Lion Face/Lemon Face 1/7/12: Former Dunk Champs Do Fun Things

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Lion Face: Josh Smith

It was predictable because it made no sense. The Hawks were on the third night of the most overtimey B2B2B ever against a great Bulls team and they dominated from start to finish.  Just over five minutes into the game, Smith had outscored Chicago 9-8 by himself, plus he had a rebound, block, and steal. His energy and the Bulls’ lack of it gave Atlanta a 17-point lead before the first quarter was over. At the end of the night, he was one steal shy of a 5×5: 25 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals, six blocks, one turnover. Good Josh Smith streak: two games.

Lemon Face: Derrick Rose

Credit Jeff Teague and the Hawks’ trapping defense, but they shouldn’t have been able to hold the MVP to 8 points on 10 shots. Kyle Korver more than doubled him in free throw attempts, man. Kyle Korver.

Lion Face: Vlad Rad’s Three-Point Shooting

Vladimir Radmanovic checked in for Good Josh near the end of the first and immediately hit two threes. He hit two more at the end of the second quarter and the game was basically over at halftime. He finished 5-5 from downtown, after going 4-17 on threes in his previous five games. MADNESS.

Lemon Face: Deron Williams

10 points on 16 shots, five turnovers. His analyst game was spot-on, though:

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Lion Face: Mike Bibby. Yes, Mike Bibby.

Bibby and Vlad Rad had identical first halves: 14 points, 4-4 on threes. I’ve no idea what this means, but I’m terrified. He gets a lion face because I’m not sure he’ll ever get one again.

Lemon Face: Detroit’s Guards

Dear lord, if this is what it looks like when Rodney Stuckey’s out then I’m so glad he stayed. Ben Gordon had nine turnovers. Brandon Knight shot thirteen threes — most were in rhythm and two of the misses were to beat the shot clock, but oh boy that’s still a lot of them. Will Bynum shot 1-9. AND MIKE BIBBY LOOKED GOOD. Rough night.

Lion Face: Roy Hibbert

One of those nights that makes you feel like the Pacers could maybe, maybe do some damage in the playoffs. 20 points on 8-16 shooting, plus three blocks. He scored on a variety of hooks, a few jumpers, and a couple of tip-ins. Scary when he sprained his right ankle and had to go to the locker room, but he was fine.

Lemon Face: Toronto’s Offense

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The Raptors failed to score more than 18 in a quarter. Dwane Casey said it was fatigue. I don’t know what it was, but I didn’t enjoy watching it.

Lion Face: Goran Dragic

Dragic can thank Jeff Adrien for kicking Kyle Lowry in the foot at practice. In two games as a starting PG, he’s looked solid. 20 points on 7-10 shooting, with 8 assists. I love his nifty passing:

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Lemon Face: Goran Dragic’s costly turnover

This, I don’t love:

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Lion Face: Danny Green

He was the best player on the court in San Antonio. With Manu out, the Spurs could use more 24-point nights from him.

Gregg Popovich: “He’s a great example of sticking with it, not getting down on oneself, continuing to play, improve, listen, and right now he’s playing well and has been a significant part of what we’re doing.”

Corey Brewer: “We didn’t know about Danny Green at all.”

Lemon Face: Stephen Jackson

Ugh, the Bucks offense is baaaaad. Jackson sort of has to fire away. But 4-18 gets you a lemon face, especially when you miss some easy ones and commit some unforced turnovers. Milwaukee was in this game — it could have been a win if Jax had hit some shots.

Lion Face: Blake Griffin

Frightening:

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Lemon Face: Brian Cook

He played only eight minutes, but had time to go 1-5. He bricked three open spot-up threes and made a strange decision to take a jumper off the dribble. It didn’t work out.

Lion Face: Reggie Evans

This man is going to save us from Brian Cook. He had four rebounds in his first four minutes as a Clipper. Of course he did. He gets a lion face because it was exciting to see him on the court again and he chugged a red bull on the sideline. 1-6 from the line, though.

Lemon Face: Jarrett Jack

We should cut him some slack because he’s been playing so damn well, but last night was a disaster. The Hornets’ offense looked a mess and Jarrett couldn’t find his shot. The only good thing that came out of it: this opened the door for Squeaky Johnson to play 17 minutes. Hell yes.

Lion Face: Vince Carter

Vince Carter made his second start of the season and scored 13 po-… Yeah, whatever, just watch this ten times if you haven’t already:

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I jumped off my couch. What the hell is that? He can still do that?

Lemon Face: The Jazz Against The Zone

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Against the Warriors’ zone, Utah played a point guard, shooting guard, and small forward who have combined to shoot 2-20 on three-pointers this season.

Jazz lineup: Earl Watson, Alec Burks, Josh Howard, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors

 

Lion Face: Monta Ellis At The Line

The Jazz dared Ellis to beat them by himself and he almost did. He shot 16-17 at the line and finished with 32 points.

Lemon Face: Eric Maynor Is Hurt

I’m not going to embed the video because it makes me sad. Here’s a link, though. Sigh, hope it’s not as serious as I’m sure it will be.

Seth Carstens