by Adam Figman | @afigman
As you might have noticed, some SLAM writers have been passing around the Post Up duties Snoop Dogg-to-Wiz Khalifa style these past couple of weeks. I’ve had some other responsibilities on the site, and a few guys awesomely stepped up and provided some assistance, meaning I could stay up until 4 a.m. working on other things aside from watching basketball and immediately writing about what I observed. (Though I did that a few times, anyway. Couldn’t resist.) But when I looked at the schedule and saw 15 games(!) lined up for the final night of the season, I knew I had to hold this one down on my own. It’d be cruel to even politely ask anyone to put together 15 recaps, which was fine, because it’d give me one last chance to hang out with you guys and spew some random Playoff predictions. With teams fighting for position, the contests would be heated, the readers would be enthralled in the results, I’d have some fun writing it, and all of us would enter the postseason on a nice (basketball) high. Word to both Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa.
And then, things got all screwed up. Most of the Playoff seedings were settled by Tuesday night or beforehand, meaning the postseason contenders would spend Wednesday night boringly resting their players, while the non-postseason contenders would be giving their less talented bench guys some time on the court, because, well, why wouldn’t they? Suddenly writing about 15 games seemed slightly less appealing, even entirely unnecessary.
So here’s the deal. For those of you who are interested in learning about what went down last night, the links to every recap are below. Beneath those are a couple lines that sum up the few games that maintained a little relevance, during which some of the postseason seedings were finalized. And beneath that are all of the now-set-in-stone Playoff matchups, which I hope will lead to some good discussion regarding what you guys and gals expect in the coming weeks.
Two more things.
One: Over the past week or so, a few of you have noted that SLAM doesn’t traditionally run The Post Up through the Playoffs. (It has been done before, but not consistently over the years, probably for a variety of legitimate reasons.) Generally the site has allowed the conversation to continue alongside the usual postseason coverage—Game Notes, liveblogs, etc.—but without a central location for readers to talk about everything. And, we realized, that’s kinda fucked up! So, inspired in many ways by this comment (whatup, Nicolas Fleming!), that’s gonna change. Beginning on Sunday, TPU will be running every morning that follows a day/night of games. The individual recaps within each post will be penned by folks from around the country, all of whom live relatively close to one of the two teams involved in the series he or she is writing about, meaning they’ll be attending some games and will be plenty familiar with the ins and outs of what they’re viewing. Naturally we’ll have to modify some things as teams get eliminated, but the point is, this blog, and, of equal importance, its comment section, aren’t going anywhere. Pretty cool, right?
Two: On a quick personal note, this is my last Post Up, possibly ever, and I just wanted to thank all of you for the support over the course of the season. Given all the instability that surrounds us every day, it’s pretty incredible that we have a place—this blog’s comment section, that is— where some entertaining hoops banter is an absolute guarantee. So thanks to all of you who came back day after day, and thanks to those of you who popped in every once in a while, too. Also, thanks to everyone who helped out these past few weeks—Cris, Eldon, Sam—and props go out to Anton, who held down this space hilariously every weekend. And lastly, a huge thanks to Ben and Ryne, who took a chance on a hungry kid willing to do whatever needed to be done to earn some experience stitching together words about his favorite sport. It was fun. Tiring, but a lot of fun. I’ll always appreciate the opportunity.
Wait, one more thing: Playoffs!!
The Grizzlies seemed to be delivering a little less than a full effort, allowing themselves to lose and fall to the eighth seed, which means they’ll face the Spurs in round one. Not only is San Antonio an easier opponent than LA, but Spurs guard Manu Ginobili took a nasty spill, and though we’ll have more info later today or tomorrow, it looks like he might miss some time. Can’t be good. The Lakers—who forced OT in front of what might be the last raucous Sacramento crowd ever and then attempted to crush the onlooking Kings fans’ hearts by dominating the extra time—will now face the seventh-seeded Hornets, who lost in Dallas. The Mavs and Blazers are all set to go head-to-head as the three v. six. And a shoutout to all the Sacto fans who showed a hell of a display of emotion last night. Losing your favorite team, the team you grew up rooting for every night, to another city? I can’t even imagine.
Your first-round matchups:
1. Bulls vs. 8. Pacers
2. Heat vs. 7. Sixers
3. Celtics vs. 6. Knicks
4. Magic vs. 5. Hawks
1. Spurs vs. 8. Grizzlies
2. Lakers vs. 7. Hornets
3. Mavs vs. 6. Trail Blazers
4. Thunder vs. 5. Nuggets