventual 112-100 win … Just 24 hours after LeBron caught the stairway to Heaven on John Lucas‘ shoulders, Blake Griffin gave Kendrick Perkins a permanent mean mug by hitting him with Mozgov, Part II … During their blowout win, Miami fell on the Hornets in the third quarter harder than 100 Nate Newtons, dominating them to the point that none of their stars had to set foot on the court in the fourth frame. LeBron would’ve had a triple-double easily (22 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) if they had needed it … Milwaukee destroyed the Pistons by 21 behind Brandon Jennings (21 points) and Mike Dunleavy (20) … And Dallas is suddenly rolling. They beatdown Phoenix 122-99 as two of the new guys (Vince Carter, Delonte West) led the way (21 and 25 points respectively). The Mavs are now 14-8, and their slow start is nearly forgotten … The Lakers are showing some interest in Cleveland’s backup point, Ramon Sessions. While his salary and fit (Sessions doesn’t shoot the ball that well) isn’t ideal, when you’re stuck with what they have, you roll the dice … And former NBA star Jayson Williams has apparently reemerged as… the “Moses of Rikers” … We’re out like the Magic.
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