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Last Night In The NBA: For Some The Season Can't End Soon Enough

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs

Morning 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. Based on my Twitter feed last night it appeared a majority of people were watching The Bachelor and not the 7 basketball games we had on, which makes this blog pretty important. How else are you going to bring yourself up to speed as we head down the home stretch where every game is important? Don’t stress, just keep reading, here’s what happened.

Cavaliers (37-26) 111 vs Pistons (29-35) 90

The Cavs are back! Who even remembers all those post All Star Break struggles amirite? The Cavs kept it close in this game for about a quarter and then their best player and Lebron James turned up the heat

The Pistons had absolutely no answer for these two, and they combined for nearly half of the Cavs baskets (20 of 43 FGM). Once things got to the third quarter is when the Cavs really stretched things out, and sure, none of their wins post break are against a team over .500 but why focus on specifics? I’m sure it’s no big deal that Hill/Smith/Hood combined to go 5-20, and if I had to bet this is the starting lineup we’ll see from CLE until Love gets back.

Also it should be noted that Ante Zizic is a monster and the bench didn’t play that bad, finishing with 43 points.

For DET, christ do they stink. Their season is essentially over if you ask me. A 5 game deficit between them and the 9 seed, they’re 9-22 on the road and have lost three in a row. I just don’t see any current Top 8 team going on such a dive over the last 18+ games to think DET can sneak in. The other good news is they have like $111M in salary committed next year so this is basically who they are (plus Reggie Jackson). Good trade though!

Celtics (45-20) 105 vs Bulls (21-42) 89

Full blog is coming, just know that I don’t care how shitty CHI is, winning in that building for the first time since 2014, in a stress free manner, was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Pacers (37-27) 92 vs Bucks (34-30) 89

Now this was a game that had a pretty big impact on the East standings. With this win IND is now a 4 seed just 0.5 games behind CLE, and MIL sits all the way down to the 8th spot, tied with MIA and just 1.0 games back of PHI. This is why H2Hs are so damn important, tie breakers are a mother fucker. This game was also important because IND has officially won the H2H series with MIL, so even if MIL was to go on a run and tie them in record, they’d lose out.

92 points may not seem like a lot, but things were balanced for IND, shooting 42/58.8% and five guys finished in double figures led by Bojan Bogdanovic who had 29

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I’m excited to see IND in the playoffs not just because their season is a great story, but because they have Lance, and you have no idea what Lance is going to do at any moment. Like these for example

I am so ready for him to take a shot like this at a big moment in a playoff game. Ultimately this was a game of runs, with IND going on a 19-5 run in the third quarter and then MIL with  19-5 run of their own before the third was over. You don’t usually see that every day.

For MIL, Giannis had a chance to tie it at the end from deep but was just short. Just when you thought maybe they turned a corner after their win against PHI, the offense once again stalled. Khris Middleton struggled going 1-7 which is a rare feat for him, and despite the strong play from Giannis/Bledsoe/Parker, it wasn’t enough

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I’ll tell you what though, I am very much here for a MIL/TOR first round series. It’s really strange when you look at MIL’s resume, despite their talent they are 14-17 on the road and just 21-21 against the East this season. Don’t you think they should be a little bit better than that? Maybe Jason Kidd wasn’t the only problem or something?

Heat (34-30) 125 vs Suns (19-47) 103

Now this was one of the more complete beatdowns of the night. Six players with at least 12 points, the Heat shot 51% from the field and turned it over just 10 times. The Heat had not scored this many points since November 8th, which you guessed it, also came against PHX where they scored 126. That’s pretty wacky. With no real inside presence, Hassan Whiteside feasted

Dragic was his usual solid self

and Justise Winslow sure did put an exclamation point on the win, and to be honest this was probably the best thing I’ve seen him do in months as he finished with 12/12/5

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The question now is how high can MIA go? Can they reach as high as the 4 seed or are they going to settle somewhere between 6-8? They have the lowest scoring offense of any team in the top 8, and their schedule isn’t exactly cake if you look ahead and see WSH/PHI/WSH/POR in their immediate future.

For PHX, again who cares about the result. The point of watching PHX is not to see them win or even play semi attractive basketball, it’s just to watch Devin Booker do crazy shit, which he again did last night

31 points on 12-22 shooting (4-9 from deep) is certainly nothing to sneeze at and really besides him and TJ Warren’s 19, I’m not sure any other Sun showed up. Hard to win on the road when you turn it over 17 times and just three guys finish in double figures, but what do they care they’re sitting pretty in the 2 spot in the lottery standings so it’s whatever in my opinion.

Spurs (37-27) 100 vs Grizzlies (18-45) 98

Disaster averted that’s for sure. Spurs are already sliding and playing some shitty basketball (3-7 over last 10), they could not afford to drop a game to the pathetic Grizzlies. Unfortunately, the starters for SA did them no favors, combining to go 10-32 which is a tad concerning. LMA going 2-8, Gasol 0-4, Mills 3-10, Murray 2-5 it was just really bad no matter where you looked.

The good news is the bench was up to the challenge of saving the day, and they got big time performances from Tony Parker

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and Davis Bertans

As of now the Spurs are a 5 seed and do not have homecourt in the first round which feels very un-Spurs like. If we’re being honest, that’s how this whole season has been for them. Who knows what the fuck is going on with Kawhi, but if he doesn’t come back at any point this regular season, I don’t see things getting much better for SA.

For MEM, at this point they have to wish the season was over already. It may be hard to try and find a bright spot with this team considering they lose so much and their best player hates it there but allow me to try. At least rookie Dillon Brooks played well!

Next time just try to not turn it over 20 times and I bet things work out better for you. Crazy concept I know but just try it.

Jazz (34-30) 94 vs Magic (20-44) 80

You want to know how insane the West is? At one point the Jazz were 10th in the West. They then won 15 of 17 games. Guess where they are now? 10th in the West.

WHAT?!?!?!?!

That suuuuuuuuuuucks. Imagine playing such good basketball for this long and being in the exact same place as when you started? That’s brutal. All these great performances for nothing

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Makes you think what this team could have been had they not been dealt a shitty hand in terms of injuries, because they are one of the more exciting teams to watch and would make for a fun playoff team, I just don’t know if they get the chance given how stacked things are.

For ORL, I’m shocked a team that was 7-25 on the road this season heading in, lost a game on the road. I also can’t wait to see what Aaron Gordon looks like on his next team, and if he follows the trend of other former Magic players who get better once they are out of that environment

Trail Blazers (38-26) 108 vs Lakers (28-35) 103

An important win for POR who now find themselves in the 3 seed in the West, and they got it done by using the familiar formula of give it to Dame/CJ and get the hell out of the way

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CJ had 22, and Dame was simply ridiculous, no other way to put it. The fact that he has this team where it is this late in the season just goes to show how legit of a player he is. I dunno if he gets the publicity he deserves when talking about the elite PGs in the NBA, but make no mistake, given how he’s played this season he deserves to be in that conversation.

Also it wasn’t quite James Harden level, but quality shake here by Shabazz Napier

For LAL, tough way to end their winning streak but that’s going to happen when you have 39/29% splits and give up a 35 point fourth quarter. Can’t do that shit at home. Despite the loss that’s not saying guys didn’t play well, they did

they just had a nightmare ending from Isaiah. Missing that FT, to this strip

not the best final moments for Isaiah. I suppose his 5-21 didn’t help much either, despite his 19 points being the second most on the team.

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And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re back with 8 more games tonight including some good ones like MIA/WSH, HOU/OKC, and NO/LAC so make sure to come back tomorrow and catch up on anything you may have missed.