Midway point: Who wants to guard Daequan? … Blogger MVP & ROY awards

Daequan Cook, dressed for a funeralDaequan who?

Daequan Cook.  The Heat’s second-year guard killed the Bucks Wednesday at the BC, shooting 6-8 from 3-point land and scoring 24 pts in the Heat’s 102-99 win. Dwyane Wade had 13 assists, a few of them to the man called Daequan — that other guy from Ohio State — the one not named Greg Oden or Mike Conley, the Memphis point guard at the center of the Ramon Sessions/Joe Alexander trade rumors* that aren’t dying this week as the Bucks reached the halfway point of the season.   *More on that later.

On the Bucks side, Michael Redd missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Redd and Luke Ridnour shot a lot. The second unit looked awful in the 2nd quarter for the 2nd straight game (no seconds for me, thanks). Still, the Bucks had it tied at 55 at half. The starters then shot bricks from the outside coming out of the 3rd quarter and had just 2 points midway through — and a 9-to-7 point hole to climb out of the rest of the way.

Joe Alexander nearly saved the day off the bench. That’s how bad it was. And he almost did. The Bucks were within a play of winning this game in the final minutes, but a bad pass by Richard Jefferson after a steal, a couple of missed layups and it was over.  With the Heat going to a small lineup, Joe played his best game of the year: 13 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assists in 17 mins. He also had a steal and a dunk. Yes, this one counted, unlike the one the other night in Washington after the shot clock expired.

Voting closed tonight on the Vote Joe to the NBA dunk contest. The NBA will announce the results tomorrow.

The Heat website is pretty entertaining: “Feel the Heat experience” … get the cheerleader calender, order cheerleader wallpaper, “get social”, see how the serious the Heat look in dark suits.

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Luc Richard Mbah a MouteRound 5 – NBA Blogger MVP/ROY Awards: This time, I participated and it was fun. Here’s what happens: A bunch of NBA bloggers from all over the country rank 5 Rookie of the Year and 10 MVP candidates, assign a line of snarky yet incisive analysis with each one, send ’em off to the blogger assigned to compile the results, and hope their best one-liners make the cut in the finished round. Washington Wizards blogger Kyle from Truth About It hosted the Round, and 17 of the blogosphere’s NBA obsessed filed ballots. Lebron was unanimous as MVP. The Grizzlies’ O.J. Mayo took ROY over Derrick Rose. But don’t take my word for it, hit the link.

Don’t worry, none of my dumb one liners made it into the final, as I was relegated to straight man duties in the ROY section. How could “If D-Wade played with Pau Gasol, they’d be teammates,” not make the cut you ask?  No you didn’t. But Truth did use some of my stuff and I did get a Milwaukee shot at George Karl in there.

You’ll notice that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute received 3 votes in the ROY balloting. That was me. I ranked the Prince 3rd behind Rose and Mayo and those were the only votes he received out of 85 possible. Apparently the Sports Illustrated article published Tuesday was too late to start the Prince for ROY bandwagon rolling. Defense just isn’t the way to the ROY, and that’s too bad. Maybe next round. (Oh, definitely at least one more time — Mayo plays in the D-League as far as I’m concerned.)

Dunkin’ Joe didn’t score in the poll. I didn’t put the Heat’s Michael Beasley (who also played well tonight with 17 pts) in my five either, tabbing Nets center Brook Lopez and the Bobcats guard D.J. Augustin at four and five after Rose, Mayo and Mbah a Moute. On Lopez I wrote: “He’s big, he rebounds in double figures, the Nets win games and there may be six teams kicking themselves for taking a pass on him.” … What the h#ll, here’s my ballot below. Apologies to Tim Duncan

MVP

10- Lebron James. He’s an all-league defender now, too. That’s scary.
9- Dwight Howard. Proving that, yes, there is a future for NBA centers.
8- Dwyane Wade. If D-Wade played with Pau Gasol, they’d be teammates.
7- Kobe Bryant. Kobe’s giving Gasol a lot of credit this season. He should.
6- Chris Paul. The Hornets look like contenders in the West.
5- Kevin Garnett. Now that he’s on national TV a lot, the people realize they don’t like him. But he’s the leader of the C’s and the player they’d miss the most.
4- Shaquille O’Neal. Come playoff time, the Shaq makeover will be complete and the Suns a tough, tough out.
3- Chauncey Billups. Hard to believe a changing of the guards could make so much difference, but it’s hard to argue with the results. George Karl will find a way to screw things up in Denver.
2- Yao Ming. Can a billion Chinese fans be wrong?
1- Joe Johnson. His Hawks are for real, and positioned to shoot for some home court advantage in the East.

ROY

5- Derrick Rose. Thrown into the fire when Hinrich went down, he’s kept the Bulls in striking distance of the playoffs. Hinrich’s back to take some of the pressure off and this may mean that the ROY goes to Mayo in the end. But up until this point in the season, no rookie has accomplished more than Rose.
4- O.J. Mayo. Other than Rose, the only rookie getting bigtime starter’s minutes. Like Rose, Mayo’s delivering: 19.7 ppg in 38 minutes per don’t lie.
3- Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Have you seen Mbah a Moute play D? The Prince has been the 2nd round find of the draft and helped save another win this week with some timely glasswork against the Wiz.
2- Brook Lopez. He’s big, he rebounds in double figures, the Nets win games and there may be six teams kicking themselves for taking a pass on him.
1- D.J. Augustin. Quickness and good shooting makes Augustin a game-changer in Charlotte. The kid’s a tough assignment, and the ‘Cats look more competitive than they ever have.

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