It was a miserable weekend of fantasy playoff basketball for many as several players bid adieu to the 2009-10 season, the most notable of which was Andrew Bogut. The seven-foot Aussie suffered a gruesome fall against the Suns on Saturday and was diagnosed with a partially dislocated right elbow, a sprained wrist and a broken hand, the combination of which should put an end to his tremendous campaign.
Easily the most effective player on the up-and-coming Bucks, the loss of Bogut will likely put the kibosh on any plans they had of upsetting the Hawks or Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs, something that wasn’t so far-fetched three days ago. But at closer inspection, the Bucks have also been doing it with defense and outstanding team chemistry, and although they will not get out of the first round, they will still give either of those teams a run for their money. Kurt Thomas, who turned 56 last week, will probably receive additional minutes in Bogut’s stead, but the talented and hard-nosed Ersan Ilyasova should also see extra daylight and will be a fine start over the final two weeks.
The pivot hasn’t been the place to be of late as Marc Gasol (neck) and Spencer Hawes (left knee) have also called it a season. Hasheem Thabeet could do his best Brittney Griner impression the last two weeks for the Grizzlies and Jason Thompson should move back in to the Kings’ starting lineup and be a double-double fiend.
The Spurs have been revving up for the playoffs and took it to the Lakers, 100-81, in the Staples Center on Sunday. The win keeps them in seventh place and a game ahead of Portland in hopes of avoiding Kobe and the Kobettes in the opening round. Despite the loss, the Lakers got a nice little effort out of Pau Gasol as he finished with 32 points (13-20 fg), seven rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals. But far be it from Basketball Zeus to defer to the dominant Spaniard. Instead he misfired on 16 of his 24 attempts to register an inefficient 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Oh, and he was dominated by Manu Ginobili, who recorded 32 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The San Antonio celebration was a bit subdued as second-year point guard George Hill left the arena on crutches. With Tony Parker‘s status for the remainder of the Desperate Housewives season in doubt, the Spurs may have to turn to Ginobili to run the point and have Roger Mason take over at shooting guard.
It was a wild weekend in the NBA, highlighted by a ridiculous performance by the Knicks’ David Lee. The free agent became the first player since Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the 1976-77 campaign to post a 30-20-10 as he finished with 37 points (14-24 fg), 20 rebounds and 10 assists against Golden State. To be fair to those who accomplished the feat before him, the Warriors had a season ticket holder and two small children in the starting lineup. Lee followed up his breathtaking outing with a mere 29-10-4 in a win last night at the Clip joint.
The Wizards won for the first time since the Reagan administration, defeating the Nets on Sunday, 109-99. As long as his 12-38 shooting in two games over the weekend didn’t kill you, Andray Blatche probably won a few fantasy basketball championships with his 19.0-point, 11.0-rebound, 10.0-assist averages.
To those of you who took a chance on Mike Miller‘s four-game week, congratulations. He delivered 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and knocked down 1.2 threes per game.
The real Joakim Noah returned to action on Saturday and posted 11 points, 16 rebounds and a couple of blocks. Noah, who has missed much of the last two months with plantar fasciitis, logged his most minutes (29) since his return. Plug him in to your lineup for the final period.
For those of you who played against Dwyane Wade this weekend, I’m truly sorry. Despite going through an ugly divorce, Wade still put up a 43-9-6 with three blocks and three steals in a win at Indiana on Friday and came through with 39 points, eight boards and six assists in a victory at Minnesota on Saturday. He also shot a blistering 59 percent (29-49) from the field while giving hope to miserable men everywhere.
I’d like to give a Damn Lies congratulations to Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, the late Dennis Johnson and all others who were voted into the Naismith Hall of Fame this weekend. Remember, all of you Jordan derriere smoochers out there, that His Airness went several years without a title until Pippen and his suffocating defense arrived in Chi-town.
There are only 10 days left in the regular season, but nary a game tonight. There are four teams – Dallas, Denver, Utah, Phoenix – tied for the No. 2 spot in the West and there are just three games separating No. 2 through No. 7.
Best of luck as we head down the home stretch.