Around the Rim: Guess who’s back

1. The Warriors found the golden ticket!
Thanks to an impressive victory over the Trailblazers last night, Golden State snapped the league’s longest current playoff drought as they will make their first post season appearance since 1994. And for all their hard work, the Warriors land a series with the NBA’s best team in Dallas. But if anybody knows how to beat the Mavericks, it’s their old coach Don Nelson. The Warriors have had Dallas’ number over the past couple of seasons but it’s going to be tough for them to pull out four wins against Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and the rest of Mark Cuban‘s boys. Lots of people, espically fans of Utah or Houston, would love to see Dallas go down, but Nelson is known for winning games; winning championships is a whole other story.

2. Professional leap frog

Before last night, Cleveland was set on a course in which they would collide head-on with the Miami Heat in the first round. And with a healthy Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade in the lineup, no team wants to draw them right now; thanks to a 109-96 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday, now the Cavs won’t have to and the Bulls will. With the victory, Cleveland leaped three spots in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and secured the No. 2 seed and a first round series against a Washington team that is missing their two most powerful Wizards. LeBron James wasn’t messing around as he went off for 24 points and nine assists, which made him just the second person in league history to average 27 points, six rebounds and six assists for three straight years.

3. More Crawford aftermath
Tim Duncan came out and said yesterday that he hopes that his team can “get a fair shake” from the referees after Duncan and the Spurs were at the epicenter of the Joey Crawford suspension. The officials aren’t too thrilled about David Stern‘s decision to give Crawford the boot, but hopefully for the Spurs sake the refs will be able to separate Stern from the Spurs. After all, the remaining referees can’t really argue that Duncan deserved to get T’d up and ejected while he sat on the bench; can they? Well, if they don’t want to end up with the same fate as their fellow zebra then they’ll be forced to call the games as usual, regardless of their personal feelings.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Pau Gasol @ Minnesota 36 min, 25 pts (FG: 9-15, FT: 7-9), 16 reb, 6 ast, 1 blk

Buzzer Beater: The Clippers were oh so close to grabbing the last playoff spot, but last night against the Hornets the Clippers pulled out their old tricks and dropped the must win game. It’s not surprising to see LA miss the post season, after all they are the Clippers, but it startling to see them fall so far in just one season. Last year at this time most were under the impression that Los Angeles finally had two professional basketball teams and some even believed that Clippers were on the verge of surpassing the Lakers for the domination of Hollywood. But you can scratch that idea now; and all those celebrities that were finally showing their faces at Clippers games will soon start donning the purple and gold once again.

RSS Feed for This Post3 Comment(s)

  1. rux | Apr 19, 2007 | Reply

    western conference playoffs are going to rock — Don’t count out my Warriors. They are Dallas’ kryptonite.

    The West is LOADED. Kobe, Yao, T-Mac, AI, Melo, and the hottest team in the league (Warriors)? And that’s just the *lower” seeds. The West will be entertaining from the first game on.

  2. Clay | Apr 19, 2007 | Reply

    I can’t wait — There are no bad match-ups in the West. It is going to be awesome from the first opening tip to the final buzzer of the conference finals.

  3. Vin | Apr 19, 2007 | Reply

    what — you guys aren’t excited for Cavs – Wizards or Raptors – Nets? How about that stellar Pistons – Magic matchup?

    Wow… 1 decent series going on in the east. I’m looking forward to that Denver-San Antonio series. San Antonio is ripe for the plucking and my boy AI is gonna have fun again.

    Warriors upset of the Mavs is unlikely but I’d love to see it just to see Mark Cuban’s head explode.

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