Larry The Able Guy

11.25.08 9 years ago
Larry HughesLarry Hughes, Dime #17

It wasn’t The Shove (ask Bryon Russell), The Flu Game, The “Other” Flu Game, or even the “Mailman Don’t Deliver on Sundays” Game, but Bulls/Jazz had as much drama as you can get from a regular season matchup between a Lottery team and a injury-racked title contender. Going nip/tuck the entire night, the last 1:30 was wild: After AK-47‘s layup gave Utah a one-point lead, it turned into Derrick Rose vs. Mehmet Okur, with those two trading shots and the lead back-and-forth — Rose getting his on twisting layups and ballsy drives, Okur (26 pts) getting his on dunks and fadeaways — before the last possession. Chicago ball, down one, and EVERYONE knew Rose (25 pts, 9 asts) was gonna decide the game. He worked his way into an open jumper from the free throw line, which missed, but the ball bounced right to Larry Hughes, who stepped back and drained a 20-footer at the buzzer with C.J. Miles all over him. Crazy finish, but as reader “Goeasy” put it: “How anticlimactic was that game-winner? I mean, I know you were in the other guys house, but still. Nocioni, Gordon and Rose walk away like [Hughes] missed and Gooden just pats him on the head. Felt like it was a pickup game.” Seriously, you’re playing for the Chicago Bulls and you just wetted a buzzer-beater against the Jazz in Salt Lake! Don’t matter how old you are, who hasn’t fantasized about doing that while putting themselves in MJ‘s shoes? Come on now … When did the Jazz become this athletic, highlight-making, track-meet squad? There was a stretch in the third quarter when they ran off like 10 straight dunks, led by Ronnie Price, C.J. Miles and Ronnie Brewer. Once when Miles and Brewer connected on an alley-oop, Deron Williams — sitting in at the announce booth — broke out the “SportsCenter” hook. Deron also hinted that Price and Kyle Korver have a bet going on who will have the most dunks this year. When one of the announcers asked if Korver can even dunk, Deron said, “Well, he CAN physically.” … BTW, Korver looked like the assistant treasurer of the Salt Lake Young Republicans Club with that suit he had on … Luol Deng is the reason agents love that free-agent deals are negotiated in the summer. When there’s no actual games going and GMs can be lured in by things like height, perception and potential, guys like Deng end up clocking $72 million. But once the games start, you can easily see how much more valuable somebody like, oh, Ben Gordon is to a team. Deng seriously has been garbage this year; last night he didn’t even get on the scoreboard until well into the fourth quarter … Manu is back. He played 11 minutes in a win over the Grizzlies, long enough to score 12 points and prove he’s still in shape. Now that he’s back — and Tony Parker is returning as soon as next week — expect the Spurs to keep climbing on our NBA Hit List Power Ranking. But they still have a while to go before they get up there with the C’s, the Lake Show, and the, um, Nuggets … Isn’t there still a dress code for coaches? Gregg Popovich had on a checkerboard shirt that was unbuttoned at the top, no tie, and tan Dockers to go with a dark jacket. A few years ago George Karl got fined for wearing a turtleneck and dark jeans with his jacket, and that was at least three times more classy than what Pop wore on Monday … Mike Beasley put it best when asked how the Heat defended Yao Ming, who dropped 28 points on Miami’s smaller-than-usual cast of defenders. “We did all right, but Yao’s Yao,” Beasley said. “He’s eight feet tall. Ain’t much we can do.” …

Ron ArtestRon Artest, Dime #21

Houston also won thanks to Ron Artest holding D-Wade to 23 points (7-for-23 FG’s) and not letting Wade take over in the fourth quarter. For the defensive highlight of the night, Ron-Ron got up in Wade’s shirt in the open court and had the Michael Jackson hands all over him, picking his pocket and starting a breakaway that led to a Carl Landry dunk. That was the kind of D that can start a fight with the wrong dude on the playground … To ease the pressure on his back, Tracy “The Lifeguard” McGrady had a customized high chair in lieu of the standard bench chair. So if you were scanning Houston’s bench, you’d see Aaron Brooks‘s face, Landry’s face, then T-Mac’s knee. That’s not a good sign when your best player is resorting to the same tactics recently used by 63-year-old Phil Jackson to stay healthy … Miami’s play-by-play guy on Shane Battier‘s infamous red jacket: “I thought he got it from one of the Rockets’ trainers.” … In the Hit List we came to the defense of Andrew Bogut, just in time for his show-and-prove matchup with Dwight Howard. Bogut did alright for himself in the first half, giving Dwight some buckets in the post and playing solid D while getting Dwight in foul trouble. But the second half was all Howard, and Bogut, who had averaged 18 rebounds per game in his last three, was limited to just four boards and 16 points total. Dwight finished with 24 points, 13 boards and six blocks … E-mail from the world’s biggest Zach Randolph fan, Dime’s own Austin Burton: “Clippers/Hornets is about to start, but Zach can’t play because not everyone involved in the trade has taken their physicals yet. I GUARANTEE it’s that lazy f***** Tim Thomas. Just get to the doctor and let Z-Bo commence to putting up the numbers you never could in L.A. I don’t even care about this game anymore.” … AB missed a good one. Chris Paul hung another triple-double (14 pts, 10 rebs, 17 asts) on Baron‘s head and kept his consecutive-games-with-a-steal streak alive, while Eric Gordon dropped 25 in a losing effort … Then there was this from Dime’s Andrew Katz during Blazers/Kings: “Right now, Brandon Roy is so locked in the zone, he could throw something up backwards with his eyes closed and it goes in. He’s thrown up some ridiculous threes — all of which have gone in. He’s 3-3 from beyond the arc and there’s nothing the Kings can do about it.” B-Roy (28 pts) almost took AK up on that backwards/no-look challenge, too, scoring on a Wade-ish lefty scoop that had a 9.98 difficulty … If you’re a Wizards fan, you’re hoping yesterday’s Eddie Jordan firing turns out similar to what went down in San Antonio 12 years ago. If you remember, that was when the Spurs dumped Bob Hill early in the season after David Robinson got hurt, Popovich came down from the front office, and one Tim Duncan draft pick later, a dynasty was born. With the Wizards firing Jordan while Gilbert Arenas is out and bringing in Ed Tapscott from the front office, maybe the Lottery balls bounce their way and they build around an Arenas/Ricky Rubio backcourt for the long-term. (Or what’s more likely, Tapscott is gone after this season and we’re treated to Chapter 4 of The Alvin Gentry Story) … We’re out like Z-Bo …

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