Good morning everybody happy Tuesday and welcome back to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we bring you up to speed on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. We had 7 games on the schedule and thankfully for the most part they were all pretty competitive with 5 of them being decided by 8 points or less. Team are fighting for playoff positioning, some are even fighting (and failing) for their playoff lives, and I would imagine we’re going to have similar high pressure situations the rest of the way given how close things are in each conference. Now maybe you were watching the Bachelor last night or got busy and couldn’t watch it all and that’s OK, here’s what happened.
Dallas Mavericks (27-36) 88 vs Brooklyn Nets (33-33) 127
Ah, those are the road Mavs I remember. Can’t say this result is all that surprising when you realize DAL is just 6-25 away from home this year, and it also isn’t that surprising when you see they shot 35/26% for the game. It was a rough night for pretty much everyone outside of Dwight Powell who set a career high with 5 3PM and while he struggled from the floor there were still plenty of quality Luka moments
At this point the Mavs are simply playing out the season and letting Dirk get his retirement tour treatment, and that’s OK. They still have a very bright future and some cap space moving forward so I don’t anticipate they’ll be this bad for long.
For BKN, man did they need this win even if it was against a lottery team. After their slide dropped them down to the 7 spot, they needed to finally win to help them keep pace with a DET team that’s playing great right now because chances are they definitely want to avoid TOR in the first round. Offense was certainly not a problem for them given their 127 points and 56/41% splits with 17 3PM, and it was a nice balanced approach with 6 players in double figures, 3 of them coming from the second unit
but the best part of last night was obviously how nuts the crowd went for Dirk when he made his first bucket
this is clearly one of my favorite trends in the league right now and you have to tip your cap to the BKN fans, they nailed it.
Atlanta Hawks (22-43) 113 vs Miami Heat (29-34) 114
I’m not sure which was more surprising, the fact that the Heat won a home game or the fact that this was a one point game. Close the entire way you really have to give ATL credit for hanging in there despite not really being able to buy a bucket, but that’s the beauty of the 3 point shot. Even when you’re shooting like shit as long as you can make 17 3PM like they did, you can hang around. A large reason for that? Ageless Vince Carter
He passed Reggie Miller on the all time scoring list last night to move into 20th, and he did it on a three. That’s pretty fitting.
Trae Young also had his moments, but it was Vince’s night
People talk about how Dirk should keep playing, well shit if Vince Carter is going to be dunking on people one game and then lighting another team up from three in another, maybe he should reconsider his retirement as well. The Hawks honestly needed the loss more given the tanking that’s going on, and this win for MIA still keeps their playoff hopes alive. Despite being 5 games under .500 they are actually tied with ORL for the 8th spot, and are just 2.5 games from the 6 seed. Who’s to say a really good week couldn’t get them into the top 8?
For MIA, their savior was another old ass dude who’s about to retire. What a weird game where Carter and Wade were the two best players but that’s the NBA for ya. He pretty much saved the Heat in that fourth quarter scoring 14 of his 23 points in the final frame
Not only did he essentially win them the game, but he also had a great moment with lifelong Wade fan Kevin Heurter, surprising him with the end of game jersey swap
that’s as classy a move as you’ll see.
Denver Nuggets (42-21) 103 vs San Antonio Spurs (36-29) 104
Uh oh, the Nuggets are sliding folks. Now losers of 3 in a row and 2 full games behind GS, they are picking the wrong time to go into a little funk. It would be a shame if one bad week undid all the positives of their season, but they need to get their shit together it’s really that simple. Things were a disaster early after coming out and scoring only 17 points in the first and finding themselves down 19 points, but through the power of the three ball they actually made this a close game in the fourth quarter
They had what seemed like 4 chances to win this game in the final moments and came up empty on all of them, and this inbounds play right here will probably give them nightmares given how open Jokic was
That’s rough. The good news is they still have a 3 game cushion over the Thunder for the 3 spot, but things certainly do not get any easier for their schedule. Their current losing streak is the longest of any top 8 team in the West, and they GS in their immediate future which will be a pretty huge game in terms of H2H matchup and seeding.
For SA, people forget that this team has the best home record in the entire West. Their issues are the road, but the Spurs are quickly assuming the role of a team that nobody is going to want to play in the playoffs.
the encouraging thing is outside of those two guys no Spur really did all that much or shot all that well, but they relied on their defense early to establish a lead, and while they came very close to almost blowing it and maybe got a little lucky, a wins a win at this point of the year. They’ve now won 3 in a row and have a very real shot at getting to as high as the 6 seed if they keep it up and get some help, which is crazy because it always felt like the Spurs were out of it given they are 11 games under .500 on the road. Teams that are that bad usually don’t make the playoffs, but this was a great reminder the Spurs just never die.
Milwaukee Bucks (48-16) 105 vs Phoenix Suns (14-51) 114
OK look, the Bucks may have played everyone but they are at the end of a long trip, have played a bunch of games in a short period of time, these losses happen. They shot then ball like shit with 36/28% splits, Middleton went 1-13, these aren’t exactly things that are going to happen all that often for the best team in the NBA. Now granted, they did get SWEPT by this PHX team this season, but this is about as little of a deal as you could possibly have.
They end their West Coast trip 3-2 and still have the best record in the NBA, so really it’s business as usual.
For PHX, while it may hurt their lottery standings, this is a huge win for the young guys and their confidence. They showed out in a big way and that can only help them moving forward
They may be a disaster of a franchise that has no idea what they’re doing, but they do have good young talent. Even with the win the suns still have a 2.5 lead over CLE for the 2nd best tanking position, so really there are no negatives to a win like this. They don’t have many, so obviously this is one you cherish.
New Orleans Pelicans (30-26) 115 vs Utah Jazz (36-27) 112
Weird how the NBA works. The Jazz come back from like 17 down in their previous win to snag a game they should have lost, and last night they blow a big 17 point lead to drop a game they should have won. It’s not as if they shot the ball poorly, they had decent split and 14 3PM with 5 players in double figures all of whom had at least 16 points
their problem came on the defensive end and their inability to stop Julius Randle and Jrue Holiday. With their win streak snapped the Jazz find themselves in a dog fight with LAC/SA for that 6th spot, and they get their revenge against NO since they play them again tomorrow and then go MEM/OKC/PHX/MIN so at least their immediate schedule isn’t that brutal.
For NO, like I said it was all Randle/Holiday
AD only played 22 minutes and also had 15/11 including a nice poster on Gobert
and the Jazz nearly pulled it out with a Mitchell layup with 49 seconds left only to then see NO come right back down and score and take the lead for good. At this point their season is lost anyway so I’m not sure how much this helps, but at least they’re still playing hard which is cool I guess.
New York Knicks (13-51) 108 vs Sacramento Kings (32-31) 115
Another perfect tank job by the Knicks. Play competitive, get good showings from your young guys, ultimately lose. 10/10 tank performance in my opinion
For SAC, it was a much needed win considering they are still fighting to get back into the top 8 and have some climbing to do. Offensively the starters were great with solid performances everywhere you look
and even Harry Giles was pretty unstoppable off the bench before he got ejected for a flying elbow
Now the Kings are still 3 games out of the final playoff spot so they have a long way to go, and even though it hurts my favorite team I hope they make it because a GS/SAC first round series would be fun as hell.
Los Angeles Clippers (37-29) 113 vs Los Angeles Lakers (30-34) 105
Yup, the Lakers are officially dead. I mean they were always dead but this is pretty much the nail in the coffin. Sad because Playoff Rondo deserves better than to be paired with these losers.
Once again LeBron played no defense and didn’t really give a fuck I mean it got to the point where Kuzma had to push him into actually playing defense. Pathetic.
But for LAC, the good news is THEY now run LA. Who would have ever thought that would be a real sentence? But it’s true
This is a team that not only wants to make the playoffs, they want to climb as high as possible. They’ve now won 3 in a row and Doc Rivers has them playing their best basketball at the right time. Given they traded their star players and everything at the deadline, the fact that this is happening for them is nothing short of amazing.
And that’s it! You’re now caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re back tonight with 6 more games so as always if you can’t watch just check back in the morning and I’ll bring you up to speed!