The Last Day Before the Drama

By: 04.15.10

Jason Kidd, Dime #40

Seeing as the Spurs actually had something to play for in last night’s regular-season finale at Dallas, it would seem odd that they’d give Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili the evening off. Here’s how we see it: Even as they’ve struggled to find consistency, San Antonio still believes they have this playoff thing down to a science. They’re more concerned with staying healthy than they are worried about who they’ll play in the first round, especially when the options are perennial victims Phoenix and Dallas … Caron Butler scored 20 to lead the Mavs, while Jason Kidd sparked a 16-2 run to end the first quarter that was the decisive sequence. Think J-Kidd was taking this game lightly? One time he went horizontal, Rodman-style, to save a loose ball. And speaking of beasts on the glass, DeJuan Blair posted 27 points and 23 boards in the loss … The Bulls only had to beat Charlotte to get into the playoffs, so between their black unis and Larry Brown‘s all-black suit, it was like symbolizing the Raptors’ funeral. LB played all of his guys — in fact, Tyson Chandler suffered what looked like a shoulder injury in the second quarter — but they never seemed to give the full effort of a team that cared about the outcome. Chicago won pretty easy … After Derrick Rose (27 pts) lulled D.J. Augustin to sleep (or just made him dizzy) with a string of crossovers and hit a pull-up jumper on him, Stacey King yelled, “Stop it! Don’t just play with him like that! That was like a cat with a mouse; all of a sudden he just got tired and slapped him with the ball.” … When the camera spotted Charles Oakley sitting next to Michael Jordan, King said, “Oh, that’s Charles Oakley! I thought that was Danny Glover!” … Meanwhile, the Raptors won their ultimately meaningless game against the Knicks. Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan led the way with 24 points, while Hedo Turkoglu wrapped up his forgettable season with 5 points and 5 fouls … Phoenix may have won a free pass into the second round, cruising past the Jazz — Steve Nash didn’t even have to play the fourth quarter — to lock up the 3rd seed in the West and a first-round matchup with banged-up Portland. Brandon Roy is out of the picture unless he buys some Willis Reed pills on the black market, and the last thing the depth-starved Blazers need is a team that will try to run them into the ground … All the Heat had to do was beat the Nets at home to secure the 5th seed in the East, but with D-Wade, J.O. and Udonis Haslem out of the lineup, that wouldn’t be as easy as it appeared on paper. It took two overtimes and some crunch-time buckets by Mario Chalmers — to about one-ninth of the reaction he got for “The Shot” at Kansas — but Miami got the job done … As if his own-goal on Tuesday night wasn’t bad enough, Rasheed Wallace hit another low in last night’s loss to Milwaukee, when the homer Boston announcers couldn’t even avoid bashing him. After Carlos Delfino drove past Brian Scalabrine for a bucket in Rasheed’s vicinity, the color commentator filling in for Tommy Heinsohn said, “I hate to say it, but (Scal) can’t send him toward Rasheed. He’s either going to reach-in or play matador defense.” … Other stat lines from Wednesday: Kevin Durant put the final stamp on his scoring title by dropping 31 points (12-18 FG) on the Grizzlies; David West had 35 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Hornets past Houston; Jameer Nelson scored 21 in Orlando’s win over Philly; Tayshaun Prince‘s 21 points helped Detroit edge Minnesota; Andray Blatche had 26 points and 4 steals as Washington beat Indiana; Jeff Teague posted 24 points and 15 assists as the JV Hawks beat the JV Cavs; Steve Blake had a triple-double (23 pts, 10 rebs, 11 asts) as the Clippers beat the Lakers, while Pau Gasol had 18 points and 17 boards in the loss; and Stephen Curry fired his last Rookie of the Year salvo by dumping 42 points, 9 boards and 8 dimes on the Blazers in a G-State win … We’re out like the meaningless games …

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