Lion Face: NBA Schedule-Makers
What a great slate of games they gave us yesterday.
Lion Face: LeBron James
For most of the day, LeBron had “one of those games” where he just had everything working for him. He was ferociously throwing down dunks all over the place, getting to the line and generally controlling the flow of the game. He made several highlight reel plays, as you can see above, and he was pretty much rolling. Then came the disastrous last few minutes where he had one of the weirdest turnovers I’ve ever seen, bricked a colossally forced fade-away 20-footer and missed a pair of what should have been game icing free throws. When it was all over though, he still had 31 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and a win over the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. And he rode his bike to the game, too.
Lemon Face: Dwyane Wade
Wade struggled from the field all day and finished 4-for-16 for 15 points. He seemed to be forcing the issue entirely too much, and looking for contact that never came on many of his drives. He made up for that in the first half with 7 assists, but didn’t have any after half-time. It was not Wade’s best day, to say the least.
Lion Face: Derrick Rose
Though he went just 11-for-28 from the field, Rose put on an extremely impressive offensive display. He was the first player this season to crack the 30-point barrier against the Heat and even though they were crowding the lane in order to better challenge Rose’s floaters and runners, he still managed to make a few “HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT GO IN????” type shots. He, too, bricked a couple of free throws down the stretch, but he didn’t really deserve to be at the line in the first place because he didn’t get fouled. Ball don’t lie. Rose also kicked in 6 rebounds and 6 assists and took 14 trips to the line.
Lemon Face: The officiating at the end of the Bulls/Heat Game
Good lord that was some terrible refereeing. They botched the Rose call, called Wade out of bounds when he wasn’t and subsequently couldn’t figure out how to proceed the play from there and let Rose get away with a charge on his game-tying attempt. And this was all just in the last 30 or 40 seconds. It was not pretty.
Lemon Face: Carlos Boozer
When your son is at the game chanting, “Let’s Go Heat!” and you’re not on the Heat, you get a Lemon Face. Every time.
Lion Face: Pacers’ bench
Indiana got 42 of their 106 points from non-starters, let by George Hill’s 16 points on 9 shots. Hill also chipped in with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal, and he was a +16 in 25 minutes. Every one of their bench guys scored except for Lance Stephenson. Lou Amundson made all 4 of his shots and grabbed 5 rebounds. Tyler Hansbrough had 7 points and 5 boards and was a +17 in 21 minutes. Meanwhile, the Magic bench scored just 16 total points and every player had a negative plus/minus except for Von Wafer, who was even in 3 minutes.
Lemon Face: Orlando Magic
This team is pretty much self-destructing. They’ve now lost 4 out of their last 5 including two at home. Dwight Howard is talking about how changes need to be made. Stan Van Gundy is dropping truth bombs. And all of a sudden, the Magic can’t score. They’ve failed to crack 95 points in each of their 4 losses in the last 5 after doing so in 6 of their previous 8 games. They have a rough patch of schedule coming up as well, as they travel to Philly before hosting Washington and Cleveland, head to Indiana for a night and then the Clippers, Heat and Hawks at home. This is all in the next 12 days. Yikes.
Lion Face: Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers
The Cavs scored the last 12 points over the final 4:24 of the game and secured a 1 point win over the Celtics. Irving had 8 fourth-quarter points and the game-winner. The kid is legit, and the only reason he’s not a runaway Rookie of the Year favorite is the Ricky Rubio hype machine. Irving’s not just a future star, he’s a present one. Recognize.
Lemon Face: Overtime in the Spurs-Mavs game
That was super-ugly.
Lion Face: Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, Gary Neal, James Anderson and Matt Bonner
This lineup entered the game with 2:44 to go in the third quarter and played together for all but 11 seconds for the remainder of the game. They were +15 in that stretch, 16-point deficit into a miraculous near-win. If Green had let go of a shot about 0.0001 earlier at the end of regulation, the “near” wouldn’t be necessary. It was so bizarre to see Tim Duncan and Tony Parker sitting on the bench for the entire fourth quarter and overtime, but these guys earned the right to be out there with their play.
Lion Face: Vince Carter and Jason Terry
That was Vince Carter’s best game in so long that I can’t even pick out a specific game to reference as his last really good game. He had 21 points on 8-for-15 from the field in 31 minutes, and also added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steal and 1 block in his 31 minutes of play. He played good defense (!) down the stretch and smothered the ball on the game’s last possession. Bravo. As for Terry, he was a cold-blooded killer. Included in his 34 points were the game-tying jumper in regulation and the game-winner in overtime. He was 14-for-23 from the floor and carried the primary scoring load as Dirk Nowitzki struggled in his return from injury.
Lemon Face: Timberwolves other than Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Michael Beasley
Love, Pekovic and Beasley were a combined 25-for-45, or 55.5%, from the field and they also collectively grabbed 34 of the Wolves’ 52 rebounds. On the other hand,Â Wesley Johnson, Luke Ridnour, Ricky Rubio, Brad Miller, Martell Webster, Wayne Ellington, Anthony Randolph and Derrick Williams combined to shoot 15-for-59, or 25.4%.
Lion Face: Kobe Bryant
Passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the Lakers’ all-time leader in field goals made, scoring on 14 of his 29 field goals en route 35 points in a 5 point win over the Timberwolves. He also snatched more rebounds – 14 – than Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined. He hit 5 threes and several preposterously difficult runners in the lane, including one late in the game to seal the victory.
Lion Face: Chauncey Billups
In his first game back in Denver after being sent to the Knicks last February, Chauncey poured in 32 points on just 20 shots. He hit 6 threes and had a pretty awesome and-one in the fourth.