Post Up: Fade to Black
The regular season is over. Now the real fun beings.
The NBA regular season is finally over and the playoffs are upon us. Thank you all for following along and catching up everyday with The Post Up. It has been incredibly humbling to know that you guys took time out of your day to read and comment every single day. Hope you all enjoyed taking this ride with Leo and I as much as we enjoyed bringing you the news everyday.
Here’s your final recap (obviously all 30 teams had to play, no shortcuts this season). Leo and I will be back tomorrow to give you our favorite moments from the 2012-’13 season.
The Raptors and their fans paid tribute to the city of Boston prior to the game by playing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” (a song forever associated with the Boston Red Sox) over the speakers while the Celtics’ starters were announced. A very kind gesture, props to Toronto. With the C’s locked into the 7-seed already, the reserves got most of the minutes. The Raptors were up by as many as 33 and Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan once again led the way with 19 and 24 points, respectively. Toronto finished up the season by winning five-straight over playoff-bound teams. Jordan Crawford scored 16 for the Celtics.
The Nets closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run and took control of the game from there. No Net player played more than 26 minutes and it was a total team effort to get the dub and snap the Pistons’ four-game winning streak. Brook Lopez led the way with 20 points and 9 boards and Andray Blatche scored 15 off the bench. Will Bynum scored 23 to lead Detroit.
Both teams sat their stars, so there were some big numbers from the reserves. For the Knicks: Chris Copeland became the first Knick Rookie to score 30 points in back-to-back games since Bill Cartwright, Earl Barron scored 11 points and grabbed 18 boards, James White scored a season-high 20 points and recently signed Quentin Richardson grabbed 10 boards. New York didn’t walk away unscathed, though; Pablo Prigioni left with an apparent ankle sprain and Copeland dislocated his shoulder. With the loss, the Hawks slid down to the six spot and will play the Pacers in the opening round.
You kiddin’ me?
Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh both sat while LeBron missed the game to tend to a personal matter, but Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller each scored 21 apiece to lead the Heat to the victory. Nic Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 13 boards.
With last night’s win over the Pacers, the Sixers went 11-9 over the final 20 games of the season, giving their next head coach something to build on. The Pacers, however, lost five of their last six an hope that the last two weeks have been an aberration rather than what’s in store the rest of the way. Dorrell Wright led the Sixers with 23 points and Damien Wilkins shot 6-11 to score 15. Gerald Green led the Paces with 34 points on 14-23 shooting in the loss.
This Chicago-Brooklyn has a chance to be pretty good, no? On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Wizards missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. The Wiz showed great improvement once John Wall returned and Brad Beal has a chance to be super nice. Hopefully they find more success next season. Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and grabbed 17 boards while Nazr Mohammed scored 17. Wall led the Wiz with 23 points on 8-21 shooting.
I’m sorry, but if you’re back is against the wall and you’re fighting for a spot in the playoffs as the Jazz were last night, coming out and scoring 70 points is inexcusable. Utah fell behind by 20 and found themselves scrambling to comeback in the fourth. They did make a slight run, cutting the deficit to ten but Jerryd Bayless hit a dagger 3-pointer with about four minutes to go. Zach Randolph had a big game with 25 points and 19 boards, and Mike Conley scored 14. Al Jefferson was the only Jazz player to show up and scored 22 points while grabbing 16 boards.
Darren Collison ended his season on a high note with 25 points while Dirk finished with 16 and 9 boards to help the Mavs end their season with a .500 record. The Mavs closed the game on an 18-4 run but are surely disappointed that they will be watching the playoffs at home. All five Hornet starters scored in double figures, including Al-Farouq Aminu who scored 16 and grabbed 20 boards.
The Spurs lost seven of 10 to close their season and I know that folks love to say that Pop doesn’t care about wins as long as they are in they playoffs, but no mistake about it; this team is limping into the postseason. With the win, the Timberwolves snapped their 16-game losing streak in San Antonio. Derrick Williams scored 21 points and Greg Steimsma scored 12 and grabbed 9 rebounds. Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 17 points and 14 boards.
With both teams’ playoff spots intact, the reserves played most of this one. John Henson led the Bucks with 28 points and 16 boards to wrap up his up and down rookie year and Mike Dunleavy scored 14 off the bench. Reggie Jackson had 23 points, 6 boards and 5 dimes while Perry Jones III scored 14 and grabbed 9 boards and Jeremy Lamb scored 13 and grabbed 7 rebounds.
The Nuggets blew out the Suns to cap off their awesome season. Wilson Chandler dropped 21 and Andre Iguodala scored 20 in the win. The Nuggets finished the season winning 40 of their last 50 games and will be an interesting team to watch in the postseason. Luis Scola scored 17 and grabbed 11 boards to lead the Suns.
The Lakers’ win bumped them up to the seven seed to take on the Spurs in the first round. Steve Blake continued his strong play with 24 points, 7 boards and 7 dimes and Dwight Howard played a helluva game, finishing with 16 points, 18 boards and 4 blocks. Pau Gasol was no slouch either as he scored 17 points, grabbed 20 boards and dropped 11 dimes. James Harden scored 30 for the Rockets.
The Clippers locked up home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with last night’s win over the disappointing Kings. LA will face the Grizzlies in what promises to be one of, if not the, best first round matchup. Chris Paul scored 25 points and dropped 11 dimes while Jamal Crawford scored 25. DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 36 points and grabbed a career-high 22 boards.
Steph Curry capped off his amazing regular season in record setting fashion. The sharpshooter set the NBA single-season record for 3-pointers with 272, surpassing Ray Allen’s mark 0f 269 set during the ’05-’06 season. With the win, the Warriors clinched the 6-seed and will face the Nuggets in what should be an awesome series. Portland finished the season with 13 straight losses. Curry finished with 15 points, Klay Thompson scored 24 and David Lee finished with a 20-10 double-double. Dame Lillard became just the third rookie to lead the NBA in minutes played during their rookie year, joining Walt Chamberlain and Elvin Hayes. Lillard finished with 21 points while LaMArus Aldridge scored 30 and grabbed 21 boards.