Post Up: Lakers Go H.A.M.
While snow holds back hoops in Atlanta.
Snow! No roads! More importantly, no hoops! They’ll replay this one on March 15. We’ll talk then.
Can watching basketball make you dumber? I’d like to think it can’t, or else there’s no way that I’d be able to string together a decent sentence or two, given all the hoops I’ve checked out over the years. But if there’s ever been a game that can successfully take down a brain cell or two, this was it. Holy hell. The last minute of regulation was a straight-up mess, as the Wizards literally did everything in their power—failed inbounds passes, miserable D, dumb fouls—to make sure the Kings came back (they were down 8 with 45 ticks left) and forced OT. Then after some quality buckets in extra time, it felt like the Wizards wanted a repeat, almost letting the Kings pull a second slick comeback. Anyway, enough rambling—the Wiz held on and won a high-scoring affair, led by Nick Young and his career-high 43 points. Buddies Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee combined for 26 points and 24 rebounds, while John Wall went for 22 points and 9 dimes. And if any words are spelled incorrectly in this post, it’s this game’s falt.
The standard stuff: The Spurs won; Manu Ginobili was solid (19 points, 9 boards); Tony Parker ran the show (12 points, 13 dimes); and Kevin Love dominated (20 points, 20 rebounds, 2 threes, 2 steals) in a loss. But this part was a little weird: During the third quarter, five technical fouls were handed out to different Timberwolves. That’s a big deal in itself, but check this: It all took place in 10 seconds of gameplay. First, one went out to both Darko Milicic and Corey Brewer for gestures made during the same play, then a pair to Coach Rambis for something he yelled as a result, and then one to Love for throwing up his hands on the very next play. Chaos! And it’s still #FreeKevinLove, if you were wondering.
It’ll be pretty interesting to see which two teams take up the final two playoff spots in the East, but if things keep up, this we know: They won’t be very good. As of now, the Pacers, at 15-20, hold the seventh spot, a position they’ve retained despite a whole bunch of recent losses. But they did get a win last night, defeating the Sixers on the road in a relatively empty Wells Fargo Center. Danny Granger led them with 27 points, while Darren Collison (21) and Mike Dunleavy both contributed as well. The Sixers threatened in the final minutes, but a 10-or-so-foot Roy Hibbert hook shot officially shut them down.
The Nuggets might be a little distracted by trade rumors, but they got their stuff together long enough to beat up on the Suns—a team that probably can’t be fixed by a single trade, at this point. Denver shot 55.7 percent from the field, slightly more than Phoenix’s 36.8 percent, as they outscored the Suns 44-23 in the second quarter and never looked back. Arron Afflalo had a career-high 31 points, and Carmelo Anthony had a nice bounce-back showing with 28 points and 10 boards.
After beating a bunch of bad teams, then losing to a bunch of good teams, it seems we can safely nestle the Knicks into the second tier of the NBA, good enough to take down any less talented squad but without the manpower to move up to the elite. They played well last night, defeating a solid Blazers team on the road. Amar’e Stoudemire led NY with 23 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge dropped for the losing squad. The Knickerbockers are in Utah tomorrow night, and the Blazers can chill until their game against Phoenix on Friday.
So, yeah. This happened. What can you say about a game with 112-57 final? The Lakers did what they do, while the Cavs were dreadful. Dreadful. They shot 29.9 percent from the field, had a leading scorer (Alonzo Gee) who put in 12, and went 1-14 from three and 10-16 from the line. A disaster. Not much else to it. With Anderson Varejao out for the year, this is rock bottom. And that’s really all there is to say about that.
(You see, I could’ve made the font of that recap comic sans, but I didn’t. Admit it: I’m far too kind.)
Actual Stats: Nick Young: 43 points, 7 three-pointers, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
Moment of the Night: Gotta be the absurd technical foul blizzard in Minnesota. Will update this when/if some video pops up. Back tomorrow, kids.
UPDATE: Here’s the vid: