Dwight Howard: Pumaman dominated the Knicks with 24 points and 18 rebounds. Of course, he went 8-for-19 from the field -- which included seven misses at the rim against New York's awesome interior defense -- bricked 5 free throws and committed a team-high 5 turnovers. But those reasons aren't why he's getting WotN treatment.
Dwight got tagged with his 12th technical foul of the season. Not only does that number lead the league, but Howard will be suspended for one game if -- sorry, make that when -- he reaches 16. Then he'll miss an additional game for every two technical fouls after that. Mind you, the Magic have played only 33 games so far...and there are 49 to go.
Of course, Dwight's coach thinks his player is getting the 'Sheed treatment.
Said Stan Van Gundy: "I don't think he's any harder on officials than anybody else in the league. I don't think even think he's one of the hardest guys on officials, quite honestly. I could probably give you 20 guys who are a lot harder on officials than he is. Why he's been the guy to get all the technicals, I don't know. But there are a lot of guys around the league who are a lot harder on officials, yell at them, swear and everything else and get away with it."
Whaaaat? Swear at an official? Who would do something like tha...
Huh. Never mind.
Amar'''''e Stoudemire, excuse machine: Chris Broussard's choice for early season MVP was limited to only 32 minutes due to foul trouble. He was productive during his PT, scoring 30 points on 12-for-22 shooting and blocking 4 shots. Sure, he finished with three fewer rebounds than Orlando shooting guard Jason Richardson, but STAT's job is to score...not rebound. Not to suggest that the Magic's 51-35 rebounding advantge -- which included 17 offensive boards -- had any impact on the game or anything. I was just sayin'.
At any rate, Stoudemire said: "If I didn't get in foul trouble, it would have been a different game for sure."
I love the "what if" games that get played by players on a losing team. If I was Amar''''''e, though, I might say something like, "If I could pull down contested rebounds against talented big men, it would have been a different game for sure."
By the way, Sun Tzu also had a shot blocked...by the rim.
Raymond Felton: You know what else would have made it a different game? If Felton hadn't been playing with a dolphin flipper for a shooting hand. Ray Boom Boom went 6-for-22 from the field, including 1-for-7 from downtown, and committed a game-high 6 turnovers.
The San Antonio Spurs: Yeah, they won, and sure, they have the best record in the league. But the the Mavs had to start Brian Cardinal in place of the injured Dirk Nowitzki. I dunno. Seems like the Spurs should have won by more than just six points, you know?
Said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich: "We don't take too much out of the win. We didn't show very much. We didn't improve as a team, that's for sure."
The Utah Jazz: Damn. I guess the Frail Blazers just have Utah's number.
I kinda figured this game would be a gimme for the Jazz, considering that, before the game, Portland shut down Brandon Roy indefinitely because the dude has an incurable case of Oden's knees. Instead, Wesley Matthews -- who played for the Jazz last season -- matched his career-high by scoring 30 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Matthews dropped 16 of those points in the third quarter. This kid just owned the Jazz. About the only thing missing was a Byron Russell for Matthews to push out of the way.
Mind you, the Jazz didn't help themselves by missing 10 foul shots. Or by giving up 26 points off 18 turnovers. Or by coming out totally flat. Which does tend to happen on the second night of back-to-backs, especially on the road.
Said Raja Bell: "It was poor effort, all the way around. You can talk it up all you want, but I thought we have to be tougher than that. That's just my personal opinion."
Bell then clotheslined Ronnie Price.
Oh well. At least Deron Williams gave us a nice highlight...
Knicks-Magic: Despite two assists in exactly 6 minutes, Ronny Turiaf fouled twice for a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Spurs-Mavs: For San Antonio, Ime Udoka and Chris Quinn spent 10 seconds arguing over which Game Genie codes were allowed on the hardwood tonight - resulting in their status as Mario Brothers!
Also joining the Mario party, albeit in a non-lacktive fashion, was the spectacular Steve Novak of Dallas, who managed 100% from one shot along the Stemmons Freeway...but also ran into King Koopa once for a foul in 51 seconds.
Jazz-Frail Blazers: Sean Marks notched a board in 6:35, but also earned a brick, three fouls, and a giveaway for a 4:1 Voskuhl. Fellow financier of fraility Armon Johnson collected 1.15 trillion (1:10), and in that same timespan, Luke Babbitt earned a +4 via a trio of bricks (twice from the charity stripe) and a rejection.