Good morning everybody happy Monday 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. While it’s true, yesterday was a big tournament day, it was also a fairly large day on then NBA calendar with 7 games in action with a great mix of close down to the wire finishes, important playoff positioning wins, and of course a little drama. Given there’s no chance you want to start working yet this morning, why not allow me to kill a little bit if you time with some awesome basketball highlights? It would be my pleasure. If you missed any of the action from Sunday, here’s what happened.
Milwaukee Bucks (57-20) 135 vs Atlanta Hawks (28-49) 136 F/OT
We may as well start off with one of the best games of the entire day. Now initially this score would shock you if you’ve followed these teams all year, but there’s one key point. There was no Giannis, there was no Middleton, there was no Bledsoe. So yeah, while it was still a wildly fun and entertaining affair, it’s not like Giannis & Co lost to the Hawks. That would be a little more concerning. But because MIL is so goddamn good they can rest all their stars and still have a great performance from pretty much whoever stepped on the floor
Their magic number is now 2 for the top overall seed, and they did have as much as a 23 point lead during a big time first quarter, and then another 10 point lead in the fourth so you could argue maybe they did sort of blow this win, but as a Bucks fan I’m still encouraged that I watched the reserves still come out and make 17 3PM. One of these guys are going to have to step up with Brodgdon hurt and any sort of reps you get in now only helps.
For ATL, they were just as balanced with three guys with at least 23
but come on, we all know the story here is the Trae Young game winner. Despite being 5-19 from the floor he is showing time and time again that his FG% does not impact his cluthness, and while many may have thought the ROY race was over, Trae Young is out here saying not so fast my friend
He’d obviously be a lock in any other season, and if you firmly want to make your case for Young you certainly have a lot of evidence to support that claim. It really is crazy how both of these teams hit on their players when this trade first happened and neither team probably would go back and redo it. How often do we see that? We’re starting to see if that if the game is on the line and you let Young into the paint, he’s probably going to beat you.
Dallas Mavericks (30-46) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (44-32) 103
I don’t want to pile on here, but the Thunder are choosing one of the worst times to be playing their worst basketball of the season. Coming out at home and putting up 38/25% splits is tough, and losing to the Mavs, a team that’s just 8-31 on the road at this point in the year is pretty inexcusable. They’re pretty much sealing their playoff fate by doing shit like this, now 3-7 over their last 10, tied with SA for the 8th spot in the West, we all know nobody wants GS in the first round, that’s a death wish.
And sure, their Big 3 showed up
but their depth and bench gave them absolutely nothing, and after a late fourth quarter run they actually had the lead with just under 2 minutes left. There would then be 6 lead changes over the final 2 minutes. That’s the problem with OKC right now, not only are they not shooting the ball well, but they can’t get stops. You would think at home would be the one place these issues wouldn’t come up, but that’s how you know you’re really feeling it as a team. There’s now a 1.5 game difference to the 6 seed, so it’s looking like OKC may finish in that 7/8 spot, which is a gigantic difference from DEN to GS.
For DAL, no Luka, no problem. Their reserve guard did most of the damage
They killed the Thunder from deep with 16 3PM, and it’s not like they currently have their first round pick in their lottery spot at the moment so this win didn’t really help them all that much. They are too far behind to really move up even if they lose out given who is ahead of them, so I guess it’s just going to the motions and playing spoiler from here on out. Love that Dirk is still playing too, that guy is a monster.
Los Angeles Lakers (35-42) 130 vs New Orleans Pelicans (19-20) 102
Oh Lakers you fucking morons. You finally realize that you had to shut down LeBron way too late, then you finally do and you come out and win by 28 points. That’s just perfect. You didn’t even play Kuzma either! The thing is, they went up against a team much more versed in the art of tanking, and now Magic is stuck in the 11 spot with his dirty dick in his hands and no next move to show for it. The highest they can probably get now is 10th, and that’s good because it’s totally a deep draft and not extremely top heavy like everyone says. But hey, at least some guys showed out
For NO, this is how you do it. You miss all your outside shots, you turn the ball over 24 times, you do everything in your damn power to ensure you don’t wrack up a meaningless win at this point of the year.
NO actually has a chance to sneak into the top 6 if they keep this up, so as you can see they know what the hell they’re doing. The Lakers could learn a thing or two from the Pelicans if you ask me.
Sacramento Kings (38-39) 113 vs San Antonio Spurs (44-33) 106
Much like the Thunder, the Spurs are doing their best to avoid the Warriors in the first round. Currently in 7th, this loss certainly didn’t help. You had Pop getting tossed
to go along with some LMA dominance
and some decent Rudy Gay play
I’d say Pop earned his ejection on that one, he seemed pretty hot all over an out of bounds call. Maybe it was the offensive foul beforehand that really set him off, but I’ll always support Pop going nuclear. It’s just fun to watch. Ultimately it was not enough to get the Spurs over the hump, but it was wildly entertaining.
For SAC, did you know they swept the season series against the Spurs? First time the franchise ever did that, so that’s pretty cool considering they were probably a little bummed about officially being eliminated from the playoffs the day before.
Buddy Hield did his thing and led with 26
and the Kings had 7 players in double figures with 48/44% splits. Not bad! Close the whole way really until they started to run away with things in the fourth quarter, while it’s a bummer they won’t be moving on you bet your ass this team is going to be hyped as shit heading into next year. Their young talent is legit, they have a good coach, and they should definitely be a playoff team this time next season.
Washington Wizards (32-46) 95 vs Denver Nuggets (51-25) 90
Man what was going on yesterday. OKC with a bad loss, Pop getting tossed, and now here we have the Nuggets with a brutal home loss AND Jokic getting tossed all in the same night.
I suppose that happens when you throw up just 37/19% splits at home, but for a team in a tight ass race with the Warriosr, these are the layups you have to win. Even their awesome bench couldn’t really do much when they got into the game, and this is all while having a 9 point lead at the half. They then came out and dropped just 28 points over the final two quarters, something I did not think was possible for the Nuggets team if everyone was healthy and playing, which is what they had. If things get down to a 1 game difference I have to imagine they’ll look back at this one and kick themselves.
For WSH, you’re in a tank race yourself for the 6 spot so I guess this win didn’t really help them all that much either. It’s not like they shot the ball all that well, just 40/25%, but what they did have was balanced scoring
Impressive win on a night where Bradley Beal was relatively quiet, and Jeff Green didn’t play. Obviously the lack of Jokic was a prayer, but that’s how the cookie crumbles and the result was something that I don’t think either team really wanted.
Charlotte Hornets (35-41) 90 vs Golden State Warriors (52-24) 137
These poor Hornets. Nobody deserves what happened to them in this game. Kemba just 4-14, no starter in double figures, 35/25% splits, just a disaster all around. Having to go out West this late in the season is rough, so let’s just move on and give them their privacy.
For GS, oh you know, just 60/63% shooting and 21 3PM. The usual, and this was with Boogie ASLO getting ejected. That seems fair
Durant only took 5 shots and made all 5, and yeah, I think they’re ready for the postseason.
Memphis Grizzlies (31-46) 96 vs Los Angeles Clippers (47-31) 113
Don’t look now, but the Clippers are safe in the 6 spot, with the 5 a very real possibility and an outside chance at a top 4 seed. Just that sentence alone is pretty crazy given the season they’ve had but it’s their reality. This team is really really good, playing the best basketball at the right time, and is 8-2 over their last 10.
Gallo is having a sneaky All NBA caliber season even though he won’t make it, Harrell with another 20 points off the bench to go along with Lou Williams’ 17 proving what we already know in that the Clips may have the best two bench players in the league, and they finished March with the NBA’s best record. That is exactly how you build momentum towards a big playoff run.
For MEM, no Conley, but there was Delon Wright
Sure that’s pretty depressing, but this is the Grizzlies we’re talking about here. You should be used to this by now. Unfortunately this loss has them keeping their first round pick which they definitely don’t want, but they have to get outside of the top 8 and I don’t know if they have that in them. Not when you look at their schedule.
And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that went down yesterday in the NBA. Hopefully this helped take up some time in your morning and ease you into work. We’re back tonight with 9 more games, so just check back in the morning for anything you miss. Have a great Monday!