Let The Man Go Through

02.12.10 9 years ago 53 Comments

With marquee names dropping out of the All-Star Game left and right, don’t be too surprised if you find out David Stern gave a direct order to the refs before last night’s Cavs/Magic game: DO NOT let LeBron get hurt. In the first quarter alone LeBron took 10 free throws, and by halftime, about half of Orlando’s roster was in foul trouble. LeBron (32 pts, 8 rebs, 13 asts) didn’t go back to the line at all in the second half, but by then every Magic defender was afraid to touch him … But even with the refs calling things super-tight, LBJ had an injury scare: At the end of the first quarter he drove for a lefty finger roll, but took a bump from Mickael Pietrus and landed hard on his hip. LBJ got up and hit the free throws and didn’t seem too bothered, but keep an eye on that situation over All-Star Weekend … When LeBron wasn’t at the line, he was giving Pietrus and Matt Barnes the full-service buffet. Starting with a game-tying jumper midway through the fourth quarter, LeBron scored 11 of Cleveland’s last 21 points, capped by a spin/fadeaway on Pietrus that was just cold. That bucket proved to be the dagger with a little over a minute remaining … Shaq must be the only person who really cares about Dwight Howard (19 pts, 11 rebs) “stealing” one of his 37 nicknames, right? Reminding everybody that he guarded Dwight 1-on-1 while Orlando was double-teaming on the other end, Shaq said, “I don’t really consider it manning up until you play me straight up. I’ve never doubled anybody. So you tell me who the real Superman is.” Then Shaq (10 pts, 6 rebs) went to the Jay-Z library: “Don’t compare me to nobody. I’d rather not be mentioned. I’m offended.” … And somehow all of that bravado managed to forget about that layup Shaq airballed in the fourth quarter … Text from one of our boys: “Watching the Cavs. Wife walks in the room, sees Mo Williams in a suit and says ‘Is that John Legend?’ I said yeah. She bought it for a sec.” … Everything was adding up for the Spurs to go into the All-Star break limping after getting waxed in Denver. The Nuggets had beat San Antonio in each of their last three meetings; the Nuggets have been a juggernaut at home; they were coming off that game where they absolutely destroyed Dallas; and the Spurs were missing Tony Parker (hip flexor). So of course Tim Duncan gathers the troops and they put together a typical Spurs blend of balanced offense and brick-wall defense in a blowout win … Dejuan Blair and George Hill scored 17 apiece to lead seven Spurs in double figures. A lot has been made about how this franchise will fare when Duncan moves on and Parker is The Guy, and Blair and Hill look like they’re going to be solid complementary guys when that day comes. Are those two future starters on a contending team? … Did you see the finish of the Eastern Illinois/Morehead State college game? Morehead State was up by one in the final seconds when one of their guys dove on top of a loose ball and called timeout — only they didn’t have any left. So with one second on the clock, EIU’s Tyler Laser went to the line by himself and drained two technical free throws for the win. And somewhere C-Webb is sympathizing … We’re out like Clark Kent

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