The Nets Win A Battle Of Dwight Howard Suitors; Washington Keeps Inventing Ways To Lose

By: 02.29.12  •  58 Comments
Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez, Dime #43

We wonder if Dwight Howard was watching last night. The two teams most often associated with the Orlando big man met up for what could’ve been a classic last night in Dallas if it wasn’t for Jason Kidd, and if it wasn’t for the fact that one of the teams is the Nets. Still, New Jersey stole the game 93-92 after a Kidd three-point heave at the buzzer was off. How’d it happen? The Nets have a new big man, and it’s not the guy everyone is talking about. Brook Lopez dropped 38 points in his first big game of the season after coming off his injury. New Jersey led all night. Dallas’ first basket of the fourth quarter didn’t come until nearly 10 minutes in when, of all people, Brendan Haywood, made a hook shot. From there, they chipped away at it, and eventually, they got a lead off a Kidd triple in the closing minute. The problem? They went back to the well again – Kidd missed a three after the Nets had regained the lead – and then AGAIN – Kidd missed at the buzzer. You’d think they’d learn not to continue to get Kidd open looks with the game on the line considering he made one shot all night, and has made just a few more than that all season … Gerald Green might still be as one dimensional as a hit rap record, but damn does he do that one thing well. He caught a sick lob last night in his first game with the Nets … Philadelphia put the kids to bed in Detroit, roughing up the Pistons in the middle two quarters and running away with a 29-point win. Thaddeus Young had 20 and eight off the bench … Turns out spelling Derrick Rose for most of the All-Star Game worked. The dude dropped 32 and nine on the Hornets in Chicago’s four-point win … Indiana started the second half of the season the way they ended the first: winning. The Pacers destroyed Golden State by 24 after placing six guys in double figure scoring, including 25 from Danny Granger … Sacramento got 22 and 18 from their “new cornerstone” DeMarcus Cousins in a seven-point win over the fading Jazz … Minnesota got 27 a piece off the bench from Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams and beat the Clippers 109-97 … Houston got 26 from Kyle Lowry and survived to beat Toronto, 88-85 … And someone give it up for Indiana. After their surprising double-digit win over Michigan State last night, the Hoosiers have now beaten three top teams this season … Keep reading to hear how John Wall was screwed over by his teammates again …

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John Wall

John Wall (photo. Rob Hammer)

If John Wall started punching out his teammates in the locker room last night, we wouldn’t even be all that mad. Washington came all the way back from 22 down to have a chance to win, and looked like they were on their way after Wall (19 points, 15 assists) hit an insanely difficult runner (off the wrong leg) to put them up by one in the final six seconds. Instead, Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova wasn’t boxed out after Wall shut off Brandon Jennings‘s (6-for-18 shooting) drive and he tipped it in. Then with one last chance, the Wiz got it to Roger Mason… who traveled before he could get a shot up. The only one who balled out in the fourth quarter other than Wall for DC was Trevor Booker (20 points, 11 rebounds). He had three straight buckets (Wall and Booker both scored in double figures in the last 12 minutes) at the rim in the closing minutes, the last one off a beautiful pick-n-roll with Wall. But with 40 seconds left and Washington down one, Wall pushed it, left it for Booker, who went about as assertively as Stevie from Eastbound & Down as he missed a floater. Right when Wall got the board and started pushing it, we said to ourselves “This will not end well.” When your teammates all struggle to make decisions ordinarily, what do you think is going to happen when you’re on the move in a one-point game in the final minute? That’s like asking Billy Madison to make the honor roll at Harvard … JaVale McGee had a dunk earlier in the game where he scooped up the ball and skinned the antlers off Milwaukee’s basket. Watch this and tell us you don’t have to take a step back to steady yourself … Despite losing to Boston by three after Anthony Parker‘s trey fell short at the buzzer, Cleveland’s choice of Kyrie Irving (24 points) over Derrick Williams has never looked better. While Williams was off this weekend missing dunks and doing pointless ones over motorcycles, Irving was winning an MVP. Now with the start of the second half bearing down on us, the rook doesn’t seem like he’ll be hitting a wall. Irving scored 19 points in the second half, and even though he missed a layup and had another turnover in the final minute against Boston, it’s the moxie to even take those chances that has us excited. Considering he’s won three or four games this year in the closing moments, he’s allowed one mulligan. There’s also the fact that he destroyed Rajon Rondo last night. Rondo didn’t make a single shot from the field, and didn’t score a single point … “There are guys you play with in the CBA that would make Dennis Rodman look Amish” – Tim Legler really said this last night … And you thought you knew the extent of Delonte West‘s craziness. Early this season, he was sleeping in either his car or Dallas’ locker room because he had sold pretty much everything he owned over the lockout and wasn’t allowed to be given help from the team. Most of West’s money evaporated because he was dealing with a divorce, and of course, the legal problems stemming from his bipolar disorder … We’re out like Rondo scoring.

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