Colt 45

02.18.09 10 years ago 40 Comments
Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

Apologies if we gave anyone the impression that Dwight Howard would be tired after his eventful All-Star Weekend. After we’d seen Dwight making countless appearances and working so hard in Phoenix that we’d think there was two of him if the original version wasn’t such a physical freak, we figured he’d at least be a little worn out from his “break” in the NBA schedule. Yeah, not so much. Hosting the Bobcats in Orlando’s first game following the long weekend, Dwight again treated Emeka Okafor like a cell block herm: 45 points, 19 boards, eight swats. Crazy. Those are Wilt Chamberlain numbers … Dwight’s stat line overshadowed everything else: the return of Gerald Wallace, the Magic guards contributing next to nothing (a red flag as the team figures out its identity without Jameer Nelson), and the ‘Cats actually being competitive the whole way. With eight seconds left in the fourth, J.J. Redick tied the game with a three coming off a curl (THAT’S WHY YOU DRAFTED HIM!!) to force overtime, where the Magic eventually pulled away … The Clippers are probably still wondering whether the Western Conference All-Star team actually left Phoenix, or if they stuck around to masquerade as the Suns for a night. In their first game under interim coach Alvin Gentry, the Suns unleashed holy hell on the Clips, dropping 140 points and winning by two dubs. By the fourth quarter — long after Steve Nash (10 asts), Amar’e Stoudemire (23 pts) and the rest of the starters had called it a night — the Phoenix announcers had run out of superlatives, peaking at “thorough thrashing” sometime around the second quarter. Color commentator Eddie Johnson was half-jokingly predicting the Suns would crack 200, and later said Mike Dunleavy Sr., “needs to call the D-League and get five or six guys to come up right now.” … How much longer will Dunleavy, a.k.a. “White Zeke,” be allowed to oversee this mess? Every time we’ve talked to one of the Clips, like when we got up with Eric Gordon and Al Thornton over All-Star break, they’ve named chemistry (or lack thereof) as the team’s biggest problem. The players have clearly quit on their coach; the only guy who showed any fight Tuesday was Zach Randolph, when he punched Louis Amundson in the face for no good reason other than frustration. Z-Bo hit Sweet Lou so hard, Ruben Patterson felt it … Trust us, NOBODY is happier with the Suns’ coaching change than Amar’e and Leandro Barbosa. Last night Amar’e was crushing backwards dunks, throwing no-look touch passes and smiling the entire time, looking truly happy for the first time all season. Meanwhile, Barbosa (24 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts, 5 stls) was flying all over the place like a puppy who’d been locked in the house all day … Did you see that one Clippers fan who looked like Cedric the Entertainer wearing the half-red/half-blue blazer and dancing in the stands like a Shaqawockee? Classic “laughing to keep from crying” moment …

Lamar Odom (photo. Tim Tadder)

Apparently the Lakers didn’t miss a beat over the break. They dominated the Hawks in a game where Kobe only had to score 10 points on 12 shots; Pau Gasol turned in one of those quiet J-Kidd triple-doubles (12 pts, 13 rebs, 10 asts), Lamar Odom had 15 points and 20 boards (hitting double-digits on the glass midway through the first half), and the bench showed they’re still dangerous after the Adam Morrison/Shannon Brown acquisitions. Speaking of Shannon, in the fourth quarter he chased down Mario West and got like neck-level with the rim and pinned West’s layup on the glass. And it looked like he could have jumped higher if he wanted. Brown was called for a foul on the play, but nobody cared. The starters and everyone else on the Lakers’ bench was going nuts, bolting from their seats when Brown made the play and not sitting down until they showed the replay on the big screen … Have you noticed how bow-legged Mike Bibby is? That’s why he’s moving so much slower these days; he has to damn near run sideways before he can move forward … C-Webb must have been on that post-All-Star hangover in the NBA TV studio. One time he was trying to say hiw much he missed Josh Childress in the Hawks’ lineup but couldn’t for the life of him think of Childress’ name; then he came out of nowhere during the Tyson Chandler trade breakdown and wondered if DeVon Hardin could be the next Michael Jordan; then during the Wolves/Wizards highlight, Webber said definitively that Kevin Love is “not having that good of a year.” K-Love may not be putting up Dwight Howard numbers, but 9.4 points and 8.7 boards — including double-double averages since January — is great for a rookie. Al Horford damn near took Rookie of the Year with similar stats … Speaking of R.O.Y., former award-winners Chris Paul and Kevin Durant were going at each other in CP’s old and KD’s new stomping grounds in Oklahoma City. Durant looked like he was going at the Rookie Team all over again, dropping 47 points on 16-27 shooting from the field and 11-13 at the line. With 13 seconds left, Durant tied the game with a three in David West‘s face, but then Paul (21 pts, 8 asts, 3 stls) dropped rookie Kyle Weaver on his way to hitting the game-winner on a runner in the lane. Why was Weaver on CP and not Russell Westbrook? Isn’t his D part of why they got him? …

Deron Williams (photo. Christian Kozowyck)

Other big stat lines from Tuesday: Nate Robinson went for 32 points and 10 boards in a win over San Antonio; Deron Williams had 20 points and 15 dimes in a win over Memphis; Yao put up 20 and 12 in a win over New Jersey, while Vince dropped 30 in the loss; and Richard Jefferson scored 29 in a win over Detroit … If you’re a basketball purist who loves the idea of the pure point guard, you needed to stay far away from Sixers/Pacers. As Philly kept battling back from a big deficit to get within six or so points a few times in the fourth quarter, every time they got within range, Lou Williams would turn into Jack Daniels and heave up terrible threes that didn’t come close. And we don’t wanna seem like we’re picking on T.J. Ford, but dude just doesn’t get it. Throughout the Pacers’ game-ending stretch where they held off the Sixers’ rally, T.J. was looking to shoot EVERY TIME he got the ball. Granted, at least he was making shots (14 pts, 7 asts), but T.J. only seemed to pass after he’d exhausted all possibility of getting up a shot first. And after Danny “Senor Buckets” Granger (20 pts, 10 rebs) and his second-in-command, Troy “Commander Bong” Murphy (17 pts) iced the Sixers with jumper after jumper down the stretch and the game was in hand, T.J. really went into “F*** it, I’m not passing anymore” mode. We’re usually not too big on stats like this, but it says something that Ford was one of only three Pacers with a “minus” in the plus/minus category, with a team-low negative-10 on the box score … We’re out like all memories of Terry Porter

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