The Forgotten

11.28.07 10 years ago 23 Comments
IMAGE DESCRIPTIONPhoto. Jonathan Mannion

With so much hype centered on the Celtics ever since they pulled off the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen deals, it’s been easy to forget the C’s still needs to go through the reigning Eastern Conference champs to get the rings. Those champs would be the Cavs, who — flawed as they may be — still have some kind of pride as professionals, not to mention arguably the best basketball player on the planet right now. Boston came into Cleveland’s house Tuesday night with the League’s best record, and left with their second loss of the season. The game was tied with 22 seconds left when Ray (29 pts) went to the line and missed BOTH free throws. We’ve never seen that happen to him, not even at UConn. The guy is a Top-10 all-time free throw shooter and as automatic as anyone in the NBA today. So with a shot to win it, of course the Cavs didn’t run an actual play, instead just having LeBron (38 pts, 13 asts) brick a fallaway three. LeBron’s J was falling in the overtime, though, and the Cavs pulled away for the win … How about Drew Gooden? He was a beast in the third quarter, scoring 16 points and not missing a shot. He was like a rounded-out Carlos Boozer, finishing with 24 and 13 boards. During the broadcast, one of the announcers said Drew had told them his beard is so thick, he gets lint caught in it. Yeah, lint and pepperoni … Damien Wilkins, welcome to Kobe Bryant‘s oubliette. We saw this one coming a mile away — the last time L.A. and Seattle played, back in the preseason, Kobe worked Damien over something awful. This time it was more of the same: spins, pull-ups, drives, threes. After a while, P.J. Carlesimo switched Kevin Durant onto Kobe (something he’d purposely avoided in that aforementioned preseason game). Mamba immediately gave KD one of his one-hand pump fakes, predictably getting him in the air and whistled for a foul. Later on Jeff Green took his turn on Kobe (35 pts, 8 rebs, 6 asts), but actually didn’t do a bad job. Kobe found Wilkins back in front of him in close-out time, though, and mercifully put him (and Seattle) away … Torii Hunter was being interviewed in the stands when Jeff Green caught a dunk over Andrew Bynum. The announcers asked Torii if he could get up like that. “Man, give me a ball and I’ll dunk on him.” Not sure if he meant he’d dunk on Jeff or Bynum, but for a 6-2 center fielder, that’s a tall order. Torii definitely has some serious hops, but those are some big boys you’re talking about … Up by one at the end of the third quarter, the Nuggets began the fourth with a small lineup of Iverson, J.R. Smith, Ed Najera, Linas Kleiza and Anthony Carter. They quickly lost the lead and built a significant deficit before George Karl had to put Camby and Carmelo back in … Trailing by three in the final seconds, with A.I. and ‘Melo both on the floor, Karl’s inbound play was designed for his nemesis J.R. Smith (George was on some other stuff last night). Drawing a foul on the shot, J.R. stepped to the line and made the first two before missing the third. To his credit, though, J.R. didn’t sulk and immediately went to foul Shawne Williams, who then got everything backwards. You’re supposed to make the first FT and miss the second on purpose, but Shawne bricked #1 and made #2 when he was trying to miss it. That left time for a final desperation heave, but ‘Melo couldn’t pull off the miracle … Marquis Daniels‘ thick high yellow socks had him looking like he was wearing uggs or something … The Bucks had their five-game win streak ended by the Sixers of all teams, and in Milwaukee at that. It started off bad for Philly: Willie Green was assigned to guard Michael Redd, and on the first two possessions got two jumpers in his face. But Redd was quiet after that, finishing with 17 points … The Bulls scoring a convincing win over the Hawks at home isn’t supposed to be a surprise. That it was just that yesterday shows you how far this Chicago team has fallen. On a positive note, finally looking like a legit NBA team with legit NBA scorers (Luol Deng had 22, Ben Gordon 21) is a step in the right direction. And how about Aaron Gray getting some burn? … Vince had his first real “Vince” game since the ankle injury, hanging 32 points on the Grizzlies. J-Kidd had another triple-double (12 pts, 15 rebs, 12 asts) and RJ dropped 27 points, and Jersey still found a way to lose. It could have been that pesky problem of barely having any good players down low. The Nets grabbed more rebounds than Memphis, but consider than Kidd had 15 of them and Vince had nine. With Krstic, Magloire and Malik Allen notching DNPs, the remaining bigs (Williams, Collins, Boone) combined for 11 boards. That’s just pathetic. J.C. Navarro had that many by himself for the Grizzlies … Next time you wanna get on Vince or Kobe or whoever else for being a nut, remember Tennessee star Chris Lofton‘s line from last night’s blowout win over North Carolina A&T. Lofton took TWENTY threes! He made eight of them, and took just one other two-point shot all night and no free throws. Who does that? The Vols were playing an overmatched squad and their system is all run-and-gun, but we can’t believe it calls for anyone to jack that many triples. What’s worse, the rest of the team took 30 treys, for a total of FIFTY three-pointers taken on the night. Unbelievable. Was Bruce Pearl going after some kind of record? … Stud freshmen watch: Eric Gordon scored 29 in a win over Georgia Tech, outshining Yellow Jackets frosh forward Gani Lawal‘s 17; Taylor King hit five triples in Duke’s blowout win over Wisconsin; and Derrick Rose put 19 points and 12 dimes on Austin Peay. T-Mac‘s little brother, Chance McGrady, a reserve junior guard at Memphis, got a little burn in that one … We’re out like Gold Glovers dunking on seven-footers …

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