Carmelo Anthony Serves Up A Stunner; San Antonio Keeps A Rollin’

By: 04.09.12

We can’t be sure if 2012 will be like the 2011 playoffs, when a cruising San Antonio team got whipped in the playoffs’ first round. We do know they’re still running off games and maybe, just maybe, getting enough gas to run away with a Western Conference No. 1 seed. They beat Utah handily to get an 11th straight win, and if you’re in Texas you like what you saw from Manu Ginobili (23 points). He kept coming down the lane like the train in Unstoppable, getting to the line 15 times. It was a nice way to see what the lineup would be like without DeJuan Blair, who didn’t play, and the Spurs passed. Tony Parker‘s 28 weren’t bad, either and that spin move on Devin Harris? Filthy. (Also, they’re 9-0 since Boris Diaw arrived. Of course.) Losing an energy guy like C.J. Miles to a calf strain didn’t help for Utah. Derrick Favors‘ 14 and 12 came with a nasty slam over Tiago Splitter. … Knowing the Spurs were playing you knew Oklahoma City was going to snap out of it against Toronto. The Thunder had a 24-0 run (this is a real thing?) that ended any suspense. It was more a case of OKC being its normal self than Toronto being not very good (which they aren’t, but still). … A matter of frustration: When Kevin Durant (23 points) sets a screen near the three, why do two guys follow the guy with the ball? Durant took advantage of a couple inexplicable defensive moves to score Sunday. Russ Westbrook (16 points, six boards and six assists) broke out, a few times, his hesitation moves on secondary breaks on Jose Calderon (19 points) that make him so good. Guys guarding him kept looking at Raps coach Dwane Casey like, he was just here. … Houston didn’t turn the ball over (10 times) and got the ball inside for 46 points in the paint to beat the Kings, with a guy like Courtney Lee running around in there for some of his 25 points. He had an easier time getting his buckets than a Kings fan would hope. That is, when he wasn’t getting dimes from Goran Dragic (15 points, nine assists). Dragic’s like the wasp you can’t swat. … We’re out like C.J. Miles.

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