Last one down. Positions to be grabbed, and statements to be made. So what happened, and what was ‘said’.
Detroit run into the playoffs with a win over Cleveland by 10 points (84-74). But big deal. Was the benches that ran. Just goes to show how important the games are this time of the year in the East. Orlando thrashed the Wiz, the 76ers got beaten by the Bobcats, Boston hammered the Nets and the playoff-bound Hawks got trounced by Miami – all in other games that did not matter.
Off West, were the games mattered and teams tried. Given how close the West has been all season, even games with no impact were of import. Teams tried to assert themselves heading into the season’s climax.
- In one of the most important games, Dallas looked to claim the 7th seed (and, as Dirk came right out and said, avoid the Lakers) and their opponent New Orleans sought to re-claim the form that saw them hold the Western crown for much of the season… until some very poor form hit them at the end, resulting in 2 losses in 3 games.
Could the Hornets close out the season with a win?
Dallas well & truly had their number – both Kidd & Terry taking up the gauntlet & beating New Orleans 111-98. Now they have a much-preferred match-up against… the New Orleans Hornets.
Everyone’s stating that the preferred opponents in the West are Houston & New Orleans.
The Hornets have to face down the Mavericks and put an end to this talk… but I smell an upset brewing.
Or was it the garlic chicken?
- San Antonio flew in the face of critics and thrashed Utah. Many had said that of late the Spurs looked fragile, but not at home against the Jazz (who have been a notoriously bad away team). 109-80 is no small margin at the best of times, and heading into a playoff series against a team that really, really wants to beat them in the Suns, this victory says the Spurs are ready. Phoenix beat up on the Trail Blazers, and you know what? I think the Suns get their revenge…The Jazz have floundered all season on the road – this was no different. They face the Rockets first up, in a match-up that clearly favours the Jazz.
- Denver beat Memphis by 9 (120-111), and it looks like the Denver Nuggets are just going to sit on their hands regarding ‘Melo’s indiscretions. But their next opponent – West-winning LA – won’t be so easy. Even if Allen Iverson’s relishing the chance.
“This is what it’s about. If you’re scared, get a dog.”
But talk comes cheap. LA’s actions speak louder, they win this one.