Crashing the Party

02.04.09 10 years ago 49 Comments
Ray Allen (photo. Jordan Brand)

If Tuesday’s NBA schedule was an open audition for Jameer Nelson‘s suddenly-available All-Star spot, we’re gonna have to book that ticket to Phoenix for Ray Allen. As the Celtics stretched their win streak to 12 games, Ray made the two biggest shots of the night and finished with 23 points. Philly was up by one with a minute to go in the fourth quarter when they swung it around to Andre Miller (after Lou Williams miraculously passed up an opportunity to take a bad shot) for an open jumper to make it a three-point game. Ray and Paul Pierce worked a two-man game on the next possession, and Ray ended up with the ball on the wing and Reggie Evans in front of him. Despite being just a tad off-balance, Ray rose, corrected his form in less than a blink of an eye, and stuck a three in Evans’ grill to tie it up. After Andre Iguodala (22 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls) responded with a HUGE pull-up J over Pierce — deservedly capped by a Big Balls Dance as Sam Cassell himself watched from the bench — Boston had the ball, down two, with eight seconds left. Of course Pierce (29 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts) got it first with the option to shoot or pass, and as he surveyed the scene, Big Baby screened Thad Young on the elbow to allow Ray to slip into the corner. Pierce found him, and Ray had a wide-open look beyond the arc. Buckets. Philly had one more chance with half-a-second to go, but couldn’t get anything off … As for the other guys vying for that All-Star spot, Mo Williams put up 15 points in Cleveland’s win over the Raptors, and Vince Carter had a triple-double (15 pts, 10 rebs, 12 asts) in a win over Milwaukee … It’s only natural that following Kobe‘s 61-point barrage on Monday, everybody would look to LeBron on Tuesday to see what he would do. Hosting the Raptors — no strangers to getting savage buckets stapled on their forehead — LBJ had a relatively modest 33 points in a blowout, including 13-of-13 from the stripe and a spectacular block where he met Chris Bosh at the rim and snuffed his dunk attempt. LeBron’s real test? Later tonight, when the Cavs are in Madison Square Garden and ‘Bron gets a crack at the mentally wounded Knicks. If you’re Mike D’Antoni, do you just throw Wilson Chandler out there on an island with LBJ and hope he learns a lesson about resiliency, or send over a little more help than usual to cushion his ego? … Did you see where the Cavs blatantly jacked the Kevin Garnett “interview montage” commercial from NBA TV? The Cleveland version has similar dramatic music playing in the background; the only difference is that it’s all of the Cavs players instead of just one guy …

Sebastian Telfair (photo. adidas)

Pacers/Wolves was a clinic on how to blow a game. For starters, it never even should have been close, as the Pacers got out to a big lead early and pretty much shut down Al Jefferson (12 pts) altogether. But they got lazy, and by the fourth quarter, guys like Brian Cardinal were sticking big shots on them. With 30 seconds left, Minnesota held a six-point lead when they decided to fall apart. Danny Granger (28 pts) was left open to hit a three and cut the lead in half, followed by Mike Miller and Sebastian Telfair botchiing an inbound exchange that allowed T.J. Ford to steal it in the backcourt. But before anyone could have a Reggie Miller flashback, T.J. was fouled and sent to the line. He made one and bricked the second, but then the Wolves turned it over AGAIN in the backcourt, and T.J. went back to the line. Again he missed one of the free throws, and after Telfair hit a pair to put ‘Sota back up by three, the Pacers tried to go for a quick two when T.J. got away with a turnover; bouncing the ball off his knee out of bounds, only the refs didn’t see it and Indy got the ball back. Granger, however, missed a three with eight seconds left, and the Pacers didn’t even try to foul as the Wolves ran the clock out and Jefferson got a trash layup at the buzzer … E-mail from Dime’s Austin Burton: “Troy Murphy‘s my dude, but he robbed everyone of what would have been the funniest moment of the season. Fourth quarter of Pacers/Wolves, Brian Cardinal stepped in front of a pass intended for Murphy and took off with — as Rick James would say — delusions of grandeur. Before he’d taken more than a couple of steps, though, Murphy fouled him. Cardinal trying to go coast-to-coast and dribble at the same time would have been HILARIOUS.” … Speaking of comedy, it’s funny how Clyde Drexler thinks everything is funny. Yao was at the foul line during Rockets/Bulls when Houston’s play-by-play guy innocuously mentioned that Yao (28 pts) had hit 250 free throws this season. After a pause, Clyde quips, “251 now” and starts giggling. He’s like the anti-Rick Barry … With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (and Mike Finley) all sitting out, how did the Nuggets NOT crack the Spurs? Denver got the W, and Carmelo (35 pts) did his thing, but no way it should have been close down the stretch, especially seeing as the game was in Denver. The Nuggets had their own excuses, though: K-Mart was out sick, and Chauncey (ankle) got hurt in the second quarter and didn’t return. First Jameer, then CP3, now Chauncey; is this like Injured Point Guard Week or the Discovery Channel or something? … At what point did Renaldo Balkman realize he wasn’t going to be able to do a full-on Spyda move from the AND 1 Tour and put his feet on the backboard? Balkman looked like he was more than halfway into it after getting a dunk in the second half, then came down to find out he had a tech … We’re out like T-Murph’s sense of humor …

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