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Magic Roster Makeover: Trade Lands Gilbert Arenas, Brings Back Hedo Turkoglu

The Orlando Magic were dominating the NBA to begin the season, and then December came.  Something has gone wrong for the Magic lately, and it has resulted in five losses over the last six games.  We’ve known for a while that the Magic were interested in acquiring Gilbert Arenas, but we didn’t know they were going to blow up their roster to make it happen.

Pro Basketball Talk called our attention to a lot of dealing the Magic did on Saturday.  First, Orlando sent Vince Carter, Mikael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark.  When that deal was finished, the Magic then traded Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards to get their boy Gilbert Arenas.

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Dwyane Wade Thinks Knicks Only Wanted LeBron James, Not Him

It seems like forever ago that LeBron James was going through free agency and visiting with the Nets, Knicks, Bulls, Cavs, and Heat. All along it feels like a plan was agreed upon for the King to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, but they all still went on free agent visits. That includes Wade, who has been a lifelong Miami player.

Wade actually said on Friday ahead of the Heat-Knicks game in New York that he feels like the Knicks never wanted him in free agency. “I don’t think they ever really wanted me here, anyway” Wade said. If Wade was merely a supplemental player in New York’s mind then that was the Knicks’ loss. Either that, or maybe they felt Dwyane was only using them for an interview and leverage with the Heat so they didn’t give their full push.

Whatever the reason, we sure know it was a mistake by the Knicks. People, including our own Danny Lee, have ridiculed the Heat because of their struggles to start the year. I’ve maintained confidence in them and it seems to be rewarded; the Heat have won 11 in a row, 10 of which have been by a wide margin. Even though both star players’ numbers seem to be down, they appear to be finally meshing. New York’s loss certainly was Miami’s gain. Tell me the fans at the Garden Friday night don’t realize that.

J.R. Smith Posterizes Gary Neal with Insane Dunk (Video)

Usually when I think J.R. Smith, I think of nothing but three pointers. J.R. can get hot from beyond the arc, but he also throws up a lot of crazy shots that just make you want to shake your head. After seeing the highlight of his dunk last night against the Spurs, maybe Smith can make a case that his NBA 2K11 rating should be higher.  Check out this video of J.R. Smith posterizing Gary Neal, as pointed out by SI Hot Clicks.

No way you can’t respect that.  Rather than throwing it up like most people do with under a second left in the quarter, J.R. realized he was on national television and decided to take flight.  The result was one of the best dunks of 2010.

Amare Stoudemire 3-Pointer Should Have Counted for Knicks Against Celtics

I used to get into this debate on my nationally syndicated radio show all the time. When it comes to buzzer beaters, the clock and instant replay shouldn’t be used but rather the determination should be based on the eyeball test — if a guy is shooting at the buzzer and makes it, the shot should always count. Isn’t that what sports is all about? Isn’t it about making a shot at the buzzer, regardless of whether or not the release was .07 seconds after the clock supposedly expired? Plus, what if the operator started the clock too early, or … what if the clock ran too much time off on the previous possession? That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night.

As Matt Moore pointed out, Paul Pierce’s game-winning shot for the Celtics to beat the Knicks went through the cylinder with 0.8 seconds left. The Knicks should have had that much time left for their final shot, or at least more than their 0.4 seconds. Therefore, Amare Stoudemire’s catch-and-shoot 3 to win it should have counted. Here’s proof of how much time was left when Pierce’s shot cleared the cylinder:

Stoudemire raised for the shot at the buzzer and released it a split second after the buzzer. It didn’t count, but it should have, and the Knicks should have escaped with a one-point win over the Celtics. Tell me this shouldn’t have counted …

Eyeball test my friends, eye ball test. Sometimes we get so technical we get away from the actual game and this is one of those times.

Nate Robinson Upended, Falls on His Head After Paul Pierce Game-Winner (Video)

For the past few days, analysts have been trying to force the concept of a rivalry between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.  The problem is there isn’t one.  Since the Celtics current Big Three joined forces, the Knicks have been horrible.  New York has looked great this season, but it will take more battles like Wednesday night’s for any type of rivalry to take shape.

Wednesday’s game was a battle from start to finish.  Amar’e Stoudemire and the Knicks needed a win to show they are for real, but they came up just short despite Stoudemire’s 39 points.  Paul Pierce hit the game winner with 0.04 seconds remaining, and Nate Robinson unfortunately mistook Pierce for Shrek.  Donkey can jump on Shrek’s back all he wants, but clearly he should think twice before doing it to Pierce again in the future.  Check out this video of Nate Robinson falling on his head over Paul Pierce, courtesy of YouTube user JDRance:

Nate’s lucky he wasn’t get seriously hurt after that.  Is it just me or did Pierce look like he tried to undercut him on purpose? Clearly Nasty Nate should have stuck to the one celebratory jump.  Either that or he should have found Glen Davis and partied with him.

Knicks and Amar’e Stoudemire Have Something to Prove Against Celtics, Heat

The New York Knicks are riding an eight game winning streak during which Amar’e Stoudemire has scored at least 30 points per game, but they’ve mostly been getting fat off less-than-stellar teams. That’s not to say the team isn’t ascending compared to how poorly they had played the previous several seasons.

The next three days are going to give us a better idea of how good the Knicks really are, as they face the Celtics and Heat in their next two games. The Celtics come in to Madison Square Garden with a 10-game win streak intact and the Heat just have to beat the Cavaliers — which shouldn’t be a problem — and they’ll also be on a 10-game win streak going into Friday’s game.

The last time the Celtics and Knicks met, the Celtics came away with the victory 105-101, but this is not the same Knicks team that went 3-7 over its first 10 games. This Knicks team seems to have figured out how to win, but in order to win this game it’s going to be crucial that they prevent Rajon Rondo from having the type of game he did last time. Rondo leads the NBA with 13.7 assists per game and is second in steals with 2.37 per game.

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Nasty Picture of David Lee’s Elbow

Many moons ago we were raving about the Golden State Warriors who were 6-2 through their first eight games. That same day we also posted about the collision between forward David Lee of the Warriors and Wilson Chandler of the Knicks. Lee’s elbow got crossed up with Chandler on a rebound, and some of Chandler’s teeth got stuck in Lee’s elbow (see the video). We had no idea at the time that the injury would end up derailing the Warriors’ season.

Lee wound up missing the team’s next eight games and the Warriors struggled going 1-7 without him. They won his first game back but have lost six in a row since then. Knowing how valuable Lee is to the Warriors, you’re probably wondering how a tooth to the elbow kept him out for over two weeks. Now you know why:

That is one freaking hideous picture. My apologies to you David for wondering if you were soft.