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Baseline to Baseline, your game recaps

Feb 28, 2010, 12:50 AM EDT

What happened Saturday in the NBA:

Nets 104 Celtics 96: Well, on one side of the coin it was the Boston apocalypse. On the other, the biggest win of the year for the Nets. When the Nets assembled this year’s roster, this is likely what they were thinking. Courtney Lee plugging in shots, Devin Harris playing at a level which he is expected to, and Brook Lopez evolving into a dominant center.

Lopez doesn’t just make great plays on his own. Late in the game, with the Nets’ lead dwindling, he recovered the ball from a blocked Harris pass and immediately went up and drew contact to get crucial free throws. Kris Humphries was part of the reason the Nets took control, as his ability to draw fouls is becoming huge. I’ve been saying this for a while, but honestly, the Nets really aren’t that bad.

Bucks 94 Heat 71: When the Bucks are winning, it’s hard to argue with their formula. Start with the big man offensively. Spread the floor. Slow the pace down and work for quality shots. Defend like a madman and rebound all the time. The Heat were without Wade, which may have seemed manageable for a game or two, but it now is becoming evident that Riley has simply not produced a capable support squad. The Miami Heat were overwhelmed by the Milwaukee Bucks today. Outright overwhelmed. Salmons had 18, and continues to look like arguably the best mid-season pickup of anyone.

Pacers 100, Bulls 90: Three things on this one. First, the Bulls got some great opportunities early off Pacer turnovers and screw ups. Out in transition, forcing fouls, playing great ball. Then the Pacers stopping screwing up and the Bulls just kind of said “okay, then.” Second, the Bulls I would imagine are even worse than the league average on second games of back to backs.

And third, though Rose still had an okay game, he still has a habit of leaping into traffic and then trying to decide what to do with the ball. Which works out how you’d imagine most times. He has the fearlessness, it’s his imagination that needs work.

Grizzlies 120 Knicks 109: Fun. Needed Ritalin. But fun.Al Harrington is constantly derided a a terrible player but he’s able to hit tough shots which is an invaluable skill in the NBA and he kept the Knicks in this one on a night where Galinari was run roughshod over. Although he probably had something to do with the Grizzlies’ frontcourt insanity.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined for 51 points and 35 rebounds. They were simply everywhere, and the Knicks were powerless to close out. The best way I can describe it is the Knicks were handled.

Blazers 110 Wolves 91: Signs you may not be a good defensive club. Nicolas Batum goes off for 31 points on you.

Judges also would accept: “gave up 110 points to one of the slowest teams in the league  on a second night of a back to back.”

The Blazers had their way, without needing to grind much inside. LaMarcus Aldridge stepped up, Batum knocked down shots, and the Blazers rolled. The Wolves scored 10 points in the second quarter. Game over.

Jazz 133 Rockets 110
: Whatever it is about Houston that Utah has the advantage in, it’s thorough. The Jazz put on a clinic, and rested starters most of the fourth. The Rockets have improved on offense with their trade, but gotten worse defensively. Kevin Martin looked good knocking down tough shots, but the Jazz came out and kicked them in the nuts and they fell over.

Warriors 95 Pistons 88: The Pistons ran out of gas right as Stephen Curry got in gear.

One of the things that’s impressed me the most is Curry’s ball-control on passes. He knows exactly where to find guys and how to get it to them. He’s working brilliantly in Golden State and it’s paid off on stat nights like this.

The Pistons are flawed in so many ways it’s difficult to count.

  1. Ron - Feb 28, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    “I’ve been saying this for a while, but honestly, the Nets really aren’t that bad.”
    Yes they are. One game does not a season make.
    They are 6-52 through 58 games, and are projected out to end 8-74, the worst ever record in NBA history.
    Now, that isn’t going to happen…they will win more than 8 games, because historically, teams that start out this bad do much better in their last 20 to 25 games. The worst teams in history (72-73 Sixers 9-73; 92-93 Mavericks 11-71; 97-98 Nuggets 11-71, and 93-94 Mavericks 12-70) all had 4 to 8 wins through 58 games, and posted records like 5-19 and 7-17 to finish out the season. Not great, but much better than the first three quarters of the season.
    So I fully expect the Nets to finish somewhere around 11 to 12 wins. Maybe even 13 or 14.
    But any way you cut it, they will still be top five or six in the worst teams category in NBA history.

  2. Filipe - Feb 28, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Bulls fans must be really annoyed tha both Salmons and Tyrus looks really good right now.
    On Rockets defense they are current without their three best perimeter D guys (Lowry, Battier, Ariza). When your perimeter is Brooks-Martin-Budinger, there’s no hope D will happen.

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