A survey of the players and teams making moves in last night's playoff games.
1. Zach Randolph
Zach is back! Fourteen career playoff double-doubles! Lost his headband a couple of times! Clearly the beneficiary of a night spent in a hyperbaric chamber where you pump in 8ball & MJG mixtapes instead of oxygen! Steve Nash should try that. Right, Steve Nash?
HOW ABOUT MACE? This comes courtesy of a reader named Jess, from Virginia. From what I can gather, this episode was filmed in late 2010. This seems much more chill than having to make sure Matt Barnes and Lance Stephenson don't kill each another, but if you can do both you have a full life, right? Have to say, if I ever see Violet Palmer call a foul on Stephen Jackson again, I am just going to imagine her shouting "A STRIP CLUB."
A survey of the players and teams making moves in last night's NBA action.
1. The Pacers
That's eight wins out of the last nine for Indiana, five straight, and the end of a 4-0 road trip, which included two victories in Texas (Dallas and Houston) and a big win in Los Angeles against the Clippers last night. You could say it was a moral victory for the Clippers, who came back from a 24-point deficit to get back into the game. But maybe it was moral victory and victory-victory for the Pacers, who held on in a tough situation. The Pacers got a visit from the goon squad when Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins went into full nuisance mode in the second half. They got Hibbert out of his locked-in, first-half groove (he had 15 points in the first quarter) and into foul trouble. The Georgetown big man fouled out with about a minute and a half to go, but on his way back to the bench gave his teammates Tyler Hansbrough (seen above) and Lance Stephenson a friendly shove. Real friendly.
Two nights ago, as the Spurs and Thunder tangled in a rematch of last season’s most exciting playoff series, it was easy to drool over another San Antonio–Oklahoma City conference finals. The old lion, its pinpoint system bolstered by some new tweaks in talent and Gregg Popovich’s playing rotation, scrambling for one more Finals appearance at the expense of the young bucks who appeared to solve that system last June.
And then, a jolt: Remember the Clippers? Remember in January, when the Western Conference was a three-team discussion? The Clippers ceded the spotlight after Denver ended their 17-game winning streak, and that light has never really returned. The Clips have gone a pedestrian 20-14 since the streak; did the league lose a contender when everyone stopped looking and the presumptive title favorite began its own monster streak?
The quiet shudder that made its way around the NBA a couple weeks ago had something to do with a uniform tweak. The league unveiled sleeved jerseys and announced its lab rats would be the Golden State Warriors. Debuting this occasional experiment on these particular guys was both a punishment and ontological bad luck: They may be sixth in the Western Conference, but when it comes to exploitation they're the last straw.
So much amazing is happening, and the Shootaround crew is here to help you keep track of it all. You'll find takes on moments you might've missed from the previous night, along with ones you will remember forever.
The Heat rolled in Brooklyn last night, thanks mostly to a 36-14 third quarter and another 24-9-7 night from the best player in the league. It was during that third quarter, though, that Miami’s other superstar got me thinking, and he did it with something he’s done so many times before:
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
In what may have been his last home game as a Colt, Reggie Wayne grabbed the game-winning touchdown reception in a stunning 19-16 win over the Texans. The Colts are now tied with the Vikings and Rams for the worst record in the NFL, ensuring that we'll probably have to hear the spiritually unsettling phrase "suck for Luck" over and over in the next two weeks until we suffer a mental breakdown.