Official Business

02.11.09 10 years ago 108 Comments
LeBron James, Dime #47

Say what you want about Mike Brown as a coach, but the man at least knows where his bread is buttered. Have you noticed that any time LeBron James is on the wrong end of a questionable call, Brown flips out WAY more intensely than ‘Bron? Half the time, whenever Brown gets himself ejected from a game, he’s arguing something that has to do with LeBron. That said, here’s Brown after last night’s Cavs/Pacers controversial finish: “That last call, on the run, is the worst call that I have ever been a part of,” Brown said. “I cannot imagine another worse call than that. It was an awful call and for him to take away a basketball game from a team with 0.4 seconds on the clock is irresponsible.” … So what happened? After T.J. Ford drilled a pull-up J in Mo Williams‘ eye to put Indiana up by two with 0.8 remaining, Cleveland had it side-out. The play was to get LeBron the ball at the rim, and when Danny Granger tried to break up the lob, he was called for a foul. LeBron (47 pts, 15-21 FG, 13-14 FT) hit the free throws to tie it up, so with 0.4 left, Indy coach Jim O’Brien called the exact same play for Granger (16 pts, 5-18 FG). And of course, LeBron gets called for a foul while he challenged the ‘oop. Total make-up call, but at that stage in the game, ideally neither play would have resulted in a foul. LBJ was PISSED, and after Granger hit the go-ahead free throw with 0.1 on the clock, ‘Bron pretty much walked off the court and didn’t even look back as Granger missed the second FT on purpose and Cleveland didn’t have a chance to get off a shot … LeBron’s take: “For it to end that way, it’s definitely tough on us. You never want a game to end that way.” Brown added some more fire-and-brimstone and threw in the “Fine me!” dare. NBA TV’s Chris Webber compared the whole sequence to the WWE, and Gary Payton groaned, “That’s why I don’t like basketball no more.” You know if all of this had happened at the end of a Thunder/Wolves game, nobody would even care like that … In the first half, T.J. got the ball on a breakaway, with one problem: LeBron in his rear-view. What do you do in that case? Go for the layup/dunk and pray for a foul, or do the Rajon Rondo runaround and wait for the rest of your guys to get back? T.J. went with “A,” and got his layup eaten up … The first half of Nuggets/Heat was like a track meet, only Miami didn’t show up. Denver was flying all over the place and putting together a nice highlight reel on their way to a 20-point lead before the break. The capper saw K-Mart punch an inbounds alley-oop on Mike Beasley‘s head hard enough that Beasley later clobbered Birdman on a dunk attempt and injured him rather than get crowned again … The Heat cut the lead to four in the fourth quarter after things slowed down, but that’s when Chauncey Billups (23 pts) took over. Sticking threes over Mario Chalmers and muscling the rookie for driving layups — including one where he dropped Joel Anthony with an in-and-out — scoring 13 in the quarter and personally holding off the Miami rally …

Ben Gordon

Not to sound corny, but what an amazing night for the fans in Chicago. With legendary player/coach/announcer (and Chicago native) Johnny “Red” Kerr being honored with a statue and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame, EVERYBODY showed up, from Michael Jordan to Scottie Pippen to Barack Obama (via satellite). The Bulls wore their red unis, and with old-school rival Detroit in the building, turned in possibly their most entertaining win of the season. The only thing missed was that Vinny Del Negro didn’t find any playing time for Lindsey Hunter, who was Kerr’s teammate with the Syracuse Nationals back in ’62 … The Bulls were down 10 with about three and a half minutes left, but closed the game on a 17-2 run. Trailing by one with about 20 seconds left, Derrick Rose kicked it out to Ben Gordon in the corner, who buried a three and got fouled by Rodney Stuckey, falling back into the Pistons bench. BG hit the free throw, and after Rip Hamilton (30 pts, 8 asts) and Antonio McDyess miscommunicated on a drive-and-dish that resulted in a turnover, Chicago iced it at the line … Knicks. Warriors. D’Antoni. Nellie. Nate. S-Jack. What did you think was gonna happen? In what was either the collective best offensive show or the collective worst defensive performance we’ve seen over the last couple years, the Warriors beat the Knicks 144-127 IN REGULATION. That’s just nuts. GS scored at least 40 points in a quarter twice, and hit for 39 in the fourth quarter. Surprisingly enough, there weren’t a lot of crazy individual stat lines: S-Jack scored 35 with 10 assists, David Lee had 27 and 11 boards, and Nate scored 30 off the bench … Other big stat lines from Tuesday: Kobe dropped 34 in a win over OKC, while Kevin Durant had 31 and 10 boards in the loss; Tim Duncan hung 27 points, nine boards, eight assists and four blocks in a win over New Jersey; Jason Kidd went for 15 points, 12 assists and four steals in a win over Sacramento; and Randy Foye scored 33 in a loss to Toronto … Good win for the Raps, but they got some bad news, as it turns out Chris Bosh (knee) will miss the All-Star Game. Mo Williams was named his replacement, which Mo deserves the nod, but now that’s six guards on the East squad and a handful of forwards who spend more time on the perimeter (Rashard, Granger, Pierce), that’s only two real bigs with Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett. Looks like LBJ will be playing some PF in Phoenix … We’re out like makeup calls …

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