Curtains close for a couple of teams today. The Mavericks ride off into the sunset, and the Suns… umm…just… err… set?
Today’s games, and what they mean:
- Dallas failed. With the 99-94 loss to New Orleans, it’s as simple as that. To be bumped out in the first round, when earlier this season you trade the guy who’s probably your best young player – in an effort to get better now… well, it’s failure.
As I said in ‘Failed Experiments’, I expect big changes in Dallas. Because at the end of the day, this roster, this coach just cannot get the job done.
And they’re not going to be any younger next year.
- Phoenix – more of the same, losing 92-87. Trade to get the Big Fella, then drop out in the first round of the playoffs.
Worth noting that at the time Phoenix made the trade, they were situated at the top of the Western Conference. Since that point, they dropped to 6th in the standings, which placed them squarely against the reason they made the trade in the first place: Tim Duncan & the San Antonio Spurs.
This roster is about the same in regards to youth as Dallas, but they have one big exception to that: Amare Stoudemire. Amare’s a piece to build around that the Mavs just don’t possess. He’s only 26 this year, and post moving to the power forward slot, he was a monster.
Add to that Leandro Barbosa & Boris Diaw – and the Suns possess 3 players all born in 1982 who make the basis of a damn good team. The rest should be considered as ‘commodities’ that could possibly get in pieces to rebuild this roster. And that includes Steve Nash.
- Detroit showed some TCB today… and business was a home game against the 76ers. And they took care of bidness to the tune of a 98-81 beat-down.
The Pistons starting 5 were all in good form, and really took control of the game – but Philadelphia coach Mo’ Cheeks assured the Palace in Auburn Hills hecklers that “I’ll be back.”
This Detroit team is enigmatic to extremes… they might go to Philadelphia and lose mightily… or they might win by 20+. Hard to say. Hoping the former.
- Houston stave off disaster and beat thrash Utah, 95-69. Now, they have to do what has been one of basketball’s Herculean tasks this season – but conversely something they did but a few days ago – and go into the House of Jazz and win. Tall order… but the Jazz have to be scratching their heads at the moment.
And we all know what the Rockets can do once they start rolling (22). Hell, just for the heck of it I hope the Rockets get it done (note: cheering for the 76ers/Hawks too!)…
- San Antonio will play New Orleans in the next round… and egads, is that a series that will be well worth watching. Does either side have a clear advantage?
Paul has the basketball nous to play Parker well, and Parker has the speed to stay in front of CP3. That match-up should be a beaut.
It might all come down to how well Tyson Chandler can defend Timmy.
- Washington in Cleveland – put up or shut up time for the Wiz. I think LeBron has them shut up by mid-way through the third.
- Atlanta in Boston – Wow… the Boston players don’t seem too worried given this series returns to Boston, but Doc Rivers is. I think the players should be too – the Hawks look like a team with ‘belief’. Something I cannot ‘believe’ is that the NBA Commissioner chose not to act on a variety of offenses during the last game.
– Kevin Garnett pushes a ref and gets nothing…
– Kendrick Perkins steps onto the court and escapes penalty…
– Same with Marvin Williams…
If I were the Phoenix Suns – post last season’s suspension of Amare Stoudemire/Boris Diaw – I’d be pretty upset about that [grumbles about double standards].