You know the drill by now. Three points of emphasis from Thursday night’s NBA action.
1. Unless something freaky happens – like Rick Ross holds a women’s abuse awareness rally in Barclays or something – Brooklyn is all but locked into the fourth seed out East. They f*cked up the church’s money last night though. The Nets allowed the the Bulls to storm all the way back from a 16-point hole and beat them in Brooklyn for a 92-90 victory. If the postseason started today, Brooklyn/Chicago would be the 4/5 matchup in a series that could prove to be all sorts of intriguing despite missing out on what would’ve been a hell of a Derrick Rose vs. Deron Williams tussle.
A Nate Robinson floater sealed the deal for Chicago in the closing moments, but it was Carlos Boozer’s 29 points and 18 rebounds who carried the Bulls throughout. Yeah, Carlos f’n Boozer damn near had a 30-20 game. Maybe he heard those amnesty rumors or something. Regardless, his night all but erased Deron’s 30-10 and Brook Lopez’s 28 points.
2. The good news for Denver? Andre Igoudala’s game winning layup improved the Nuggets to an almost seemingly unreal 34-3 at home. That and it basically killed any glimmer of hope Dallas had at making the playoffs. The bad news, and I mean extremely bad news? Danilo Gallinari had to be helped off the court in the second quarter in what appeared to be a rather serious left knee injury, which some fear may be a torn ACL.
God forbid that news isn’t true, but Denver losing Gallinari is huge moving forward in the playoffs. There’s really no one else like him on the roster with that size, that range and the ability to knock down open shots. The Nuggets are a deep squad, but replacing 16 points and five rebounds a night is not what that team needed at this point in the season. It might be time to take advantage of that marijuana law if you’re a resident of Denver.
3. Kevin Durant says he doesn’t give a damn about the scoring title and that Carmelo Anthony can have it if he damn well pleases. Something tells me he’ll be singing a different tune with the Knicks coming to town Sunday. Before then, however, OKC notched a huge win last night versus the Spurs who were without Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker was essentially ineffective battling injuries.
The Thunder won 100-88 – now only a half game back of the Spurs for the top seed out West – behind Russell Westbrook (aka “Sasha Fierce“) and Durant leading the charge with 27-7-7-3 and 25-9-6-3, respectively*.
The bright spot in all this roster shuffling San Antonio is forced to cope with? Kawhi Leonard continues to quietly morph himself into one of the more underrated players in all of basketball. Here’s your fun fact for the weekend though. The Spurs have only had their top lineup on the court for 30 games this year, and still sit 36 games above .500.
Long live the intelligent and magnificent wizard/general/asshole that is Greg Popovich.
* – Then, of course, there was the WTF moment of the evening when Derek Fisher came from left field with 17 points, including five three pointers. I’m sure that was in the scouting report.