1) H. A. M. KJ James is going: H. A. M. Every recent game you think, "Man, tonight has to be the night KJ comes back to Earth a little," but every night, no, he doesn't come back to Earth. Every night it's: H. A. M. He's scored at least 30 in four straight, shooting over 70% from the floor in that stretch. Tonight was arguably the most ridiculous of all: against a top 5 team, with Chris Bosh and Ray Allen out with the flu, and Dwyane Wade playing sick and looking blurry-eyed, KJ scored 30 points, on 11 shots! He hit 9-11 from the floor, 4-5 triples, and 8-11 from the free throw line. He got bonked in the nose on a drive, making his eyes water, then while still blinking immediately dropped a bomb from the top of the arc while getting tackled by DeAndre Jordan for a 4 point play, then immediately hit another three in transition. The Heat led by 32 in the third quarter and KJ didn't have to step on the court at all in the fourth quarter - a tidy 30, with 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks in 31 minutes. H. A. M. Let it fly!
2) Chris Paul vs Mario Chalmers in the point guard matchup tonight. That's a total mismatch...for the Miami Heat! Emcee Chalmers took Paul apart! If we wanted to be fair, we would mention this was CP3's first game back after being out for a couple of weeks with an injury. But this is not that kind of blog - give it to him, Almario Vernard, make him feeeeeel it! Paul was plagued by foul trouble and scored only 3 points on 1-5 from the floor, with 2 assists and 3 turnovers in 20 minutes. He also tried to kill a referee after KJ James trucked him while catching a homerun pass in transition: out of the way, little man! Chalmers got the Heat off early by nailing a couple of triples, and then picking CP clean in the halfcourt, creating a clear path foul that netted the Heat 2 free throws and the ball. After tweaking his back and going to the locker room to stretch, he came back in and resumed raining havoc down all over the Clips: 5-8 triples on the night for Emcee for 18 points, with 3 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 turnover. Any time Mario Chalmers thoroughly humiliates Chris Paul in a game, there is a pretty good chance Miami is going to beat the Clippers. Going forward from here, that means they are going to beat the Clippers every time they play, because Mario "Emcee" Chalmers will always humiliate Chris Paul! Show 'em what you got, Almario!
3) Why Miami is such a difficult matchup (besides KJ James and Dwyane Wade): with Chris Bosh out, Udonis Haslem started at center, and Shane Battier started at power forward against Blake Griffin. That's a no-brainer for the Clippers, right? Griffin is a jean shorts-wearing, rim-attacking freak, while Battier is an aging, landlocked, intellectual who loves singing karaoke. Except, oops: not that easy. Battier drove Griffin insane, bumping him off the block, fighting him for every inch when Griffin tried to establish post position, then resisting with every ounce of his strength when Griffin tried to back him down. You might score on Battier in the post; you might score twice in a row, maybe even three times. But nobody - and certainly not Blake Griffin - is going to make a living trying to back Battioke down and score over him. Griffin got into foul trouble by picking up a couple of charges, scored only 13 points, and turned the ball over four times, helping the Heat to get out in transition and get easy buckets - which he compounded at one point by getting a technical complaining after Battioke stripped him and KJ got to the hoop on the break. Meanwhile, on offense, Battier spaced out to the corner, and Griffin can't guard him out there - he's more comfortable in the paint. Shane made 4-5 triples for 12 points of his own, and his floor-spacing helped create driving lanes for James and Wade (scored 20 on 8-16 with 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals, even with the flu). So hard to play Miami when they are focused - no matter how big and good you are upfront, on any given night they can spread you out and hurt you. Badly.
4) Best "wily veteran" matchup of the night: Rashard Lewis vs Lamar Odom. Average number of seasons in the NBA between the two of them: 30. Average age: 50. And they like to kiiickkk! During one second quarter possession, Lewis caught the ball at the top of the circle against Odom, iso'd, held the ball for about 17 seconds, everyone else on the court fell asleep (except Odom, who checked into the game already asleep), then with the shot clock running out, Lewis took one hard dribble and drilled a 20 footer over a lunging Odom. Like it's 2002, baby! Lewis took Odom apart, scored 7 third quarter points as Miami was pulling away, and finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds (and 2 steals) in 27 minutes; Odom didn't score, and had only 2 boards and 5 fouls in 22 minutes. Also, he's still married to the least attractive Kardashian, and I'm including Bruce Jenner. L.O.'s kind of sad now, and he's a good guy, I like that dude, he won us our first title when we traded him for Shaq! C'mon, kid, there's half a season left - pull it together!
5) Clippers backup center Ryan Hollins, who is a total stiff, and a bit of a cheap shot artist to boot, was wearing bright red sneakers. Listen, Ryan Hollins, there is a certain baseline of accomplishment you have to reach before it's cool to wear the garish kicks, and you're not even close. When your greatest career achievement is "I think he went to UCLA, maybe," you are automatically limited to black sneakers or white sneakers. That's it. I don't make the rules, sorry.
6) Great friend of the blog Snets emailed me yesterday to ask me if I knew that Ryan Gosling is Canadian (Snets is Canadian himself, but still a supercool guy, actually). As long-time readers of this blog will know, I have a (mostly) non-sexual crush on Gosling. Of course I know he's Canadian. Snets, did you know he is 6'2", has piercing blue eyes, loves spontaneous people, and that his favorite vacation spot is in a hot tub at a ski condo in the mountains in Whistler, B.C.? Do I know Ryan Gosling is Canadian! C'mon, mannn, did Kiki Asosopo (or whatever) know that Manti Te'o played football at Notre Dame? Oops, super-bad example - I promise you, I almost never call Ryan Gosling pretending to be a girl...
Next game is Sunday afternoon against the Lakers (of course - ruin both best weather teams' Sunday at once, NBA, that's super-efficient!). Lakers! If you need me before then, I'll be working on my other blog, "Gosling Minutos." There's some partial nudity, and a great deal of profanity, although much of it is in French - to be safe, don't let your kids read that one. See you Sunday, mes amis!