Scores from last night:
The just got done with our 4th visit from Time Warner edition. Or, how I learned to re-wire an apartment in just 6 easy hours.
Just two more nights of regular season action, and we’re (pretty much) set in terms of who is facing whom in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.
The biggest game of the night was Phoenix traveling to always-tough Utah to fight for their playoff lives. They lost, and Utah clinched. All the effusive praise for Steve Nash doesn’t change the fact we aren’t seeing him this spring/summer. I blame Robert Sarver, but it could just be the end of Phoenix’s Steve Nash experiment. At least it netted him back-to-back MVP awards (however you might feel about them). If I have time, I’ll write another post about this game, but for now just know it was basically the Paul Millsap show, and Phoenix didn’t have an answer for Utah’s frontcourt.
The Hawks beat the Clippers, which means they can get homecourt advantage in their 1st round match-up against Boston (even though Boston won their division and clinched the 4th seed) because they have a better record. That is, if Atlanta beat Dallas on Thursday night. If Boston beats Milwaukee and Atlanta loses to Dallas, the Celtics will get homecourt advantage. Got it?
Boston did beat a Big Three-Less Heat team last night. Boston was missing Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo as well. If you were really excited about your Celtics-Heat tickets for late April, I’m so sorry. The game was awful on both ends.
Oklahoma City and DeQuan Cook’s 19 4th quarter points helped the Thunder overtake a tough Kings team. Durant had 32 points while sitting out the entire 4th quarter. He’s a couple tenth’s of a point ahead of Kobe Bryant for the scoring title. Kobe made some caustic remark about the scoring title and how little he cares (or else he’d have scored 50 against San Antonio the other night), so it appears Durant will win his 3rd-straight. Can’t say I particularly care—unless there’s some sort of late minute scoring fireworks a la David Robinson on the last day of the 93-94 regular season.
In tanking news, the Hornets went to Golden State and got the win, which is a relief to Golden State’s management. Whether there were any overt directions from the coaching staff (I doubt it since Mark Jackson is a puffy competitor), for Chris Wright to goaltend Marco Bellinelli’s game-winning lay-up as time expired, remains to be seen. Read Ethan Sherwood Strauss’ post for Bleacher Report, to better understand why the Warriors have tanked the last month of the season. It shows how protected picks basically force teams to tank if there’s no chance at a playoff spot. Of the remaining 14 teams that don’t make the playoffs, they’re in a competition to see whom can get a nice lottery spot. Thus, tanking and endless editorials shaming them for the practice. Lets change the rules so protected picks can only be for the top 3.
Can’t wait to stop thinking about tanking, and start worrying about the playoffs.
Home teams in CAPS.
- ATLANTA HAWKS 109 - Los Angeles Clippers 102
- BOSTON CELTICS 78 - Miami Heat 66
- OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 118 - Sacramento Kings 110
- New Orleans Hornets 83 - GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 81
- UTAH JAZZ 100 - Phoenix Suns 88