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Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 8:40 am  |  70 responses

Post Up: Are We There Yet?

Heat lock up two seed; Mavs leap Lakers.

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

Miami 98, Atlanta 90

Boston who? With their eighth win in their last 10 games and Boston’s loss to Washington, the Heat secured the No. 2 seed in the East, setting up a date with the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the Playoffs. Led by LeBron James’ 34 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, the Big Three combined for 70 points, 24 rebounds, and 15 assists. Josh Smith led Atlanta with 17 points and six rebounds, and ex-Hawk Mike Bibby scored 10 points against his former team.

With Atlanta locked into the fifth seed, Larry Drew rested his starters in the fourth quarter, easing Miami’s path to victory. After 81 games of non-stop dissection, knit-picking, and heavy scrutiny, the Heat will finish the season as the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Not too bad if you ask me.

Orlando 95, Philadelphia 85

Dwight Howard returned from his one game suspension to the tune of 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Magic over the Sixers, who are now locked in the seventh seed. Orlando outrebounded Phili 56-31, as Howard collected more boards than Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes, and Marreesee Speights combined. Playing without Andre Iguodala (knee) and Lou Williams (hamstring), Brand led the Sixers with 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference. Quentin Richardson (suspension), Gilbert Arenas (knee), and JJ Redick (abdominal strain) all sat out for the Magic, but Ryan Anderson contributed 18 points and 14 rebounds in only 22 minutes. Phili is now 41-40, and with a win in the season finale, it will achieve its first winning season since 2004-05.

Charlotte 105, New Jersey 103

After Sasha Vujacic (19 points) hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 103 with 10.9 seconds remaining, DJ Augustin answered back with a fadeaway jumper with 1.1 seconds on the clock to provide an exciting finish (if there is such a thing in a mid-April Bobcats-Nets game) and give Charlotte the victory. Dante Cunningham led Charlotte with a career-high 21 points, as all five Bobcat starters scored in double figures. Brook Lopez had 31 points to lead New Jersey.

Off the court, Nets star Deron Williams underwent surgery on his wrist yesterday, and is expected to be out of commission for six-eight weeks. Shouldn’t be a problem though, as New Jersey will watch the postseason from home.

Washington 95, Boston 94

The Celtics seem content with the No. 3 seed, as Doc Rivers rested Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo in last night’s overtime loss. Rivers said he wanted to “reset the team,” and have his squad running on a full tank to begin the Playoffs.

Rookie Jordan Crawford continues to make a name for himself, scoring 17 points and dishing six assists for the Wizards. John Wall poured in 24 points and nine rebounds, going 14-15 from the charity stripe. All five Celtic starters scored in double figures, as Jeff Green and Glen Davis each scored 20 points in a losing effort.

Cleveland 110, Detroit 101

When you shoot 50 percent as a team, you will normally win the game. Well, normal has been the antithesis of the Detroit Pistons this season. After jumping out to a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Pistons lost the next two quarters 66-42, en route to a nine-point loss. Charlie Villanueva and Ryan Hollins got into a mini-scuffle that erupted into Villanueva attempting to jump Collins in the Cavs locker room. JJ Hickson led Cleveland with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Rodney Stuckey had a game-high 29 points (13-13 free throws) and 14 assists in a losing effort. Powerhouses just a short time ago, the Cavs and Pistons now occupy the basement of the Eastern Conference.

Utah 90, New Orleans 78

In sixth place at the start of the week, the New Orleans Hornets have now dropped to the eighth seed after losing their second straight last night. After going scoreless for the first time in his career against Memphis, Chris Paul had a meager 15 points and five assists in 35 minutes, while Devin Harris and CJ Miles each chipped in 18 points for the Jazz. Gordon Hayward continued his recent success, scoring 14 points on 6-8 shooting. With one game remaining, the Hornets are a half-game behind Memphis for the seventh seed.

Milwaukee 93, Toronto 86

John Salmons led all players with 24 points, and Brandon Jennings contributed 21 points, six rebounds, and four steals to help Milwaukee complete a come-from-behind win. All five Toronto starters scored in double figures, led by Jerryd Bayless’ 20, but the Raptors only fielded eight players, as opposed to the Bucks’ 12.

In what could very well be his final stretch with Milwaukee, Michael Redd scored two points on 1-6 shooting. Redd, who is making $18 million this season, will be a free agent at seasons end after 11 years with the Bucks.

Dallas 98, Houston 91

After losing four straight, the Mavs picked up their third consecutive win last night, and in the process leaped the Lakers for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Shawn Marion and Jason Terry each contributed 21 points in the overtime win—Dallas’ first overtime game of the season. Kevin Martin led Houston with 28 points, but also led his team with seven turnovers.

Denver 134, Golden State 111

Nine of Denver’s 10 players scored in double figures last night, as George Karl’s team earned its 50th victory and continued its improbable post-Melo success. JR Smith led the Nuggets with 22 points, but this was a collective effort, as every single Denver player had a positive +/-. Chris Anderson scored 14 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and swatted four shots off the bench, and rising sophomore Ty Lawson paced the Nugs with 14 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright each had 27 points to lead the Warriors, but any offensive production was negated by abysmal defense. Same story, different year for the Golden State Warriors.

Phoenix 135, Minnesota 127

Behind a game-high 33 points from Channing Frye, the Suns pulled out the overtime victory in Phoenix. Jared Dudley scored 26 points, and Steve Nash contributed eight points and 16 assists to lead the Suns. All five Minnesota starters scored in double figures, as Michael Beasley had a team-high 26 points in a losing effort.

Side note: With all the hoopla surrounding Rajon Rondo throughout the year, it’s worth noting that Nash overtook Rondo for the assist title last night, and has a good chance of winning his fifth title in the last seven years.

Oklahoma City 120, Sacramento 112

DeMarcus Cousins bodied OKC’s frontline, heading to the free throw line 21 times and finishing with 30 points and nine rebounds. But Cousins’ stellar play wasn’t enough to match Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s combined 62 points. Serge Ibaka had eight rebounds and six blocks for the Thunder, as the team won its fifth straight. OKC can finish no worse than fourth in the West, and can finish as high as second.

Highlight of the night:

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Hi Knicks fans…..bye Knicks fans! LMAO!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    I love Danny Granger for talking smack about the Bulls, like they need any more motivation after that horrible loss a couple of weeks ago. Keep going Pacers, keep it coming.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out to Jason Richardson giving Steve Nash’s kids a black half brother.

  • Riggs

    the baby was white.

  • RobbieJay

    Lets face it people, the Hawks will not go deep into the playoffs, they tend to have good defensive spurts, but never consistent for a full 48 minutes. Joe Johnson isnt playing anywhere near the level he should be at after getting that HUGE max contract deal. The celtics are done, the heat and bulls will be in the conference finals. book it

  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    I can’t believe Rondo slid that much to let Nash catch him.

  • RobbieJay

    oh and btw, that amare ad is annoying as f*ck

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    The Superfriends barely securing no. 2 seed= underachievement.

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    Superfriends not winning a chip this year= Epic fail/Baasketball Failure of the Century

  • Showtime

    Huh??? It seems these Slam predictiors are faker then Mrs. Cleo…Ok im take a stab at it BOSTON : 4 Knicks probable : 2 BOOK IT!!!

  • mj23

    Heat didn’t look to impressive against the Hawks. I mean the entire 4th quarter, the Hawks had their second unit in there while the Heat had their starters play the entire game, and still it was a close game. Wade and Lebron have played a lot of minutes this season. Let’s see how that will affect them in the playoffs.

  • Riggs

    Im not gonna count the celtics out after their play last post-season.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/04/the-knicks-are-finally-back-in-the-playoffs/ IAMORANGE4EVER

    Well, it looks like the Heat index will survive the first round after all. The truth is, last week (click my name) I figured it would be the C’s in the first round for the Knicks as the 6 seed, but I really wanted the Heat and an opportunity to end their season in the 1st round. I swear, last night you could hear the Heatles exhaling all the way down in the ATL after they avoided the Knicks in the first round. With that said, the time has come for NY to end another Boston team’s season in the playoffs like the Jets did the Patsies! Go NY KNICKS!

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    Not predicting, just pointing how it should and will be viewed if the team, who basically threw a victory parade in the summer, doesn’t win it all.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I saw all I needed too of Boston/Miami Sunday. The Heat are younger, hungrier, more athletic. Wade is motivated to lock down Ray Ray. Earlier in the year Boston was the best team in basketball, but at that point they had a healthy and rejuvenated Shaq.
    Chris Paul played an ok game last night. His 15/5 led the team in both categories, whilst he chipped in 5 boards and 3 steals. Realistically, he had a sub-par game, but the rest of the Hornets being truly awful clouded that over.

  • vtrobot

    MIA was probably more relieved to not have to face NY than they were about securing home court in the 2nd round. I wanted NY and BOS to meet up in the 2nd round, but we will have two potentially great series in a row (NY/BOS and then the winner v. MIA). Can’t wait to get this going.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    These new Knicks fans are an embarrassment to all of NY, Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Bernard King, Walt Frazier, Charles Oakley and Spike Lee’s seat cushion. Thankfully, in about 2 weeks, the good people of SLAMOnline won’t have to read their bullsh*t any longer.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Any true basketball fan that wouldn’t want to see Boston/Miami in the second round should go over to MLB Network and catch some 1-0 baseball games for the rest of the spring.

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    Who’s a “new” Knick fan? Granted we haven’t been around since 1940 likke you have, but I’m more than old enough to remember the Knicks rivalry with Alonzo “Whiny B*tch” Mourning the Heat of the 90′s.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    It was so obvious last night that Bron, Bosh, and Wade wanted no part of the Knicks in the playoffs – mostly Bron though. lol

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    look at AllBall, thinking he can draw conclusions after a single regular season game. younger and more athletic, yes. hungrier? doubt it. the c’s are bitter about last years loss, and they know their window’s closing. plus, they are all proven rip-your-heart-out competitors. as far as heat stars go, you can only say that about wade. the celtics are also more experienced, have a better coach (huge understatement), and even after the trade, way more chemistry among their core guys. boston’s been stumbling obviously, but you’re foolish if you count them out this earlier. with shaq back, they’re as scary as anybody.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    this early*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    zoom….we’re all proud of you for being a fan. Give yourself a pat on the back. BTW, that whiny bi*ch has a ring….can’t say the same about a Knick that has played ball since 1973. Tell us how your summer was next season when you come back around talking about the Knicks winning it all in 2012.

  • SpursFan

    Gordon Hayward or Luke Babbit?

  • hoodsnake

    The C’s will beat the Knicks but they will be huffed in the 2nd round me thinks…let’s see what happens with the ORL\CHI 2nd round…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Careful, lightsout, these “thug” Knicks fans are going to “light” you up for saying the Celts are going to get to the second round because they’re hungry and talented. Remember, they have Melo…..the best player to ever don a Knicks uniform in their history. They can’t lose.

  • Fat Lever

    Ok, so we get Miami. Tough series. Sixers will play hard for Doug, so I don’t think the margin of victory for the Heat will be the 10 a game it was this season. To me, as a Sixer fan, the most important thing for Philly this series is keeping the TO’s to an absolute minimum. They don’t need to give Miami any extra possessions.

  • hoodsnake

    Shaq is scary? His lists of injuries are scary for sure.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    I really want to know what “thug” Knick fans Eboy is reffering to. If theres anyone on Slamonline that acts like an internet gangster its definetely you eboy

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    The Sixers won’t be swept. I see a similar result in both the Heat/Sixers series and the Bulls/Pacers series…..tough games…..the team with better talent will win out…but it won’t be easy for either of the favorites.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    And I’m kinda sad that the Knicks are playing the Celtics, because the C’s were the team in the east that i rooted for while Melo was on the Nuggets. Still love the C’s,even though they made that dumb trade giving away Perk. Whoever wins the 3-6 matchup in the east is my choice to win it all, Just my opinion ofcourse

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Were you even involved in the conversation at hand, meloman? And you ain’t no Knick fan….you’re a player follower…so you wouldn’t be included in that “thug” group. If you can’t figure it out, just read through the comments from time to time when the Knicks win a game. Typical NY fanbase reaction. It’s fun to read.

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    Your “team” has just as many rings as the one I root for. Period. And that whiny b*tch has a ring just like Jordan Farmar has a ring. Trevor Ariza has one too. Robert Horry has a fist full. Derek Fisher too…Just saying.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lightsout

    i know, Shaq is a question mark, but the celtics with a healthy Shaq are indeed scary. look what they were doing the first half of the season. and all signs point to him being ready for the playoffs.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    In fairness, Eboy has threatened to shoot me and Kobe simultaneously.
    Zoom, Ariza, Horry and Fisher would all be welcome additions to the Knicks?! Better, proven role players than the Knicks currently have.

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    LOL look at this real E-thug. Egirl apparently dictates who responds to whom on a public blog. I didn’t know they made them so hard down there in South Florida gtfoh.

  • Fat Lever

    For some reason Iguodala gets up to play Lebron, so it’ll be interesting to see how he plays him in the playoffs. And if Bibby and Z are on the floor at the same time, Sixers need to run, run, run.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    Hmm intersting analogy E… but you can’t seriously blame all Knicks fans for the over the top comments of IAMORANGEFOREVER. And in the midst of rootig for the player i am, one eventually becomes fond of the team he plays for

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    @ Allball: Eboy just talks out of his a**. He sensitive so it’s fun to pick on him….I like Fields over all of them right now. They may be proven but I’d stick with that kid easily. Now the rest of the Knick role players, you have a point there.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Don’t respond to me zoom and we’re all good. There’s plenty of other people in this public blog that will laugh at you each day you come around making an as*hole out of yourself.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Sometimes you laugh, but you mostly CRY. Life never tells you, the whens and whys. When Bron Bron avoided the Knicks, I could tell. This was a time, for the YOU to exhale!

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Fields is a hybrid, who I would not consider a role player in the literal sense. He does a bit of everything. Now, if you could swap Shawne Williams/Bill Walker/Anthony Carter/Shelden Williams for the players you named, most would.

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    @ Eboy: wah wah wah. Go get some Midal and some tissues. Your emotions are soaking through my screen…@ AllBall: Yea that’s why I view him as such a nice role player to have. I’d get rid of those other guys tho. However, my point to Eboy was that Zo winning a ring at that point was no different than those guys. He was a role player when he won it, and a whiny star before that.

  • Frank dawkins

    Miami will win it all.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Good to see i haven’t missed much by the way of taunting and insulting on TPU since my hiatus.
    Gotta hand it to the A-Deuce team though (Adam & Anton), you kept this segment of Slamonline going strong after the departure of Miss Holly.
    Job well done.
    Oh and i’d so love to gloat about the Mavs overtaking LA again (Go Spurs!) but i am terrified of the Mavs and their trio of weak Guards meeting the Grizzlies in Round 1. Tony Allen will eat anyone the Mavs send his way for lunch and dinner. *shudder*.
    Not that a potential matchup with Portland (well coached, savvy floor leadership, deadly trio of forwards in Crash, Ba-TUUUUM & LaMarcus, Brandon Roy who can play the microwave role off the bench, yikes) gives me with positive vibes though.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think the Hornets are tanking it. They did not want to play the Lakers, and now they will get the Spurs. While they probably won’t win, they have a better chance than they would have had against both Dallas and LA without David West.
    The Hornets match up very well with the Spurs.

  • http://slamonline.com Ghost

    Eboy, what say you drive to LeBron’s house and convince him to play Wednesday? I didn’t pay to watch Mario Chalmers play pick and fail with Jamal Magloire. Save thou from this torture.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    LMAO….I was actually thinking of bypassing watching the game too. Should be terrible. If I could make a call for you, I would.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    if we follow this pattern, the spurs are inevitably going to be the 2011 champs.
    they won it in 99, then 4 years later in ’03, then every other year in ’05 and’07.
    so its another 4 years since their last championship.
    and then they’ll win in ’13 and ’15.
    see guys, its simple really.

  • http://Twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Wow. Just , wow.

  • T-Money

    Rio, Mike Miller, James Jones, Juwan, Big Cat. Eddie House and Pittman off the bench. If T.O. doesn’t win, they need to fold.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    i guess its true. sarcasm is lost on these reads

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    threads*

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    *threads

  • Bruno

    eboy’s happy cause he knows NY would mean some trouble in the first round for the Heat

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    I’m just happy the playoffs are almost here, finally some things can be settled. Nobody has an easy road to the Finals, as Bulls fan I know the Pacers are up and down, Orlando certainly ain’t easy, especially with Dwight actually playing. Atlanta could be trouble (although I’m even less afraid of them than I am of the pacers) Heat or Celtics would be tough as sh*t, but I’m more ‘afraid’ of Miami (no disrespect to the C’s) but really, who wants to face LeBron & Wade together in playoff mode. SO I’m extremely happy about how the Bulls played this season and I hope they can do damage in the playoffs!

  • http://nobulljive.com Enigmatic

    Co-sign Jahmai.
    The last two Chicago wins over Boston were pretty decisive, and even though the Bulls swept the Heat, none of those games were easy W’s.
    It would be stupid to think the Bulls will have it easy against either team, but right now the Celtics are slipping while the Heat are in “can’t F with us” mode.

  • Showtime

    Slam, I know every just ready 4 the post season. But no video of D12 abusing Holiday,on the nelson assited Oop. .. Or B-eAzy punishing dudley,do right ankle on the game tie’n finish???

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk

    The Knicks might provide the same start for boston that Miami did last postseason. Either the Celtics are going to get knocked off by the Knicks or they are going to be one he!! of a beast throughout the rest of the playoffs. i cannot wait for this

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    lebron wanted the #2 seed bc it’s an easier road to the finals you jackasses…christ. you act like they can’t beat the knics…don’t get gassed up after 1 game. knicks vs boston will be interesting though. neither one of them rebounds especially well..but even without perkins the celtics are still tough defensively. plus ny will play no defense at all…hmm. i think something’s wrong with rondo. if he goes back to playing like himself boston will win.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    also nbk has a point..if that happened i’d be really upset bc then i wouldn’t get to see lebron and wade vs kobe and co….serioulsy nothing can get in the way of that matchup.I’m really upset the celtics did it twice.

  • http://slamoonline.com zoom

    No one is saying the Heat couldn’t beat the Knicks in the first round. Some of yall should brush up on your reading comprehension skills. It would have been a competitive match up that was fun to watch. Breathe easy.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    word zoom?

    IAMORANGE4EVER Posted: Apr.12 at 9:16 am
    Well, it looks like the Heat index will survive the first round after all. The truth is, last week (click my name) I figured it would be the C’s in the first round for the Knicks as the 6 seed, but I really wanted the Heat and an opportunity to end their season in the 1st round. I swear, last night you could hear the Heatles exhaling all the way down in the ATL after they avoided the Knicks in the first round. With that said, the time has come for NY to end another Boston team’s season in the playoffs like the Jets did the Patsies! Go NY KNICKS!

    that’s orange4ever though so his opinion really doesn’t count.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Not even insecure Laker fans provide funnier comments than Knick fans.

  • paul

    The Celtics are in big trouble.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Don’t throws stones when you live in a GLASS HOUSE! rofl

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    *throw

  • dsleepy

    miami looks scary right now. esp with boston playing like poo. we might be seeing a bulls/heat eastern conf finals

  • http://www.slamonline.com Mars

    Jason Richardson MVPH. Hate, Hate, Hate!

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    Orlando is my darkhorse out the East, and Chicago’s kryptonyte.

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