Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 1/25/12

I think Rudy Gay must have had his arm replaced with a bionic one when they did that surgery.  Gay had two more dunks in a loss to the Blazers last night, putting him at 35 on the season, which is good enough for fourth in the league (#1 by a long shot if big men aren’t included).  Through the 54 games he played last season Rudy racked up 62 dunks.  That’s almost double this year’s total, obviously, but we’re only 17 games into the season.  He dunked about 1.15 times per game last season, whereas this year he’s throwing down a whopping 2.06 slams a night.  To put that in perspective, LeBron manages about 1.5 dunks per game, and he’s trailing Gay by a total of 10 on the season.  Seems like LeBron gets his jam on pretty frequently, right?  Well, not nearly as frequently as Rudy Gay these days.  I do have one minor beef with Rudy, though.  He’s been wearing a headband this week and he really needs to stop.  He’s got the opposite problem that LeBron has–his hairline is too close to his eyes.  The headband makes him look like the guy from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Roy Hibbert was getting the best of Dwight and the Magic early on, but he fizzled after a 10-point first quarter and watched his Pacers lose by 19.  His first quarter really was impressive… he scored over Dwight with a couple of hooks while not allowing any scores in post up situations.  Howard had six points of his own, but I believe they were all a result of pick and rolls.  Hibbert also managed to stay on the floor longer than Howard in the early going, which was pretty surprising considering that the officials seemed to have Superman Jr’s back. 

While I’m on the subject of fouls, let me discuss Howard’s third.  Lou Amundson… one of the worst offensive players in the NBA, right?  Right.  So, what do you do when Lou Amundson pump fakes from 10 feet out on the baseline?  You stand there and encourage him to shoot the shot, right?  Right.  That’s not what Dwight Howard did, though.  Dwight Howard jumped, and not only did he jump, he jumped on top of Lou Amundson, which obviously resulted in a foul.  This came with over 11 minutes to go in the first half, and like I said, it was his third foul.  I’m not the biggest Kobe advocate in the world, but one thing I love about him is his competitive nature.  If Kobe Bryant picks up his third foul–or any foul, for that matter–biting on a Lou Amundson pump fake he’s f@cking pissed at himself, as he should be.  Dwight?  He sits on the floor, smiles, laughs about it, and cracks jokes with his buddies over on the bench, where he was forced to remain seated until the second half.  I hate this about Dwight.  Where is the fury, the fire, the rage?  You’re the most physically imposing player in the league, stop acting like a goofball and rip somebody in half.

Back to Hibbert.  As good as he looked in that first quarter he looked equally as bad throughout the rest of the game.  He finished with 16 points on 5-16 with 12 boards and a pair of turnovers.  After his dominant start Orlando began to send multiple defenders and that really effed him up.  I guess it effed up the entire Pacer team, who had led by 10 early and appeared to be well on their way to picking up a solid W.  They ended up giving the ball away 19 times and shooting just 39.7% from the floor.  It’s awfully hard to win like that, even if you do make all 18 of your freethrows.  Overall, I guess I was pretty impressed by Hibbert.  He was putting in work on Dwight one on one.  He clearly needs to work on dealing with double teams as it appears that he’ll be seeing a few down the road.

The talk of New York is Carmelo Anthony’s shot selection.  Last night, Melo went 0-7 for 1 point.  The Knicks won by 33, and Amare Stoudemire didn’t look like a complete shell.  While this is pretty funny, it doesn’t mean a damn thing.  Remember those mild props I gave the Charlotte Bobcats in the first week of the season?  Yeah, well, I take that all back… those guys are playing like trash right now, and that’s who the Knicks clobbered last night.  I love the talent of BJ Mullens, but he needs work on the defensive end.  Tyrus Thomas?  Lol.  Amare’s 18 and 8 are an encouraging sign of life, but I wouldn’t take anything at all away from this game.  What the Knicks need is for STAT and Melo to work together, not have one of them play well while the other goes 0-7.

Steve Nash scored 9 points in the final six minutes as he tried to bring the Suns back from 10 down against the Raptors.  Phoenix didn’t get the win, but I couldn’t help but come away impressed by Nash’s effort.  He repeatedly sliced his way to the basket and finished in that crafty way that only he can, and for a player who you’d look at and say this guy can’t play in the NBA, he does pretty f@cking well at age 38 (not quite, but close enough).  I know, I’m captain obvious here, but I think it’s necessary to take a few moments to appreciate Steve Nash once in a while.  It’s hard to believe that he’ll be able to keep this up for too much longer… although I guess it probably isn’t wise of me to doubt him.  Who’d have thought he’d be out there hanging 17/7/14 on his country’s team at this stage of his career? 

Baron Davis MIGHT play tonight.  The Knicks play in Cleveland at 7 o’clock.  Did you know Baron is only 32 years old?  The guy’s decline began in his 29th year, and it makes it seem like he’s got to be pushing 40.  That being said, he still defends better than Darren Collison.

Box Score Observations: Marcus Camby really is pushing 40, but that didn’t stop him from collecting 22 rebounds in a Blazer win over the Grizzlies.  Memphis’s seven-game win streak has come to an end, and that’s really not surprising.  During the streak they beat the Knicks, the Hornets (twice), the Pistons, the Kings, and the Warriors.  They also beat the Bulls, which is impressive, but this stretch was more or less a solid team taking care of business.  It certainly doesn’t make them favorites in a road game in Portland on the second night of a back-to-back.  LeBron struggled against his former team, but Chris Bosh was there to save him from humiliation.  Bosh scored a season-high 35 points on 10-16 in a 92-85 victory.  Andrea Bargnani hung 36 on my fantasy team in his return from injury.  F@ck you, Andrea.

Highlight Recap, Carmelo Anthony Edition:

Highlight Recap, Everyone Else Edition: Rudy Gay didn’t dunk this one.  Q-Rich beats the buzzer, strikes a pose on the floor.  Dwight Howard becomes Orlando’s all-time leading scorer…..just in time to go try it somewhere else.  See play #10.  Slow night in the highlight department.

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