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Thursday, April 7th, 2011 at 8:55 am  |  123 responses

Post Up: Tickets Punched

Spurs clinch West; Thunder win Northwest.

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

San Antonio 124, Sacramento 92

So much for the Lakers getting the No. 1 seed. After losing six straight games, the Spurs (60-19) won their third consecutive game last night, smacking the Kings and clinching home-court advantage throughout the West playoffs. Manu Ginobili poured in a game-high 25 points, and Tony Parker chipped in 15 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds. George Hill and Gary Neal contributed with 19 and 14, respectively. Tyreke Evans led Sacramento with 16 points, along the way violating Neal’s career.

Oklahoma City 112, L.A. Clippers 108

A night after knocking off the red hot Denver Nuggets, the Thunder were back to business. Kevin Durant had 29, 7, and 7, and Russell Westbrook had a smooth 26, 7, and 7 to help OKC earn its 52nd win and the Northwest Division title. Blake Griffin got his 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists, but it wasn’t enough to come out victorious. Kendrick Perkins grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and seemed to be locked in Celtics mindset after the game.

AP: “We’ve got goals at hand,” Perk said. “When you have bigger goals, you tend to reach smaller goals.”

It’s evident the Thunder have a “Why not us?” attitude, and have the talent to back it up. After going 20-62 in his rookie season, Durant and Co. are now division champions. Props to Sam Presti for assembling a progressive, successful roster.

Indiana 136, Washington 112

With the win and a Charlotte loss, the Pacers punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2006, rounding out the top-8 in the East. All five Indiana starters scored in double figures, as Danny Granger tallied 25 points on 7-11 shooting, and rookie Paul George (5-6 from three) had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Pacers shot 60 percent, as the Wizards gave the most points they have in a game this season. Andray Blatche had 16 points in the first quarter for Washington, but scored only seven more in the last three quarters. Rookie Jordan Crawford dropped 29 and John Wall chipped in with 19 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort. The good news: Indy is playoff bound. The bad news: They will most likely face the Bulls, whom they are 1-3 against this season.

Side note: After nine seasons, Mike Dunleavy will finally make his first playoff appearance. For some reason, I feel he’s been in the League for like 71 years.

New York 97, Philadelphia 92

A blown 19-point lead and three heart attacks later, the Knicks regained the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony led the way, scoring 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Amar’e Stoudemire contributed 18 points, seven assists, and six rebounds as the Knicks won their fifth straight. Thaddeus Young led Phili with 25 points off the bench, and Elton Brand poured in 24 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.

Down 88-87 with less than two minutes left, Toney Douglas (17 points) hit a three to regain the lead, and the Knicks escaped with the victory. Worrisome news for Knick fans, though, as Amar’e tweaked his ankle late in the game, and Chauncey Billups went down in the third with a sore thigh. The severity of both injuries is not yet known, but with direct playoff implications at stake in the remaining games, I expect both veterans to return asap.

Cleveland 104, Toronto 96

JJ Hickson led the Cavs, scoring 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and Baron Davis had 19 points to help Cleveland win consecutive games for the first time since November. Playing without Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson, Toronto’s bench outscored its starters 54-42, as Jerryd Bayless scored 28 in a losing effort.

Orlando 111, Charlotte 102

This one needed overtime, but the Magic eventually won the game, simultaneously eliminating the Bobcats from Playoff contention. It was a heated contest, as Quentin Richardson muffed Gerald Henderson en route to an ejection, and Dwight Howard picked up his 18th technical foul—warranting a one-game suspension, which will be in effect Sunday when Orlando takes on Chicago. After hitting a game-tying three with under 20 seconds left, DJ Augustin (six points) missed a reverse layup that would’ve won Charlotte the game. But his attempt was off the mark, and the Magic outscored the Bobcats 15-6 in the extra period. Gilbert Arenas led Orlando with 25 points, and Henderson—despite getting violated—dropped 32. The Bobcats were without Stephen Jackson, who was nursing a sore left hamstring.

Detroit 116, New Jersey 109

In the absence of Deron Williams (wrist), Brook Lopez had 39 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to counter Richard Hamilton (25 points), Rodney Stuckey (22), and Greg Monroe (20). It’s tough to win, regardless of the opponent, when Jordan Famar and Sasha Vujacic are your second and third leading scorers. The Nets continue to distribute minutes randomly, as Avery Johnson used his 23rd different starting lineup of the season. The Pistons have now matched their win total from a year ago (27).

New Orleans 101, Houston 93

After trailing by as much as 17 in the first half, the Hornets rebounded to claim the victory and clinch a playoff spot. Chris Paul had a near triple-double (28 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds), and Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack each chipped in 19 points. Jack, Emeka Okafor, and rookie head coach Monty Williams will all make their first career playoff appearances. Kevin Martin led Houston with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough. The Rockets will be eliminated from the playoffs with another loss or one Memphis win. Houston, we have a problem.

Milwaukee 90, Miami 85

Sans an ailing DWade, the Heat dropped a close one in South Beach, and as a result slid to third in the East, now a half-game behind Boston. Even as they realized they’d been eliminated from Playoff contention, the Bucks led for 38 minutes of the game, holding Miami to 41 percent shooting and forcing 16 turnovers. LeBron scored 29 points and dished eight assists, and Chris Bosh had 18 in a losing effort. Miami hosts Charlotte on Friday before facing off against the Celtics on Sunday, a game that could decided the second seed.

Phoenix 108, Minnesota 98

Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and Grant Hill had 17 points in only 19 minutes to help Phoenix hand Minnesota its 11th straight loss. “Be Easy” Mike Beasley led the Wolves with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Denver 104, Dallas 96

Talk about two teams going in opposite directions. A night after losing to potential first-round foe Oklahoma City, the Nuggets (winners of seven of eight) rebounded to hand the Tyson Chandler/Jason Kidd-less Mavs their fourth straight loss. JR Smith scored 23 points off the bench and Kenyon Martin/Danilo Gallinari/Wilson Chandler combined for 44 points to carry the Nugs, as they fielded an 8-man rotation. Shawn Marion had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 20 and 7 in the losing effort.

Golden State 95, L.A. Lakers 87

With San Antonio clinching the top seed and Dallas struggling, L.A. didn’t get too wounded in last nights defeat. Steph Curry had 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists to compliment Monta Ellis’ 26 points and David Lee’s 22 points/17 rebounds, and the Warriors improved to 25-14 at Oracle Arena. The Lakers once again looked sluggish, but I don’t think it’s a cause for concern. Kobe Bryant had 25 points (peep his hangtime below) and Pau Gasol scored 18 for the Lakers, who according to Andrew Bynum, will be just fine.

AP: “We’re not locked in,” Bynum said. “We’re complacent. I just think we’re going out there and playing kind of stupid basketball. We know that come playoff time, everything’s going to be fine.”

Highlight of the night:

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    The Clippers are going to be very decent next year, Blake is so good, I’m looking at his 35 (15-20) 11 and 6 and I’m thinking, ‘That’s nice’. How good can he be? The NBA has a very bright future.

  • kudos

    Without the Heat’s mvp, the Heat can’t even handle the lowly bucks? What a surprise.

  • FoCo

    Wow…Slam really doesn’t want me posting. Shut down 3 days in a row so far.
    Another nice win for Denver last night. Looks like they are settled into that #5 spot and may even get to match up with Dallas first round if they fall to the 4 seed. The Lakers don’t want to see that scenario but I think most of the other teams would be happier.
    To debunk a myth that fanboys of a certain player like to spout the Nuggets have played a majority of WINNING teams since the trade and have won most of those games. They have also demolished the teams they have played without winning records during the stretch (something they never did on a consistent basis with #15…meanwhile the Knick have been embarrassed the the sub 500 teams)

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Chris Paul put in work last night, although I did not think he played as well as that box score suggests, and he was helped by the Rockets playing no D. It was Chris fault they were behind in the first place, as he did not start shooting the ball until they were down double digits. Against Indiana, he came out aggressive and had 18 points and 13 shots in 30 minutes. The Hornets will need that aggressiveness in the play-off’s.
    Of all the play-off teams this year, who has the lowest over all talent level? I am interested to see what peoples opinions are on that.

  • dsleepy

    The Return of Gazo the Prankster! Read that Arenas stat line and did a double-take…thought it was 2007 for a second. And those knicks sure know how to keep things interesting don’t they…at what point do all these injuries to chauncey start making them wary about re-signing him and his 34 year old legs? Hope he and STAT can get back quick, knicks need them for this push. I am seriously itching to see MIA/NY round 1. Make it happen, Walsh!

  • RobbieJay

    the heat continue to piss me off and make me heated (no pun intended)

  • Scott

    Lowest talent level has got to be Indiana. Collinson, George, Granger, Hansbrough, Hibbert and Rush. Not too shabby for a small market team but no franchise player thats capable of leading you to the championship.

  • MUBWAR

    none of contender cared last night. The Heat game was ugly, the Lakers played with no heart and the Mavs were just out classed. Let’s get on with the playoff alredyy

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXr8TSkwLP4&feature=fvwrel IAMORANGE4EVER

    New York moves up to the 6 seed, while Miami drops to 3. It just was meant to be. Knicks to send the Heat fishing at MSG.

  • http://www.sohh.com zoom

    I just want to say that I love what last night’s games did to the standings in both conferences…that is all.

  • http://www.slamonline.com c_cantrell

    the thunder sure is rolling right now guys, cant wait to see them in post season action..
    ^Jahmai..
    griffin has a very bright future, and the clippers will be in the playoffs next year most definately

  • JTaylor21

    In the words of the famous Whitney Houston;
    “crack is wack”

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Scott, I agree. Indiana are the only team with a lower talent level than New Orleans, IMO.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    I hate to pile on Gasol because he has done a lot for the Lakers and this game doesn’t make that much of a difference but some nights when Gasol stinks it up, he REALLY STINKS IT UP. He let the midgets bully him. C’mon Pau, Man up sometimes or else end up in one of those Budlight commercials!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo IAMORANGE4EVER

    About the Nuggets, they still have a lot of question marks surrounding their franchise going into the off-season. A lot of decision$ to make regarding Nene, Chandler, Afflalo, JR, and even K-Mart. Then next up for the Nuggets decision makers will be Felton and Gallinari, who both will be entering what may be the final year of their contracts. This Nuggets team you see right now could look real different in a year from now.

  • Scott

    New York is pretty putrid too. Take a good look at that roster. Carter, Jefferies and Shelden Williams those guys are in New York’s rotation. The Anthony trade is probably great in the long run but for now not so much when you have to gut your roster.

  • JTaylor21

    They still will be better than the Knicks.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo IAMORANGE4EVER

    @JTaylor21: Melo’s looking to improve on his already winning record versus LeBron, Wade, and Bosh.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Scott, when you have two players of that level, and another who is not too far behind, I think that constitutes a pretty good group of talent.

  • FoCo

    Another reason the Nuggets need to make some noise in the postseason…convince Stan to spend some bucks to keep the team together.

  • JTaylor21

    I had no idea that Melo has gone up against Tor, Cle and Mia in the playoffs.
    Where they do that at?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo IAMORANGE4EVER

    @FoCo: Denver is not going to be a big spender. Book it.

  • T-Money

    i feel that miami can beat anybody with their big 3 but they also can be beat by almost anybody when one them is not firing. there’s nobody else on the roster than can you 15 points in any given game (mike miller was supposed to be that x-factor but i mean, we’re 78 games in and he hasn’t done it),.

  • mj23

    Heat Knicks rivalry is about heat up. No pun intended. :)

  • Scott

    AllBall, you’re probably right but New York isn’t a good team. Billups doesn’t have much left in the tank. Stoudemire’s knees are so bad what does he have left two or three years top? Plus the coach can’t adjust to that roster and is a horrible match.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo IAMORANGE4EVER

    @JTaylor21: Melo was in the Wild Wild West, where LeBron’s Cavs never would have advanced past the first round.

  • T-Money

    i really don’t know why ny fans are so confident. ny is basically a lesser version of miami. miami’s big 3 is better than ny’s big 3. and ny suffers from the same imbalance on its roster, trotting out rejects like shawne williams, anthony carter, turiaf, jared jeffries…their only guy that can get busy outside the big 3 is toney douglas and is wildly erratic.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    When the Lakers lose it always kind of irks me, but if the players and coaches didn’t look too concerned then neither should I. But Pau getting straight “Deboed” by Lou Amundson was not a good look at all though.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Scott, I agree again. I am talking only about talent levels, not how it translates. I think Chris Paul has done an incredible job this season keeping his team intact, with out a great deal of talent, and with out him being fully healthy.

  • JTaylor21

    Sure, whatever you say. Why am I arguing with a Knick fan, that’s like talking basketball with John Madden.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I agree with T-Money, how ever, the Knick’s do have talent to play with Miami. Melo has gone off on Bron.

  • el_larsen

    cosign jahmai
    they just need a real SF

  • Scott

    AllBall, you want your boy to stay with New Orleans or go to a team like say New York?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I want him to stay with the Hornets through out his career. To me, there is something about playing with one team that elevates players legacies. I under stand that a lot of people won’t feel the same, but I like how Bird/Magic/Isiah/MJ/Kobe have stayed with one team and been successful. I know MJ played with the Wizards, but that was an extenuating circumstance.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo IAMORANGE4EVER

    @JTaylor21: I’m not playing. Melo owns all 3 Heatles head-to-head since they all came into the league in 2003. Don’t mention the fact that Melo played the soon to be champion in the first round several years in a row out West. While Melo is drawing the Spurs and Lakers in the first round, Bron Bron is drawing the Wizards. Big difference!lol

  • vtrobot

    Miami doesn’t want to play NY in the 1st round. And I don’t want BOS to have to face them either (at least until the second round, after they bounce MIA).

  • FoCo

    @IAMORANGE4EVER I wouldn’t write the Denver front office off yet. People seem to forget that Denver has had one of the leagues highest payrolls for a while now. They jumped back down with the trade but Kroenke has proven he isn’t afraid of the luxury tax. He spends the bare minimum on the hockey team but both him and his son are big into bball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    As a Lakers fan, it’s hard to know how to take 3 losses in a row, followed by 17-1, followed by 3 losses in a row. But, for proven teams regular season L’s aren’t worth worrying about. You just have to hope they can learn lessons from the losses that will be valuable in May/June. I guess it’s like Bynum says, they know what they need to do come playoff time. And honestly, it will be kind of nice to not have to go through OKC (in round two) and SAS (in WCF) as they might as the 1 seed. I hope either Memphis or NOH can end up in the 7th spot though. If so, I’m pretty comfortable with their chances to get back to the WCF.

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

    kobe would’ve dunked that a couple of years ago, i was half hoping that he was about to.
    but his meniscus probably would’ve disappeared or something.

  • JTaylor21

    Everyone’s acting like the Knicks are some kind of juggernaut that the top seeds are afraid of.
    There’s a reason why they are only 2gms above .500 and the 6th seed.
    They don’t play defense, don’t rebound and their two top players struggle to impact a game when shots aren’t falling.
    When your gameplan is to outscore the other team, you won’t be going far in the playoffs.
    Look at the past few suns squad and they had more offensive talent than the knicks.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    Just letting it be known, I’m a knicks and a harrdcore melo fan, but please don’t assume i feel the same way about things as IAMORANGEFORREVER

  • FoCo

    All true Melo fans know he is going to do his patented first round exit from the playoffs this year!

    @IAMORANGEFORREVER I wouldn’t count out the Denver front office. People seem to forget the Nuggets have been one of the highest payrolls in the league for a while now. Kroenke isn’t afraid of the luxury tax. Should be alot of flexibility with Melo and Chauncey gone and Kenyon’s monster deal finally coming to an end.

  • http://slamonline Allenp

    Mike Miller actually looked all right last night. He was taking his shots, and he made some nice buckets.
    The big problems was that LeBron came out like he spent the whole night partying on South Beach. Stupid turnovers, zero energy. It was ridiculous. The Bucks have a lot of issues, but they give effort and if you don’t match their effort they will beat you. LeBron played like a bum for long stretches last night, and it had a trickle down effect on the entire team. They take their cues from him.

  • FoCo

    All true Melo fans know he is gonna do his patented First Round Exit this year!
    @IAMORANGEFOREVER. Don’t count the Nuggets out yet. People seem to forget they have been near the top of the payrolls for years. Kroenke isn’t afraid of the luxury tax plus with Kenyon’s monster deal coming to and end and with Chauncey and Melo gone there will be some flexibility there.

  • bashmo

    Allball knows what he is talking about…and I have to agree with Indiana among every team, followed by New Orleans mainly because of the loss of David West. However, with a game changing superstar on our side, we can potentially make things happen in the first round. I just hope we dont have to end up facing LA in that first round.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    how about them warriors! 3 straight wins against mavs blazers and lakers. the team finally has chemistry and is great with ball movement and body movements. hopefully this will be built upon next season.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    Last nights games were an example of why the regular season is about 10 games too long. Alot of players look disinterested while waiting for the playoffs to start.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Kap

    @Brion…I agree but if it was shortened to 72 then the same thing would go on. Football is the same way especially when the top seeds are already locked. I don’t know any sensible solution to the problem but allowing the young players and calling up d-leaguers to prove themselves and get some time. It would make the games more competitive down the stretch. But we pay to see the stars play…

  • T-Money

    airs: spot on, that’s exactly what i was thinking when i watched the vid. kobe used to yank that on cats all the time lol. that was his signature baseline dunk.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I’ve got facts on my side. Yes I do.

  • http://basketball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/pantsoffdanceoff nbk

    alright slamily I was contemplating this last night and want to get your guys’ collective opinions… which playoff matchup do you think WOULD be more competitive, Chicago v Boston – Miami v. LA? And which of all the playoff teams do you hope end up facing off? – I was thinking how I kind of hope Boston beats Miami in the second round just so I get to see another Boston v Chicago masterpiece, but then I got to thinking that, that would mean another year of just hoping to see Kobe v LeBron or Wade in a playoff series. So which would ya’ll like to see and why?

  • http://www.sohh.com zoom

    Most Knick fans know a hell of a lot more about basketball than dude who follows one player like a groupie.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    “The big problems was that LeBron came out like he spent the whole night partying on South Beach.”
    If so, he shoulda took his momma with him when he left.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    hahahahaha

  • vtrobot

    @nbk: I’d love to see NY knock out MIA, but then get beaten by BOS with BOS eventually beating CHI in the ECFs. Out west, it would be great to see the Gasols face off in the 1st round and even better if MEM was able to pull off the upset. I’d like to see either SAS or OKC in the Finals v. BOS. Great to have Perk return home for the Finals. And, as much as I’d like BOS to win it all, I’d never mind seeing Timmy get one more.

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

    @nbk, well since you asked…
    pardon my blatant bias but i would love to see a bulls/lakers final. it’d just be so fitting, 20 years since the last bulls/lakers finals, goin up against phil jackson. we’ve been commemorating it all season in chicago so i just think it’d be dope.
    and i’d also love a boston/chi ECF.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Bias is cool, its your own personal what would be most entertaining. I genuinely don’t know what i’d like to see, the prospect of Kobe going up against another top 5 player or Chicago/Thibedeau getting a chance to beat up on “big brother” – intriguing

  • http://slamonline Allenp

    I want Boston and Miami to get to the ECF, and I want Boston to win and face L.A. in the Finals for the rubber match.
    I also want Chicago to beat everybody and play the Thunder in the Finals.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Miami play L.A. in the Finals.
    Or, seeing Boston versus San Antonio.
    Basically, I don’t care. Lol.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol atleast you got options. – Can anyone else believe Utah left Gordon alone against Kobe on that last possession? it worked, but man

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    If LA and Miami meet in the NBA Finals, will Nike bring back the puppets?

  • tonyknorr

    personally, I would like to see a miami and LA finals just to watch lebron and wade mess up Kobe’s legacy a little bit. However as a boston celtics fan I would love to see boston versus chicago again partially because Ray seems to love lighting the bulls up and it will be such a competitive defensive battle that it will be like watching two great counterpunchers box.

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    Ya’ll suckas still falling for the “LeBron can’t win without DWade”, as if the Cavs season record isn’t enough proof. Come playoff time, the joke will be on all of you. Blake Griffin gets all the attention, and rightfully so, but DeAndre Jordan is potentially MIP of the league, just saying. The East is beast once again. This will be one of the most anticipated NBA PLAYOFFS in a long, long time.

  • JTaylor21

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Mia vs LA in the finals, so we could finally put to end with the Bron vs Kobe crap. OKC vs Chi would be a great match-up, Rose vs Russ, Orl vs La would be nice also because I enjoy watching DHow and Bynum go at it.
    One thing I do not want is LA vs Bos again in the finals, there isn’t really a great one-on-one match-up and it won’t be the same without Perk.
    I’m hoping that there are some new teams in the finals this year.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Carmelo flexes clutch gene again, shooting the lights out in Philly from 3 late in nice win for Knicks, a dangerous playoff team, tweeted RealSkipBayless. Agreed, Melo is so damn clutch. You can’t coach it. You either have it, or you don’t.

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    No disrespect to the WEST, the West is Fresh, no doubt, but the Lake show is just too much. Who will, or can knock the Black Mamba off his throne? San Antonio? maybe. Dallas w/out Caron (2nd best defender to Chandler)? We’ll see. Phoenix? Last chance. Portland or Utah? Too young. Oklahoma City? Just the right remedy for the Champs. We’ll just have to wait and see. P.S.-SORRY TO THE FOLLOWING FANS (FROM STERN): NY KNICKS, DENVER NUGGETS, INDIANA PACERS, HOUSTON ROCKETS, CLEVELAND CAVS, TORONTO RAPTORS

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    SLAMONLINE…time for a poll. Who do you want to see in the NBA Finals? LA LAKERS VS. MIAMI HEAT, LA LAKERS VS BOSTON CELTICS, LA LAKERS VS CHICAGO BULLS…(SEE THE TREND HERE?) I personally would like to see OKC VS ORLANDO, but another part of me wants revenge for the 2006 Cavs vs Spurs finals where Cavs got mopped. Spurs vs. Heat? Very strong possiblity. I just want to say I love Derrick Rose’s game but I just can’t see them, I don’t know why.

  • JTaylor21

    When you agree with Skip Baseless, you forfeit whatever credibility you had to begin with.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I want to see MIA vs LA in the Finals so we can finally put rest all the Kobe vs LeBron crap. And it would be the most entertaining series possible. Unfortunately i am pretty sure MIA won’t be making it to the Finals. So i’d love to play chicago, or beat the Celtics again cause that doesn’t get old for me.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @JTaylor21: I’ve got respect for Skip Bayless. Man definitely knows his hoops.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Skip Bayless knows literally nothing about basketball. Nothing. – He is a journalist from Texas, who got big through HS Football. – Giving credit to him for his basketball knowledge is the same as giving Charlie Sheen credit for his philosophical ideas.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Kap

    Wouldn’t it be Wade/Lebron vs. Kobe. Thats like the legion of doom vs. Batman.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Wouldn’t it be Wade/Lebron vs. Kobe? Thats like the legion of doom vs. Batman.

  • T-Money

    i throw up in my mouth a little every time i hear clutch gene, alpha dog, or whenever bill simmons justifies a stance by saying that he could “read it in x player’s eyes”. bill simmons, columnist by day but soul investigator by night.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    “Skip Bayless knows literally nothing about basketball. Nothing.” ROFL…as Ocho Cinco would say, CHILD PLEASE!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    but I am not at all surprised that IAMORANGE4EVER said that. And BTW, the Knicks main color is Blue, not Orange. You implying your a suns fan by that name, just to let you know. Its been botherin me for a while

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Wouldn’t it be Wade/Lebron vs. Kobe? Thats like the legion of doom vs. Batman.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Skip is usually right in the predictions he makes and he did cover the Bulls in the 90′s. I think he knows more than guys on here including me. But Stephen A. Smith would beg to differ.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    he never covered the bulls. He was in Dallas until he got hired by ESPN. He is a football journalist, who also did work for ESPN covering Golf. He has no basketball background whatsoever. He is so uninformed about the game he once said Carmelo was a better player then LeBron. Ya’ll need to get your facts straight.

  • http://slamonline Allenp

    Why do people assume that covering a team makes you knowledgable about basketball?
    It doesn’t anymore than covering the police department makes you knowledgable about how make arrests.
    Proximity doesn’t impart knowledge.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @nbk: Awwww, I almost felt bad for you. *snicker*

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh he said that last week BTW

  • QQQQ!

    @airs: He used up all of his dunking legs in the all star game! haha

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    nbk is weird today, BTW.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen people think that journalism isn’t a job, they think you choose always what you cover. The guys that cover what they love are the lucky ones, or the hardest working most talented ones. Either way

  • vtrobot

    I don’t think a MIA/LAL Finals will put to rest the Mamba v. ‘Bron debates. Are they gonna play 1 on 1? I think Kobe might have the better squad. Would be entertaining tho and probably make a lot of Kobe-haters actually root for him to win. I also think ‘Bron had a better chance of getting to the ECFs with last year’s team. MIA’s weakness at the 1 and 5, and poor half court execution might not work out so well in the postseason.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    @nbk…He clearly worked at the Chicago Tribune where he covered the Bulls. Get your facts straight.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Skip worked for the Chicago Tribune NBK where he covered the Bulls. I don’t know where you get your facts from.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    my bad Kap he was in Chicago for a little over a year. I wasn’t aware of that, and won the “Lisagor Award” for his work on the Bears Training Camp, Oklahoma City Bombing, and a column about Harry Cary. He left the tribune after the editor put a cap on columns at 650 words. Still though, no sign of him ever covering basketball, let alone having a background, or any kind of useful knowledge of the sport.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Bayless recently said Derrick Rose is not only not the league MVP, but he isn’t even a Point Guard. So digest that

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Iverson wasn’t a point guard either. Just sayin! lol

  • Scott

    North Carolina has a good chance at being preseason number 1. Think bout it.

  • Anonymosdef

    @AllenP,Nbk, or any of you guys with sense: seriously, why has there been no mention of Lebron’s deal with Fenway? Is there a gag order?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    there has been, its just not big news because I don’t think it really means much to the average sports fan. You can search it out though, i’ve read a couple articles about it, they all basically say the same thing, its a huge opportunity for LRMR to grow, will put james in new business opportunities, basically the rich getting richer.

  • SpursFan

    Spurs >

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Allen, I was almost about to disagree with you at 3:05. Then I thought about this dude that I know that works at a network that we all know who doesn’t know a thing about basketball and he’s been covering a team going on 2 years now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Skip is a idiot, when he was working for a Chicago newspaper, he used to talk about how MJ was nothing special, now hes his number one fan.

  • Anonymosdef

    I guess you have a point in reference to the average fan. I knew it was out there I just found it weird that slam felt his mom being arrested and his relationship with spo were more newsworthy than him getting a “small” stake in a team worth like 800 million in exchange for them representing him (doubt we’ll see anything ever remotely resembling The Decision again). I think this is the beginning of players, mostly just the stars, having even more of a valid argument to owners and hopefully the general public that they are partners with the league, not just employees. Not to mention whenever the league finally goes Euro dude will have an even more established business base. Maybe I’m not the average hoops fan tho.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You probably aren’t but I agree with you 100%. I am much more interested in this then the Gloria James screws up again fiasco.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Chris Paul’s performance last night was awesome. He controlled that game. I can’t believe I bet against that guy at the beginning of the season, even if he only has one real leg and one pirate leg

  • http://slamonline Allenp

    lol @ pirate leg.

  • feez22

    In the offseason, rose said (Paraphrasing) why can’t i be the MVP of the league… well now he is going to get that wish. yesterday on a chicago radio station he said (paraphrasing once again) why can’t we win a championship… That guy likes to answer his own questions… Is that his motivation or what? maybe the bulls will win the championship with rose liking to answer his own questions and all… too bad he didn’t like to do that in high school when “taking” his SAT… oops, bad nerve.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    Miami vs OKC in the finals. Why? did you see that last game they played against each other? fast paced action packed. that would be my vote

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I would say if I saw Miami in the finals against anyone other then LA I would want OKC too. If Dallas had Caron Butler I would feel differently

  • roc

    @feez22 quit hating on rose, you’re bringing up crap that has nothing to do with the game of basketball. Are you mad because someone you think you’re smarter than will make more money in 5 years than you will in your lifetime?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Tough loss for the Rockets last night–they easily could have owned the Hornets, but somehow let them back into the game.
    It’s been a great second-half of the season for Houston; they should be proud of that. Just imagine how good the Rockets would have been had they kept a steady roster from the beginning of the season–kudos to Rick Adelman for making something work in such little time.
    The Rockets would be straight up stupid not to keep Coach Adelman… What he’s done with this team in terms of coaching is pretty remarkable.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    The Rockets have been so good with this current roster–it would be really, really unwise for Morey to gut this team right now. Add a center in the offseason (Chris Kaman!!!), train your young guns in the summer (Pat Patterson and TERRENCE WILLIAMS!), and keep Martin/Lowry, and the Rockets are all set.
    Oh yeah, and KEEP RICK ADELMAN!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Oh yeah, Kyle Lowry should definitely win MIP.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m pulling for Denver to upset OKC in the first round, but if OKC wins, I’m rooting for them throughout the playoffs. I’m also liking the Spurs out West.
    Out East, only one of “my” teams is in the playoffs, and that’s New York. I have no clue who else I’m gonna root for–maybe Boston? Orlando?

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    nbk, for the record, I cannot believe you betted against CP either. If anyone is still hanging around here, predictions for Bulls/Celtics?

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    I absolutely feel nothing but sympathy for how the Rockets’ fortunes have turned out teddy, but they’re taking the correct steps in the right direction. I can’t think of any other team who’s made as many roster changes in the past 3-5 years as Houston, but its mostly due to injuries and chemistry issues.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Lakers are right where they need to be, they lose they win, but back to back to back titles is a given. BOOK IT!!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bogans hitting jumpers is bad news for the east.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    It’s late into it for a prediction but Derrick Rose seems to want to clinch the #1 seed against Boston. (actually he always plays Sooper hard) – andabout the CP thing, I’m ashamed

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I like Green off the bench at the three. Few back up twos or threes can handle him on the block. But man Shaq better be outstanding because the celtics look so vulnerable inside.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Somebody wanna tell.rondo he is supposed to be a great defender?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Oneal is.so.done. it.is kind of sad.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So is anybody still making that Rondo versus Rose argument. Rose has blasted past him since Rondo schooled.him as a.rookie.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    There is no such thing as elite defender against Derrick Rose come on

  • JTaylor21

    Boston’s interior D is not as good without Perk in there. KG is a great defender but he lacks the girth and strength to consistently defend the rim.
    The celts are still the beast of the east but the bulls and heat have a much better chance at beating them.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nbk be could stay in front of him chris paul did a way better job when the bulls came here.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    man Drose is taking these statement games real personal like. Looking at the schedule, the bulls could well close out with a 9-0 run and be in position to take best record. Their next 4 games are trips to Cle, Orl (w/o Dwight), NY, then back against an NJ team apparently w/o Deron (w/c is a shame, Id’ve like to see Rose matchup against him).

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    be? Chris is a great defender on the ball. It’s as a team defender where I think he struggles. Not much though, Infact chris Paul is a much better defender then he gets credit for. But I still think when Rondo is dialed in defensively (does it seem like he’s become infatuated with that reach around steal to anyone else?) I think he’s tops. Him, Holliday, George Hill, westbrook and Deron are the top IMO

  • http://www.slamonline.com Mars

    DRose is playing right into the hands of the other teams. The Bulls have become so one dimensional, it won’t be hard to stop them come playoff time. I hope he can keep this up in the playoffs. It will surely be entertaining.

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