The Hawks and the Celtics are in a nail-biter of a battle for playoff seeding. Neither wants to finish #6 (and have to face Indy and Miami in the first and second rounds, should they get that far). Finishing 7th would mean avoiding the Heat until the conference finals, again, should they advance that far. 1.5 games separate the teams, and falling to 8th is an impossibility. I'm sure Boston realizes this, I kind of doubt Atlanta does.
So the question of the night: Will the Hawks tank for playoff position? Gripping stuff. As for the Sixers...well, the ghost has officially been given up. We saw vintage Hawes and Turner. Jrue finally had an efficient scoring game, and he accomplished it with a really lazy offensive effort. Thad couldn't be bothered to put a body on anyone on the defensive end, and Kwame Brown never took off his eco-friendly NBA Green Week t-shirt at the end of the bench.
Had a great time at the game. Said a quick hello to Tom Moore. Interrogated Adam Aron about Bynum, "I don't know, his knees are pretty bad. He killed us this year," was his response when I asked him if he was going to re-sign Bynum. The team, well, if you watched you know what happened. If you didn't watch, it's not hard to guess. When I say Jrue was lazy, what I mean is that he didn't seem interested in expending the effort to drive. The Nets essentially had Reggie Evans slack off on the pick-and-roll, playing right at the foul line, meaning Jrue had three or four feet of space when (if) the pick was applied out past the three-point line. Plenty of room to simply put a move on Evans and get in the lane for a layup, a dish to a big or a kick out to a shooter. Instead, he floated on the perimeter, let Williams get over the pick and was happy to swing the ball around the perimeter. Early on, he punished this defense by pulling up and hitting three triples. After he missed his next two, though, he decided not to go that route. So 15 points on 10 shots in 28 minutes. Bleh.
Anyway, Atlanta...ah, who cares. Horford and Smith are going to kill them if they play like they did last night. I feel as tired as the players look.
The tip is at 7pm for the penultimate home game of the season. Use this as your game thread. I'll be watching on DVR, as much as I'd love to be doing something more productive.