• We get it. You're good: What is the reality here?That the Cavs are the best team in the NBA right now or that the Celtics free-fall is more than just a temporary speed bump.
James dumped in 38 points and owned Paul Pierce all night as the Cavs, donning what seems like their 45th home jersey of the season, pounded the Celtics 98-83. Celtics coach Doc Rivers is concerned, but still hopeful: "We have some money in the bank with the 19-game winning streak. We're making a withdrawal we don't want to make right now, but we're still 29-9. This is a tough stretch. I don't like it. But we're going to right the ship. When? I don't know." [LAT/AP]
• Dwight Howard, I Believe Your Magic Is Real: Nobody wants to admit that there's another team in the East that has a shot at this thing. Has to be the gaudy uniforms or the whole magician thing. One person who's not sleeping on the Magic? The Sporting Blog's Tom Ziller who thinks they can actually get better: "Dwight Howard's offense still needs work; instead of scaring Magic fans, that should scare Boston. Orlando's defense is only half-a-point per 100 possessions worse than Boston's, and the offensive output has been virtually identical. But Hedo Turkoglu hasn't been near his best, good fit Mickael Pietrus has been injured, and — again — Howard is still figuring things out. Boston will be better than they are know by March, without question. But Orlando can still improve too. This isn't a one-team conference like last year, or a two-team conference like last month. Orlando's real, and third-place Boston is finding that out now." [Sporting Blog]
• A.I.'s Mile High reunion: Allen Iverson returned to Denver last night to show George Karl that it is possible to win games if he just keeps shooting. Iverson led the Pistons with 23 points. His partner in trade, Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets with 30. Pistons prevail, 93-90. [Denver Post]
• The Sixers may have finally found a life raft to get them off of Suck Island: The identity-less, Elton Brand-less, and immature Sixers managed to shake their inconsistency for one full quarter last night, which was enough to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats. Maybe the Bobcats were distracted by the rumored legal troubles of their assistant coach? Tipster says so: "Heard that former NBA player and current Charlotte Bobcats assistant coach, LaSalle Thompson, has a warrant for his arrest for failure to pay child support. Supposedly he owes close to $100k to his baby mama. The team president and Larry Brown supposedly both know about the warrant but have been ignoring it. I heard from a friend who works for the Bobcats. I think the warrant is out of Indianapolis or Chicago? Do some fact checking and you could uncover a nice little NBA gem." Yeah, who's got time to fact-check? [Philly.com]
• Oh, that makes perfect sense: Greg Oden is Benjamin Button. [SKEETS]