So wait, you’re telling us that wasn’t Carmelo Anthony‘s “Better Basketball” Mid-Range Shooting clinic DVD that TNT was running last night? If it wasn’t it could have been. ‘Melo gave the Miami Heat the hot plate, busting Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem over and over again with a steady diet of jumpers, pullups and fadeaways to the tune of 50 points in a 102-90 victory for the Knicks in Florida … Carmelo’s performance was wildly efficient, especially by his standards: 50 points in 40 minutes on 18-26 shooting (7-10 from three) and 7-8 from the foul line. For the most part, Miami chose not to double-team Carmelo, leaving Battier or whoever was matched up with him on an island to get their eyes shot out … By the way, remember two weeks ago when people were worried that ‘Melo’s knee was shredded? … Way early in the day (like noon ET), Miami announced their starting lineup: Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Udonis, Rashard Lewis and Chris Bosh. We’re assuming the early no-LeBron-no-Dwyane Wade heads up was to give people holding tickets for the game that night plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the wonders of Stubhub. Clearly, ‘Melo putting 50 on the equivalent of the Chris Bosh Toronto Raptors is not quite the same as if it had been on James and Wade, but 50 in an NBA game is still 50 in an NBA game. Afterward, ‘Melo told reporters, “I felt it today. Regardless of who suited up, we wanted to win this basketball game.” … Dennis Scott in the studio at halftime: “Carmelo is hotter than charcoal at a cookout.” Thanks for that … Going shot for shot with Carmelo in the first half was none other than Mike Miller. He took advantage of horrid Knicks defensive rotations to dump almost all of his 18 points in the first half. Twitter was full of “Mike Miller’s balling like he’s back at Florida with Brett Nelson and Teddy Dupay” jokes … Their “championship” may be racing for the 9th spot in the East, but the Wizards are playing inspired ball right now. Washington locked up their eighth home win in a row last night, knocking off the Chicago Bulls, 90-86 … The Wiz overcame the inside attack of Carlos Boozer (19 and 12 boards) and Nazr Mohammed‘s(!) (12 and 12). It helped that they had their own force of nature in John Wall who just missed a triple-double with 27 points, nine boards and eight assists (and three blocks). And almost as impressive as those numbers is the fact that Wall only has two turnovers total in the last two games …
In the sprint for the right to get coldly dismantled by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Lakers handled the Dallas Mavericks last night at Staples Center, 101-81. L.A. was in control for the entire game, swatting away anything the Mavs threw at them. They even had an answer for Rick Carlisle’s final act of desperation when he sent his team into Hack-a-Dwight with three minutes to go in the game. Howard knocked a bunch of his free throws, going 10-20 on the night (but making them when they counted) … Kobe Bryant was in the driver’s seat pretty much from the jump, finishing with a triple-double of 23 points, 11 boards and 11 assists … The Lakers are now tied with the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed in the West … Shaquille O’Neal had his #34 retired at half time during a highly-entertaining ceremony. Shaq was Shaq; he was funny and poignant in a speech that pretty much recognized everybody in Los Angeles except for Kobe, even though the ceremony started off with a solid pre-recorded video message from Bryant congratulating O’Neal … When we say that Shaq mentioned everybody, we’re hardly exaggerating. At one point he thanked Adam Sandler, which turned out to basically be a plug for the abysmal-looking Grown Ups 2 movie (Shaq has a role) … [Check out Shaq’s 5 Funniest Moments] … When Shaq thanked Phil Jackson, the crowd started chanting “We want Phil!” Coming out of halftime, Craig Sager reported that it got really awkward in the Lakers locker room when the chants started, but that Kobe snapped them back to focusing on halftime adjustments … Speaking of the Lakers, former Laker Javaris Crittenton was indicted on murder charges yesterday. If you recall, he’s accused of murdering Julian Jones, a 22-year old mother of four, in 2o11 after she was seen walking with a guy who had allegedly robbed Crittenton. He will now go on trial facing murder charges … In college news, you most likely saw the reports yesterday morning that Florida Gulf Coast’s Andy Enfield is the new head coach at USC. We guess that this is a good gamble for the Trojans. They’ve tried established guys with big NBA and NCAA pedigrees (Tim Floyd and Kevin O’Neil) and that clearly didn’t work out, so it seems like they’re just trying something, anything, new. They’re basically going off a sample size of three Enfield games, but whatever, roll the dice … Even though he’s played himself into a first round NBA Draft lock in this NCAA Tournament, Michigan freshman big man Mitch McGary says he’s not going anywhere. Here’s what he told MLive.com: “I haven’t even thought about (leaving). I don’t have a decision to make — I’m coming back.” Ok Mitch. Let’s talk next week … We’re out like Udonis Haslem trying to check Carmelo.
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