The good news? The Blazers not-so-politely instructed the Thunder on the manly nature of basketball and gave them directions to the nearest golf course.
The bad news? The Golden State Warriors are not a good basketball team. They are about eight levels below good. If good is a fresh Snickers Bar, the Warriors are that organic chocolate that tastes like bark chips and numbs your tounge for three hours. This is relevant because the Spurs smashed them tonight (or, as I write this, in the process of smashing).
The ugly? Denver locked up the division thanks to 11 (!) treys from J.R. Smith. Oh well, we’re entering the era of “We don’t hang division banners” anyways. Thanks to Paul Pierce for that quote.
I’m pretty sure this means we want Houston to win on Wednesday, the Spurs to lose and Portland to win so we get San Antonio in the first round with home-court advantage. Or both the Rockets and Spurs to lose and Portland wins if we want the Hornets. We could get home court with a loss to Denver and a Houston win and SA loss, but that’s a loser’s mindset.
Not much to say about tonight’s game other than it was over just about as soon as it began. Sure, it was in Portland, but the 54-36 points in the paint advantage for the Blazers (and 42-28 on the glass) was yet another example of why it’s sillier than naming a fourth sequel in a franchise almost exactly the same as the first (ahem…Fast and Furious) to say OKC has a better future when they have no legitimate big men (Give me a few more weeks, Bucher, I’ll get over it).
The big plus was that none of the regular starters played more than 27 minutes, with only Travis (filling in for Batum, who was sick) playing 32. The best way to enter the playoffs is on a winning streak (momentum) with fresh legs, and nights like tonight go a long way toward acheiving both.
Oden had a nice, dunk-filled game, putting up 16 and 9, but there were two things I wanted to bring up. First, both Mikes commented on this, but that second-quarter post-up on Nick Collison where Oden backed him down, Collison flopped, Oden kept his balance and turned around for a simple flush. Not only is it a good sign that Greg isn’t getting called for silly “What…I’m just bigger than that dude” fouls, but he’s also recovering when the contact isn’t there. Earlier in the season he would’ve stumbled backwards and travelled or threw up a soft shot.
The second was smaller, but late in the game when Oden was in the post with Robert Swift’s tattoos guarding him, was that a running sky hook he was about to shoot before Swift fouled him? Maybe it wasn’t a Kareem sky hook, but LaMarcus might be teaching the big guy some new tricks.
I can’t forget to mention Jay Bay Baylicious throwing down a garbage-time-but-still-oh-so-sweet swag oop, but I’ll post video of it when I can find some. Other than that, the game was a blowout and there’s nothing else we should read into the actual hoops of the night. The real drama happens Wednesday.