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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 at 8:30 am  |  80 responses

Post Up: Hello, Goodbye

Philly’s in, the Spurs are No. 1, Memphis is surging and the Nets say goodbye to New Jersey.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Grand opening, grand closing. Good night forever to NBA basketball in New Jersey.

Wizards 101, Bobcats 73

Welp, there goes Charlotte’s best shot at avoiding the tag of “worst team ever.” The Wizards laid the smackdown on the Bobcats, winning their 4th straight game—don’t look now, but the Wizards are the hottest team in the East. I kid you not, Washington’s 4-game streak is the longest in the conference, and also the first of its kind for DC since 2007. Small victories, y’all. John Wall looked like he was enjoying himself last night, and his stats showed, as he racked up 16 points and 14 assists, many to Nene, who had 18 points. The Wiz shot 55 percent, to just 34 for the ‘Cats as they completed the season sweep. Your nightly example of Charlotte’s futility? Jan Vesely was a perfect 8-8 from the floor with 16 points.

Pacers 103, Pistons 97

Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger and George Hill all had the night off for Indiana, leaving Paul George to do the heavy lifting for the Pacers. He obliged, with 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, plus 10 rebounds, 4 dimes and 3 steals. George hit four free throws to seal the deal, while my man-crush Greg Monroe had another nice game (18 points, 12 rebounds) but missed 3 of his 4 foul shots in the clutch. unlikely hero Tyler Hansbrough provided the game’s biggest bucket, though, hauling in an offensive rebound for a putback plus the harm—a 3-point play to break a tie with 26 seconds left. Indy shot just 38 percent, but outrebounded Detroit 56-42 and forced 18 turnovers.

Sixers 105, Nets 87

The final farewell to New Jersey ended with the road team clinching a Playoff spot. Philadelphia powered past the Nets behind 56 bench points and 54 percent shooting. A parade of ex-New Jersey players made this night an emotional one at the Prudential Center—and just the 7th sell-out this year in Newark, to boot. It was the Sixers, though, with something to play for. The win locked down the last post-season bid in the Eastern Conference for Philly, led by a typical Andre Iguodala outing: 14 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds. Technically, the Sixers are now in a tie with New York for the No. 7 seed, though it sounds like Doug Collins is prepared to “rest” his starters for the final two games of the year, which will likely set them up for a first-round showdown with Chicago. And finally, below lies the answer to the inevitable future trivia question of “Who scored the final Nets bucket in New Jersey?”

Bucks 92, Raptors 86

Milwaukee finally got around to picking up a key victory. Unfortunately it was too late, since before its win over Toronto, the Sixers eliminated the Bucks from contention earlier in the night. The Raptors led for much of the game before Milwaukee mounted a comeback, erasing a 14-point deficit with a 30-19 fourth quarter during which Ersan Ilyasova scored 13 of his 19 points (plus 15 rebounds). Brandon Jennings scored a game-high 25 points for the Bucks, who didn’t have to deal with DeMar Derozan (whose been balling lately) after he was ejected for a second-quarter outburst following a traveling call. Jennings’ 3-point play and a pair of Monta Ellis (17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) free throws gave Milwaukee the lead for good with just over 3 minutes remaining.

Grizzlies 109, Cavaliers 101

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 25 points on 10-16 shooting to keep the Cavs competitive, but in the end, Memphis just had too much beef up front. Marreese Speights had 17 and 10, Marc Gasol had 17 and 3 blocks and the Grizzlies out-muscled Cleveland to pull to within a half-game of the Clippers for the No. 4 spot in the West. Memphis has now won 5 straight and 10 straight at home, this time with 6 players in double figures, including 13 for Tony Allen, who tied a franchise record with 8 steals. The Grizzlies ended the game on an 11-2 run while the Cavaliers sputtered from the free throw line, coming short in an attempt to play spoiler.

Spurs 124, Trail Blazers 89

San Antonio clinched the No. 1 seed in the West in blowout fashion, tying its biggest winning margin of the season. Tony Parker scored 18 points, as did Danny Green—who shot a perfect 6-6 from the field (and 4-4 from three-point range), and the Spurs have now won 8 straight. San Antonio shot 59 percent, the Blazers just 39. Tim Duncan, who turns 36 tomorrow, scored 18 points and had 8 rebounds, but sat out the fourth quarter with his fellow members of the Texas Big Three. How much you wanna bet Coach Pop sits the trio for the last 2 (and now meaningless) games of the year, too? Meanwhile for Portland, Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 24 points as the Blazers lost their sixth straight.

Line of the Night: I’m a homer—gimme John Wall’s 16-14-5 line in the Wizards’ fourth straight W.

Moment of the Night: Is there a cooler cat in the NBA than Tony Allen? Check this hilarious fake pass.

Tonight: 5 games on deck with plenty of Playoff implications, including a TNT doubleheader of Heat-Celtics and Suns-Jazz. Down to the wire, people.

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  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    This last week is insane. The history of the Nets will become the future of the Nets. The implications of the UTAH JAZZ and PHOENIX SUNS…. The Jazz are half a game ahead, if the Suns win AT UTAH, they will have the same record with the Suns having ONE MORE win in the Western Conf. than the Jazz… giving them the 8th spot. I can’t even wait.

    harden doesn’t have a hard head.

  • AsadSaleh3

    I hope the Wizards surround John Wall with a good coaching staff and a good group of players. I would hate to see him stagnate as a player. Glad they traded Nick Young and Javale McGee.

  • monkeyball

    The Spurs are AMAZING! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but given the Thunder’s lack of experience, the Bulls’ injury-plagued season, and Miami’s problems down the stretch of games, I think SA might win it all.

  • T-Money

    it’s hilarious that doug collins wants to rest all of his key players for the remaining games – it’s a race to the 8th seed between new york and philly.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Outside of Monty Williams, has anyone done a better job coaching a rebuilding team than Lawrence Frank this season? Consider the Detroit Pistons started the season 4-20…Since the team has gone 20-21 playing competitive basketball. The Piston players’ are buying in, and genuinely like Coach Frank. Joe Dumars finally getting it right again.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    T-Money, if that were the case the Knicks wouldn’t be beating the Hawks in the ATL this past Sunday or preparing to gutter stomp the Clippers at the Garden tomorrow night.

  • T-Money

    tony allen is that dude. lol

  • Techie

    @T-money: All the playoff seeds in the east are locked in..

  • T-Money

    techie – nope.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    The Knicks still are mathematically alive for 6 seed if they win their remaining two games, and the Magic lose their remaining two games. Not likely it (Magic losing to Bobcats) will happen, but still possible, after all, the Bobcats did beat the Magic once before this season. BOTTOM LINE: It really don’t matter if the Knicks face the Heat or the Pacers in the 1st round. Either way, the Knicks got to play those teams if they want to have a parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

  • Lupe

    If the Spurs win the final two games on their schedule, they will set the NBA record for most 50 win seasons in a row. Technically, if you count the 99′ truncated season which projects to over 60 wins, they already have it. Kudos to the Spurs for the success.

  • http://www.nbadraft.net Showtime

    It still race in the east for the bottom dwellers .. philly wants chi- injury prone rusty rose.They dont want no part of the Heat so the Ny will stumble into the 7seed by default. plus the bobcats have beeten Knicks before and was close to wining the other games too.

  • http://slamonline.com Nella

    Lakers will be eliminated in the second round for the second year in a row. Book it!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    NBA .com’s poll has J-Lin as 51% most likely to win MIP… Hmm, haha, I dunno about that. I voted Ryan Anderson.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t understand how you can give it to a guy who only played 35 games…..total.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I don’t even know if he has improved… That’s like giving the award to a rookie if that happens. It won’t, i’m sure though.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Toney Allen deserves DPOY consideration. Like he is as good a choice as any. He should win 1 in his lifetime. This year would be a good year.

  • Fat Lever

    T-Money, Philly wants no part of Miami, and as a Sixer fan, I know why. There are some teams that just dominate and pose matchup problems for opponents. Miami is that team for Philly. The 6ers played Chicago well this year, and while Chicago would still win that series, there’s less likelihood the Sixers get swept by Chicago than Miami.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    I hear you Nbk and Lakeshow and I agree but technically he has improved a lot since his rookie year. PLUS after the year he’s had… people are going to put him in the running for something lmao
    and cosign fat lever. the sixers are utterly powerless against miami. against a weakened D.rose and the bulls they have a chance.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    i don’t know if they can anymore, but if NY is smart they would try to get chicago in the first round too honestly.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    MVP: Bron
    MIP: Ryan
    DPOY: Dwight
    6 Man: Harden
    COY: Pop
    NBA 1st: Parker, Kobe, Durant, Bron, Dwight
    NBA 2nd: Wade, Paul, Love, Melo, Bynum

  • bike

    DPOY: Bron MVP:Bron MIP: Cousins

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The only place I disagree is 2nd team. (Paul, Wade, Pierce, Love, Bynum) — And I really want to give MIP to Ersan Ilyasova. But idk I really need to take a hard look at it, I’m still leaning towards Ryan Anderson more just because I’m more familiar with his impact on the Magic.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Nbk: It’s Ryan (and yes, there is bias given same high school/college) but he really has become what Rashard Lewis was for the Magic a couple years ago. And at like 8% of the price too. Ersan’s inconsistency is what holds him back for me because he showed the same flashes last year. Pierce/Melo, that’s preference.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I am picking Pierce because
    . – A)The Celtics are (36-23) with Pierce and (1-4) w/out him.
    . – In Contrast the Knicks are (28-26) with Melo and (6-4) w/out him
    . – B)Because of the way Melo acted and performed while pushing D’Antoni out.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    That’s fair. A lot of the Celts resurgence goes to Rondo so that would be my knock. But I have no problem with Pierce ahead of Melo.

  • davidR

    pierce was waay more consistent throughout the season. melo only showed up for the later part of the season

  • davidR

    mr. anderson has to win MIP. nbk, ersan would be great if he could keep up his stellar play consistently. some nights he gives you 15-12, others he gives you 7-4.
    he definitely has the potential though

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Y’all are right. I just looked at Ersan’s Game Log. Bloouuuhhhh I didn’t realize how inconsistent he is at all.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    A little off topic but Wilt is by far the greatest athlete ever to play basketball.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    MVP Bron
    DPOY Bron
    6 man-Harden
    MIP Ryan Anderson/ Kyle Lowry
    cosign caboose’s 2 teams. I’m bout to do a third team.

    cp3 will prolly get 1st team over parker and kobe will get 1st team over wade even though wade probably deserves it more. i need to to do a 3rd team.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    If you accept my 1st/2nd, my third team would be: Rondo, Westbrook, Pierce, Josh, and Duncan. Cosign JT on Wilt btw, he was a perfect athletic specimen in every sense of the word.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’ll take Bron in the athlete department.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    There is no way to really know what about Wilt is true. But he was a 7’0″ decathlete. Lol I think it’s pretty clear he was the most athletically gifted man to ever play basketball. He was a high jumper…..according to him, he beat Jim Brown in a foot race, killed a mountain lion. He supposedly was so strong Arnold Schwarzegovernorofcaliforniatheterminator refused to lift weight with him. Most of which probably isn’t true, but if it is, it’s Wilt, no contest.

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

    DPOY: serge Ibaka
    COY: Frank Vogel
    Everything else I agree with but I would replace wade with westbrook on that 2nd team though.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Slick any reason you would switch Wade and Westbrook? The desparity in games played? Or is it just preference?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Ric, my problem with Russ is that a point guard who cant average 6 assists is like a center who can’t average 6 rebounds.

  • http://abcnews.go.com/US/seattle-arrest-questions-cops-dash-cams/story?id=15595576 Allenp

    Lakeshow didn’t we have a discussion about the Pacific Northwest a while back? Click my name.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    hmm wade w/ westbrook is fair. wade is having an awful year.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    22/5/5 with a PER 4 higher than Westbrook is an awful year?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You know what I have changed my mind on the first team. It should be
    - Chris Paul, Tony Parker, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard.
    . Second Team
    - Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Kevin Love, Andrew Bynum.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Swapped Paul for Kobe? I also have no problem with that, just depends if the MBA is cool with 2 pure PG’s on the first team. If so, yeah, that’s fine.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    3rd Team – Westbrook, Rondo, Melo, Dirk, Garnett
    .
    For the record, I don’t even want to put Melo on this team. I want to put Duncan over him. Ehh, I just hate Melo this season. What he did was completely selfish and ridiculous. He has pretty much only been really good for 3 f*cking weeks. He’s been incredibly good in that span, but F*CK he is extremely frustrating.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I was also thinking about putting Josh Smith over Melo. I just hate Melo this year, so selfish.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Nbk: Dirk over Duncan? Garnett over Duncan?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Dirk has carried the Mavericks into the playoffs, that team is really not very good other than him.
    .
    The Garnett over Duncan thing is hard for me, I just gave Garnett the edge for what he’s done defensively. I really don’t care either way, Melo screws up the whole thing with his selfishness

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Maybe I’m biased, but I think Duncan has done way more than Garnett this year. And thank you for not putting Griffin anywhere near these teams.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Idk it’s very close.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Agreed. Knowing the NBA though, here’s what I think THEY will pick:
    1st: Paul, Kobe, Durant, LeBron, Dwight
    2nd: Westbrook, Wade, Love, Melo, Bynum
    3rd: Parker, Rondo, Pierce, Griffin, Hibbert

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No way Parker isn’t first or second team. I am fairly positive Westbrook or Wade will fall to third. That 13-1 record without Wade might be the deciding factor.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    So I went back and looked at Slam’s Top 50 (that generated A LOT of criticism) for this year. Here’s their top 10, in order: LeBron, Durant, Kobe, Rose, Wade, Dwight, Dirk, Paul, Melo Deron. Interpret that as you wish (though they did get 1 and 2 correct).

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    And I sure hope so nbk, Parker has been incredible this year.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The man was 7-1, had the wingspan of a 757 (standing reach of 9’6″), jumped out of the gym, ran the 100 in 10.9 seconds and won 3 straight Big Eight high jump championships. What more do you need?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    ^The fact he averaged 48.5 minutes a game for a season.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    JSmith has to be in over KG, TD or Dirk. He’s the best PF out east and should be in running for the DPOY.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well simply, no. KG has been a better defensive player, that is for certain. KG holds his opponent to a lower PER. The Celtics defense is 7 points better with him on the court compared to the Hawks who are 5 points better with Josh Smith. Smith puts up better basic defensive stats. But he has less of an effect on his teams defense for Garnett. Which is why Garnett will get DPOY votes and Smith won’t.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Also Smith is not very good offensively. He’s scoring more this year, but that’s only because he’s shooting so much. Scoring 18.7 points on 16.7 shots is uhm how do I say, “not very good at all”
    . Dirk in contrast while having a poor season (because he was so terrible for the first month and a half) is scoring 21.6 on 16.8 shots. Except the whole offense runs through him which means entire defenses key in on him. He’s the reason Dallas has the record they do. His role on the Mavericks are why I value him more than Smith, not because he’s having a “better” season in terms of two-way production. But it’s real close, I don’t really have any gripes with Smith, just that I don’t agree with you’re stance he has to be over KG, TD, and Dirk.

  • MUBWAR

    what’s the love wit Duncan? the dude is averaging 15 & 9 this years at the young age of 60.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    caboose..he’s shooting terrible from 3 and while his fg% is higher than ever I feel like this year he’s just been making more stupid plays and been worse defensively overall this year. plus he’s been rebounding less. I don’t have a problem with wade over westbrook.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    I’d put j. smith over melo in a heartbeat. he may not be shooting WELL, per se, but he’s had some INCREDIBLE games this year. he really stepped up with horford out.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Datkid: The problem with the “stupid plays” argument is that Westbrook commits WAY more stupid plays than Wade, even to the point that he’s shot his team out of games.

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

    NBK, Westbrook has been a better Sg than Wade has been this year. Caboose, notice I said SG, you don’t have to have the PG position represented for the All NBA squad. So, Westbrook can be excused for his ineptitude as a pg this season because he has been scoring the ball better than any guard quite frankly, when you take into account the efficiency and PPG, plus he has had better games than wade this year.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Wade has been more efficient. And Westbrook plays PG. calling him a SG doesn’t make him one.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Cosign nbk: Bargnani has been a pretty good SF. But he plays center. Hence, bad center. Westbrook plays PG. And efficiency isn’t even close, Wade has him by a mile.

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

    Basically what I’m getting at is their are no requirements for a pg and sg to fill the backcourt of the all-nba team so these guys can be judged off different standards. I said take into account *PPG* and efficiency; therefore, westbrook has had the better season scoring wise than any guard Arguably.

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

    When I say efficiency, I mean strictly from an scoring standpoint.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    But Ric, just because the team is picked based just on “guard,” does not mean that you can neglect a player’s situation. You can’t arbitrarily label Westbrook a SG. He plays point guard and should be evaluated based on his point guard play. Just as each player is evaluated within their own context. Because Wade has played a better SG season than Westbrook. I get your point, I just don’t think it’s ok to overlook WHERE a player actually plays.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That and Wade has also scored more efficiently. Less Minutes + Less Attempts = Less Points. Simple.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Not to mention that Wade is shooting 49.7% while Russ is at (a still respectable) 45.7%

  • bike

    Slick Ric is wrong so often he must get paid to post wrong ish.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Aw, c’mon bike, we were having a good debate. No need to post stuff like that.

  • MUBWAR

    so wade is 2nd team all nba n russ is 3rd team PG behind Paul and Parker. 3rd place behind a finals MVP and the best PG in the league is noting 2 sniz at people

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    I’m using that phrase now. I sniz at Bargnani’s rebounding numbers. I sniz at Dwight’s inability to make a decision. I sniz at the Bobcats.

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

    Westbrook has been a pretty prolific scorer this season and has improved in that aspect while wade has been flustered with injuries, so his season just has not been as impressive especially when his team has went 14-2 without him if I’m not mistaken. I said take both PPG and efficiency into account and you two focus just on the efficiency. Wade has the better fg% but Westbrook fg% is not bad and he’s top Five in Scoring.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Yes, I agree, Westbrook had a higher PPG. But that’s not what puts people on the All-NBA teams. Wade has been a better scorer this year. Especially since they’re both averaging the EXACT SAME points per 36 minutes. And doing it with less shots.

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

    Wade has missed sixteen games though and has not had one game that stands out unlike Westbrook who has had several.

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

    dike, how am I wrong when this is opinion driven? The media will be more inclined to my reasoning on who should make the team. Westbrook MAY even end up making 1st team even though he may not deserve it.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    If you’re arguing as to what the media may vote, then I agree. But you implied you were arguing your own opinion. “Stand-out games” also does not qualify as a good indicator of All-NBA talent. Ersan Ilyasova has had an incredible number of “stand-out games” including a 29-25 game.

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

    You’re playing semantics now, because Ersan has had a few standout games but not more than the people who will be receiving these All- NBA teams and he’s not on a winning team. everything plays a part, not just a person’s efficiency. Wade has missed many games, his team has arguably performed better without him, his stats have seen a drop off in major categories like scoring, rebounding, fg% and 3pt% and his consistency has not been there due to injuries.

  • pwbrooklyn

    LETS DO THIS!!!!!!
    2012 Knicks Playoff Song!!!!
    http://tinyurl.com/2012knicksplayoffs

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