D-Rose d-rops 42 on San Antonio; All-Star Weekend 2011 is here

Has it really come to this? Derrick Rose can drop a 40-ounce on the best team in the League, the team with a 13-time All-Defensive pick patrolling the paint, and it’s not even a big surprise? At least it wasn’t to D-Rose, whose reaction at the end of his 42-point torching of the San Antonio Spurs last night had all the enthusiasm of a guy stuck in morning traffic … Chicago was up by seven at halftime, when Rose already had 21 points. He opened the third quarter in a brief jump shot duel with Tim Duncan, then took a backseat as Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer got theirs. Those two carried the Bulls to a double-digit lead about midway through the fourth, and then D-Rose (18-28 FG, 8 asts, 1 TO) took over again. His and-one over Tony Parker (26 pts) began a run where he scored 13 of Chicago’s final 15 points and hit dagger after dagger to keep the Spurs out of reach … Duncan (14 pts, 9 rebs) shaved his head, going with the Isaac Hayes baldie/beard look for All-Star Weekend. Duncan actually looked like he could be Boozer’s older brother … Watching the Bulls’ offense running on all cylinders, compared to how the Jazz are struggling, you’re seeing how much Boozer means to a team. Chicago’s frontcourt has become a very good interior passing unit, something Booz carried over with him from Utah … Serious question: How would the best Spurs team of the Duncan era — let’s go with the 2007 squad, when TD could still dominate and Parker had really come into his own — compete with the Jordan-era Bulls? Manu Ginobili and Bruce Bowen could conceivably somewhat hold their own against Jordan and Scottie Pippen, San Antonio would have the edge at point guard with Parker, and then who would guard Duncan? Plus, Gregg Popovich has proven he can out-coach Phil Jackson. It would be interesting … When did everybody officially stop considering the Mavericks a championship contender? (Probably the exact moment Caron Butler‘s knee popped.) Even though Dirk Nowitzki isn’t putting up crazy MVP numbers like he was earlier in the season — he’s averaged less than 20 points a night in January and February — this team is still very dangerous, as they showed in Phoenix last night … The Mavs led by two with five minutes left, before Dirk (35 pts, 13-18 FG) hit two free throws and a tough turnaround banker, and Tyson Chandler got a putback dunk and-one over Channing Frye to provide some cushion. On the replay, you could see Mickael Pietrus briefly make eye contact with Frye after the dunk, then lower his gaze like he was embarrassed for him … Frye (24 pts) kept the Suns in it until the final seconds though, like when he banked in a trey with 17 seconds left cut the Dallas lead to three. But the Mavs converted their free throws, and before that, got multiple wide-open shots on possessions where Phoenix needed stops …Read More>>

When Steve Kerr said, “Phoenix is really struggling to score. They don’t have a go-to guy like they used to in Amar’e Stoudemire,” how hard did he have to fight his urge to laugh? It’s like running into an ex-girlfriend and seeing her life has turned to s*** since you broke up. Even if it’s evil, that’s an undeniably good feeling … The only thing memorable about Lenny Kravitz‘s pre-game show cameo was when he was asked how he writes his songs, and gave an answer straight from the Bruce Dickinson handbook: “I feel things just as y’all feel things. I just write them down.” The cock of the walk, baby! … With just the two games last night, a lot of NBA people had already made it into L.A. to kick off All-Star Weekend, including most of the Dime crew. Our first night out, we saw Andre Iguodala, Wes Johnson, Eric Gordon and Julian Wright walking out of Yard House with agent Rob Pelinka. Who do you think picks up the check? … Then at the Right Guard party, somebody sent this e-mail: “Big Baby dancing with telemundo. Amazing!” … When did Chris Paul become the old point guard in the room? The All-Star Skills Challenge contestants were announced, and CP3 (already in before the fan voting) is the grizzled vet going up against D-Rose, Stephen Curry, John Wall and Russell Westbrook. Rose is the fastest of the group, Curry has the best jumper, CP3 is the best passer, Westbrook is the best overall athlete, and Wall is the one who probably cares the most since he doesn’t know any better. It’s really a toss-up, but we’ll go with the old guy … NBA TV ran every Slam Dunk contest one after the other yestersay, which severely hurt productivity for those left in the Dime office and not in L.A. We were able to determine that (1) dunk contest cynicism began in 1987, the first time we heard an announcer not react like every dunk was amazing; that (2) Dominique Wilkins used the windmill more often than DeShawn Stevenson uses his tattoo artist; that (3) Blake Griffin should follow the Harold Miner blueprint by simply jumping as high and dunking as hard as possible; that (4) it’s too bad Nate Robinson has three dunk championships while Steve Francis has zero; and that (5) Antonio Harvey owns the worst dunk attempt ever. In the ’95 contest, Harvey got the crowd all pumped up, then went for a 360 cuff dunk where he completely missed the rim and slammed the ball into the bottom of the backboard. Just terrible … We’re out like more cowbell …