Everyone claims they have the answers for the Lakers problems this year. But there’s one that’s stumped Hollywood for over a decade: what to do with Tony Parker. In San Antonio’s wild three-point win over the Lakers, Parker looked like he was running his own pick-n-roll drill, and barely broke a sweat on his way to 24 points and six dimes. The Spurs needed all of that, as they nearly let a 17-point lead slip away before Manu Ginobili (19 points, eight rebounds) hit the biggest shot of the night: a wing triple in the final minute. The Lakers showed some fight, getting great games from Earl Clark (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Metta World Peace (23 points, eight rebounds, seven steals). But they were again pummeled for most of the night. Kobe (27 points, a missed three in the final seconds that would’ve tied it) got so frustrated that by the middle of the third, he just started pulling from a few feet inside midcourt and then going to the rim like he had beef with it, flaring his nostrils like some type of blood-seeking wolf … Every day, Darius Morris reminds us more and more of Smush Parker: taking shots he shouldn’t take, having no idea how to run an offense, complaining to the refs while the action picks up on the other end. Odds on Bryant randomly ripping Morris in the media 10 years from now? … The Hornets are finally completely healthy, and have now won three games in a row, this time taking out the Rockets last night at home, 88-79. Three guys all scored 17 – one you might expect (Greivis Vasquez) and two you defininitely wouldn’t (Roger Mason, Jason Smith). New Orleans might be the best team to start a franchise with in NBA 2K13 – at least for the people who actually want a challenge and aren’t just trying to dunk and shoot with LeBron on every play. Think about it. They have a young star you can build up to a beast (Anthony Davis). They have another guy who has talent but may or may not fit, and seems to be injury-prone so you have to decide what to do with him (Eric Gordon). They have a couple of decent young players, and a point guard (Vasquez) who could either be the real deal or just a fluke. If you enjoy building young teams up, that’s perfect … Vasquez has the biggest array of floaters in the league. In the first quarter alone, we saw two separate types that both looked like they would go over the backboard and instead went it. The first was a push shot from his shoulder that banked in from above the square, and the second was a scoop shot where he put the ball at least three feet above the rim before it came down and splashed in … OKC got 68 combined points from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin in a 106-84 blowout over the T’Wolves … It took all of three and a half minutes before Kendrick Perkins and Nikola Pekovic got into a staredown and shoving match. Who would you take in a fight? Perkins has a super long reach, and seems like he’s always ready to get it on, while Pekovic reminds us of Bamm-Bamm from The Flintsones: a dude who just goes around and knocks people out, either knowingly or unknowingly … And while the news basically leaked earlier in the day after some pictures showed him rocking adidas, it was announced officially last night that John Wall has left Reebok to join the adidas Hoops’ team through a long-term partnership. He’ll be featured in a variety of upcoming adidas marketing initiatives and will play a role in the development of basketball footwear and apparel. Now if he can just get back on the court … Keep reading to hear about Brandon Jennings’ monster night …
We know Brandon Jennings had love for Scott Skiles, but ever since the Bucks severed ties with their former coach, Jennings has been unreal. He had 35 last night, pushing Milwaukee past Chicago, 104-96. He’s hooping unrestricted right now, like the substitute teacher just showed up, threw the textbook out the window and started handing out hall passes … Kyrie Irving had one of the most efficient games we’ve ever seen in Cleveland’s 99-83 shutdown of the Hawks. Scoring 33 on 15 shots, Irving kept the Hawks at bay all night. Either way, Atlanta played with absolutely no energy whatsoever. We’ve seen employees at McDonald’s put our orders in with more enthusiasm. To sum up Atlanta’s night, Josh Smith (17 points) put up an airball free throw in the fourth quarter, and the Cavs’ announcers went crazy: “He threw up a medicine ball from 15 feet!” and “he had wind in his face!” It symbolized an evening to forget for the Hawks … Shaun Livingston (eight points, four rebounds, five dimes) came back from the dead last night. Well, we all know he’s been chugging along for a while now, but last night it really felt like we were watching a zombie version of the kid that had so much hype as a prep player. Livingston had one play where he hit Atlanta with an in-and-out and then dunked on like three guys along the baseline. A few plays later, he threw a laser backdoor pass for another bucket that had the Cavs’ broadcast saying he passes the ball faster than anyone Cleveland has had in a while. That second bucket pushed Cleveland’s lead out to 14 halfway through the fourth, virtually icing the win … With Boston’s starters collectively playing as bad as they have all year, it was left to the Celtics’ bench to save them against Phoenix. They did, getting a dozen points and 16 rebounds from Jared Sullinger, 13 from Jason Terry, and a team-high 14 from Jeff Green in the 87-79 win. The game was finally put away in the middle of the fourth when Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green connected on two straight backdoor plays (sandwiched in-between was a nasty KG rejection at the rim). The second one merely resulted in a Green layup. But the first ended in a powerful tomahawk dunk from Green, possibly the only player that really can dunk in his sleep (considering the dude always looks like he’s ready for a nap) … Did you hear about the Kings possibly moving to Seattle? Nothing’s official right now, but we’re excited to see what they could come up with for a logo. Clay Bennett reportedly agreed to turn over the Supersonics name and logo (he owned the rights to it). Would you rather them go with the traditional Seattle name/colors, or try something a little bit different? … In other story lines from Wednesday night: Toronto and Amir Johnson (19 points, 12 boards) had no problems with Philly, 90-72; Utah got 26 and eight from Al Jefferson to move back above .500 with a 10-point win in Charlotte; Denver beat Orlando by three behind 19 points and 19 rebounds by Kenneth Faried; Zach Randolph‘s double-double (19 points, 12 rebounds) powered Memphis past the Warriors, 94-87; and Chris Paul‘s (19 points, 16 assists) big night carried the Clippers over Dallas, 99-93 …. And in a bit of video game news, the return of Major League Baseball 2K13 was announced yesterday with pitcher David Price on the cover. It’s scheduled to drop March 5 … We’re out like the Sacramento Kings.
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