The Morning After is a look at the night that was in the NBA along with other NBA-related fodder.
The Miami Heat. Holy shit. Road game in hostile environment? Yup. Opposing team strong in the front-court and point guard positions, Miami’s two biggest weaknesses? Yup. A focused, unrelenting, fast-paced, ice-cold statement win? Yes, yes, yes and yes.
For the first time this season, the Heat played The Game We Were All Waiting For, when everything looked beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Have we finally seen the Dark Passenger?
What can ya do?
– The Minnesota Timberwolves continued their recent run of challenging good teams for long portions of games before relenting sometime in the fourth quarter, this time falling to the Thunder, 111-103. Basically, the T-Wolves are an entertaining mid-level video game boss, with Kevin Love and Michael Beasley as the venomous tentacles/shoulder-attached gun turrets.
– Derrick Rose was ruthless in the final minute of play in Cleveland, and the Bulls scraped out an 88-83 win, extending the Cavalier losing streak to six in the process. I wonder what Rose’s favorite Skittle flavor is. I hope, like me, it’s purple. But I’m guessing it’s red for loyalty’s sake.
– Carmelo Anthony did not want to take the chance of George Karl’s 1,000th career win coming in Boston, because ‘Melo knows how much George Karl hates Dunkin’ Donuts. So he sat this one out, and the Celts won, 105-89. Also, Anthony’s knee hurts.
– Boy, was that Raptors/Knicks game fun. Andrea Bargnani blew up for 41 points on 24 shots, and probably deserved a fate kinder than Raymond Felton’s winning three that touched every edge of the rim; but you know, the Knicks have won six in a row with their own awesome kinetic style, and that, they tell me, is good for basketball, so I’m cool with it. Sorry, Andrea.
– Now THAT’S a tip-in. Andrew Bogut applied the perfect amount of touch to a perfectly thrown in-bound pass from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as time expired and the Bucks got a muuuuuch needed home win over the Indiana Pacers.
– The Spurs kind of kept the Golden State Warriors at an arm’s length for the entire game in their 111-94 win. Apparently they couldn’t, however, put an arm or even a hand up on Warriors bench player Reggie Williams, who shot 8-for-10 from three on the way to a 31-point night.
– John Wall sat this one out and, since he’s the young leader of the Wizards, the rest of the team took the night off in Sacramento as well, losing 116-91. It’s easy to be a follower, after all.
– The Suns went through all the trouble of erasing a 14-point fourth quarter deficit, only to have Rudy Gay (22 points on 12 shots) make a game-tying three to send the game into overtime, where the Grizzlies would go on to win, 104-98. Also, Zach Randolph hates the sun, er Suns — Z-Bo pulled the shades down, shooting 15-of-19 from the floor on the way to dropping 34 points and grabbing 17 boards.
– The Lakers/Clippers battle of Los Angeles was a very enjoyable nightcap. Or as enjoyable a nightcap can be without whiskey, one supposes. The Clips freaking had this one. Blake Griffin was pounding away on Lamar Odom in the post, Eric Gordon was taking and making big shots, the youth was revolting.
Heck, even when they naturally left the door open at the end, they denied Kobe the ball. They made Derek Fisher something other than a spot-up shooter. And still, he flipped up a driving layup at the buzzer and boom. It was over. The Clippers are definitely a fun watch, so long as you’re not a Clippers fan. That was rough.
**Williams photo courtesy of the AP.
**Bucks photo courtesy of the AP.