Orlando Forgot How To Play Basketball; Tim Duncan Never Forgets How To Play Ball

Who stole Orlando’s offense? With the Celtics reeling from injuries and actually giving legit minutes to people like Sasha Pavlovic and E’Twaun Moore, the Magic could’ve stepped on their necks. Instead, they folded like a bad hand, scoring only 56 for the game and leaving Boston with a 31-point L on their foreheads. 56 points sounds awful. But 20 second half points and 24 percent shooting for the game sounds even worse. Dwight Howard had 18 and 14, but didn’t even make a shot in the second half while Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass dropped 19 to lead all scorers … Avery Bradley might not be a player yet, but he’s getting there. The guard forced Zombie Jameer to turn it over three times in the back-court in the third quarter alone, and the Celtic announcers started calling him a weapon on defense and comparing him to when Rajon Rondo first came into the league: a non-scoring difference-maker. Eventually, Tommy settled on “Scoring is superfluous.” Oh, you mean the way they keep track of who wins and loses? We were with you all the way, Tommy, until that … Funny moment at the start of the third quarter. Dwight went one-on-one against KG in the post, and went across to his right for his jump hook. Mike Gorman immediately asked Tommy, “Can you call that a jump hook?” and was honestly perturbed about what exactly it was. Score one for the “Dwight Howard has no offensive game whatsoever” crowd … Just a few possessions later, Dwight Howard and Jermaine O’Neal got into it. They did a whole lot of talking, a whole lot of posturing and the announcers were doing a whole lot of overreacting. Then the refs had to go back to instant replay to check on who put their finger in someone else’s face first. We love the new NBA … Make that seven wins in a row for Memphis, using a 28-7 fourth quarter run to come from 20 down to beat Golden State 91-90. The run culminated in a one-footed fadeaway from Rudy Gay (who scored 23 while looking like he was back in high school with the short hair and headband) to put Memphis up three with under 30 seconds left … Best jump ball of the season: Marc Gasol versus Nate Robinson. It took forever, and Robinson was jumping prematurely so hard that Steph Curry had to hide his face, cracking up on the bench. Curry (18 points) definitely wasn’t all the way back. On one second quarter possession, he shot an air ball on a layup, got it back, and then shot another wind-raiser from deep … Portland ran away from the Kings, behind big nights from Jamal Crawford (26 points) and Gerald Wallace (20 points), continuing their trend of looking like Nia Long one night and Maggie Gyllenhaal the next … According to the announcers, J.J. Hickson hasn’t found his role yet in Sacramento “because the guards are always shooting it.” Then a few minutes later, they said after Jimmer made a three: “If they can ever pass the ball enough to get it to Jimmer, he can score.” We love it when announcers get it right … Speaking of Jimmer, part of the reason why Crawford went off was because the Kings kept trying to let the man (as well as Isaiah Thomas) check Crawford … … Keep reading to hear about Tim Duncan’s best game of the season …

Awesome finish to the Spurs’ 104-102 win in New Orleans. In a game that could’ve been promoted as Jarrett Jack (26 points, nine assists) versus Tony Parker (20 points, 17 assists), it came down again to Tim Duncan. The Big Swim hit for 28 points, and made the game-winner with only 1.4 seconds left: a ridiculous, running hook shot from the free-throw line that had Tim so excited he did a little high-step back to the bench. Then, Sean Elliott went into his routine where he started comparing and describing Duncan in all types of nonsense that is better left unsaid … Horrible execution from the Hornets on their last shot. They nearly had a five-second call, and then all they got was a 30-footer from Carl Landry that missed by about one full-length Chris Paul. They wasted our boy Emeka Okafor‘s block of the year. Down two with under a minute left, Parker set up Tiago Splitter perfectly off the screen-n-roll. But Okafor sent back his dunk right at the rim … In the third quarter of their game, the Wolves had one of the greatest sequences of passing we’ve seen all year. They had a fastbreak where Luke Ridnour threw a behind-the-back to Ricky Rubio who immediately countered with a touch pass for a bucket. Then Rubio (12 assists) hit Kevin Love (39 points and five threes) with a perfect behind-the-back pass in the half-court for a trey. Then Ridnour countered again by dumping the ball off the dribble to Derrick Williams for an easy dunk. And yet none of it mattered because Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin – by far the most underrated backcourt in the league – took over. Lowry had himself a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), and Martin went for 31, the second time in three games he’s had at least 30. Houston won 107-92 and is now officially the hottest team in the NBA (along with Memphis), winners of seven straight … In the previous six games as a starter, Rubio had been averaging 12.3 ppg, 9.0 apg, 5.7 rpg and 3.8 spg while the Wolves won four of six … Atlanta survived in Milwaukee, 97-92 as Joe Johnson had yet another monster night (28 points), taking over down the stretch as a lot of the Bucks’ offense fell into long Brandon Jennings‘ jumpers (21 points, 11 assists). Without Al Horford, we’re still not sure if the Hawks can keep it up. They definitely have the most rag tag group of bench players possible … Philadelphia manhandled the Wizards by 20 yesterday, and it wasn’t even really that close. The first half was a worse debacle than anything going on politically in our Nation’s Capital right now as the Wizards were wheeled into emergency surgery and then had to watch as the Sixers took them apart piece by piece. On 26 first half baskets, the Sixers assisted on 20 on them. Unreal. Philly had six players in double figures, led by Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand‘s 17, and half of those guys came off the bench. That feels like a nightly thing with them now doesn’t it? Maybe a few GMs will sit back after watching Philly this year and realize, “Gosh, maybe we should try to bring back nine or 10 of our guys from year to year instead of functioning like a corrupt AAU club with new faces every season.” At one point earlier this month, 96 percent of Philly’s minutes had been played by returners. They’re better than the sum of their parts because they know each other so well (Or maybe they’re just doing what Miami is: giving their point guards quarterback-like playbooks to wear on their wrists). There’s one other team just like that: OKC … The Thunder murdered Detroit last night 99-79 as James Harden and Russell Westbrook each scored 24 and combined to shoot – along with Kevin Durant – 28-for-41 from the field … The Mavs received a throwback night from Shawn Marion (29 points, four treys) in their 93-87 home win over the Suns … And Chicago got a huge night from Rip Hamilton (22 points, 10 assists) in their easy 15-point win over New Jersey. We got a chance to catch the Bulls’ starting lineup intros again. Those are still the all-time greatest introductions. Don’t underestimate the power of a good introduction. Anyone that can make everyone from Ronnie Brewer to Luc Longley look like a bad ass is dope … And Bill Walton is back healthy and back making crazy predictions. His latest is that we’ll see a Lakers/Heat matchup in the Finals … We’re out like 20 second half points.

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