Sunday, April 12, 2009

Three random observations ...

... about the NBA:

1. The Magic gave Rashard Lewis the night off Saturday to prevent further injury to his right knee, which is stricken with tendinitis. It turns out they rested the wrong guy. Hedo Turkoglu turned an ankle and left the game in the third quarter of a depressing night for Orlando fans. The Magic dropped the game 103-93 to the Nets, who were without Devin Harris, while Dwight Howard, who scored only seven points and had eight rebounds, looked like he took the night off, too. The extent of Turkoglu's injury is not known, but what is certain is that in two nights, the Magic's season has taken a decided turn for the worse. The only positive development of the last few days is that they won't be facing their nemesis, the Pistons, in the first round.

2. We knew the Jazz had trouble on the road. What we never expected is they'd lose a game at home to a skeletal Warriors squad on the season's final weekend. Utah played no defense, allowing 55 percent shooting against a team that was without Corey Maggette, with post-concussion syndrome, Jamal Crawford, with a strained lower back, Monta Ellis, with a sore left ankle, and Brandon Wright, with a left shoulder injury. C.J. Watson picked up the offensive burden, inexplicably bursting for 38 points and nine assists against Deron Williams, while Ronny Turiaf patrolled the middle on defense, blocking five shots. Rob Kurz added an unlikely 21 points as the Warriors opened up a 13-point halftime lead and never looked back. The only positive for Utah was that Carlos Boozer scored 25 points, his highest total since returning from knee surgery earlier this year. They'll need him to help right the ship for a team that's lost six of seven with a playoff series against the Lakers on the horizon.

3. It's easy to pin the blame for the Pistons' collapse on Allen Iverson, and he deserves plenty of it. But now that he's gone, not all is well in Detroit. The Pistons lost a winnable game Saturday at Indiana, and now need to win out and get help to avoid the No. 8 seed. Rasheed Wallace, who had six points, six rebounds and two blocks, was outplayed by rookie Roy Hibbert, who had nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Jarrett Jack, with 18 points and six assists, got the best of Rodney Stuckey, who had 10 points and five assists and he continues to struggle with his anointment as the team's future. Yet the Pistons still had a chance at the end, down one with less than half a minute to go. Rasheed Wallace missed a jumper with 18 seconds left, and Troy Murphy gobbled up the rebound and was fouled. He hit one of two, and the Pistons still had a chance until Jack stole the ball from Tayshaun Prince and Danny Granger sealed the 106-102 win at the line.

No comments: