Pistons lose postseason ground, and Spurs regain their top spot

03.25.09 10 years ago 60 Comments

Could Ben Gordon be a quality NBA point guard? Clearly he has a good enough handle — just ask Arron Afflalo, who was getting mixed up by BG in last night’s Bulls/Pistons game — and he’s shown some passing skills when he wants to pass. If the right coach got Ben in the right mindset, could he be a more effective scoring PG than an undersized two-guard? You could ask that question with a straight face after Gordon put up 19 points and six assists while helping fill in for injured Derrick Rose (wrist), the rare game where BG was a force despite not hitting any threes. Kirk Hinrich added 24 points and eight dimes as Chicago pulled to within one game of the Pistons for the 7th playoff spot in the East and extended their lead over Charlotte for the 8th spot … Without Rip, A.I. and Rasheed, Detroit’s “offense” was little more than a series of iso’s and post-ups for Tayshaun Prince (20 pts, 9-17 FG) and the occasional clear-out for Rodney Stuckey. Thanfully Will Bynum (20 pts) was around to fill in some of the gaps, otherwise the score would have been ugly … If Nike went the Penny Hardaway route and gave their top guy a Lil’ LeBron character, they could probably save production costs by just having Bynum play the role. He looks like a LeBron action figure … Reggie Miller was stuck on insisting that Tyrus Thomas is a “walking triple-double” because he’s got the athleticism and timing to block 10 shots a night. Forget that the only player Reggie could think of to average 10 blocks was Alonzo Mourning in high school (Travis Outlaw also swatted 10 a night in high school), he wouldn’t let it drop, and even had Craig Sager ask a bewildered Vinny Del Negro during the game whether Tyrus could be a 10-blocks guy … Houston’s reign at the top of the Southwest was short like leprechauns, as their loss at Utah and the Spurs’ win over Golden State last night put them back where they’ve been for the last decade or so — looking up at San Antonio … Roger Mason was the hero (again), sticking the game-winning jumper with 23 seconds left after taking a handoff from Tim Duncan coming off a curl. After Stephen Jackson misplayed it defensively and Ronny Turiaf inexplicably ran away from Mason to guard Duncan, Mason (24 pts) was wide-open from the top of the key. Monta Ellis (27 pts) had a good look on the Warriors’ next possession (actually he had two, but he passed up an opportunity to drive to the basket) and bricked a jumper, then after Kurt Thomas missed two free throws on the other end, Monta missed a three at the buzzer … The rest of the game was Golden State failing to keep Tony Parker (30 pts, 10 asts) out of the paint. No one expected Nellie‘s squad to do much with TP defensively, but at least they had Jamal Crawford available to trade buckets with him. Oh wait … Meanwhile, Houston couldn’t overcome one of those Ron Artest Ugly Nights (5-22 FG) and muster enough offense to get past the Jazz on the road. Ron and the rest of his team made Mehmet Okur look like Dwight Howard, as Memo recorded four blocks and the Jazz had 12 as a team. It was close in the third quarter before Carlos Boozer sparked a big run where Utah pulled away … In Tuesday’s only other pro game, the Lakers smashed the Thunder behind 14 points, 14 boards and seven dimes from Pau Gasol, and 19 points from Kobe … Tuesday was a day off for the NCAA Tournament, but there were a couple NIT games. In one upset, Florida lost its quarterfinal matchup with Penn State. At home. Billy Donovan‘s name has popped up in rumors regarding the possible vacancy at Kentucky (Billy Gillespie, also in the NIT this year, is on the hot seat), and after two straight NIT appearances, maybe Donovan will start thinking that way. As the Orlando Magic know, he’s not necessarily married to the Florida job. If you had the choice and the money was equal, where would you go: Florida or Kentucky? … We’re out like Houston leading the division …

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