It’s a wonderful thing when there is one meaningful game that affects the playoff picture on the season’s final night. But do you know what’s better? When there are six. After a regular season that was spine-tingling like ice cream cake on your birthday, we still had five Western Conference seeds in play on the 2010-11 regular season swan song. And oh yeah, that whole potential-to-have-definite-home-court-in-the-Finals may have also been on the line. No big deal … On a night where every team in the entire league played, there was plenty of opportunity for surprise. As it turned out, everything played out exactly like most assumed it would (outside of the Spurs). Where should we start? In Dallas, the Mavs used a murderous third-quarter run, highlighted by five threes and incredible defense, to wipe out the Hornets, 121-89. It was our first taste of playoff basketball, like that appetizer special at Applebee’s. In the third quarter, Chris Paul drew a foul on Shawn Marion as the Mavs’ forward was jogging down on offense. Paul ran right into his path and fell over. So the next time Paul touched the ball, an obviously frustrated Tyson Chandler keyed in on him and decked him. It was absolutely necessary; Paul has to be one of the league’s worst floppers … Besides the physical play, there was Dirk Nowitzki (32 points), showing off the full arsenal of jukes, drives and just plain stupid fadeaways. It’s like every time he’s on national TV, he wants to remind us that he’s Dirk and he’s really good … Dallas was playing for the two seed and home court in the second round, but had to sit back and watch the Lakers dangle it all right in front of their faces, L.A. barely surviving Sacramento 116-108 in overtime in what could’ve been the Kings final game in California’s capital. How do you dodge two bullets in one day? That’s some Matrix $%^&. But L.A. definitely did, first with the good news regarding Andrew Bynum, and then in Sacramento when they blew a 22-point fourth-quarter lead. With 11 seconds left, they were staring a meeting with the hated Blazers in the face, down three after an explosion from Marcus Thornton (33 points), but Kobe Bryant (who scored 36 points after earning a $100,000 fine for a gay slur towards a ref earlier in the day) came up with the game’s biggest shot, a three, to send it to overtime. Once there, the Kings quickly unraveled and the Lakers closed them out and shut the building down … After hearing Kobe’s initial in-game rant, then seeing the NBA fine him and now after hearing Bryant’s “apology,” what’s your opinion on the whole situation?
The Lakers Go Matrix On Us; Blake Griffin Ends In Style; And Call Chicago The Best In The NBABy: uproxx 04.14.11  • 124 Comments