Great weekend in the NBA. There were plenty of great games along with great performances to start the final stretch of this season. Wait, how the hell did the final month of this season get here so quickly? That’s just what happens you have a shortened season. I think this past Thursday was the first day in a long time where there wasn’t an important NBA game being played. The rest of the weekend made up for it and it all culminated with two great games on Sunday night between four playoff teams.
Last night’s game between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder was temporarily labeled as “an early Finals preview” by most people but the Thunder made quick to squash that label and took the win over Miami 103-87. Kevin Durant put on an MVP-like performance (29 points 9 rebounds 8 assists & 2 steals) and what made it even more significant was that he did it while being guarded by leading MVP candidate Lebron James. How significant was his performance? I still think Lebron will win the MVP trophy but mentally it will mean something if these teams end up meeting in June. Durant and the Thunder simply outplayed the Heat the entire game. Usually Miami’s defense can shut down teams like the Thunder but D urant was able to lead every single attack pretty easily and that’s with Russell Westbrook sitting out for long periods due to early foul trouble. Smart money has these two teams facing in the end so stay tuned.
With all due respect to Kevin Durant and what he’s doing to lead his team, I have to give this week’s greatest performance to Kevin Love of the Timberwolves. I don’t think he gets enough credit (I still don’t know how Blake Griffin was voted an all-star starter over him) and even though he lost to Durant’s team that Thursday night, Love put up 51 points to go along with 14 rebounds. That’s crazy. Yes, I know Durant had 40 points and 17 rebounds that game but even his teammate Westbrook beat him in points. I just think that Kevin Love straight up put the team on his back. Love might even be able to play with Timberwolves point guard JJ Barea literally playing on his back. We miss you in Dallas JJ!
Speaking of ridiculous games, did anyone catch the Hawks-Jazz game last night? Four OTs! Most people think the level of basketball drop when it gets to that point but I don’t care. I absolutely love when games go into an obscure amount of extra periods. It’s only happened nine times ever! I remember watching a college football game a few years back that went into seven OTs. Anyways, even though it wasn’t televised nationally I did manage to catch the final two periods between Atlanta and Utah. The teams looked exhausted but it was still fun to watch and in the end Atlanta took the lead late and came out with a 139-133 win. In other news, Kobe was benched late in their loss to Memphis and the Chicago Bulls have clinched a playoff spot.
Key games this week
Monday: Heat at Pacers; Nuggets at Bulls
Tuesday: Rockets at Mavs; Spurs at Suns
Wednesday: Magic at Knicks; Bulls at Hawks; Jazz at Celtics
Thursday: Mavericks at Heat; Thunder at Lakers
Friday: Knicks at Hawks; Grizzlies at Rockets; Mavericks at Magic;
Saturday: Hawks at 76ers; Jazz at Clippers
This is a massive week for my Mavericks to show what they’re really about. As always, Go Mavs!