Rasheed Wallace's shoe streak ends

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Rasheed Wallace.jpgAfter a terrible, terrible, regular season, Rasheed Wallace has played surprisingly well in the playoffs. In both the Cleveland and Orlando series, Rasheed has shown that he does have some worth. He’s played tough defense, given fouls, and even hit some timely threes. However, Rasheed did not play well at all on Monday night, going 2-7 from the field and missing all four of his threes. It could easily have just been a bad game, but maybe Rasheed’s shoes were to blame — for the first time in a decade, Wallace was not wearing his trademark Air Force One sneakers, at least not for the first half of the game. I’ll let Ball Don’t Lie’s Trey Kerby take it from here:

“Instead of his trademark AF1s, Wallace started the game wearing a pair of white Nike Zoom Sharkalaids, a hybrid sneaker worn by the likes of Deron Williams and Rudy Gay this season. According to Sole Collector’s Nick DePaula, it was the first time in more than 10 years that Sheed had taken the court in anything but Nike’s first air-soled basketball shoe. Truly the end of an era, people.

Apparently confused by the extra strap and comfortable padding, Sheed changed out of his newfangled shoes and back into some all-white Air Force 1s for the second half of the game. Changing shoes mid-game is the new trend in Boston, I guess.”

So not only did Boston’s six-game playoff winning streak get snapped on Monday night, Rasheed’s Ripken-like sneaker streak ended as well. I would venture to guess that Rasheed won’t deviate from his standard shoe routine before game five.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.