Posted Dec 13 2010 4:01PM
24 -- Carmelo Who?
23 -- Living up to the hype? That would be Amar'e Stoudemire, who is kicking up his heels this holiday season higher than the Rockettes at Radio City. Is anybody -- "M-V-P! M-V-P!" -- in the NBA having more fun?
22 -- Did it really just take a meeting to solve all those problems in Miami? And how come nobody thought of it sooner?
21 -- Now that the league has officially taken over operation of the Hornets, would the NBA order a trade of Chris Paul to the Clippers, just so we can watch him set up Blake Griffin every night? Call it the audacity of hoop.
20 -- Isn't Donald Sterling heckling Baron Davis' play kind of like Santa ripping some overweight dad for eating the last doughnut?
19 - It seems the Mavericks finally have the defense that Avery Johnson always wanted in Dallas. Now that he's in New Jersey.
18 -- How might Michael Jordan the player have reacted if Bulls' GM Jerry Krause had always fallen on the budget constraints crutch Jordan the owner uses when it comes to making significant personnel upgrades?
17 -- Regular Wilt Chamberlain reminder: Now that Amar'e has broken Willie Naulls' Knicks record for consecutive games scoring 30 or more points, he's only 57 behind Wilt in the 1961-62 season. That streak includes the 100-point game -- vs. Naulls and Knicks.
16 -- That the Sixers sent Evan Turner to the bench is no surprise to one veteran player in his late 30s, who after playing against him earlier in the season had his team's media relations staff bring written proof that the rookie really was the No. 2 pick in the Draft. "That boy's got no game," he said.
15 -- How good are the Spurs (20-3) right now? Tim Duncan played his 1,000th regular season game on Sunday at home against Portland. But the far more impressive stat was that the two minutes he played in the final period was the first time he was on the court in the fourth quarter since Dec. 3.
14 -- Early MVP Dirk Nowitzki doesn't want to hear how good his Mavs are looking with their 12-game winning streak. He remembers a 13-game streak from last season -- and getting bounced from the playoffs in the first round.
13 -- How much better can the Celtics become when they eventually get Kendrick Perkins back in the lineup?
12 -- The Cavs worked hard to show the world that they hadn't folded their tents over the summer after Whatshisname left town. But it's sure looked like quitting time since then. After LeBron brought in the demolition crew on his first return visit, the Cavs have perfected their swan dives, losing by an average of 20.1 points a game.
11 -- After all those seasons of not playing without a credible regular sidekick, who would have thought it would be Dirk getting Tyson Chandler in the middle that would maybe make all the difference in the world for the Mavs? This time they're for real.
10 -- Aside from eight straight victories and 13 wins in their last 14 games, how can you tell the Knicks matter again? There's Spike Lee standing in front of his courtside seat and leading cheers after pulling his orange-and-blue jacket out of storage. Will he still be on his feet after back-to-back visits this week by Boston and Miami?
9 -- Never mind the playoffs. What are the chances that Pau Gasol (39.3 minutes per game) wears out before the All-Star break?
8 -- So Kobe Bryant says he's not interested in passing any torches to the next generation. That's OK, Derrick Rose is quite capable of just grabbing it.
7 -- Speaking of passing things, it was just one game, but Russell Westbrook often looked like an accelerating Porsche as he went by Chris Paul for 29 points and 10 assists.
6 -- The Hornets are slipping and the Blazers are limping along with Brandon Roy, but does anyone see the soft Suns back up among the playoff teams in the West several months from now?
5 -- After eight wins in a row give the Knicks their longest win streak since the 1994-95 season, Amar'e says: "The sky's the limit." Much preferable to Micheal Ray Richardson, who once declared: "This ship be sinkin'."
4 -- Will the national media horde show up for the Cavaliers' first visit to Miami on Wednesday night? Come to think of it, will the Cavs show up?
3 -- On the subject of LeBron's new digs, real estate reports say that LeBron's $9 million home in Coconut Grove comes with six bedrooms, 8 ½ baths and two Bosch dishwashers. Go ahead, I teed it up for you.
2 -- You want surprises at the quarter-pole mark of the season? None bigger than this: Jim O'Brien's Pacers would currently make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
1 -- You have to give commissioner David Stern and NBA officials credit. First they rescue the Hornets franchise for New Orleans and now they've finally brought an NBA franchise back to New York.
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|Ellis Beats the Buzzer|
Monta Ellis beats the third quarter horn with a deep heave from behind the arc.
|Ellis From Deep|
Monta Ellis hits the long three just as time is about to expire.
|Smith Saves, Brewer Treys|
Josh Smith makes an amazing save and finds Corey Brewer for the corner 3-pointer.
|Smith Sets Howard|
Josh Smith and Dwight Howard connect on the alley-oop.
|Smith Snags The Pass|
Josh Smith steals a pass and takes it down the court for the slam dunk.