Action this day

Note before we begin, the linking to Sportsline boxscores instead of ESPN ones is random. Note two, Pistons are up to nine straight W's.

Sonics finally clinch
Let's see, facing the Hornets at home... yeah, might be a slumpbuster. I link to this not just to mention it, but to point out the photo of the guy with the sign. Now that's basketball! I also mention this to point out that all-star candidate JR Smith shot 2-15. Pretty tough to be an all-star when you can't shoot... of course, that didn't stop Antoine Walker or Baron Davis in years past.


Raptors completely fall apart in half two
I watched the latter part of the first quarter, whole second quarter and latter half of the fourth quarter of this... which is funny. I saw the Raptors play great, then okay, then terrible. It was like watching the Pistons, then the Sixers, then the Hawks. Three different teams over the span of 24 minutes. It's scary how inconsistent that team is (even without the Toronto version of Carter). Nets are now just a game back of the Cavs for the 8th spot in the East. Think Lebron will be pissed if they miss the playoffs? Just a bit?

I segue from this into a rant about the Cavaliers. Seems to me that last year the Cavs were bad at the start of the year due to a lack of point guard. They then traded Darius Miles for Jeff McInnis and things were going well. The Cavs reeled off a few wins in a row and looked prime to be a possible sleeper in the playoffs. Then McInnis got hurt and the team fell apart, missing the playoffs. This year, they start off strong, then start falling apart as Paul Silas starts playing Snow as much as/more than McInnis. Eventually, Silas gets canned and Brendan Malone plays Snow even more. Now, his Roland Rating might not be much to write home about (+0.3), but somebody has to notice the trend here. McInnis playing equals Cavs wins. McInnis not playing equals Cavs losses. I doubt they'll learn in time though. Remaining schedules for our 8th spot duellists:

Apr 17 @DET: Big fat L
Apr 19 BOS: Probably a W, hard to say
Apr 20 @TOR: Cavs are 12-27 on the road for a reason, L

New Jersey
Apr 17 PHI: Could go either way, they're only 3-3 in their last 6 at home
Apr 19 WAS: Same as above
Apr 20 @BOS: L, Celts won't drop this

Presuming the Nets win both of the questionable games, they will move into the 8th spot (they beat the Cavs in the season series 3-1). Perhaps the will of Cleveland's big three will pull them through, we'll see.

Carousel from Hoopshype
Here are a few quotes (both from the Orlando Sentinel) about the Magic head coach job from the recent update:

The Magic also are expected to inquire about a possible change of heart from Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who turned down a lucrative offer from the Lakers a year ago.

"Interim Coach Chris Jent will be a candidate, but the names Phil Jackson, Flip Saunders, Paul Silas, Eric Musselman, P.J. Carlesimo and maybe Rick Pitino will churn in the rumor mill.

Jeez, Weisbrod's really swinging for the fences here isn't he? If Coach K wouldn't go to the Lakers, there's no way he comes to Orlando. Phil Jackson's going to want a ready-made winner if he returns and while this team has pieces, it's not championship-esque. Saunders could go anywhere, there have even been rumours that Joe D has been talking to him about the Piston job if Larry Brown departs after the year. Unlike many, I believe that this will be Brown's last team, so I mean depart as in "retire". Silas probably would enjoy a stab with another #1 overall pick, so it could work for him. I really don't know what Musselman wants, it may have to do with what Fratello does in the future. PJ probably won't give up his nice post with the Spurs, but I could be wrong. Pitino in the NBA didn't work last time and he just took a team to the Final Four, so I doubt that's happening. So they're left with mainly Silas or PJ out of that bunch. There's Jent too, but I give about a 0.001% chance of Jent retaining his job with so many big names sans a head coaching position.

Other ESPN writers talk awards
I find it odd that Tayshaun showed up in multiple categories, though I wouldn't put him far back in either. I also find it odd that Hollinger has Garnett as MVP. Yes, he's the league leader in Hollinger's most famous stat (28.85 PER) but I still have to discount him for the Roland Rating that isn't even in the top 50 in the league (+3.9). I liked that Hollinger put Przybilla as MIP, though. Someone else noticed! Another thing I find odd is that D'Antoni got 4/6 votes for COY. Funny, he had 3/5 of that starting lineup last year and lead them to about half as many wins. He gets a fantastic PG and a nice SG and suddenly... he's a good coach! Right. Lastly, at least Stein was the only one to take Hill as MIP.

More, including a Piston preview, later.


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