NBA General

Around the Rim: King James just got crowned by the Bad Boys

It’s even annoying when unspoken.

1. Detroit rocks Cleveland
Everyone knew that the Pistons were going to be focused on LeBron James every time that he had the ball in his hands. Everyone just didn’t know that they would be so successful doing it. King James finished the game with a career playoff-low 10 points after going stone cold from the field (5-15 FGs), but that didn’t keep him from putting his fingerprints all over the game with nine assists and 10 rebounds. The Cavs were a 3-pointer away from possibly winning the game as time was running out but Donyell Marshall choked on an open shot from behind the arc and Chauncey Billups sealed up the 79-76 Game 1 victory for the Pistons with a rebound off the miss. Rasheed Wallace was huge in the win as Tayshaun Prince finally decided to take a night off and finished with less than 10 points (8 points on 1-of-11 shooting) for the first time this post season. Game 2 rolls around on Thursday and you can expect that the Prince and the King will both avoid repeats of their poor performances

2. Forrest Gump’s favorite time of year
So, tonight is the big night; it’s the night that will change the future of two very lucky franchises forever. Hopes and dreams have run wild for months and months about just who would end up with the pair of freshmen phenoms Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. Barring any major league wheeling and dealing, tonight we will at least find out the two future homes of these kids, even if we don’t know who’s gonna go where. Here’s a look at all the teams participating in the lottery and their odds of getting the first or second pick:

Team 1st Pick 2nd Pick
Memphis 25.0% 21.5%
Boston 19.9% 18.8%
Milwaukee 15.6% 15.7%
Phoenix (from ATL) 11.9% 12.6%
Seattle 8.8% 9.7%
Portland 5.3% 6.0%
Minnesota 5.3% 6.0%
Charlotte 1.9% 2.2%
Chicago (from NY) 1.9% 2.2%
Sacramento 1.8% 2.1%
Atlanta (from IND) 0.8% 0.9%
Philadelphia 0.7% 0.8%
New Orleans 0.6% 0.7%
LA Clippers 0.5% 0.6%

And just too clarify; no, Phoenix doesn’t get to keep either of the top picks should they end up with them. Instead, they will have to return the pick to Atlanta if they land one of the top three picks. The Pacers will get the Hawks pick if Atlanta ends up with one of the top 10 picks.

And to further clarity; only the top three picks will be determined via the ping-pong ball bouncing lottery, while the fourth through fourteenth selections will be arranged according to the inverse order of their regular season record.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Rasheed Wallace @ Detroit 40 min, 15 pts (FG: 7-13, 3FG: 1-2), 12 reb, 2 ast, 7 blk

Buzzer Beater: The Jazz might have looked outclassed at times during Game 1 of the West finals on Sunday but nobody can point fingers toward the second year point guard who racked up 18 points in the fourth. Deron Williams carried Utah to a near comeback as he finished with game-highs in field goals and attempts (13-23), assists (9) and points (34); about all he didn’t do was hand out Gatorade to his teammates during timeouts. But the playoffs are all about adjustments and we guarantee you that both of these veteran coaches have been working the X’s and O’s with their teams since the final buzzer buzzed Sunday afternoon. Utah really needs to escape Texas with a split in the series but they definitely won’t have history on their side, 0-17 in their last 17 trips to San Antonio, as they head into the game. Then again, the Spurs have never beaten the Jazz in the postseason so, either way you cut it, somebody is going to make history by the end of this series.

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