End of an era for The Answer

04.04.09 9 years ago 43 Comments

Allen Iverson

Before any of Friday night’s games tipped off, the big story of the day was Allen Iverson being shut down for the season, almost certainly ending his Pistons career. Joe Dumars said it was due to A.I.’s back injury, but we don’t know anybody who actually believes that. But whereas a lot of folks, including Mark Jackson during ESPN’s Lakers/Rockets broadcast, suggested Iverson might be quitting on the season, we think if anything it’s probably Dumars making that call after A.I.’s latest complaints about coming off the bench and the inescapable fact that the Pistons have played better without him … One of the teams hoping Detroit falls out of the playoff picture is Charlotte, but they can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot as they try to sneak into the postseason. Last night they were down three to Miami with 30 seconds left when Ray Felton missed a tough lefty layup. There was a little bit of contact, but not enough to justify Felton and Larry Brown going off on the refs. Two D-Wade free throws later, Boris Diaw stepped into a three, then Wade (27 pts, 10 asts) split a pair of FT’s to make it a three-point game with 12 seconds left. The ‘Cats went down and got Felton a great look at a three, but he threw up some ugliness — it looked like Ray got the hiccups in the middle of his motion or something — and Gerald Wallace got called for over-the-back on the rebound. LB almost pulled his remaining hair out, but Charlotte’s announcers even admitted it was the right call. The Bobcats can’t blame anybody but themselves for the loss, but immediately after the game, Bobcats assistant LaSalle Thompson told the sideline reporter, “We don’t get any respect. We couldn’t get calls.” Right after that, his mic got mysteriously cut … If Cavs/Magic was a Eastern Conference Finals preview, getting home court is extra-crucial for LeBron‘s squad. For the second time this year — the first being the night All-Star reserves were announced — the Magic pieced Cleveland in Orlando, this time by damn near 30. Dwight Howard put up 20 points and 11 boards in a game where his team was up by as much as 41, pushing the pace and simply playing too fast for the Cavs. Rashard Lewis (22 pts) knocked down five threes, and the team hit 48% of their 27 tries … Orlando fan Tiger Woods even bounced at the end of the third quarter to beat the traffic … Lakers/Rockets was pretty paint-by-numbers for the way these two teams play each other: Close throughout the first half, Kobe sparks a run in the third to help L.A. get a decent lead, then the backups blow the lead early in the fourth and Kobe (20 pts, 7 asts) has to come back in and play Grim Reaper. The only weird thing last night was Rick Adelman keeping Yao on the bench during some key stretches in the fourth quarter. Granted, the Rockets have had success against L.A. with their smaller, quicker unit, but you need Yao in there to score … It’s all bad for the Jazz right now. After getting cracked in Portland, then outplayed in Denver, you figured Utah could at least come home and take care of business against the Wolves. Nope. Rodney Carney and Ryan Gomes scored 25 apiece to bring Minny back from a 15-point second half deficit and pull out the upset … In the last seconds before halftime, Deron Williams sprinted down the court looking to shoot. When he picked up the ball a couple steps outside the arc, Sebastian Telfair got silly and reached in — like he’s gonna pick Deron in that situation — and gave up the four-point play as Deron hit the running three off the glass … That seemed like it could have been the early dagger, but Utah got sloppy (as is their nature lately), Gomes hit the go-ahead three with a minute left, and Deron (34 pts, 11 asts) missed a three at the buzzer … Other big stat lines from Friday: Jamal Crawford went for 39 points, five assists and four boards in a win over the Hornets while Chris Paul David West went for 31 points and 14 boards in the loss; LaMarcus Aldridge destroyed OKC to the tune of 35 points and 18 boards; Paul Pierce had 21 points, six boards and five assists in a win over Atlanta; Steve Nash went for 29 points and nine assists in a win over Sacramento; and Tony Parker put up 31 points and 10 dimes in a win at Indiana while Danny Granger had 35… O.J. Mayo (19 pts, 9 rebs) had his big-boy game on last night. In the last 1:40 he hit the go-ahead three, then drained a pull-up in J-Kidd‘s face to give Memphis enough breathing room for the win … Dirk scored 35 in the game, 25 of them in the second half, but he went 0-for-5 down the stretch and eventually handed over big-shot duties to Jason Terry at the end. No matter how good Dirk is, people will always point to stuff like that to say he’s not clutch. It’s not always fair, but that’s the perception … Final Four games today: Michigan State vs. UConn, and North Carolina vs. Villanova. Who do you got? … We’re out like A.I. …

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