The Heat Get Beat… Again; Kobe Bryant Scores 40… Again

By: 01.14.12  •  36 Comments
Ty Lawson

Ty Lawson (photo. Nike)

What was that we said about the Heat being by far the best team in the league? They definitely aren’t playing like it. At least Denver is holding up their end of the bargain. The Nuggets played like legitimate Western Conference threats last night, their energy wearing down Miami in the second half of their win. Would there be any team more fun to play on than Denver? George Karl doesn’t just want to play fast. He wants quicker shots. He wants a faster pace. And he wants to run teams out of the gym. It also helps to have Ty Lawson too. LeBron James dropped 35, but Lawson was the real star, going for 24 and nine while missing only two shots all night. If we could watch Denver every night of the year, we would. So much energy. After Nene‘s bucket and foul to go up eight early in the first quarter, Erik Spoelstra looked like he was ready to throw his hands up and bounce. In fact, every time they showed Spo throughout the night, he was caught in some deep trance, like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. You gotta love what Denver has put together considering the lockout-shortened season. J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler are still balling in China, Kenyon Martin is back stateside but still without a team, and Denver has quietly become one of the best teams in the Western Conference. They re-signed Nene and Arron Afflalo – which was the right thing to do – but who else do they try and lock down long-term? Danilo Gallinari wants to get paid. Rudy Fernandez is never truly happy and always one bad outing away from saying he wants to hand in his papers and go home. And how much are you going to pay Ty Lawson to make him their franchise point guard? … At one point in the first half, LeBron broke out on the fast break, and Andre Miller was all alone guarding the hoop. While he hacked the hell out of James, we were positive we heard him mumble in his best Danny Glover voice, “I’m too old for this s—” … Chris Bosh ain’t exactly a Dime favorite, but you gotta respect the man with everything he’s gone through in the past year, getting hated on for virtually everything. He told GQ recently that Dwyane Wade (who says his sprained ankle from last night is the worst one he’s ever had) is undoubtedly the team’s go-to player down the stretch. No one is arguing with him saying he’s wrong. But was that the right thing to say? … Is there any question the Chicago Bulls have the best defense in the NBA? The Celtics started 5-for-26 from the field, and if it wasn’t for Rajon Rondo (who scored or assisted on every point in the first quarter), the Bulls probably could’ve packed up and went home by the middle of the second quarter. But Boston wouldn’t die, and in the second half, they chipped away at the lead. Eventually halfway through the fourth, the Celtics cut what was once a 20 point lead down to one on a Mickael Pietrus corner trey. The Garden crowd was partying like it was 1986. But Derrick Rose came down and hit a jumper, and then kept killing it down the stretch, scoring 12 of his 25 in the final few minutes to put it away. He even hit a wild, reverse layup that reminded us a whole lot of another Chicago legend. A messed up toe? It doesn’t affect MVPs … Keep reading to hear about Kobe’s big night …

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