Monday night. 10 p.m. Eastern. Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix Suns. Only one of them can make the playoffs. The Grizzlies will be coming off a game the previous night against the Lakers. If they win that game, they’re a game up on the Suns. If they lose, the two teams are tied. Phoenix has to be praying the Lakers get the win, because they’ve lost all three games against the Grizzlies this season, and they need to claim the eighth spot
With one week left in the NBA regular season, the pressure is on for two Eastern Conference teams and four Western Conference teams fighting for the final playoff spots. Millions will intently watch what transpires over the next seven days as teams face must-win games, and the effort and intensity pick up. Each of these half-dozen teams have a player who will greatly impact the fate of their clubs the rest of the way.
In these rankings, much like in life, you’ve got to be lucky to win. You can be the same exact person, with the same skill set and attitude, but if that ball doesn’t bounce the right way, you don’t get the recognition you deserve. Take UConn coach Kevin Ollie. If 7-foot freshman center Amida Brimah, who hasn’t played more than four seasons of organized basketball in his life, doesn’t complete a ridiculous three-point play with less than 25 seconds left in the first
As the sun fades into the North Texas sky (not sure why we can’t call it Arlington) on Saturday evening, college basketball will take center stage on the American sports landscape. Everyone except Chris Bernucca will settle in for the Final Four, where some of the NBA’s future stars will duke it out in a titanic stadium not meant for basketball with everything on the line. It is a spectacle that deserves America’s attention. And that is why we’ve decided to lend
March is about underdogs. That’s why we love it so much. Well, most of us anyway. (Can someone check Chris Bernucca for a pulse?) Just kidding, boss. It’s the incredible stories like Mercer’s upset of Duke, Dayton’s run to the Sweet 16 and Stephen F. Austin’s miraculous comeback against VCU that keep us glued to the TV screen in March, like a month-long Rob Ford press conference. There’s nothing like a good underdog narrative, and year after year, the NCAA Tournament delivers with several
Goran Dragic slashes, drives and penetrates into the lane like no other NBA player, creatively opening up space to create for himself and his Phoenix Suns teammates. That creativity, though, comes with a heavy price: the beating he takes on a nightly basis as he hurtles into and bounces around defenders with his breathtakingly fun to watch forays towards the basket which sweep opponents and fans alike off their feet like a swift and strong gust of wind. Dragic’s offensive game
A well-proportioned, wise Italian man with a radio show in New York once told me and a listening audience of probably hundreds that the NBA “goes into the clouds” in February and March. I can’t really remember his name, OK? So let’s just call him Ike Manfresca. Manfresca’s quote has always stuck with me, because: (a) it was so strange and (b) it’s the perfect way to describe the seasonal malaise that rolls in around this time of year, like a
In case you missed it, the Heat and Thunder both lost last night (as did the Lakers, but that was kind of expected). That’s the third time both teams have lost on the same night this season. The Heat lost to the Spurs in a rematch of last year’s Finals that was nowhere near as close as those Finals, and the Thunder went to the wire against the upstart Phoenix Suns. I caught the end of that Thunder/Suns game, so I