Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) battles Pacers forward Danny Granger, left,… (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated…)
A thorny rivalry
Derrick Rose won't be appearing on a Kiss Cam with any of the Indiana Pacers any time soon.
The typically reserved Chicago point guard did not hold back after Indiana handed the Bulls their first home loss of the season Wednesday, criticizing the Pacers for what he felt was an excessive celebration that carried over from the court to their locker room.
"I'll never forget how they celebrated just from winning this game," Rose said. "I can't wait to play them again."
Too bad the Central Division rivals don't meet again until March 5 at the United Center in Chicago. In the meantime, Rose will have plenty to ponder.
"We were walking into our locker room," Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer told a Chicago radio station, "and you could hear those guys celebrating, cheering, screaming, and that kind of hit home with a lot of guys on our team."
Here's a simple remedy next time: win the game.
Time to Flip out?
Flip Saunders may have been among the least culpable parties for the mess that is the Washington Wizards.
Team President Ernie Grunfeld assembled and enabled one of the most maddening collections of players in NBA history, from the needlessly gun-toting Gilbert Arenas to the needlessly fancy-dunking JaVale McGee. There were other knuckleheads such as forward Andray Blatche, who declared himself a captain on opening night and then played poorly during an epic collapse.
Yet it was Saunders who took the fall, getting fired after the Wizards lost 10 of their first 11 games. The coach put it best himself two years ago when, after a blowout loss to Oklahoma City, he said, "Don't think it can't get any worse, because it can."
Forlorn New York Knicks fans might have hoped their team stumbled upon a winning formula Tuesday.
Carmelo Anthony scored a career-low one point during the Knicks' 33-point victory over Charlotte, which snapped a six-game losing streak. Anthony missed all seven shots, scoring on a third-quarter free throw.
The All-Star forward seemed to suggest that falling so short of his scoring average (25.6 points entering the game) was at least in part by design.
"I just wanted everybody to get back their confidence," Anthony said.
So much for that. The next night, Anthony was back to scoring and the Knicks were back to losing; he had 15 points in a 91-81 loss to Cleveland.
Ringing it in
The Dallas Mavericks unfurled their championship banner on opening night before losing to the Miami Heat.
They distributed their championship rings Wednesday before losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Good thing there's nothing left to hand out. The Mavericks haven't exactly resembled title contenders in the season's first month, but at least now they'll have a little bling to console themselves.
The personalized, diamond-encrusted rings are each worth $40,000. The rings include the team's postseason motto: "The Time is Now."
The way things are going for the Mavericks, it's feeling more like the time has passed.
— Ben Bolch