Then comes the more perplexing remarks, either a good-natured jab at an old pal—proof that these mistakes mean nothing—or a bit of bitterness creeping in. Not the "Lewis was juicing" kind, more "if only that suspension had come down sooner." [...]
You could argue that, if Lewis was competing in the Finals, the NBA probably should've rushed the test and figured out his situation before the end of the season. Allen, taking it a step further, wants the initial test to hold more water.
The question is, why? Allen acknowledges that Lewis probably did nothing wrong, so it's not like he was unfairly beating Boston in the semis. Or maybe he's just defending Lewis's character, but not the fairness of his chemical activities. Which brings us back to the curious quip: Is Allen bemoaning the fact that Lewis should've been out, mistake or not, and thus showing his competitive stripes? Or is it simply a jokey aside?
Behind the Box Score, where the Knicks nearly pulled one
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie recaps the Orlando Magic's victory over the Toronto Raptors in yesterday's matinee game.
The go-to story involves Vince Carter, who was an absolute prat in forcing his way out of Toronto. Carter deserves more enmity than any other ex-player gets from any other ex-crowd, combined, and that noted go-to story involves him playing well in Toronto. That works, actually; because though Carter shot 9 for 24, there were probably six shots that rimmed in and out or bounced out while he was fouled (and didn't see a call). Not V.C.'s biggest fan, but I can't slough that off.
The Citizens Of Toronto Still Hate Vince Carter
Gerald Narciso of Dime Magazine points out how the city of Toronto still has an intense dislike for Vince Carter.
Fans in T-Dot sure know how to hold a grudge. Nearly five years after Vince Carter’s shaky departure from Toronto, the fans have still not forgiven him nor are they planning on doing so anytime soon. In his first return as a member of the Magic on Sunday, the fans mercilessly booed Carter every time he touched the ball. While locals are still upset about Carter forcing himself out of town, they probably weren’t too pleased he declined to take part in the Raptors’ 15th anniversary celebration. [...]
"Why would I want to do it? You heard it out there," Carter told the Orlando Sentinel. "They came to me. It just didn’t make sense. Actually, it wasn’t as loud as it has been. It used to be deafening."
What Do You Mean, The NBA Is Poorly Marketed?
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm humorously points out how, using a screenshot, TV guide writers "poorly marketed" the matchup between the Magic and the Boston Celtics this past Friday.
Hollinger: Denver Nuggets nab No. 1 spot in Power Rankings
UPDATE: John Hollinger of ESPN Insider takes time in his article to analyze Orlando's "problem" at power forward (hint: too much talent).
The most shocking box score lines of the weekend had to belong to Orlando's Brandon Bass -- DNP Coach's Decision on both Friday and Sunday. Bass sat even though he's fared well statistically, as his PER of 15.90 is right at his usual norms and he's shooting 52.3 percent from the floor.
His basic problem is that he's still only the third-best power forward on the Magic. Second-year pro Ryan Anderson has been borderline spectacular thus far, with a 20.76 PER and the type of floor-spacing game that fits Orlando's system. His D hasn't been too shabby either -- check out that fourth-quarter charge he took on Toronto's Andrea Bargnani Sunday.
And despite the solid numbers, Bass has looked a little confused of late -- most notably when I saw him in person against Cleveland nearly two weeks ago. He's played only 20 minutes since that game, one in which he seemed a bit shot-happy and had a couple of defensive lapses.
Will Toronto Ever Get Over VC?
UPDATE 2: More on the man formerly known as Air Canada.
At the risk of offending any rabid Raptors fans out there, while Vince Carter let your team down, he's hardly the first athlete ever to quit on a team and demand a trade. [...]
This non-stop "Judas!" and "Antichrist!" posturing makes columnists and fans look naive, especially when Carter is far from the worst case of this in recent history. Let it go. For his part, Vince was "incredulous ... and mischievous" when responding to the news that he was in the running for an honor. Of course he has a vested interest in taking it all in stride, but part of having a history is learning to put things in perspective. And in the past.
Orlando Finds Bosh’s Kryptonite
UPDATE 3 (from Ben): Magic center Dwight Howard explains to Ryan McNeill of HoopsAddict how he and his teammates were able to limit Raptors power forward Chris Bosh, who entered yesterday's game averaging 27 points and 12 rebounds, to 22 points and 5 rebounds on Sunday afternoon.
"I think the last time we played him we just gave him a free path to the lane and tonight we did a better job of keeping a body on him," Howard explained to me after the game. "We forced him to stay out of the lane and just not be able to get those easy rebounds. The guy who rebounded well tonight for them was Amir Johnson so the next time we play them we need to hit him and hit Chris (Bosh) to get those guys off the glass."
In The Scrum With Dwight Howard
UPDATE 4 (from Ben): McNeill, a friend of ours, also passed along this link to Howard's entire post-game media availability session.