Professor Diesel

11.17.08 9 years ago
ShaqShaquille O’Neal (photo. Chenoa Maxwell)

Crazy how much can change over the course of one weekend. Go back to Friday, when the Lakers were sittin’ on top of the NBA world as pretty much the unquestioned best team in the League, but then the Pistons went into their house and thoroughly beat them in every facet of the game. So just when you’re re-evaluating the Pistons’ spot in the hierarchy, they show up in Phoenix yesterday — where the Suns had literally just gotten beat up by Houston — and Detroit gets cracked. In the Pistons’ defense, they were on the last day of a week-long cross-country road trip, when teams historically put up stinkers because they’ve got their minds somewhere else (like their own beds at home). Either way, we’ll try to get it all worked out later today when we post our NBA Hit List power ranking … Steve Nash (17 pts, 7 asts) helped bury Detroit before halftime, sticking a pair of backbreaking threes in the final 30 seconds of the second quarter, and Amare did his part with 29 points and 11 boards for the game. One time Amare got Amir Johnson on a hop-step/power dunk that would have broken Amir’s arm had he tried to block it … Shaq got himself ejected when he clobbered Rodney Stuckey on a drive and was hit with a flagrant-2. The foul really wasn’t that bad; it was another case of the refs taking it to an unnecessary level because of how Stuckey landed more than anything else. As for Shaq, he took the thinking man’s approach: “The laws of physics say that a body in motion stays in motion,” Professor Diesel stated. “So if you have two objects meet in the air, the smaller object is going to fall much harder. I’ve never been the type of player to take anybody out, so I obviously went to the ball. The little guy ran into a brick wall.” … Suns announcer Eddie Johnson on Boris Diaw: “You can’t guard him. You can’t guard him. He only guards himself.” And two minutes later: “He can’t be guarded one-on-one.” Chill out, EJ. It’s just Boris Diaw … Tim Duncan is doing everything he can to get the Spurs back to playing .500-level ball; he hit the game-tying and game-winning buckets in Sacramento yesterday to bring San Antone’s record to a respectable 4-5. The last shot was the result of a pick-and-roll with Roger Mason where Duncan (20 pts, 10 rebs, 3 blks) banked it home over three guys with 15 seconds left … How did the Kings even stay in this one without Kevin Martin? John Salmons (who kinda looks like Kadeem Hardison without the glasses) was getting BUCKETS. He dropped 31 points while missing only four shots total, going 10-for-13 from the field (3-for-4 from deep) and 8-for-9 at the stripe. Salmons is indispensable for the Kings and plays like an All-Star whenever K-Mart2 is hurt, but where would he fit on a real contender? Would he crack the top-eight rotation for the Celtics or Rockets or Jazz? …

Dirk NowitzkiThe New York Strangler

The last time the Dime crew was at MSG to watch the Mavs play the Knicks, Dirk left Isiah‘s team’s guts all over the floor. Sunday was more of the same: Dirk put up 39 points (with only one three) and 15 boards, and put his team on his back in overtime as the Knicks decided to fall apart at the worst possible time. After outplaying the Mavs most of the night, New York went 0-for-14 from the field over the last couple minutes of regulation and OT, and their only points in the extra frame were a pair of free throws. Josh Howard added 31 points for the Mavs, who broke a five-game skid as their other three starters — Gerald Green, Jason Kidd and Erick Dampier — combined for THREE total points … Before Zach Randolph went out and dumped 27 points and 18 boards in the loss, he was in the locker room telling everyone he was gonna put up a 20-20 line. Not quite, but pretty damn close … And in case you forgot, the Stephon Marbury saga in NY still has no end-point in sight. If you’ve only been following this thing loosely and need a user’s guide, we’ve got all the bases covered HERE. And by the way, Jamaal Tinsley is in the exact same situation as Steph, but he plays in Indiana so nobody cares … Legends’ roll call: Magic was at the Knicks/Mavs game, Muhammad Ali was at Suns/Pistons, and Michael Jordan was at the Illinois season opener against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Mike watched his kid, sophomore PG Jeffrey Jordan, play 16 minutes off the bench and hand out four assists. Derrick Rose was also at the Fighting Illini game … The Wolves just can’t catch a break, can they? They were up on the Nuggets by nine in the fourth quarter, (naturally) lost the cushion in a blink, then with 2:30 left and Denver down by one, ‘Melo missed a free throw and the ball took a weird bounce that allowed Nene to get the offensive rebound over two guys. Nene hit a cutting ‘Melo at the rim, who poked a two-hand dunk on a surprised Al Jefferson to give the Nuggets the lead. A minute later Chauncey (26 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts) knocked down a three that proved to be the dagger … With Will Solomon (15 pts, 11 asts) running the show for an injured Jose Calderon (hamstring), the Raptors still managed to play the kind of calm-cool-collected fourth quarter against the Heat that they should have played against the Celtics last week, picking up a much-needed win. Whenever Solomon hit a three, Calderon was up off the bench in his suit throwing up the “three” sign like he’d hit the shot himself. Stark contrast from a half-sleep Marcus Williams‘ non-reaction whenever one of the Warriors’ point guards does anything … Jamario Moon is headed for a Chris Carr-like career; being known for appearing in one dunk contest and that’s about it. After losing his starting spot to Andrea Bargnani before yesterday’s game, the only mark Moon really made was when D-Wade went baseline and crammed on him like he wasn’t there. Moon might need to sneak his way into the ’09 contest and have himself a Fred Jones night before it’s too late … We’re out like Unstoppable Diaw …

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