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Last Night In The NBA: Things Are Starting To Get A Bit Testy

Minnesota Timberwolves v Utah Jazz

Happy Saturday everybody and welcome to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that happened from the night before in the Association. Chances are you went pretty hard last night and are feeling it as you read this. Thankfully the NBA was pretty busy with 10 games last night so if you feel like absolute death and are on your couch, or are on the porcelain throne allow me to just show you a bunch of basketball videos to help nurse you back to neutral. Here’s what happened

Magic (19-43) 115 vs Pistons (29-33) 106

You want to talk about feeling like death, imagine how Pistons fans feel. There are collapses, and then there’s whatever DET is doing right now. They’re now 2-7 over their last 9, have lost 4 of their last 5 and are just 9-20 on the road. Remember guys this was a playoff team and then they gutted their roster to bring in Blake, all for the right to miss the playoffs completely and be on the hook for his outrageous salary. WOOF.

Blake didn’t help matters much going 5-14, and Drummon only had 10 points so when I think of why DET lost this game, getting 22 combined points from those two is probably an issue. It’s not often that James Ennis III and Reggie Bullock can each nearly outscore them both

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I’m sorry, but even with the slides from the teams ahead of them, DET still finds itself 3 full games back of the 8th seed in the East. Stan Van Gundy is probably out if they miss the playoffs, Blake probably hates life not only because he lives in DET but he’s going to miss the playoffs, something he could have done in sunny LA. Who knew Reggie Jackson was so crucial to their success but apparently he is. Rough fall for the Pistons for sure.

For ORL, they need to stop winning games. Sure they just won 1 game and are 3-7 over their last 10, but they now find themselves 6th in the lottery standings. That’s the opposite of what should be happening. Maybe they need to shut down Aaron Gordon or something with a fake injury, because when he has nights like last night, he is hurting more than helping

They had been doing so well, losing 7 straight before last night, so I’d like to see them get back to their roots, and that’s being terrible. I thought once they go to OT they would let DET pull away, but they won it 11-2 and got great performances from guys like Vucevic (22/12/6) and Augustin (20/5/9) as well.

Sixers (34-27) 110 vs Hornets (28-35) 99

Congrats to the Sixers for winning their 11th straight home game, that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at. They’re definitely playing their best basketball of the season, going 8-2 over their last 10 and actually have the 3rd best point differential in the East as of today. Still in the 6 seed, but just 2 games behind CLE things can change in an instant which is why you have to take care of bad teams at home like Philly did last night.

Of course, it was the usual suspects that propelled them to the win, Embiid was a monster

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Simmons had a complete game while shooting 60%

and Redick and Covington did their job of spacing the floor and providing good secondary scoring. The real surprise was the performance of Ilyasova, who had a big 18/4/3 on 7-11 shooting coming off the bench

Not all of their buyout guys have worked out, for example Belinelli has largely remained trash, but I do think Ilyasova will be able to help this team in a playoff series, which potentially could be an early match with CLE. The Sixers are about to have a real test as they hit the road for a 4 game trip and play 5 of their next 6 away from home. They’re 14-17 on the season on the road this season, so this will tell us a lot about how real their play is. Come away with like a 3-1 trip and they could be looking at a 4 seed or something which would be HUGE for them.

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For CHA, that little win streak feels like forever ago and sadly Kemba is really the only one who’s been playing well

Hard to win in PHI when you give up a fourth quarter as bad as they did (36-19) and even harder when only two of your starters reach double figures and Dwight only has 6 points. Nic Batum was the other, and I guess it was cool that he made CHA history

But any hope this team had of making the playoffs when they were on that mini run is probably gone. Too bad injuries really boned them this year.

Warriors (49-14) 114 vs Hawks (19-44) 109

I know I know you’re shocked that the Warriors went on the road and beat the lowly Hawks, but admit, the fact that this was that close was a little surprising. Obviously Steph and Durant did their thing to the tune of 56 points

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but the biggest thing from this game was fucking Zaza Pachulia again hurting someone. This time it happened to his own teammate and I’m not talking Nick Young

Once Curry went out things got close, and thankfully for GS fans the Hawks decided to be the Hawks on the final possession

For ATL, tough ending for Bazemore because he and Schroder played so well, accounting for over half of the team’s points

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But who cares about the game. The Hawks stink and we knew this already. I was more impressed with the fact that this has now happened THREE times this year

Raptors (44-17) 102 vs Wizards (36-27) 95

There go those Raptors again, another game another win, this time over a quality opponent on the road. A classic TOR showing, with 46% shooting, 10 threes, and 32 FTA while turning it over just 7 times. That’s textbook for how they want to play. It helps when DeRozan is able to get to wherever he wants on the floor

and you have guys like CJ Miles coming off the bench and hitting dagger threes (he made 6)

The Raptors did a great job of settling down after their slow first quarter and it just goes to show how good they are that 4 of the 5 starters can combine to go 11-25 and it not really matter. They now move to 19-12 on the road, trailing just BOS for the most road wins in the East to go along with their leading 25 home wins. I think it’s safe to say that if TOR has another dud postseason, things will most likely have to change. They are too good to keep failing when it matters most.

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Also I really hope this dude was that kid’s Dad, because if not that’s a BIG TIME scumbag move

For WSH, they’ve lost 2 in a row but it hasn’t really hurt them. They hold a slim lead over IND for the 4 spot in the East and there’s no shame in losing to GS/TOR in back to back games. I will say though, their next few weeks get pretty tough, here’s how it looks: IND/MIA/NO/MIA/MIN/BOS/IND/SA/DEN

That’s a pretty brutal stretch and they’ll need guys like Otto Porter Jr to have nights like last night if they want to pull out wins

Sadly though this loss ended how many WSH losses do. No bench help and a brutal fourth quarter. Some things stay the same despite new talent/situations and for whatever reason bench help and late game execution will always plague this team.

Bulls (21-41) 108 vs Mavericks (19-44) 100

Nothing like two teams tanking but not really tanking but really tanking. The Bulls almost had another perfect outing, where they got great nights from their young guys

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But for some reason decided to pull off a 28-9 comeback in the final frame

That is not how you do it guys.

For DAL, THAT is how you tank. Sure guys like Barnes played well, but when it comes to this team I really only care about two things. The first being Dirk

and the second being rookie Dennis Smith Jr who had 25

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Nuggets (34-28) 108 vs Grizzlies (18-43) 102

An odd win for DEN seeing as how they shot 54% but had just 2 starters in double figures. The good news is Gary Harris was one of those two, and he was lights out

Will Barton also chipped in 24 off the bench and really they were the only guys that truly stepped up. A quiet night for Jokic as he took just 5 shots, this was a really important win for DEN because it kept them in the top 8 in the West and very much still alive.

For MEM, look you’re probably hung over, you don’t need to see any of their highlights because it’ll probably make you vomit.

Pacers (35-27) 103 vs Bucks (33-29) 96

Another huge matchup in the East in terms of playoff seeding. MIL has now lost 4 in a row and is sliding bad now down to 7th and they have a 1.5 deficit to make up to catch PHI. The Pacers were balanced, with all five starters in double figures and then some decent bench play. Oladipo obviously led the way with 21/7/6

and the Pacers are certainly right in the CLE/WSH/PHI mix which again is impressive considering everyone thought they would be terrible after their PG13 trade. I don’t think we’ll see them as high as 3rd, but it is a very real possibility that they could snag homecourt in the first round.

For MIL, they need to get back to defending first and foremost. Sure it’s nice to see their Big 3 do work offensively

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but it all starts on the defensive end for them. Don’t take my word for it, listen to the players

I cannot fathom that this team misses the playoffs, and they’d be a sneaky tough opponent as a 7/8 seed, but only if they lock back in defensively. This team has too much talent to be where they are in the standings, but then again they’ve been underachieving all year so is it really a surprise?

Thunder (37-27) 124 vs Suns (19-45) 116

DISASTER AVOIDED. What would have been an absolutely brutal loss for OKC instead turned into their 3rd win in a row and they wake up today to see themselves in the 5 spot, currently in a 4 way tie. I mean look at this shit!

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 9.05.01 AM

That is utter insanity. Thankfully for OKC the Big 3 all showed up, combining for 77 of the 124 points, and really the story of the night was Westbrook vs Booker. Man what a show that was

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For PHX, I say it all the time, if you can, watch them play because even if they don’t win, they are one of the teams that stink but are also fun to watch. You just saw the Booker example but he wasn’t alone, Josh Jackson was pretty good too

Add another high lottery talent to this team and just wait, PHX is going to be really fucking good at some point.

Jazz (32-20) 116 vs Timberwolves (38-28) 108

If you stayed up to watch this one, you were not disappointed. On one side you have the sliding TWolves, who have lost just 2 in a row but dropped 3 spots to the 6 seed. Playing without Butler was always going to be tough, but it’s even harder when all of your players are getting ejected. First let’s talk about UTA, who got a great performance from Donovan Mitchell

solid play from Rubio

and an absolute MONSTER night from Gobert

For whatever reason these two teams don’t like each other and that really came to a head late in this game when this happened

to be honest I have no idea what Teague was thinking. Dirty play for sure and maybe he was just frustrated the TWolves were getting their dick kicked in. Obviously guys were not happy

and like always with this league, it boiled over to Twitter!

Love NBA drama.

For MIN, look I get why they were upset. I mean look at what got KAT ejected

That is beyond pathetic. The ref fucked that one up for sure because KAT didn’t do anything. So he yelled about being fouled, he wasn’t disrespectful, he didn’t show the ref up. People came to see KAT not that ref, so I get why MIN was already a little upset before that Rubio play.

But it’s also time to be serious and talk about the real possibility that MIN may miss the playoffs all together. That’s how tight this race is and when you have teams like UTA/LAC right there to work their way into a top 8 spot, you can’t afford to go on any sort of losing streak.

Even when they get performances like this from Wiggins

It’s not enough. He’s actually been pretty good since Butler went down, so it’s too bad when a ref makes a judgement like that which could ultimately impact the postseason future of this team.

Clippers (33-28) 128 vs Knicks (24-39) 105

Still with me? I know we’ve gone over a lot and you’re probably tired of reading. So just enjoy the highlights because nobody is shocked the Clippers won this game

For NYK, good job good effort, you just stink. I feel bad, so here are your best plays from the week



And that’s it! You are now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re right back at it tonight with 7 more games including BOS/HOU, DEN/CLE, LAL/SA, OKC/POR and UTA/SAC. As always go live your life tonight and I’ll tell you all about it in the morning.