This is essentially the exact same game I liveblogged last time, only with Darvin Ham on the other team this time.
Ham just ran over and hugged his old coaches. Nice.
There’s no one on the court faster than Andre Barrett. It’s just not even fair. Enjoy Smush Parker, Dunleavy.
Andre’s got the first five for them. He told me pregame he was going to be more aggressive.
And now the assist to Ham. Sick starte for Andre.
No transition D. At all.
Gross does have some moves. He got called for the offensive foul, but he showed some nice quickness.
See, with Ham and Mahinmi, there’s really not a lot you can do. That’s talent on one end and veteran savvy on the other. This is Quin’s type of team. Even with losing DerMarr.
Mahinmi’s finger roll is sick. I’m just saying.
Interesting note. Snyder, with the addition of Ham, has moved Mahinmi to the wing. He’s 6-11. Someone could die. I’m just saying.
ANOTHER three by Andre. Somebody’s got the “F*ck you, Smush Parkers”.
So, Barrett just tried to lob it, and completely overshot Mahinmi. Gross went up and got it. That was sick elevation.
28-10, Toros, 5:20 1st, Toros starting strong.
I find it amusing that they play the old NBAon NBC theme.
Oh, Hodge is in. My first time seeing him since college. Guy’s got some serious moves.
With his new beard, Pittsnoggle kind of looks like McSteamy from Grey’s. This is what happens when you get married, guys. (Paroxiwife edit: He looks absolutely NOTHING like McSteamy.)
Darvin on the right block, Ian on the left, weak side cutter Gross.
Gross slams, Mahinmi blocks Hodge, Hodge stuffs the putback and yells at Mahinmi, so Darvin Ham annihilates the rim on the other end. This is getting nasty.
For some reason the Toros have no rotation on pick and rolls tonight. They’re supposed to work, but not this well.
34-17, 2:18 1st. This game has been freaking blistering. Thomas has some ridiculous speed. Apparently he’s been playing in Mexico. Which is a lot like “Wild Thing” playing penal league ball.
Gross with a great hook. The Thunderbirds are pretty much just running Suns ball.
AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER. DO NOT TELL ME THESE GUYS CAN’T SHOOT.
Hodge has 10 and 9. I’m more than a little impressed.
42-25, Toros, 10:35 2nd.
The Thunderbirds use too many perimeter passes. They don’t kick and drive at all.
Gross’ weakside help is terrific. He’s grabbing rebounds, playing smart, attacking the basket.
Paroxywife says: “Pittsnogle has some cool ink”
Ah, my favorite part of the night. Free stuff. Sigh.
So we have Josh Gross versus Julius Hodge. This is pretty nasty. It’s bad attitude central.
57-38 Toros, 4:40 2nd.
Thunderbirds starting to wake up. Shots are falling.
Barrett just went coast to coast. Quin’s flipping out on JB, trying to get him to commit on transition D.
If you’re trying to remember Hodge, here you go. ACC Player of the Year.
Hodge has a mean streak. So does Gross.
Toros have committed to shutting down the Pitts. They’re sending a guy at him every time he tries a three. He’s the third biggest guy on the floor if he’d just work the freaking paint. But then, he wouldn’t be Pitts.
Darvin Ham pretty much does whatever he wants, it seems. T-birds are awfully close to T.
The T-birds are running a full court press. You can imagine how that’s working.
68-48 Toros. 1:03 2nd Quarter.
Paroxiwife: “Do you think it’s slightly insulting that Quin pats his beautiful head of hair to the bald guy to tell him what to do?”
The big break down in the Toros zone is the right baseline. There’s just no way to close that gap. But they’ll take it, considering I think the T-Birds have hit maybe one tonight.
I’m shocked, completely shocked that the birds haven’t put Cheyne Gadson in.
73-53 at the half.
Paroxiwife: “I see why they say guys are sent here to work on their defense. “
Dorsey with the steal, breakaway, slam off the backboard by Hodge. Toros cross court passes are sloppy.
Barrett at 20 and 6. Hodge with 17 and 12.
77-59 Toros, 9:31 3rd. Big lineup for the Toros, we’ll see how this works. Quin wants to grind.
Paroxiwife: “So basically, Pittsnogle likes to work the perimeter so he doesn’t have to run.”
Three on two break, Barrett, Ian and Ham. Otherwise known as “You’re Screwed.”
83-61 Toros. 7:26
Paroxiwife: “I like Dorsey’s ink. He’s got bearclaws on both shoulders. That’s pretty badass.”
I don’t think I can pull off the “bearclaw tattoos on both shoulders” look. But I’m definitely considering it as an anti-divorce maneuver.
Uh-oh. It’s that special time in a Toros game, where Ian Mahinmi starts picking up quick fouls. That’s two in under three minutes. We’ll see how long Quin keeps the leash.
Bowen’s head is not in the game tonight. I think the bench demotion is messing with him.
Uh-oh, transition basket and one, T-Birds within 15.
The T-Birds are pulling the Toros into too much run and gun, getting sloppy. Need to tighten it. Quin doesn’t want to take a timeout to stop the clock, but he may need to stem the tide.
87-69 Toros, 4:05 3rd.
The full court press is not working at all, but they’re sticking with it.
87-74, free throw pending.
Another collapse is starting to peek its head over the table.
Paroxiwife: “Mills is scrappy. Like Scrappy-Doo. He’s taking on the big dogs without fear. “
Bowen with some energy. Serge is actually giving them transition D. My bad, Serge.
11 point game. Oh, God. Not again.
Barrett’s had enough of this. He’s slowing it down. Albuquerque timeout. Free throws pending, 91-80.
I don’t think JB’s comfortable off the bench. Which is bad, because Gross needs to start. That’s a pickle.
91-82, Toros. Yipes. Angounou cleans up.
Alley oop off the inbounds. 93-84. T-birds within 9. Sonofa…
These guys will NOT die.
Hodge is pushing the T-Birds on on D.
Mahinmi does the dirty work down low. The T-Birds are running seven seconds or less.
95-86 Toros. Finally Underwood and Mills come out so they’re not as athletic.
Ham with the steal! To Mahinmi, Gross slam! Nice cut!
Gross with the roll.
101-90, after Barrett coast to coast.
Julius Hodge T’d up. 102-92, Toros. Need a score here to swell the lead.
Pitts with the three.
Down to a seven point lead.
Thomas is giving them lift off the bench, getting offensive boards.
Bowen calming down.
Big lineup by the Toros. Squeaky, Andre, Ian, Hamm and and Bowen.
Johnson misses a WIDE open layup. I still can’t find a reason why Carldell is on the squad.
Basket and the foul, 106-100, Toros, 6:36. Why do these things have to be close?
Toros need to find something here.
This is the worst job by an officiating crew I’ve seen this year.
Nice rebound by Mahinmi. He got aggressive. He needs more of that. He’s been passive tonight, despite the 20 points. He needs to get mean right now.
106-100, Toros. 5:39. The reason I care, by the way, is I need a D-League playoff game in Austin, so I can, you know, go to it.
HORRIBLE ref job tonight, again. They’re confused and then making even-up calls.
Hodge’s second carry over and back tonight. Must be an Australian thing.
Darvin Ham with a huge bucket.
Throw away by Conroy, Toros ball, 108-100, 4:18 4th.
Ian’s getting outrebounded every time, which is unacceptable.
ANOTHER terrible call. Good God this is out of control.
108-103, 3:48 4th.
Ian with the gigantic slam. He’s trying to put this away.
Ham with the bucket, and the foul! 113-103 Toros, 3:00.
Apparently everything is continuation tonight.
They’re doing free stuff with 3 minutes left in an 8 point game. Terrible decision.
113-106 Toros, 2:55 4th Quarter. T-Birds with an actual huddle and a little “ready, break!” action.
Conroy, Dorsey, Hodge, Pitts, Dyer for T-Birds
Ham, Barrett, Bowen, Ian, Paulino for the Toros.
Ian pump fakes, layup, and the foul! Huge!
115-106, 2:47. Scored too fast.
Pitts miss, 117-106 4th.
Ian with the exclamation mark, that’ll do it. Big game from Ian tonight. He really finished down the stretch.
121-108, Toros, 1:27 4th.
AAAAND Game. 126-112 Toros win. Division Champions. Booyah!
Thank you, Dark Continent, and Goodnight.