Yea, don’t mess with Mike
1. Just Making Room For More Carolina Blue
Michael Jordan made a rare appearance in front of the media on Tuesday in a hideous red jacket and finally chopped the head off the lead Bobcat when he told coach Bernie Bickerstaff that his services would not be desired next season. But in Jordan’s typical humiliating fashion, he didn’t fire Bickerstaff, but instead his Airness is going to try and get Bernie to provide countless hours of labor finishing out the regular season before officially being booted from the building. The move is incredibly ironic considering that while one crappy coach got canned, another crappy coach got a multiyear extension. So, now it’s up to Jordan to find a suitable replacement for the Bobkittens. Hmmmm, can you say Larry Brown?
2. Moving On Up
It took the Spurs 13 consecutive victories before they finally gained some ground on the Mavericks in the Southwest Division, but with a win over a lost Clippers team and a loss by Dallas to Golden State on Monday, San Antonio is now only seven games behind the league leaders. Talk about demoralizing! It must be brutal to rip off 13 straight, only to see a big, fat 7 in the games back column. But the good news for SA is that they should be able to stretch this streak even further by taking care of business against some of the league’s worst clubs. Milwaukee, Boston and the slumping Pacers are all waiting to get rolled before the Spurs’ next big test against the Pistons next week. The Mavs, on the other hand, have a nationally televised showdown with the Suns looming on their schedule.
3. No Shake For You!
With 11 minutes remaining in the game, Antoine Walker had a flashback to his better days in green as he exploded for all of his 13 points and helped the Heat mount a furious fourth quarter come back win against the Jazz. The two point loss, 88-86, was the first time that Utah had blown a lead at the end of the third quarter this season (14-1). The Heat were down by as many as 17 points at one point in the third quarter and trailed by 14 points entering into the fourth before Walker’s inside/outside barrage ignited Miami’s rally. Uncharacteristically, `Toine never performed his trademark shimmy shake during the onslaught. Apparently the gyrating just isn’t suiting his 30 year olds `ol bones.
Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Josh Smith vs. Philadelphia 37 min, 26 pts (FG: 11-20, 3FG: 1-2, FT: 3-4), 17 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 3 blk
Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (49-14) @ Dallas (52-10) These are unquestionably the two best teams in the NBA today. Despite losing to the Warriors on Monday, the Mavericks have still won an astonishing 17 of their last 18 games en route to racking up an incredible 38 of their last 41, and on their home floor they are 20-3. But Phoenix comes into this game sporting a pretty impressive resume of their own, winning five in a row and 10 of their last 11 games. Like Dallas, the Suns have accomplished a pair of notable double-digit winning streaks. And like Dallas, the Suns can also lay claim to a 17 game winning streak this year. In addition, the Suns will have revenge to motivate them as they have been unable to knock off the Mavericks in a pair of games this season.
Buzzer Beater: In a move that was long, long overdue, the Timberwolves finally part ways with Eddie Griffin. Minnesota waived one of the most disappointing stars to ever come into the league after three all too troubling seasons in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. You can’t blame Minnesota for gambling on the underachieving youngster, but also can’t blame them for getting rid of the team’s constant headache. Kevin McHale is finally starting to prove that his award as the best GM in sports isn’t a total crock. Nah, it’s still absolutely bogus.