And then there were two
With their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers tonight the Utah Jazz are locked into the eighth seed and soon to be recipients of the same swift post season dismissal that the Nuggets received last season. That means that the Denver Nuggets’ list of prospective first round opponents has shrunk to include only the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Hornets.
At this point we have to be hoping the Nuggets end up facing the Mavericks. The only position at which the Mavs have an advantage over Denver is power forward, but even there Kenyon Martin is capable of making things tough on Dirk Nowitzki.
The clearest route for Denver and the Mavs to face off would be if Denver beats the Trail Blazers and the Rockets beat the Mavericks. Should the Rockets beat the Mavericks and the Nuggets lose, Denver will end up matching up with New Orleans regardless of whether the Hornets win at San Antonio tomorrow night or not.
Should the Mavs topple the Rockets then the outcome of the Hornets and Spurs game will decide the first round matchup. In that situation a Hornets win would keep the Mavs in the seventh spot and bring Dallas and Denver together in the first round. Should the Mavs win and the Hornets lose then Denver will battle the Hornets.
Got it? If not don’t worry, in 24 hours we will not have to worry about this crap anymore.
Credit where credit isn’t due
I spoke in glowing terms of how impressed I was of how J.R. Smith dribbled out the clock despite the fact he was only one made three pointer away from tying the record for three point shots made in a single game. Well, come to find out he said if he knew he was one shot away from tying the record he would have launched one before time expired. Had he done so it would not have been nearly as bad as when in search of triple doubles Ricky Davis took a shot at his own hoop to collect his tenth rebound of the night (which the league rescinded if I remember correctly) or when the Magic called timeout with two seconds left and a comfortable lead in order to get Donald Royal his tenth assist, but it would have been close.
Record performances should be set in the flow of the game, not through forced action at the end of games. However, on the other hand there should be some honor from the opponent as well and I thought the way J.R. was fouled three times, twice on the shot and once coming off a screen, was weak as well. No one wants to be embarrassed, but if someone is kicking your can for one night, play your butt off and take the results like a man.
Even so, J.R. could have chucked up one more attempt to build on his career high, but chose not to so he deserves recognition for that if not for knowingly passing on a shot that could have tied an NBA record.
Draft pick disco
With the results over the previous few days the Nuggets have been left without a first round pick in the upcoming 2009 NBA Draft. The Oklahoma City Thunder will have the Nuggets’ first rounder, currently number 26, this season as part of the Johan Petro deal. However, the Nuggets get the Thunder’s second round pick, number 34, as part of the deal as well. The draft is a crap shoot at that point anyway and the second round pick is free of the encumbrance of a guaranteed contract.
The bigger news is that the Charlotte Bobcats failed to make the playoffs and that means they retain their first round pick they owe Denver for acquiring the twentieth pick from Denver in last year’s draft. I believe that is very good news because it keeps hope alive that Denver may get a top ten, or higher, pick in the future.
The Nuggets made that deal knowing it was a potential lottery ticket and if it had paid off this season with the fifteenth pick I guarantee they would have been disappointed. The downside is Larry Brown did have that team on the verge of the postseason and it is possible they make it next season and Denver gets a pick in the mid to high teens next season. Nevertheless, as long as Charlotte owes Denver a pick and Michael Jordan is prominently involved in the decision making of that franchise we can hold out hope that in four years the Nuggets have the first overall pick thanks to the incompetence of the Bobcats.
New winter destination for New Yorkers
With the announcement that Isiah Thomas will be taking over as head coach of Florida International you can count on New Yorkers booking some winter vacations to Miami for the warm weather and the chance to rain boos and other insults upon the bumbling Thomas.
Win an autographed Carmelo Anthony jersey
We have all heard the phrase the hoop has a lid on it. Well Perfect Jumper markets various products that fit on top of the rim in order to force the shooter to be more accurate in order to put the ball in the rim. Right now they are giving away an autographed Carmelo Anthony jersey and you can enter until April 30.
They also held an online three point shooting contest where whoever could make the most three pointers in 30 seconds won a jersey autographed by Steve Nash and a couple of their products.
On a related note you can also enter to win a pair of gently used boxers signed by yours truly at GoofySideSpinBrick.com.