CP3, Kobe and Wade restore order

04.26.09 10 years ago 63 Comments

Saturday was (mostly) about restoring order: Chris Paul reminded the Nuggets that their series isn’t going to be easy, Kobe Bryant reminded the Jazz that the worst time to catch him is after an off-game, and Dwyane Wade reminded everybody that he’s in the MVP conversation for a good reason … The Hornets seemed ready to fold after Kenyon Martin‘s jumper made it 22-6 midway through the first quarter, and literally nobody but Paul could make a shot. CP (32 pts, 12 asts) carried the load until his teammates caught up, chipping away at the lead and eventually going up by double digits late in the fourth quarter. Denver rallied to get within one point with 25 seconds left, when Carmelo (25 pts) stole N.O.’s inbounds pass. With CP denying Chauncey the ball, ‘Melo took it himself, almost turning it over when he tried a shovel pass to K-Mart, but getting it back in time to brick a short jumper. K-Mart tossed James Posey to the deck on the rebound (he over-acted just a little), and after Pose split the free throws, ‘Melo got off a half-court heave that got close but didn’t drop … How many times are we gonna see coaches run out of timeouts at the end of a game? The Nuggets couldn’t set up a good shot on their last possession because George Karl burned all their timeouts earlier, just like Vinny Del Negro has done twice in the Bulls/Celtics series … With Kobe going into “I’m not letting this series get close” mode, all the Jazz could do was watch, get a hand in his face and hope he missed. Kobe scored L.A.’s first 11 points, and the pull-up J was automatic. He had 34 points midway through the third quarter, right when the Lakers really started to pull away and make it a rout, then took a break. He came back in during the fourth to drop a couple more buckets — just messing with Ronnie Brewer, really, like on the triple pump-fake jumper — to make sure the Jazz didn’t even think of rallying. He finished with 38 points … Andrew Bynum was benched for this one by Phil Jackson, playing just six minutes while Lamar Odom took his place in the lineup. With the L.A. bench getting automatically weaker for it, Avery Johnson rightfully pointed out that they need to get more production out of guys like “Sasha Doo-Wah-Sitch.” Whoever that is … What was the ugliest shot of the day: Derek Fisher‘s two-foot hook shot that he left one foot short of the rim, or Al Horford‘s jumper from the dotted line that just grazed the front of the net? … Horford’s shot came on ATL’s first possession, and set the tone for a game where they got cracked. D-Wade was slashing and had some sick dunks in traffic, but was really killing the Hawks with his long-range shooting. He hit four threes on his way to 29 points, seven boards, eight assists and four blocks. If he stays this hot beyond the arc, Wade can close this series out by himself soon and will make Miami a tough out for Cleveland in the next round … The non-normal part of Saturday’s schedule saw the Spurs go down 3-1 to Dallas, putting Tim Duncan in danger of exiting a postseason in the first round for the first time ever (including college) …

Simple math for this one. Dallas has four or five guys who are threats to score, and the Spurs only have two. Duncan (25 pts, 10 rebs, 7 asts) and Tony Parker (43 pts, 18-29 FG) did whatever they wanted, but it was all San Antonio had; the rest of the team went 6-for-28 from the field. Manu Ginobili was missed more than ever. Meanwhile, the Spurs did a solid job defending Dirk and Jason Terry, but Josh Howard (28 pts) and Jason Kidd (17 pts, 7 asts) started slinging threes in the second half and paved the way for Dallas’ win … Nice follow dunk by Ryan Hollins on Duncan’s head, but kid needs to calm his happy ass down with the post-dunk antics. His entire resume wouldn’t even touch the stuff Duncan leaves on the cutting-room floor … E-mail from Dime’s Pat Cassidy: “Walking past the court by my place. There’s a chubby white guy playing in a full Spurs uniform, including ankle braces and a Ginobili jersey. He has the crazy Manu bald spot to complete the look. Dude is even left-handed! He’s yelling at guys on his team who are about 15 years younger than he is about defensive positioning. This is amazing.” … Just like every year, the six hours of NFL Draft coverage felt like 20 hours, and that was just for the first two rounds. You have to find ways to keep yourself interested, especially if you don’t know a lot of the players getting picked, and yesterday thankfully that extra entertainment was provided by Chris Mortensen and Herm Edwards. Mort was either hungover or loopy off cold medicine, because he was on-air looking and sounding like he was about to fall out of his chair. Herm was perfectly lucid, but he absolutely refused to look into the camera. You know how TV guys switch between looking at us and looking at their colleagues? Herm never took his eyes off Trey Wingo and Todd McShay — and the few times when he started to turn his head towards the camera, he’d lower his eyes before making “eye contact” with the TV audience. This seriously went on all day. It was like the world’s worst drinking game: Take a drink whenever Herm looks at the camera, only he NEVER does it, so nobody drinks … We’re out like Sasha Doo-Wah-Sitch …

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