The Post Up: Congrats, Nellie
His rookie is ridiculously good.
by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack
And the hits keep coming.
After losing Chris Bosh last night, the Raptors learned they’d be without him for the rest of the regular season as he underwent successful surgery for a nasal fracture. In the first quarter, Hedo Turkoglu collided with Tony Allen and went to the hospital for a CT scan on what the team is calling a nasal contusion. Turk had been starting because Antoine Wright had re-aggravated his ankle in Cleveland. Jarrett Jack was hobbling around out there in the fourth because he, too, rolled and ankle. And then there was Amir Johnson. Having Big Baby roll into your knee isn’t a recipe for feeling fine, but that’s exactly what happened to Johnson.
I thought bad things were supposed to come in threes. There have been more than three around here and yeeesh, timing couldn’t be any worse. Anyway, onto the game. The Raptors hung with the C’s in the first half, but once the second half hit, Rajon Rondo turned things up a notch and the Celtics looked vet savvy, rather than old. Michael Finley was awesome, dropping in 11 points in the fourth on a perfect 4-4 from the floor. He drilled three 3-pointers, the final a dagger that closed the door on the Raptors.
Rondo’s so good, you watch him and comment a few times to yourself on how quick he is, but then you see the boxscore and realize he had 21 points and he scored them on 8-of-11 field goals. He also added seven dimes and five boards as the Celtics shot 56 percent from the floor in the win. In an 11-point loss, the Raptors attempted just three second half free throws while the Celtics went to the line 18 times. There’s a Kevin Garnett/Michael Jordan joke waiting to be made, but I’ll leave it since I’ve OD’d on them in the past week.
Raptors/Bulls are still battling it out for the final playoff spot in the East. They’ll face each other Sunday night at the ACC.
In the West, Steph Curry went off against the TWolves and helped his coach clinch the most wins by an NBA coach. Curry had 27 points, eight rebounds, 14 assists and seven steals. I don’t care your opponent, that’s a line, isn’t it? A 116-107 victory in Minnesota with his wife and some friends and family watching, congratulations to Don Nelson. I haven’t always agreed with his methods –and madness– but he has stood the test of time and it’s pretty cool to see him get the record. Also kinda cool that he does it in a year where they’ve had so many injuries and D-League guys brought up. It’s a milestone they had to come together to fight for. It was awesome to see the highlights of Nellie getting sprayed with sprite and water and whatever else the guys found in the locker room.
P.S. Anthony Tolliver had 34 points in the game for the Warriors. Love seeing these D-League guys get their shot, make the most of it and earn themselves some dollars while living their dream.
What’s badass? Dwyane Wade knocking down some free throws and then stopping by the Sixers bench to fix Eddie Jordan’s tie with 48 seconds remaining as the Heat got the 99-95 victory over Philadelphia. Rough ending for the Sixers as Sam Dalembert’s first slam was waved off because Jrue Holiday was called for a foul and then on the next Philly possession, Sam D. was called for offensive interference. Suddenly, the Heat have won nine straight and are battling with Milwaukee for the fifth and sixth spots.
Speaking of playoff spots, you check the western conference race today? Six through eight are tied, while two through four are also tied with Utah standing along at five just one-half game back from two, three and four. Whew, that make any sense to you? I’m losing my mind with “magic numbers” and “if they win this or lose that” scenarios. For someone that ditched calculus many moons ago to follow my writing love, never thought I’d be dealing with so many numbers and stats.
That Carmelo Anthony collapsing on the court deal was just plain scary. With the way guys have been going down, thank goodness he was okay and just shaken up after his head appeared to make contact with Kevin Durant’s torso. When he immediately went down and was lying on the court, it looked as though he was passed out. I still don’t get why the officials allowed play to continue as Melo remained down, totally down, and out of it. That’s a dangerous situation waiting to happen. I know guys often have to commit a foul when someone gets injured and I’ve always hated that, but when you’ve got a guy down and it becomes a hazard for everyone on the court trying to play around him, just blow the whistle. I wonder if they’d allow the play to continue if it were LeBron or Kobe lying on the court like that? Also, wonder why JR didn’t just call a timeout, but you know, I kinda answered my own question there.
Did you all see Marcus Thornton’s slam over Gerald Wallace last night? That’s a poster. Maybe a Slamadamonth? It was pretty great.
Now, could we please make it through this week without any other weird NBA things happening. Awful injuries, surgery, an emergency landing for the Heat’s plane, Melo collapsing. Yes, I’d like the remainder of the week to have more action like the Utah/OKC game. Minus the officials screwing up in crunch time, of course.