Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 9:13 am  |  10 responses

The Post Up: Down to the Wire

Just the way we like it.

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

It’s here. Happy last day of the regular season, people. Hard to believe, isn’t it? On one hand, this has felt like a long season, especially when thinking of the ups and downs of the Raptors, particularly after the All-Star break, but on the other, feels like we were just tipping off the 2009-2010 campaign.

The best part is, we’re on the last day and still, there are things to play for tonnight. Playoff positioning, tiebreakers, even making it to the postseason or not.

Because the Celtics failed miserably at trying to take down the Bulls last night, the Raptors will have to win their game against the Knicks this evening, and hope that the Bobcats defeat the Bulls. If that happens, they’ll be in. In the West, the Lakers/Thunder is the only match up that is locked up for sure. In the East, the Magic will take on the Bobcats.

As for the rest of the Western Conference scenarios, there are too many and I’ll confuse the both of us if I try to explain them. I’m looking forward to the Thunder/Lakers first round match up, though. Also, can’t help but think of that game against the Jazz where the refs blew that foul call on KD on the final possession. Might have made a difference in the standings with how packed this race is.

After all of the discussion about whether or not it’s right to sit your star players if you’ve got your playoff spot locked up, Carlos Boozer went down with a strained muscle in his rib cage, while JR Smith and Kenyon Martin both left the game (one with an ankle issue, one with trouble to his knee).  Yeah, their teams had something to play for, but just shows once again, that an injury can happen at any time. If you’ve earned yourself your spot, I understand why you would sit your best guys. Not saying it’s right, but it makes sense. At least in my world.

Did anyone catch Tyreke Evans get tossed in the Lakers game last night? I was blogging the Suns/Nuggets so I missed it. Has another rookie gotten tossed this season? I can’t quite recall. Paul Millsap had 24 rebounds for the Jazz against the Warriors while Devean George scored 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Really. Just reminding us he’s survived another year in the L. Derrick Rose’s 39 against the Celtics were great, but the difference there was irk Hinrich who finished with 30. Yeah. You don’t expect that one. Gotta hand it to the Bulls, they made their playoff guarantee and the moment their back was to the wall after that loss to the Nets, they’ve been the team that’s fighting for it more than the Raptors. It’ll be interesting to see what happens tonight.

And of course, interesting to see what transpires for the playoffs. Whooooo, another one in the books. Guess I’m officially no longer a rookie. Kinda. Thanks for being with me for the season. Best of luck to your favorite team and players. Let’s have some NBA madness!

The Hawks are the third seed in the East, because of the Bulls victory over the Celtics.

With the Suns blowout victory over the Nuggets, they guaranteed themselves homecourt advantage and at least a fourth finish. The Nuggets will be fourth or fifth. After Utah took care of business against the Warriors, they took the Northwest Division lead and may finish second, third or fourth, depending on what goes down this evening.

In the East, the Heat will clinch fifth with a win against the Nets tonight or a Bucks loss against the Celtics. If they end up tying, the Bucks own the 3-1 tiebreaker. Love how these things are coming right down to it. Reminds me of the West a few years ago when 50 wins wasn’t enough to automatically get you into the postseason.

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  • Ken

    Huuuuge win for the Suns. I hope we win again tonight and get that 3 seed. Still, props to Gentry…Suns are in the playoffs with home court advantage? I don’t think anybody saw that coming.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    It’s partially a relief to know the season is over tonight and the matchups will be set. Trying to figure out seeding and tie breakers on a daily basis became a rather draining activity. It’s also sad though, knowing that the half of the league that wont make the post season has to wait til October to play again.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Omar – “It’s all in the game, yo”
    Prop Joe – *nods, fat jiggles*

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    the nuggets were pathetic last night… and infact, have been pathetic most of the season. I dont care if Dantley is a HOFer or not, the man can NOT coach

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton
  • The D Train

    Remember at the beginning of the year when tons o’people were up in arms about Derrick Rose being rated as the 20th best player in the L (or somewhere close to that…I actually think he was a bit higher, but do not remember for sure)? He sure looked the part last night in a must-win game and has not disappointed all of us that had giant hopes for him. Unfortunately cannot really say the same for his squadron, although Joakim has been beyond awesome.

  • The D Train

    Okay, so Slam had Rose listed at 18. Here is what Franklyn Calle wrote, “With Ben Gordon leaving to the Pistons, you can expect for Rose’s stats to increase by a good amount. A 22-point, 8-assist, and 6-rebound season is very well possible.” Rose’s current averages…21 pts, 6 assists, 4 rebounds. Pretty good call there, Franklyn. I’d like to think that if Luol Deng and Heinrich were not off their game this year, Rose might have come a bit closer to the 8-assists-a-night mark, but impressive nonetheless.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    @D Train – Deng is averaging 18 and 8 a game. He’s just been injured. It’s the loss of Gordon that’s hurt Rose statistically the most, since he’s not getting that easy kick-out 3pointer assist this year. Salmons to a lesser extent.
    Loosing Thomas for alley-oop connections doesn’t help either.
    Rose still wasn’t a top 20 player this year though, he was AWFUL up until about 3 weeks prior to the AS Weekend. Couldn’t get over that ankle injury. He’s picked it up since then though, absolutely.

  • LA Huey

    In the East, I hope we can at least get a Heat-Celtics 1st round match. That would be fun.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Last Post Up of the year tomorrow, H? Or do you have some Playoff specials headed our way?