Well, we don’t have the Heat to gush over anymore. The streak was fun while it lasted, but it became so all-encompassing that many of y’all may have lost sight of the broader landscape across the NBA.
First, kudos to the Heat for what they accomplished. Second, shame on LeBron James for letting everyone know afterward how much hard fouls bother him. Doesn’t he know that he just gave every opposing coach a tactic to employ? Every team in the league has a guy at the end of the bench who would be more than willing to give six hard fouls, and we’re going to see a bunch of that in the weeks ahead.
Jumping over to the other conference, a swallowed whistle in Minnesota allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to retain their one-game lead over the Utah Jazz … but that playoff spot that Kobe Bryant guaranteed does not look anywhere near as certain as it did just 10 days ago. The Mavericks are now in contention, and they can tie the season series with Los Angeles with a victory next Tuesday.
And if that team fails to make the playoffs, or goes down in flames in the first round, you can be fairly confident that Mike D’Antoni is going to lose his job — especially if it is one of the key factors in determining whether Dwight Howard stays or goes when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Check that, change fairly confident to highly confident.
More on that below — plus a word on another coach whose seat is hotter than many believe — in this video report with CineSport’s Noah Coslov.