Not sure you can defend the inbounds play that produced Jamal Crawford's cold-blooded game-winner from 28 feet any better than Phoenix did. Bret LaGree of Hoopinion notes the irony: "Phoenix's defense of Atlanta's final inbounds play was far and away the best thing they did, collectively and individually, in the game's final moments."
An incredible scene in Oakland last night, as the Warriors ran out of players. Golden State of Mind explains: "When Curry fouled out, the refs were forced to invoke the little-known NBA Rule No. 3 (Section 1A), which basically states that the last player to foul out stays on the court and continues to play, but if he fouls again the other team receives a technical free throw in addition to the usual free throws. Joey Crawford mentioned to the broadcasters that he'd never seen this happen before in his 33 years as a ref."
Tell you what: A 2-7 postseason encounter between Dallas and Oklahoma City would be a fun ride. For those who love to watch the collision of the immovable object and the unstoppable force, there might not be a better one-on-one matchup than defender Shawn Marion vs. scorer Kevin Durant.
The Rockets continue to struggle, but Rahat Huq of Red94 can't find it in himself to get too upset: "I view this season as house money – if the team plays well, like they were before the new year – I’ll get in on the fun and think of the playoff possibilities ... This is a basketball team in transition with at least a 75% chance of having a completely different dynamic next season (whether simply by Yao’s return or also via trade.) So why should I be overly concerned about what’s taking place on the floor, other than from a player development perspective?"
Andrea Bargnani: Lights out.
The Bobcats' season might not amount to more than a low seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, but their defense is going to give them a chance to win every night. Friday in Charlotte, they held the League's third-ranked offense to an 87.4 offensive efficiency rating.
The Trail Blazers played the perfect basketball game against Orlando at the Rose Garden. Andrew R. Tonry of Portland Roundball says Magic forward Matt Barnes was livid afterwards: "Orlando guard-forward Matt Barnes was cursing up a blue streak in the Orlando locker room to a couple of Magic beat reporters. It was almost soul searching. Barnes' tone was hushed, but it didn't hide his absolute disgust. He was unguarded and shockingly honest -- rare qualities in an NBA locker room."
The Clippers played a competitive first half against the Lakers, but without Chris Kaman defenses can pressure Baron Davis. That grinds the Clips' offense to halt, which is what the Lakers did as they outscored the Clippers 73-36 in the second half.