Would you rather your team face the Toronto Raptors or the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs?
It is possible the Brooklyn Nets front office is saying Toronto, at least according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Heat shut down to get No. 2 seed & now Nets putting No. 6 in play by maybe sitting 6 rotation players. Talk about respect for the Raptors—
Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 15, 2014
The Nets are sitting Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston for sure Tuesday against the Knicks. Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams are all game time decisions.
A lot of playoff bound teams rest guys this time of year, you say. That’s true. But maybe there’s more to this one.
Follow along here as we travel down the road of the hypothetical with the currently fifth-seed Nets. If the Nets lose to the Knicks (a team likely without Carmelo Anthony) on Tuesday night then fall to the Cavaliers Wednesday night they will finish with 44 wins. Washington, the current six seed, has 43 wins but will be motivated to beat the Celtics Wednesday night because Charlotte, the seven seed, has 42 wins and the tiebreaker over Washington. The last thing the Wizards want is to fall to seven and get Miami in the first round.
But Washington has the tiebreaker over Brooklyn, so if they both finish with 44 wins the Wizards are the five seed, the Nets the six seed.
Assuming as expected Toronto beats the ‘Melo-less Knicks on Wednesday they are the three seed, the Bulls would be fourth (if the Raptors lose and the Bulls beat a motivated Charlotte team then Chicago is the three seed).
Got all that?
Bottom line is it is likely the Raptors are your three seed in the East, Bulls the four seed. Are the Nets looking at that, looking at the schedule and trying to line themselves up with the Raptors in the first round?
Not sure you could ever prove that, but something to watch.
And it would be a mistake for the Nets to think the Raptors — with a good defense, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan — will be an easy out.
Tags: Alan Anderson, BKN, Carmelo Anthony, Demar DeRozan, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kyle Lowry, Mirza Teletovic, New York Knicks, Paul Pierce, Shaun Livingston, Toronto Raptor
If you were a smart NBA fan Sunday night you were watching Portland and Golden State put on one of the best NBA games of the season.
But if you subjected yourself to the Lakers hosting the Grizzlies, at least you got to see this — Nick Young with the insane 360 reverse layup.
It was a highlight for the Lakers, but as you would expect Memphis won and their magic number to clinch a playoff berth is now just one.
Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Nick Young
Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while checking out the whisky chart…
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. He is the first player in NBA history to make 250 threes in back-to-back seasons, which is impressive. Everything Curry did Sunday against Portland was impressive — he almost won the Warriors he just didn’t get enough help. Curry had 47 points on 29 shots overall, and with the game tight in the fourth quarter he had 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting with the game in the balance. On key late plays in regulation and overtime, Curry found open guys when the defense focused on him (Draymond Green hit his, Andre Iguodala missed his). Curry’s great offensive night covered up for Mark Jackson’s odd habit of putting his entire bench group in to end and start quarters, even with a boatload of evidence it doesn’t work. Curry looked like the dominant offensive player he is. It just wasn’t enough.
David West, Indiana Pacers.The best way to lead is by example — David West has been frustrated like the rest of the Pacers but he let his game do the talking Sunday. West had 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, he hit key free throws down the stretch, plus late in the fourth quarter he blocked a Kevin Durant shot. That’s a good day.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers. This is the Lance Stephenson the Pacers need to see — 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He played a complete game and it a key three late. He now has five triple doubles, most in the NBA this season.
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves. Kevin Love had 43 points and 11 rebounds, but the Timberwolves still lost a close game. Sound familiar? They are going to miss him when he’s gone.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings. On the plus side, he dropped 35 points on 13-21 shooting, grabbed 15 rebounds, had 6 assists and 3 blocks. This was the active, aggressive Cousins that can change a game. However, that is also the emotional Cousins and he picked up a technical in the fourth quarter, his 16th of the season so expect him to be suspended for the Kings’ season finale on Wednesday (16 techs nets you an automatic suspension from the league).
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors. Dropped 30 points on 19 shots. Even against the Pistons defense that is impressive. DeRozan looked playoff ready and I wasn’t the only one that noticed.
Ooooooh @DeMar_DeRozan don't do em like thaaaat …. ✈—
Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) April 13, 2014
Tags: Andre Iguodala, David West, Demar DeRozan, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Lance Stephenson, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings, Stephen Curry, Toronto Raptor