Ballin: Now that Kobe Bryant’s Achilles tendon is being compared to a holey sock, the Lakers have zero Hall of Fame starters in their backcourt. But that’s only temporary, as Steve Blake went for 23 points and four assists while knocking down four of his eight three-point attempts. I’m not saying this one game guarantees his enshrinement, but if he does it again he’s definitely a first ballot kind of guy.
Not so much: This might be a controversial hot sports take coming at ya, but the Mavs’ faces are the losers of the night, as Dallas finally got back to .500 (40-40) and therefore got to shave their beards. It’s always a bummer when one of your bearded friends decides to drop out of the club, but this especially hurts.
Spry watch: Does two big Tim Duncan duncs mean we are contractually obligated to call him “spry” two different times?
That Tim Duncan sure did look spry last night, posting an almost-standard 23-10-4 line with three blocks and a steal. Unfortunately, Tim Duncan wasn’t quite spry enough, as the Lakers bested the Spurs by five, taking a 1.5 game lead over the Jazz for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Ballin: Last night’s Knicks-Bulls game was a big one, so of course Nate Robinson had 35 points, made five threes and scored 18 points during the course of the fourth quarter and overtime. He’s still not quite National TV Rajon Rondo, but Big Game Nate Robinson is a real thing, I guess.
Not so much: Steve Novak and Jason Kidd played a combined 49 minutes. They scored a combined zero points while missing every one of their combined five three-point attempts. A lot of this combining came against Carlos Boozer, by the way, which means we might be looking at another All-Defensive team vote for Ol’ Painthead.
Heavy: Last Bulls thing for now, but if you were wondering if Nate Robinson celebrated like crazy during his stellar performance, the answer is obviously yes.
I think we can all agree that Nate not celebrating would have been the bigger surprise. Also, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
Ballin: Try this on for size — Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris combined for 60 points and 39 rebounds, marking the first time two teammates have both scored at least 30 points and grabbed at least 19 rebounds in the same NBA game. Plus, Toby Harry hit a game-tying three to push the game to overtime, where the Magic won their first OT game of the season. So basically, Rob Hennigan is the best trader ever. Don’t let him near your favorite baseball cards.
Not so much: Last night’s loss to the Suns, coupled with the Lakers’ victory over the Trail Blazers, means the Dallas Mavericks are going to miss the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons. Another Lock It In success, no diggity no doubt, but that’s still kinda sad. Oh, and the Mavs need to go 3-1 to end the season, otherwise they’re going to be bearded for the entire summer.
Come on: Kobe Bryant played another full game of basketball — 48 minutes exactly, in fact, the first time all season he hasn’t seen a second of rest — and therefore Kobe Bryant did more insane stuff. 47 points on 14-27 shooting, plus a quite respectable 18-18 from the line. Don’t believe me just watch.
Oh, and if the scoring wasn’t enough, he also added eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and four blocks, one of which was so destructive you could hear him cussing out his opponent while blocking the shot. The win marks the first time this season the Lakers have swept a back-to-back.
Ballin: Just because it’s so unusual, let’s shout out Will Barton — a rookie for the Trail Blazers, but I’m sure you already knew that — for 22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals in just 32 minutes in last night’s Portland lost. It might not actually be the line of the night, but it was career-highs in basically everything, so that’s cool.
Not so much: Michael Beasley went 1-11 in a loss yesterday, but I feel like that’s not even a bad shooting night for him. And considering that’s his seventh game this season where he played at least 10 minutes and shot under .200, I think I’m right.
Flip-flop: As I know from personal experience, it’s hard to decide how to finish a shot at the rim when you jump as high as Blake Griffin and I do.
It’s like, “Should I dunk? Should I finger roll? Wait, I guess I should just dunk.” Pretty nerve-racking, really.
Ballin: Carlos Boozer earned his hair paint last night, that’s for sure. After posting 29 points, 18 rebounds, three assists and 146 random screams in a win over the Nets, he can paint his head whatever color he wants, as far as I’m concerned.
Not so much: Here is C.J. Watson’s line from last night, expressed with just numbers: 1-1-1-1-1-1. According to Basketball-Reference, it’s just the third time since the 85-86 season that a player has posted an exact 6×1.
Sloater: I promise we’ll talk about another game eventually, but let’s enjoy Nate Robinson’s game-winning floater in slooooooooowwwwwwww mooooooootioooooooon.
Same shot he hit against the Heat, so I guess this is the Bulls’ go-to game-winning shot? Weird, but certainly better than running a play for a 20-foot jumper from Brook Lopez, which is what the Nets did on the game’s last possession.
Ballin: Jonas Valanchoondawg scored a career-high 24 points while knocking in 16 of 18 free throws and grabbing 10 boards as the Raptors officially eliminated the Wizards from playoff contention. So let’s dap him up because shouting out Carmelo Anthony’s 40 points is kind of boring when he just went for 50 the night before.
Not so much: Jrue Holiday went an abysmal 2-24 last night, which is the worst shooting performance of the season for any player attempting 20 or more shots in a single game. My theory for why he sucked so hard? Last night was the first game his older brother, Justin, played in for the Sixers, so he was probably super nervous.
Ees a spicy one!: New favorite NBA celebration.
Very cool. Very Italian. Very much the reason why the Nuggets have been playing so well lately. Very likely why the Jazz laid an egg at home, dropping them to ninth in the Western Conference. Eyyyyyyyy!!!
Ballin: Melllllll-oooooo! 50 points on 18-26 shooting and virtually no other stats (two rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal) but who cares because 50! Watch some highlights, jump shot lovers.
Not so much: When Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson both missed a pair of free throws with less than three minutes remaining, I remember thinking that those would probably come back to bite the Bulls. They lost by four, so yep. Good stuff.
Going going back back to Denver Denver: Fans of the 2008-11 Nuggets must have loved this play.
This is the Nuggets equivalent of seeing Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen go against each other in their primes, except maybe a bit less notable in scale.