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Last Night In The NBA: It's Now Time To Focus On Basketball

Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics

Welcome back everybody to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that happened from the day before in the Association. I figure today for the most part on the blog will be all about the Super Bowl and the Eagles win, which is fine and those stoolies deserve to enjoy their time in the sun. But there are also some stoolies that are trying to forget all about that game, so the least I can do is try and provide some basketball relief to get your mind off things. On a day that was probably spent with your buddies pregaming the big game, there were also 6 NBA games that happened on Sunday that were also pretty entertaining. So if you need the distraction and are curious what went down, here’s what happened.

Celtics (39-15) 97 vs Trail Blazers (29-24) 96

If you’re a Boston stoolie and you need a pick me up, go read the full game blog here

Bucks (29-23) 109 vs Nets (19-35) 94

Oh hello new look Bucks. Get Jabari Parker back, win two in a row, and boom all the sudden you’ve won 6 out of the last 7 and you’re challenging for a home court in the first round and quite possibly the 3 seed if things continue to go well. Quite the turnaround for a team that really had been underachieving all year. Granted it was BKN, so can’t beat anybody right now, but if you haven’t been, I’d say now would be a good time to start tuning into what MIL is doing

The one thing that could fuck up everything I just said is that Giannis tweaked his ankle. He said after the game he plans on playing Tuesday, but he also said he’s twisted it twice in the last five games soooo.

Oh and for those keeping score at home, the Bucks are now 6-1 since firing Kidd.

For BKN, they’ve now lost 6 of 7, for the most part they’ve been blowouts, and their Tankathon ranking currently sits at 8th but it’s dropping fast. At this point the only thing to talk about is their promising young talent, and Jarrett Allen wasn’t all that bad with 14/7 on 7-11

Hawks (16-37) 99 vs Knicks (23-31) 96

The Knicks just can’t make things easy on themselves can they. Not often you see a team shoot 40% and turn it over 16 times and still win, but that’s exactly what the Hawks did. But to be fair, most of their struggles came from Schroder as plenty of guys stepped up and had some decent outings, like Mike Muscala who had 15 points off the bench

and Bazemore did his part with 19 and a pretty big shot late

For NYK, you wasted a solid Porzingis performance of 22/8 with 4 steals and 5 blocks

are now losers of 3 straight and now a full 4 games out of the final playoff spot. Certainly doesn’t help that DET got Blake and all the sudden is winning, so it’s looking tougher and tougher that the Knicks are going to go on a run and sag one of those bottom seeds.

Even after a big third quarter gave them some momentum into the final frame, they didn’t have quite enough to putt out the home win. Brutal considering ATL was just 4-21 on the road heading into that game, and at MSG is where the Knicks are supposed to be their best.

Raptors (36-16) 101 vs Grizzlies (18-34) 86

The Raptors just keep taking care of business. Now 21-4 at home to match BOS with the most in the East, TOR has won of their last 5 and the one loss was 122-119 to WSH. They’re playing as good of basketball as any team in the NBA at the moment, and much like the elite teams in the league, are a much different beast at home. Now MEM is bad, we know this, but they did challenge at certain times in this game.

Despite the final score, it wasn’t exactly easy. No Raptors starter scored more than 13 points and Lowry/DeRozan combined to go 9-25 (1-8) for 24 points. Not great. The good news is one of TOR’s biggest strengths showed up, and that’s their bench. I’m talking 52 of the 101 total led by

We now all turn our focus to tomorrow’s BOS/TOR matchup up north. After losing by a point earlier in the year in BOS, the Raptors are close enough in the standings where H2H matchups start to be very important. Division leader starts to become very important. It looks like they’ll have to play Kyrie for the first time, but the way this team can defend and play at home, this should be a great game.

For MEM, it sucks they can’t have Tyreke Evans because maybe they win this game. Well on second thought, if you’re a MEM fan you’re probably happy about that and will start to take as many losses as you can to help with the lottery. Despite the tanking, that doesn’t mean certain guys didn’t play well, like Marc Gasol and Andrew Harrison

We’re only days away from finding out where MEM sends Evans, so even if you don’t want to watch them for the basketball, at least they have that interest around them.

Lakers (21-31) 108 vs Thunder (30-24) 104

Lakers need to chill out man. Winning in OKC is no joke, and they got a pretty balanced effort and never took their foot off the gas to pull this out. As a team they had 48/43% splits, and despite turning it over 19 times, the Lakers really couldn’t be stopped, and that feels a little weird to type given how good defensively OKC is.

Barring something crazy, I think most Celtics fans should move on from thinking this pick is going to convey. Lakers are winning at too good a pace in my opinion. Also this is without Lonzo and Kuzma was basically a non factor. Facts are facts, they’ve beaten BOS, HOU, and now OKC. They can get hot and beat almost anyone in the league.

For OKC, this is now their 4th straight loss, just their 9th at home, and things are now getting a little tense in terms of their seeding. As of today they are just 0.5 ahead of POR for the 5th spot, and just 1.5 games from DEN at 8th. Any type of prolonged slide from any of the teams 3-9 is going to have a big time impact. Fortunately for OKC, teams around them are also losing.

Despite the loss, OKC had it moments, with Westbrook going for 36/5/9 on 15-25, but he also had 7 TOs

and Paul George did his mpart with 26/7/3/2 on 10-19

But at the end of the day, they just couldn’t get the fourth quarter stops they needed to spark a run and close it out. Too much Julius Randle inside, you had Brooke Lopez making threes, some really wacky stuff.

Good news for the Thunder is they now play at GS and then at the Lakers so it’s not as if things are going to suddenly get easier. Moving forward they’ll probably need a little more than 3-13 from Melo.

Hornets (23-29) 115 vs Suns (18-36) 110

Can the Hornets save their season and make up the 3 game difference to snap a final playoff spot? Maybe if they play like this they can. Five players with at least 15 points, they were balanced and had one of their best offensive performances in a while

I think we’ll have a better idea once they finish this road trip, with DEN/POR/UTA on deck. I’m not ready to call them dead yet, especially with how inconsistent the 7-10 seeds have been in the East this year.

For PHX, despite the loss a pretty good offensive showing from them as well, with 53/51% splits and 15 made threes. Their young talent didn’t look too bad either, with Josh Jackson leading the way with 23/5 on 10-13

and Bender pouring in 18 and four made threes

not to mention Booker had 18 pm 7-14 and four made threes as well. This is what you want if you’re a Suns fan, an entertaining game and progress from your young guys while also making sure your lottery pick looks like it’ll be top 5. That’s where it stands right now, so imagine adding a Trae Young to this team or something like that. That’s reason for excitement for a team going through a rebuild.

And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that happened on Super Bowl Sunday in the NBA. Hopefully this helped distract you if you’re feeling a little down. We’re right back at it tonight with 7 games, including some good ones like POR/DET, WSH/IND, and UTA/NO. As always you can check back here tomorrow for anything you may have missed.