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Scores and ATS Results:
Philadelphia 113 – New York 114
Minnesota 118 – Houston 123
Atlanta 86 – Indiana 104
Brooklyn 73 – Chicago 112
Washington 102 – Miami 110
Milwaukee 94 – Boston 112
Toronto 98 – Cleveland 83
San Antonio 97 – Utah 101
Sacramento 95 – LA Clippers 115
Denver 111 – Oklahoma City 105
Dallas 100 – Memphis 93
Detroit 109 – Orlando 113
New Orleans 103 – Portland 100
LA Lakers 94 – Golden State 109
Around The Association
We’ll make today quick because there’s a lot of Playoff and Awards talk to get to on the blog today. While there were 14 games around the Association last night, only and handful actually mattered in regards to playoff seeding or lottery placement. And while if you’re reading this blog you’re for sure more of an NBA fan, I’d guess a large portion of this audience — especially in New York — was tuning in to the first night of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Which is good. It’s what you should have been doing. Playoff Hockey is awesome. Like I wrote yesterday, this is arguably the best time of the year as a sports fan. We’ve got two months of NBA and NHL Playoffs ahead of us. Baseball is off to a hot start. The Triple Crown is right around the corner. Golf is coming off an awesome Masters. The NFL Draft is two weeks from today. It’s starting to get really, really nice out – like daydrinking on rooftops and wearing shorts out nice. And we’re just 43 days from Memorial Day Weekend.
Summers almost here let’s get ready to Cook
And do some Humphin’
I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I had to do something to make you Perk up.
Sik joke there Ham. Why don’t you just move on.
So before we get to Awards talk and Playoff Previews later on today, let’s quickly wrap up the last night of the regular season with a rundown of what happened and what mattered from those 14 mostly meaningless games…
The Knicks won and the Wolves lost, sending the two into a tie for the sixth worst record in the league. What that now means is that the two teams now have the same percentage chance at the number one pick (5.3%) and at a top three pick (18.3%) at the lottery drawing next week. Within the next few days, the NBA will have a coin flip to determine who will end up with the higher pick if neither were to jump into the top three during the lottery selection. But no matter who wins that coin flip, the Knicks and Wolves will still have the same percentage chance to win the lottery.
Knicks fans lost their collective minds last night about winning that game last night, which to me is ridiculously stupid. Look, I’m not a rational or calm Knicks fan either. But folks, what did you expect? Did you really think the Knicks were ever going to lose that game? Where have you been the last fifteen years?
I know it sucks. That could have HUGE ramifications moving forward with the drop-off from six to seven in the talent pool. But what did you expect? Did you think ROn Baker and Marshall Plumlee and Maurice n’Dour, who are playing for their livelihood next season, were going to roll over last night? Did you think Justin Holliday, who has the chance to get some real money this offseason, was going to pass up the opportunity to showcase his ability? Teams tank, players do not. And if you are one bit surprised by the Knicks bench guys going can’t-miss-white-hot in the last few minutes to win a meaningless game and ruin our draft position, that’s your own fault. Know your team better.
The Pacers and Bulls both won, securing the seventh and eight seeds in the East respectively while also knocking out the Miami Heat.
Sad as it is too see this shockingly fun and likable Heat team miss the playoffs after their improbable two month stretch – they’ve got nobody to blame but themselves. They lost six out of ten from March 19th to April 7th and tumbled down from a probable fifth or sixth seed to missing the playoffs. That stretch killed them. It allowed Milwaukee and Indy and Chicago to jump them, and they left themselves too little time to recover over these last three games.
All the credit in the world to Spoelstra and Dragic and everyone else in that Heat organization. I thought they had no chance at a playoff spot before the season, and even less than zero after starting the season 11-30. Think about that. They were 11 and 30… and finished the season 41-41. They had won 23 out of 28 until they lost Dion Waiters and dropped six of their next ten. That’s one of the more remarkable turnarounds you’ll ever see. They absolutely could have sold their roster off and tanked, and instead did a complete 180 turn to go 30-11 in the second half.
Knowing how karma works in this sport… and knowing Pat Riley’s black magic… I genuinely would not be surprised to see them land a top three spot in this lottery. I’m telling you now. Just watch. Karma works in mysterious ways. And Pat Riley works in the art of black magic. And if the Miami Heat end up with Markelle Fultz come June 22nd, I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked.
As for Indy and Chicago, we’ll get to them later on today.
And last but not least… the Clippers won to secure themselves home court over the Jazz in the first round. Which, considered how much home court meant to both this season (both were 29-12 at home and 22-19 on the road), is a pretty big deal.
And I think this is good for the series too. If LA fell behind 2-0 in Utah I’d consider that series over in max five games. Now, if Utah falls behind 2-0 in LA, I’m still fully confident they’ll come back and win the next two in Salt Lake City.
While Rockets-Thunder is very clearly the marquee series of the first round, I’d put this Clippers-Jazz matchup as a veeeeery very very close second. This thing is going seven.
And that’s it. Yes, Boston locked up the number one seed. but Cleveland had basically conceded it at this point. And nothing else really mattered or had much significance.
Like I said, Regular Season Awards and Playoff Preview stuff is all coming later today.
Thanks to everyone for following the Ham’s Hoops Roundup through the regular season. No, don’t worry – I’ll still have them up each and every morning throughout the course of the playoffs. The format will just be a little different to account for fewer and, obviously, more meaningful games. Fun time is over. This is the playoffs. I am locked the fuck in and ready to blog. And yes I’m just kidding there will still be plenty of jokes and plenty of fucking around and of course all the insane ramblings you’ve come to expect. Playoff Schedule for all the Game 1’s this Saturday and Sunday is below.
IT’S GOIN DOWN. I’M YELLIN PLAYOFFS.
Playoff Schedule for Saturday and Sunday, Game 1’s
3:00 ABC – Indiana @ Cleveland ( )
5:30 ESPN – Milwaukee @ Toronto ( )
8:00 ESPN – Memphis @ San Antonio ( )
10:30 ESPN – Utah @ LA Clippers ( )
1:00 TNT – Atlanta @ Washington ( )
3:30 ABC – Portland @ Golden State ( )
6:30 TNT – Chicago @ Boston ( )
9:00 TNT – Oklahoma City @ Houston ( )