The Alabama Scoring Machine

01.28.09 9 years ago 92 Comments
Mo WilliamsMo Williams, Dime #33

All this time, none of us have ever really talked about Mo Williams as a potential All-Star pick. But if you’re in the camp that believes the Cavs deserve at least two All-Stars, Mo would be your #2 guy. However, Mo happened to make his best ASG campaign statement after the coaches polls had closed, when he dumped 43 points (7 threes), eight boards and 11 assists on the Kings last night in another Cleveland home win. “The Alabama Scoring Machine” — Mo’s nickname from the Cavs’ announcers, not something disgusting from Urban Dictionary — scored 24 in the first half, when Kevin Martin (35 pts) and the Kings kept it surprisingly close. Since no one wanted to guard Mo, LeBron was content to play the facilitator role, racking up triple-double numbers: 23 points, 15 rebounds and 11 dimes … Mike Brown ditched the tie for this one and was apparently going for the casual-cool look, but he came off more like Al Roker after one too many shots at the NBC Christmas party … In general, Boobie Gibson is pretty useless when he’s not hitting threes. But at least now he’s trying to maximize his productivity in that area. Gibson is becoming adept at the old Reggie Miller leg-kick, which he used to draw two three-shot fouls last night … Dwight Howard makes a habit of killing the Pacers — in the first two Orlando/Indiana matchups this season, The Centaur averaged something like 28 points, 19 boards and four blocks. So of course Jim O’Brien‘s strategy last night was to go small (Troy Murphy at center, Danny Granger and Dunleavy Jr. at the forwards, T.J. Ford and Jarrett Jack in the backcourt), which was immediately exposed as a bad idea. The Magic were scoring at will right from tip-off, and it wasn’t even about them taking threes; one of their announcers called it a “layup line” about three minutes in. “Indiana claims to be better defensively, but I haven’t seen it,” one of them said. For the game Orlando dropped 135 points … E-mail from Dime’s Austin Burton: “I stepped out of the room and heard Orlando’s color guy say, ‘He goes into the air without a thought in his head as to what he’s going to do. He’s too talented of a player to do that as often as he does.’ I knew without even looking he was talking about T.J. Ford.” … Of course once the second half hit and Orlando was cruising, it became T.J. Time. Ask a Raptors fan: When the game is no longer in question, T.J. (23 pts) suddenly morphs into Steve Francis in his prime. Last night he was crossing dudes up, attacking the rim, getting and-ones — throw in the turnovers and he was getting buckets for both teams …

Gerald WallaceGerald Wallace, Dime #39

Speaking of guys who get it done when nobody’s watching, Boris Diaw has been playing out of his mind since being traded to Charlotte. Diaw lit up the Lakers in a double-OT upset, finishing with 23 points, nine boards and nine assists. The ‘Cats led most of the second half, until L.A. made a run that Derek Fisher capped with a baseline pull-up to put them ahead at the five-minute mark. That’s when Diaw took over. He scored inside to tie it up, drove the lane and freed Emeka Okafor for a tip dunk, hit a turnaround J, then knocked down a three to put Charlotte ahead comfortably. At least you thought so. They could have iced it when Andrew Bynum (23 pts, 14 rebs, 6 blks) crushed Gerald Wallace and may have broken one of his ribs (Hey, AB said he wasn’t letting anybody dunk on him), earning Bynum a flagrant foul and sending the ‘Cats to the line. But Raja Bell missed both freebies as Crash’s replacement shooter, and given that small window, Kobe took advantage and led the charge to force overtime … Kobe (38 pts) fouled out late in the first OT — causing L.A.’s announcers to speak in hushed tones like they were at a wake — and the Lakers predictably fell apart; losing the ball, losing their assignments on D, and allowing Charlotte to force the second OT … Shannon Brown proved the difference that time, hitting some early buckets to give the ‘Cats a cushion and assisting Okafor on the dagger … Did you catch Raja’s post-game interview on NBA TV? Did he really say “Juwan Howard” and “fresh blood” in the same sentence? … During the Spurs’ pre-game show, the Jazz mascot (a bear whose name is just “BEAR”) stood behind Sean Elliott and the play-by-play guy mugging for the camera. Elliott looked over his shoulder and said, “I thought that was Bruce Bowen for a minute. They almost resemble each other.” That was Elliott’s one redeeming moment in a night of (even for him) severe homer-ism. Every foul call that went against the Spurs was bogus, every shot the Jazz hit was lucky, and after Manu Ginobili missed a desperation heave one time trying to beat the shot clock, Elliott said the shot “rimmed out” when it actually almost put a hole in the backboard … The game came down to the Jazz not being able to contain Tim Duncan inside (24 pts, 9 rebs, 8 asts, 3 blks) and continually losing track of Matt Bonner beyond the arc (20 pts, 6 threes) … Did you know Deron Williams has one of the Jazz trainers keep a stick of Carmex on him so Deron can apply it before tip-off and throughout the game? D-Bizz Oh No needs to work that into the “Scream Utah!” remix … Also, if you haven’t already, let us know if you organize your own run. Who knows, maybe we’ll come through or feature it on the site … We’re out like Kobe …

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