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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Start thinking Knicks vs. Celtics in the first round

Apr 11, 2011, 1:57 AM EDT

Danny Granger, Carmelo Anthony

What you missed while avoiding the torpedo of truth….

The Miami Heat proving they can beat Boston (at least once) and the Bulls slipping past the Magic were our Games of the Day.

Knicks 110, Pacers 109: Carmelo Anthony! Hold on, we’ll get back to him in a minute.

Plenty of fans (and you can be sure television executives) were hoping to see New York vs. Miami in the first round. But Boston now looks a lot more likely for New York. Miami’s win almost assures them the two seed, making Boston the three. The Knicks win almost certainly makes them the six seed and 76ers the seven — the only way that changes is if the Knicks go 0-2 this week and the Sixers 2-0. So, don’t go betting the kids college money on that. It’s almost a lock to be New York vs. Boston, Philly vs. Miami.

Back to the contest at hand… We’ve beaten Carmelo Anthony up over the holes in his game, but few guys can create and knock down big shots like ‘Melo. He did it again, a wing pull-up jumper with one-second left over Danny Granger gave the Knicks the win in a game where they were down 9 heading into the fourth.

Thunder 120, Lakers 106: The Lakers fifth loss in a row was not about effort, but it was about execution. And it may be about playoff seedings (read the Mavs game wrap to see what we mean). The Lakers had one turnover through three quarters then nine in the fourth quarter, which helped spark a late Thunder 15-0 run to seal it. Kevin Durant had 31 on 15 shots and was attacking and getting into the lane, he and his teammates were hitting everything (55.6 percent as a team). This should give the Thunder confidence going forward, but the Lakers defense is not what it was a couple weeks back. And it’s all mental.

This game has playoff seeding implications, Keep reading….

Mavericks 115, Suns 90: This win and the Lakers loss ties the two teams with two games to play, and the Thunder are now just one game back of both of them. The Lakers have the tiebreaker over both teams, so if they win out they keep the two seed. If they lose to the Spurs Tuesday (or Kings Wednesday in what is likely the team’s last game in Sacramento) and the Mavs win out then Dallas gets the two seed. Which really means home court in the second round. Oklahoma City could pass both but would need both to win out and to get helped out with some losses.

Pistons 112, Bobcats 101: An enjoyable game for those that don’t like defense to interfere with their hoops. So you can imagine how much the coaches liked this. Detroit got 68 points from their bench, including 24 and 11 boards from Rodney Stuckey.

In a sign the Mayans were right and the world will end next year, Kwame Brown made 9-of-10 shots to score 19 points and added seven boards.

Raptors 99, Nets 92: Jordan Farmar is not Deron Williams, he went 3-of-13 from the floor and struggled to lead what was left of the Nets. Ed Davis continues to find himself at the end of his rookie season and was the best player in the paint

Grizzlies 111, Hornets 89: Memphis just physically pushed around the Hornets. Not sure you need to know much else about this one, when the Grizzlies needed to get position or grab a rebound they physically moved the Hornets off the spot and took it. Carl Landry tried but he cannot do much about it. That physicality is why some teams would like to avoid Memphis in the first round.

Kings 104, Warriors 103: Marcus Thornton can score — he put up 21 — but he was 7-of-17, which is about right. He’s put up 20 points a game since coming to the Kings but is shooting 45.2 percent. Sunday night Tyreke Evans was 3-of-13 and you would think the Kings were in trouble. But the other Kings combined to shoot 51.9 percent, so the Kings were right there at the end. And Thorton hit the big shots down the stretch (a Curry desperation three at the buzzer made it a one-point final score).

  1. davidly - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    You gotta love language and how it relates to mathematical probability. This text “almost assures” the basketball universe that the Heat won’t lose in Atlanta tonight – at least not if the Celtics win their last two games. Of course, I’d be an idiot to say that that precise outcome is a guarantee, but I wouldn’t say that it is highly unlikely to happen.

  2. hnirobert3 - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    As a Heat fan I’d love to see Heat/Knicks, but I’d sleep easier with a 6ers matchup.

  3. Fred - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Melo’s shot was actually made with almost 5 seconds left and the most encouraging thing to me was that he followed it up by heavily contesting, and ultimately blocking Danny Granger’s shot at the other end, in the closing seconds. Now if we can only work on him jacking up fewer than 94 threes in a game…

    • ohkhan - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      hes shooting over 40% from 3 since he joined the knicks…considering hes shooting a high volume of them, thats really impressive, and a good thing for the team. Why should he stop if he’s making them at that rate?

      • LPad - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        Also, D’Antoni’s system is based on the 3 point shoot. He’s just playing within in the system. Everyone takes a lot of threes. Even Jared Jeffries knocked one down last night.

  4. ohkhan - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    via Newsday:

    Carmelo’s game-winning jumper was the 16th go-ahead field goal made in the last 10 seconds of a game in his career. That total is now the most by an NBA player since the 2003-04 season, which moved him ahead of Kobe Bryant (15). Ray Allen (11) and Dirk Nowitzki (10) also top the list.

    Anthony is now 19-for-39 in shots that either tie or put his team ahead in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime, which is the highest percentage of any active player in those situations since 2003-04.

  5. ocgunslinger - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Roll out the red carpet for his HOF induction. He doesn’t need any rings…..he’s there!!!

  6. LPad - Apr 11, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Given the amount of coverage of Melo’s game winning shot and the lack of coverage concerning his block that ensured his shot was the game winning shot. I’m beginning to wonder if the idea that Melo and players of his ilk (Lebron, DWade, etc.) don’t play D is a media creation. They may not be the best defenders (and since the best defensive players aren’t the best offensive we shouldn’t expect them to be), but these guys do make the effort.

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