Super Sunday

02.02.09 10 years ago 39 Comments
LeBron James (photo. Mannion)

There were a couple of close games on yesterday’s NBA schedule, but nothing matching the entertainment value of the Super Bowl. First question from Steelers/Cardinals: Is anyone else afraid that Santonio Holmes will become 2009 Plaxico Burress? The last receiver who made the Super Bowl-winning TD catch kind of had a life fail over the ensuing 12 months. Second question: Let’s say Ben Roethlisberger has a decent career from here on out — no more championships and maybe a couple Pro Bowls, something along the lines of Jake Delhomme. Are the two Super Bowl rings from his first five years enough to get him into the Hall of Fame? Third question: How does Andrea Kramer interview James Harrison in the post-game and not ask him about his prison initiation scene with Arizona’s #47 that resulted in a personal foul penalty for excessive Deebo-ing? … So about the NBA. If you’re wondering why the Pistons have gone from a legit championship contender to a team whose ceiling is now closer to a second-round exit, look no further than the fourth quarter of Sunday’s home loss to the Cavs. Led by Allen Iverson (22 pts) and Rip Hamilton (16 pts), Detroit led by eight going into the fourth quarter, and with LeBron on the bench, had a chance to really put Cleveland away. But suddenly the offense went stale, the defense turned Swiss Cheese-ish, and Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson started lighting the Pistons up to spark a 15-2 run that put the Cavs back on top. After LeBron (33 pts, 8 asts, 1 block on A.I. that should have been illegal) checked back in, it was just a matter of time. He added a layup, a three, and hit Big Z in the corner for another three to stretch the lead, then Mo (22 pts) delivered the dagger with a pull-up J that put the Cavs up double digits at the 1:30 mark … The loss was Detroit’s fourth straight at home, the first time they’ve done that in EIGHT YEARS … Interesting argument between Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy over who is tougher to play with: A.I. or Steve Nash. We’d have to side with JVG; as Jackson said, both guys may throw off their team’s spacing by dribbling the ball all over the place unexpectedly, but Nash is liable at any point to drop a pass during that trip that gets somebody an easy bucket. Iverson just isn’t that kind of player. His off-the-cuff forays generally result in a shot for A.I. or just extra time taken off the shot clock … At the very least, you knew Kings/Thunder would involve a lot of points being scored. Neither teams plays a bit of defense, and as hot as Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin have been, somebody was gonna put up numbers. Turns out pretty much everyone did, and there was an exciting finish on top of that …

Jeff Green (photo. David Deal)

Ahead by three in the final minute, K-Mart (37 pts) missed two potential daggers on the same possession, and after the second brick, Earl Watson and Bobby Jackson tied up for a jump ball (OKC was lucky the refs didn’t grant the jump to Jason Thompson, who was also in on the play). Watson won the jump, and after a timeout, Jeff Green (28 pts, 13 rebs) got the inbounds with about two seconds left. But before Green could get up a three, the Kings fouled him. Green made the first, then missed the second on purpose and tipped it in himself — a playground move straight out of “21” — to force overtime … In OT it was basically a 1-on-1 exhibition: Green, Martin, Durant (33 pts), B-Jax, Russell Westbrook (34 pts, 8 asts, 20-22 FT) and John Salmons (19 pts, 10 rebs, 8 asts) took turns getting isos and scoring, until B-Jax finally put some distance between them with a pull-up J in the lane and then a baseline fadeaway to put Sacto up by four with 18 seconds left that was basically the dagger … The Kings are retiring Chris Webber‘s #4 this Friday. One time during the game the announcers were reminding viewers of the ceremony, and somehow segued from talking about C-Webb’s status as one of the franchise’s greatest players of all-time to talking about Shelden Williams. Not sure how they did it, but it actually worked. Shelden had a decent game (8 pts, 6 rebs, 2 blks), finally getting some decent PT due to Brad Miller being out … Kevin Garnett missed another date with his former Minnesota squad, this time due to a Super Bowl party at his house — uh, we mean, he had the flu. Yeah. Either way, Paul Pierce picked up the slack and dropped 36 points in Boston’s 11th straight win. Nobody was messing with The Truth; the highlight was when he had Ryan Gomes posted up on the right side, and as Pierce got the ball and leaned back, at the precise moment Gomes committed to putting some body weight on Pierce, he spun off him and cruised in for a layup while Gomes was still trying to catch his balance. It was like pulling the chair, but in reverse … So apparently Kendrick Perkins is in the clear for going all Road Warrior Animal on Jason Maxiell. Perkins played yesterday, so unless David Stern decided he wasn’t gonna be bothered with any unpleasantness during his 25-year anniversary weekend and will examine Perkins’ flagrant-2 on Monday, there won’t be any suspension … Dwight Howard dominated the Raptors as usual, to the tune of 29 points and 14 boards, but the difference this time is that Chris Bosh (11 pts) didn’t show up to match him. Add it all up and you’ve got an Orlando blowout that was pretty much Dunk Contest practice for The Centaur. He might want to consider bringing Jose Calderon to Phoenix to jump over like he did yesterday … We’re out like Arizona’s running game …

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