Check out those young legs on Grant Hill! Question, if Bayless completes the dunk, it’s a poster, much like it was when Trevor Ariza dunked over Hill. Does Hill’s block make it a reverse-posterization? I think it does. Speaking of Hill’s energetic legs, during the Phoenix Suns elimination of the Portland Trail Blazers, Hill did his best Dennis Rodman impersonation, posting a doing-the-dirty-work line of 3 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
And thanks to San Antonio finishing off the Dallas Mavericks, we now have a second-round rematch of the Spurs and the Suns. You know, rivals who can gives us stuff like this:
What we have here is Amar’e Stoudemire’s filthy dunk over Portland’s Dante Cunningham. Stoudemire’s dunk was so nasty, it caused Jalen Rose to use words like “best dunk of the year” among others. Normally, when such a dunk is delivered, it makes the SportsCenter rounds, followed by a day’s worth of buzz from the sports blogosphere. Rarely is it met with an even nastier response, especially when said response happens in the same game.
Unfortunately for Amar’e, Dante Cunningham apparently missed that particular memo.
Not only did Cunningham pay Stoudemire back with a vicious dunk of his own, the Trail Blazers also beat the Suns, ending their five-game winning streak. So while Amar’e's dunk cannot be denied, Cunningham got the last, and loudest laugh, because not only did he return the dunk favor, his team got the win.
As The Baseline pointed out, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden had a great night against the Chicago Bulls, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. His team even got a sizable 122-98 win over the Baby Bulls. However, Oden’s night is being canonized because of two failed dunk prevention attempts. In the lead video, Derrick Rose absolutely blasts Oden with a nifty little baseline jam that the Portland big man just missed blocking. And then there’s the play where Oden tried to get in the way of Joakim Noah, and failed.
Nevertheless, it was Oden who had the last laugh as the Blazers dominated the Bulls for a 24-point win. It’s pretty safe to say both Rose and Noah would trade their highlight-worthy dunks for an impressive road win. Alas, it was not to be. Good thing they’ll always have their Dunking over Oden posters to look back on.
And if Noah really wanted a last word, he could always grab his second National Championship ring. You know, the one he won at Florida when his Gators beat Greg Oden and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
While Roy was incredibly awesome last night — like, top-five in the league good — and deserves all of the accolades being placed at his feet, he needs to send a shout-out to Aaron Brooks for giving the Blazers an opportunity to secure the win. It was a tight game during the entire fourth quarter; however, there was a critical stretch in crunch time where the Rockets essentially gave the game to Portland, and Brandon Roy was ready to receive it. From where I was watching (couch, center of the picture), the turning point was when Greg Oden fouled out at the 3:39 mark. At this point, the score was 91-89, Portland, with Aaron Brooks going to the foul line to shoot a pair.
And then the Rockets proceeded to gift-wrap Game 2, when a commanding 2-0 series lead was well within their grasp. To wit, here are the next few possessions following Oden’s sixth foul:
Some people are PISSED OFF about Trevor Ariza’s take down of Rudy Fernandez. The above video, courtesy of Can’t Stop the Bleeding, shows a certain individual who didn’t take too kindly to the Ariza’s foul, and he isn’t afraid to express himself about the matter.
Apparently, the gentleman lost a little respect for Team Kobe.
As for the fallout, how’s this for irony: Trevor Ariza, the foul giver in all this, is not being suspended. His ejection was apparently good enough. On the other hand, the Lamar Odom business has been decided and guess what? Odom is going to be taking a League-invited one game vacation because he was snared by the “no leaving the bench area” goon squad.
The cost of Odom’s push and subsequent stare down with Brandon Roy (1:38 mark)? $104,000. Oddly enough, before the suspension was handed down, Odom offered his defense:
“No, I stayed on the bench,” Odom said after the game. “I stood up. I didn’t go nowhere. They’ll [the NBA] see it and they’ll see I didn’t go nowhere.”
Um, not so much, there, Lamar. Still, what kind of backwards world do we live in if the one who committed the foul doesn’t get punished, but a player who responds to the crowd surging his way gets suspended?
If Odom didn’t square up with Roy, he would probably be playing against the Houston Rockets tonight. Oh well, at least he doesn’t have to deal with Ron Artest.
We’re back on the Rudy Fernandez/Trevor Ariza incident again, but this time, the two “combatants” aren’t the focus of this post. According to ESPN, Lakers forward Lamar Odom is being investigated by the NBA’s front office to see if his actions warrant a suspension. In other words, the “leaving the bench” rule is back in the news. Thankfully, however, a Spurs/Suns playoff series isn’t on the line as we await the findings concerning Odom’s actions.
What they will be looking at is when Odom and Brandon Roy squared off with each other before Odom gets pushed back to the bench area by an assistant coach. It’s at the 1:38 mark in the lead video.
Following the letter of the law David Stern so vehemently defended on the Dan Patrick show following the Phoenix Suns suspensions, Odom should, in fact, be punished for mixing it up with Roy. He clearly stepped away from the bench area to do so, and like the commissioner so eloquently said, the NBA’s leaders can’t pick and choose what rules they enforce.
Following that rationale, I would expect Odom to be serving at least a one-game suspension.
The irony here is, the catalyst for all the unpleasantness, Ariza, will not be suspended by the league for his foul. Commit a foul that makes the basketball world sit up and take notice and you get nothing but an in-game ejection. Get up off of the bench during the fallout of said foul and you’ll probably get suspended by league. See how that works?
Now, I’m not doubting the fact it hurts when you get knocked to the hardwood during a basketball game, especially when you are running at full speed, followed by a jump towards the rim. If something should happen during your flight and you get knocked out of the air, I know it hurts. But is it as bad as Rudy Fernandez acted when Trevor Ariza made contact with his head, causing Fernandez to land awkwardly?
Below is the video of the incident — all eight minutes of it — and to me, it doesn’t look like Ariza was trying to be dirty or even flagrant. He made a play on the ball and missed. Fernandez’ reaction was a little surprising. I guess I didn’t expect the play to hurt him as badly as it apparently did.
I’m guessing the stretcher and the neck brace were for precautionary measures because it doesn’t even look like Fernandez’ head makes contact with the floor, although, there was a whip-like reaction. According to Oregon Live, Fernandez has a soft tissue injury to his chest and side area. X-rays and CT scans were negative.
In other news, the Blazers absolutely smashed the Lakers, winning 111-94. That’s not a bad statement to make for a young team fighting for strong seed in the upcoming NBA playoffs.