by Zettler Clay
The Association has a tendency to use a lull as bait; just when you think the cadence of the season is figured out, something happens to heighten — or floor — the senses. On a 10-game Saturday night, copious highlights are a given. But what made last night unusual was the swat party invites.
Twenty-one players recorded two or more blocks. Twelve players rejected three or more shots, to wit:
Without further ado, here are Saturday night’s top five stuffs:
5) Mozgov and ‘Melo
Apparently — maybe — Mozgov reads All-Ball, because a day after being framed as an early candidate for posterdom by yours truly, he posts a season high in points (16), along with a couple of highlights. One is here. Way to go, Tim. Nothing like a quick retort to silence the critics.
4) Serge “Iblocka” and Deron
OK, so Deron Williams‘ hops aren’t Derrick Rose’s. But clean blocks off dunk attempts aren’t as easy as it appears. You get the feeling that Ibaka gets out of bed for these moments.
3) Derrick Favors waits on Nikola Pekovic
Pekovic didn’t have much momentum and Favors had the angle. Plus he was preying on that play as soon as the screen was set. Just mean. And impressive.
2) Yi meets DaJuan Summers at the rim
Talk about full steam. Summers had a good four steps before he took off, but couldn’t avoid the tentacles of the mighty Yi Jianlian. Note the quick sidestep to the left by Yi before launching. Decent degree of difficulty.
1) Dante Cunningham crashes DeMarcus Cousins’ party
My favorite for a couple of reasons. One, it was excellent help-side defense (not to mention footwork) by Cunningham to get to the spot in time. Two, it was a total collaborative effort by the Grizzlies. Gasol shows on the screen, hustles back to Cousins, helps off to cover Francisco Garcia, which leaves Cousins momentarily open. Seventy-five percent (armchair estimate and all) of the time … that’s either a bucket, foul or both. Cunningham, all of 6-foot-8, puts the coup de grace to the Kings’ possession.