Everyone take a deep breath and check the calendar. It’s not June yet. We still have to wait. But we do think everyone in the world wants this. Hell, we bet even the Spurs and Bulls fan out there want to see seven games of OKC/Miami in the NBA Finals. If they’re anything like Miami’s 98-93 win last night in terms of drama and physicality, we’ll be spoiled. In one second quarter stretch, Kendrick Perkins slapped D-Wade in the face, and then Russell Westbrook (28 points) nearly got thrown out for a bad foul on a LeBron James breakaway. It also earned him his own “Russell sucks!” chant, which has to be some kind of initiation. Outside of maybe Kris Humphries, that’s an extremely exclusive club. The Heat were shooting baseball numbers in the first half, but stuck around because of some timely threes. Then at the start of the fourth quarter when things tightened up, with Miami close to folding once again, Shane Battier came through with back-to-back corner triples to ease the tension. After that it came down to KD vs. LeBron. Durant was spectacular, scoring 30 and hitting some unbelievable shots with ‘Bron draped over him. But James put up a statline he’s only had THREE TIMES in his entire career: 34 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and four steals … It’s sucks that Ginobili got hurt late last year, and that the Spurs got their worst matchup in the first round, and that they lost because Z-Bo had the series of his life. Because if all of that didn’t happen, we’d have a perfect recipe for one of those “no one’s talking about the Spurs” cliche stories. It’d fit perfectly because, you know, NO ONE is talking about them as if it’s a forgone conclusion OKC is going to the Finals. When we bring that up, there IS already the built-in excuse: “What about last year?” But San Antonio went into Beantown last night, held off a furious late rally from the C’s after they trailed by 17, and survived a last second jumper from Paul Pierce (Why didn’t he go right? He never misses going right.) to win by one for their ninth-straight win. Incredibly, they had eight guys all score at least eight points, and Danny Green of all people led them with 14 … Can we spend a minute to say we hope Avery Bradley doesn’t lose minutes now that Ray Allen is back? He had 19 last night, and the backcourt of Rondo/Bradley has turned Boston’s season around … “Worst loss we’ve had all year.” Rick Adelman knows what’s up. He had to sit through an overtime loss to Golden State that pretty much killed any lingering playoff chances they still had. Everyone on Minnesota outside of Kevin Love (29 points, 12 rebounds, but couldn’t make a three when it mattered… or at all actually) struggled, and on the other end, David Lee was giving people buckets (31 points) … Monta Ellis hasn’t been as money as he was in crunch time last night since leaving the Bay. As Milwaukee pulled to within a game of the playoffs in a 107-98 win over the half-dead Cavs, Ellis was into straight assassin mode in the game’s final five minutes. Sixteen of his 30 came at that point, and the Bucks needed all of them to hold off a team that’s so screwed up, Anthony Parker is dropping 27 for them … Keep reading to hear about another Andrew Bynum triple attempt …
On a night supposedly reserved for KD/’Bron, we don’t think anyone would’ve been surprised to see Kobe go for 40-plus. He didn’t quite get there (he had 31), but a ridiculous corner jumper in the closing seconds basically sealed it for the Lakers against the Clippers. In the 113-108 win, Andrew Bynum was a force. He muscled his way for 36 points, and yet still found time to chuck up another three. It was at the end of the third of course, but still, Bynum backed up, checked his feet and then let it fly. This dude is funny … Blake Griffin (15 points, 14 rebounds) killed Pau Gasol once in the first minute last night with a putback, then resuscitated him before killing him again with a facial. If we’re Gasol, we’re wearing disguises to hide our shame for the next month. Ruthless stuff from Blake … Dallas got 23 from Dirk Nowitzki and won a huge game over Memphis, 95-85. No one has any clue what to make of the Grizzlies. They’ve gone all year without having everyone together playing well, and now with Zach Randolph struggling to regain his form, it’s hurting everyone. Since becoming an All-Star, Marc Gasol hasn’t come close to replicating his form from earlier in the season, and then there’s Rudy Gay, who’s taking a few steps back after taking five steps forward last year before getting … It was Michael Redd of all people, pushing the Suns one step closer to the playoffs with 19 points in their 107-105 win over Utah … Portland got 24 points from LaMarcus Aldridge in their win over the Nets … On the same night he got dissed by Kanye on wax, Kris Humphries dropped a cool 21 and 11. So now this dude has been mentioned by Kanye in a song, married Kim K, become a celebrity/reality star, become the most hated player in the world AND actually become pretty good as a basketball player all in the past two years or so. WHAT? … Eric Gordon was in the starting lineup last night for N.O., and while he looked like he was running in quicksand, he scored 15 and contributed just enough to help the Hornets play spoiler in a two-point win over Denver … So Philly is just mailing it in huh? They gave up 24 to Andrea Bargnani and lost to Toronto by 21 to give away what shouldn’t been an easy win in their quest to win the Atlantic Division … Danny Granger (20 points) had his second straight big game as Indiana sent the Wizards to the timeout chair, winning 109-96. John Wall has basically said f— it on the season. He actually tried another 360 layup last night and the thing flew about two feet over the basket. Meanwhile, he was getting torched by Darren Collison (17 points, 11 assists), who hasn’t torched anyone in about two years … And Josh Smith‘s 24 spearheaded Atlanta’s 27-point win over Charlotte … We’re out like Pau Gasol.
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