Crying, Blowouts, and More of the Same

Sunday’s basketball lineup gave us four marquee match-ups,; Miami hosted Chicago, Los Angeles traveled to San Antonio, Boston went to Milwaukee, and New York visited Atlanta. While the latter 2 match-ups didn’t receive as much notoriety as the first, they were still important match-ups. New York and Boston were teams who retooled during the trade deadline and continue to mesh as units during this stretch run to the playoffs. While most of the East is set playoff wise, many of the teams in that conference are vying for a higher seed in the playoffs for a possiblity of home-court. When all was said and done, New York and Boston both won on the road, which is very important for the both of them. New York, although having an off night from Carmelo Anthony, won convincing in Atlanta 92-79 . As for Boston, it was more of the same, led by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and timely contributions from the newcomers, they were able to hold off Milwaukee 89-83.

Miami, on the heels of a 3 game losing streak found itself Sunday morning in a must win situation at home against Chicago. Coming into today, Miami had just been blown out by San Antonio by 30 points on the road. It was the Heat’s 4th loss in 5 games and their 3rd in a row. The game with Chicago wasn’t any easier. After being up early and most of the second half, the Miami Heat once again failed to close out their opponent and faltered on the last possession with Lebron James once again unable to put the ball in the basket on the last possession. Dwayne Wade had the last shot after a loose ball went his way. The final score, 87-76 and another close loss for the Heat. Their 4th in a row and cause for concern. The Heat once again failed to close the game out in the end and put their opponents away and now there is cause for concern. With less than 20 to play, the Heat find them in their worst stretch of basketball of the season, and as Wade stated after the game, “The world is a better place, now that the Heat are losing.” It seems as if the Heat are defeated, their coach said to the media after the game, “There are guys crying in the locker room.” Wait, crying in the locker room after a REGULAR SEASON game? No doubt tough losses this week should have them a little disappointed and mad, but not to the point of crying. Especially when your still in the regular season. Seems like this team is lacking a little bit of mental toughness. They have a tough week ahead, they host Portland on Tuesday before the Los Angeles Lakers come to town. 2 losses here would seriously put the Heat in a tough place.

Those Los Angeles Lakers, who had won 6 straight coming into Sundays match-up, went on the road to face the NBA’s best team (record wise at 51-11). While many consider the Spurs the best team in the NBA, the Lakers were out to prove they still hold the crown after 3 straight years as the representative of the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. Well the Lakers looked every bit like that team, jumping out to an early lead and playing like they have since the break. They led 34-13 at the end of the first quarter and led 65-37 at the half en route to a 99-83 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Texas. Though the final score wasn’t really indicative of how the game went, the Lakers at points were up by 30 points at times, with the lead reaching 34 in the 3rd quarter. This win was classic on how the Lakers have managed to win games since the break, with defense, holding yet another opponent under 90 points, their 4th straight and 6th team since the break they have kept under 100 points. After stumbling into the break, the Lakers have played like the 2-Time Defending NBA Champions and have “gelled” at the right time as the stretch run is upon us. As for the Spurs, the lost snapped their 22 game home winning streak and also showed the league how many teams need to defend them. Defend the 3-ball and force them to go inside the key.

Another big week is upon us, the Heat try to snap their 4 game losing streak before they host the Lakers, along with NCAA Championship week getting underway. Should be a lot of good basketball.

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