Knicks 82 – Pacers 105
Recap: Bargnani led the Knicks in scoring with 25 so that’s how you know they lost. Indiana jumped out to a 65 – 41 halftime lead and coasted from there. The Knicks have lost the last 2 games by a combined 61 points. George Hill had 21 and 6 assists and Rodney Stuckey chipped in 17 off the bench for the Pacers.
Importance: Miami and Charlotte, currently seeded at 7 and 8 both won last night, so this win kept the Pacers a half game back of number 8, a full game back of number 7, and a ½ game up on the 10th seeded Nets. It also kept them 1 ½ games up over Boston, who also had a win last night.
Pondering: The Knicks season is like that scene in The Patriot where Mel Gibson is just hacking and hacking at the body in the stream and everyone just wants him to stop because it’s disgusting and weird. I also just found out that George Hill has only played in 21 games this year. I haven’t paid attention to the Pacers much.
Suns 105 – Magic 100
Recap: Phoenix used a big 3rd quarter and Brandon Knight’s best game as a Sun (28 and 7 assists) to overcome Victor Oladipo’s huge night. Oladipo had 38 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds on an efficient 15-25 shooting. Eric Bledsoe also came close-ish to a triple-double at 13 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.
Importance: The Suns remained 2 ½ games back of OKC for the 8th spot, and 1 ½ game back of New Orleans who is currently sitting in the 9th spot. Somehow, that 2 ½ games is looking tough to overcome with the way Russ Westbrook is playing right now.
Pondering: The Suns now have a Brandon Knight and a Brandon Wright. That’s a bar just waiting to happen. That’s what rappers say, right? Bars? The Suns might be a year away from the playoffs but that roster is looking primed for a few great seasons. It’s really a shame they don’t play in the East.
Jazz 84 – Celtics 85
Recap: I got to watch the end of this game and it was crazy. Gordon Hayward hit a shot to put the Jazz up one with 1.7 seconds left. On the last play, Marcus Smart lofted a pass to Tyler Zeller from half court and Zeller made a tough lay-up for the win. The Celtics were fairly balanced in this one but Isaiah Thomas continued his hot streak since joining the Celtics and put up 21 points and 7 assists.
Importance: The Celtics kept pace with 9Indiana, 8Charlotte, and 7Miami in the race for the bottom of the East. They gained a game on the 10th place Nets who lost to the Hornets. They are 2 games out of 8th and 2 ½ out of 7th. The Jazz have been playing great basketball lately and this one would’ve made it 4 in a row for Utah.
Pondering: I think that shooting the ball as the buzzer goes off is a skill. I understand that shooting with 2 or 3 seconds gives you an opportunity for a 2nd chance bucket but giving the other team that opportunity can kill you. Isaiah Thomas also looks fantastic in a Celtics uniform thus far. Maybe I am flip-flopping on Danny Ainge? I don’t know.
Hornets 115 – Nets 91
Recap: The Mo Williams renaissance tour continued, with Mo putting up 14 points and 14 assists in the win. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a double-double (10 points and 13 rebounds) and the Hornets got their 3rd straight win. No one starred for the Nets in this one and Joe Johnson only had 2 points and 2 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Importance: The Hornets jumped into the 8th spot, which was previously occupied by Brooklyn. They are a ½ game up on Indiana, a full game up on the Nets, and a ½ game down of Miami for that 8th spot.
Pondering: The Hornets started the season off at 6-19. Since then they are a respectable 20-14 and winners of 4 of the last 5. Plus, Kemba is coming back. Also, can someone tell Brook Lopez that he’s 7 feet tall and that he should be grabbing a fricken’ rebound. No one cares that he can score like a goof ball. Joe Johnson, what was that?
Cavs 120 – Raptors 112
Recap: I know that ESPN is on LBJ’s D all of the time but he really is extraordinary. He had 29 points, 14 assists, and 6 rebounds and it was just a ho-hum night for him. Kyrie also chipped in 26 points and 8 assists and the Cavs beat the Raptors, who were without Kyle Lowry for a 3rd straight game. Lou Williams had a nice game with 26 points and 6 assists and Vasquez would’ve been a nice cheap draft kings play with 13 assists.
Importance: Top-of-the-east late season bragging rights. Toronto, Cleveland, and Chicago are all tied up in the standings but Toronto has a strangle hold on the Atlantic division and will either be the 2 or 3 seed in the playoffs. Cleveland would love to move ahead of the Bulls and grab the 2 seed and home court for a bigger chunk of the playoffs.
Pondering: Even though the Raptors have been good all season, I’m not sold. I think I’m a sucker for the big names because I feel the same way about the Hawks. I’m really hoping they prove me wrong because I would prefer a Hawks-Raptors playoff series over anything else the east has going on.
Grizzlies 102 – Rockets 100
Recap: Marc Gasol got the ball on the final play and hit an awkward little game winner in the lane. Those European big men can really play the game though. Z-bo came back and had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists and Marc put in 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists to go with his game winner. Harden came back from his ball-kicking suspension and had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Terrence Jones had 21 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.
Importance: West Coast seeding implications. As I’ve said before, there really are no good seeds to be in the West. The win gave Memphis a 2 ½ game lead over the Rockets and left Houston tied in 3rd with Portland. Right now, Memphis would get the Spurs in the first and Houston would get the Clippers. Poor West Coast teams.
Pondering: When your Center and PF combine for 12 assists, you’re in good shape. The Grizzlies had 27 team assists and are looking like a legitimate contender this year. As for the Rockets, is Pablo Prigioni falling out of the rotation? Say it ain’t so – Weezer
Nuggets 100 – Timberwolves 85
Recap: The Nuggets kept up their post-Shaw hot streak, with Kenneth Faried putting up 18 points and 14 rebounds. The Rooster (Gallinari) had another solid game with 16 points and seems to be returning back to his pre-ACL tear form. Wiggins had a few highlight reel dunks and went for 20 points and Ricky had a double-double with 10 and 10 assists.
Importance: None whatsoever.
Pondering: Kevin Garnett was spitting acid in the game and s-ing all over the Nuggets and how they quit on Brian Shaw. It is interesting to see how well they are playing now that he’s gone. It’s easy to point fingers at their maturity level but Brian Shaw might have really been terrible to work with. They would know the best.
Pistons 85 – Pelicans 88
Recap: The Brow was a beast in this one. He had 39 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 blocks to go along with multiple clutch jumpers in the 4th. Tyreke continues to play well and had 21 points and 9 assists in the win. Reggie Jackson also had another solid outing for the Pistons in the loss and posted 14 points and 11 assists and Drummond was a beast on the boards with 18.
Importance: With 4 straight losses, the Pistons playoff chances are fading away like a Josh Smith jumper. Like the jumper, they still have a chance to get in but the percentage isn’t looking so good as they fell 4 ½ games back of the 8th spot. The Pelicans are hanging around that 8th spot in the West and remained 1 win back of OKC for the final spot. With the way that Russell is playing, that 1 game feels like a lot more.
Pondering: I haven’t had the chance to watch Anthony Davis much so I was pumped I had the opportunity to see him last night. He is a superstar. So good. I do wish that he would get rid of that ugly caterpillar of an eyebrow though. He looks like a Hey Arnold! Character. Eric Gordon kind of screwed me in Draft Kings too so I’m not pumped on him right now.
76ers 118 – Thunder 123
Recap: Russell Westbrook isn’t human right now. He had his fourth straight triple-double and a fricken monster one. He went for 49 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. So fast and so fun to watch. The 76ers are actually a fun-ish team to watch. Isaiah Canaan played great and had 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists and Mbah a Moute had a big double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. The 76ers kept hanging around and nearly pulled this one out.
Importance: OKC stayed a game up on the Pelicans for the 8th seed in the West. It’s hard to believe that they are fighting for their playoff life with the way that Russ has been playing. This was also a great loss for the 76ers who are always playing for draft pick. You might as well make it exciting if you’re going to lose!
Pondering: I saw on ESPN that Michael Jordan had 7 straight triple-doubles in 1988. 1) That was a long time ago and 2) man, he was so good. As far as Russ, count me as one of the ones that is a bit surprised at HOW good he has become and give him credit for knowing it all along and not conforming to the media’s view of him. I’m tuning in next game to see him get 5!
Lakers 94 – Heat 100
Recap: As you may know, I am a huge Jeremy Lin apologist. J-Lin continued his solid stretch of games and had 12 points and 9 assists and only 1 turnover in the loss. Not a great shooting night but it’s nice to see him get some confidence back again. Hassan Whiteside was a loony-tune on the boards and had 25 on the night to complement his 18 points. D-Wade had 25 and 6 assists and Dragic both had 21 with 6 assists.
Importance: The Heat held the 7th seed and remain a ½ game up on number 8 Charlotte and a full game up on Indiana in the 9th spot.
Pondering: Hassan Whiteside needs to give Brook Lopez a Hakeem-like course on rebounding this summer. Who saw this guy coming? Not me. ESPN has decided that they need a new squeeze in Miami though because they are non-stop Hassan Whitesiding all over the place now. There is a part of me that wants a Cleveland – Miami first round series but the other part of me knows that it will be a sportscenter slurpfest if that happens and no one wants that.
Kings 85 – Spurs 112
Recap: Kawhi, TP, and Danny Green led the balanced Spurs attack for the big win. Nothing too flashy from anyone stat-wise and that is how the Spurs roll. Same goes for the Kings but that’s not how they win. Honestly, it is a very boring box score.
Importance: The Spurs are the 7th seed and 4 ½ up on the 9th seeded Pelicans in the West. Somehow 4 ½ seems extraordinarily safe in the hands of San Antonio.
Pondering: Even as the defending champs, the Spurs are flying under the radar again. No one would be shocked to seem them lift the trophy again in June. Huh, June sounds very far away with the way the snow is falling outside of my window right now. PS. I have a snow day! Hooray!
Bucks 93 – Warriors 102
Recap: Draymond Green was the best Warrior last night and posted 23 points and 12 rebounds. The splash brothas had a relatively poor shooting night, combining for 11 – 32, but the dubs still got the dub. Michael Carter-Williams had a decent stat night, with 16 points and 7 assists but only shot 5 of 14.
Importance: The Warriors stayed 4 ½ games up on Memphis for the number 1 seed in the West. That thing would be nice for them to have with the way the fans behave come playoff time in the bay area. The Bucks are still 4 ½ games up on the Heat for the 6th seed in the west so not a huge loss.
Pondering: Oh man, the Bucks are a playoff team? It hasn’t been pretty since they got rid of Brandon Knight. In fact, they’ve lost 6 of 7 games. It’s easy to point fingers at Michael Carter-Williams so I’m going to do that. Come on, Michael.
Blazers 98 – Clippers 93
Recap: Batum has had a down year but had a really nice game with 20 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. LaMarcus had 29 points and 9 rebounds, and Dame Lillard only had 5 points but pulled down an impressive 18 rebounds. CP3 had a crazy night with 36 points and 12 assists and DeAndre pulled down 19 boards in the loss.
Importance: Western Conference seeding. Portland gained a 1 ½ game lead on the Clippers with the win and sit in the 3rd spot, slated to play Dallas in round 1. The Clippers moved to 5 and no home court advantage against Houston.
Pondering: I don’t know why I feel that Dallas is the weakling in the West but I do. I also haven’t watched them much so I might be crazy. Man, 13 games was a lot to recap!
Time to let the coffee do its work. I’ll be in my office if anyone needs me.