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Little Girl You’re in the Middle of the Ride (Milwaukee at Indiana):


Oh, Pacers.  You’re just so lovable.  You look like you need a hug, Roy Hibbert.  Can I oblige?  I’m always here, man.  Always.  You remember that.  Okay.

And dearest Bucks.  I’ll admit it, I didn’t think you had it in you.  I judged you prematurely, and that was wrong of me.  But this, this right here, is for real.  This game you’re about to play is the big one, champ, the real deal, tiger.  You do right by each other okay?

This game could be the beginning of something truly beautiful.

Remember That Time When Mo Williams Torched the Kings Because They Couldn’t Guard the Perimeter? (Sacramento at Boston):

No disrespect to Mo.  He’s a good shooter.  But I’m not exactly anxious to watch Rondo hook up Allen, House, Pierce, and the like from deep possession after possession.  Kevin Martin may be so underground that’s he’s above ground and so efficient it makes my brain spin, but doing it all is going to be awful tough with this squad checking you.

ThasswhatI’mtalkinbout (Atlanta at New York):

Has all the makings of a great game.  Remember how the Rockets didn’t have Yao to exploit the undersized Knicks, and got sucker-punched on their way to an embarassing loss?  That won’t fly with Atlanta.  They go fast and they go slow, they’re smooth, and they’re in control.  You want the Hawks to run, and Josh Smith is going to destroy a rim or two.  You try to deny pentration and let them shoot, and you’ve got Bibby and Joe nailing big shots from the outside.  And you have trouble guarding versatile two-way forwards?  Marvin Williams just might make your life a living hell.

Of course all of that is almost secondary to the fact that if the Knicks show up, they’re a surprisingly good basketball team.  I salute you, New York Knicks, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a winner tonight.

Nope (Toronto at New Jersey):

Don’t watch it.  Really.


It’s a Funny Thing That Happens When the Lights Go Out.  All the Centers are Tucked Away in Their Beds, and the Scorers Come Out to Play (Washington at Miami):

Two words: Jamaal Magloire.  On top of that, Blatche is injured.  Welcome to the modern NBA, where a good third of the league is making the center position irrelevant by the day.  And by irrelevant I mean only that they’re irrelevant against each other, because not having a center is like forfeiting your knights at the start of a chess game.

In other news: Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison finally played good games simultaneously, Mike Beasley inexplicably fades into 8 minute games every now and again, the Wiz are still terrible, and Shawn Marion still really, really needs to find a home.

He’s All That (Detroit at Minnesota):

From IMDB: “NBA legend Kevin McHale is dumped by his prom queen shoe-in girlfriend for some slimey TV soap star. On the rebound he takes a bet from his best friend that he can take up with mousey bespectacled Randy Foye and get him to be a productive NBA player. Great friend, impossible task. Though once Foye scraps being a point guard, moves the two full time, and doesn’t try to do too much, McHale finds himself taking rather a lot of notice of him.”

NOLA.  N-O-L-A, NOLA (Denver at New Orleans):

No one on the Hornets is a transvestite.  That I know of, at least.

This is one of those games that the rest of the West loves: no matter who wins, somebody has to lose; another loss that helps the clawing playoff contenders get the edge ever so slightly.  Of course both of these teams are going to make the playoffs, but every game is going to matter in the all-powerful seeding race, and an L could give a lower seed delusions of grandeur.

Chris Paul is better than Chauncey Billups.  This much is true.  And for all that Chauncey has managed to do with the Nuggets, it’s a pity that he’s going to be shown up tonight.  But Chris Paul knows no mercy, takes no prisoners, and is all scorched earth, baby.  In a sense, there were only two things preventing Paul from single-handedly destroying his opponents: David West and Tyson Chandler.  Those two do wonders for the Hornets as a team, but apparently they also prevent Chris Paul from doing his best Vlad the Impaler impression.

Two Thousand Words (Memphis at OKC):

And We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun ‘Til Fortune Takes Yao Ming Away (Philadelphia at Houston):

The Rox fell apart against New York, and while Philly is less organized chaos and more Andre Iguodala doing whatever the hell he wants, they should still be a pretty formidable foe in Houston.  I see no reason why Elton Brand shouldn’t be able to dominate a game with no true shot-blocking threat and a world where he is undoubtedly the most talented post player participating, but we’ll see.  He’s still out of rhythm, and whether or not that’s caused by or the cause of him coming off the bench I’m not so sure.

But this is far from a guaranteed Sixers victory, a guaranteed Rockets problem, or even a guaranteed Brand breakout.  Artest may be just as dominant against Philly’s wings (EDIT: Just read that Artest is probably out until the All-Star break.  All I have to add is: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), and Luis Scola could make Reggie Evans all spiral-eyed.  Is it a game to set your DVR for?  Probably not, with the rest of the slate.  But on any other night this could be a sweet find, the diamond in the rough of a big night of NBA action.

OMG GRUDGE MATCH! (Golden State at Dallas):

Monta Ellis is back!  That means that there are actually relevant remnants of “We Believe” on the roster not named Stephen Jackson just in time for a Mavs deathmatch.  Nevermind the fact that that storyline hasn’t been relevant in years or that the Mavs punked the Dubs last season.  That’s just the man trying to get you down.  Just RISE UP, Warrior faithful!  Believe, dammit!  Believe!

Laugh and the World Laughs With You.  Weep and You Weep Alone (Charlotte at Portland):

Of all the times to have a double-header, the ‘Cats have the unfortunate pleasure of running their tanks on empty against the Blazers.  They’ll be much hullabloo about how the Bobcats beat out one of the best in the league, how Kobe should or shouldn’t have fouled out, and how much they’ll miss Gerald Wallace.  But in the meantime, the entire team will be power walking at most, gassed physically and emotionally from a game that they should have won in regulation.  But this is life when you’re a young team, and a win is a win.  Unfortunately, this one’s a loss.

Which Came First: the Clippers or the Misery? (Chicago at LAC):

The Rockets injuries are some sort of tragedy/self-fulfilling prophecy.  But predictions of missed time in Clipperland was more punchline than premonition, an easy way to get out of taking this team seriously.  I have my doubts that Baron will ever be able to function effectively under Dunleavy, but who’s to say what could have been if Kaman, Camby, Randolph, and Baron got some real games together.  Al Thornton’s been under the microscope as his role has increased, and things haven’t been pretty.  Meanwhile, Eric Gordon has eaten up the spotlight as a better pro scorer than I ever thought possible.

DeAndre Jordan hurts my brain.

Another year, another tale of Clipper tragedy.  A team can only take so much, and it’s a sad thing when I’m talking about tragedy on a night where they’ll fade in contrast to THE CHICAGO BULLS.  The Bulls are far from miserable, but they’re not exactly blessed.  They currently employ Larry Hughes.  But I do feel for LAC, possibly LA’s other other team, behind the Lakers and anybodythat’snottheClippers.

Seth Carstens