To say it’s been an eventful 24 hours of basketball is a major understatement. NBA fans were treated to emotional tributes, heavyweight tilts and massive scoring outputs.
In addition to all the fun, NBA Sunday Showcase also returned. For the remainder of the season (with the exception of Super Bowl Sunday) fans can watch top teams in the league go head-to-head during the daylight hours.
Let’s go to Boston, where two highly anticipated returns brought many to tears.
Kevin Garnett: six years, one ring. Paul Pierce: 15 years, one ring. Together along with Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins were one of the best starting units ever assembled. An elite passer at the point, deadeye sharpshooter at the two, dynamite scorer at SF, one of the toughest competitors in history at the four, and a rugged intimidator down low. When healthy, they were unstoppable, and in 2008 they won what “The Big Three” had been desperately searching for.
Sunday marked a very special day for Celtics fans – it was Boston’s chance to say thank you.
Nearly eight months after being traded from Boston, The Truth and The Big Ticket return to TD Garden as members of the Brooklyn Nets.
If you’re looking to see players getting booed out of the building, don’t bother watching, because it’s far from that.
A packed house gave both players standing ovations and many fans didn’t sit for several minutes after. “KG” and “Paul Pierce” chants we’re sporadic throughout the first quarter.
During game breaks the Celtics organized video tributes for each player. By this point, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Like I’ve always said, the city of Boston is the best sports city in North America. The fans are competitive but know how to keep it classy. It’s been a rough 12 months for Boston but they still stand tall and they’re always Boston Strong.
Brooklyn ended up leaving with a W, 85-79 was the final score. Garnett and Pierce each scored six in the return.
To other NBA news: the Miami Heat are still really good at basketball.
During an NBA Finals rematch Sunday afternoon in Miami, the Heat took care of business against the San Antonio Spurs with a 113-101 win. Keep in mind, it was really a much more lopsided game but Miami cleared its bench after going up by 25.
LeBron James had a quiet night by his standards, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds and six dimes. But Chris Bosh came to play, in just 26 minutes he recorded 24 points and five rebounds. Dwyane Wade was essentially a nonfactor with eight points and five assists.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs charge with 23. Tony Parker had 11 points and seven assists. Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili had another dismal game against the Heat, in 25 minutes he only managed three points on 1/7 shooting.
Although a poor performance, Ginobili’s play isn’t the main concern. With the loss, San Antonio falls to 1-10 against the NBA’s elite.
Yes the Spurs are missing three starters, but those are all injuries that occurred in January. Even with a healthy Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter, they couldn’t get the wins that mattered most.
A Spurs fan will blow this off as nothing and maybe they’re right. Defeat sub .500 teams every night, great. But San Antonio probably won’t have the luxury of playing the Utah Jazz in the playoffs.
Terrence Ross scored 51 points Saturday – wait, who?
That’s right, the dunker on the team from Up North.
Unfortunately for the Toronto Raptors, they couldn’t cap off the perfect night with a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Although, the final score could’t take anything away from his historic game.
Ross tied Raptors legend Vince Carter for most points in a game and also broke a few records of his own. Obviously a personal scoring best, but more impressively he broke an all-time NBA record.
Terrence Ross becomes the first player in NBA history to score more than 50 points in a game while averaging less than 10 PPG.
— Brett Poirier NBA (@BrettNBA) January 26, 2014
I follow the Raptors very closely and I’ve watched Ross in every NBA game he’s ever appeared in. This kid is special. Thinking he’s a one dimensional player who only goes for high flying dunks it totally wrong.
Ross is 22-years-old, he can’t even rent a car yet. When his skill catches up to his athleticism, watch out.
Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops. Follow @BrettNBA