Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: OKC Clipped
The Thunder have started to scuffle a little bit. They have now lost four times in their last six games, courtesy of Chris Paul and the Clippers. Paul's layup with 8.8 seconds sealed a win that keeps the Clippers alone in the fourth seed (a half game ahead of Memphis), but starts to raise some questions about Oklahoma City.
Are they coasting a bit down the stretch knowing they have a top two seed pretty much locked up? Or are their weaknesses just being exposed and revealing a vulnerable top seed that, come playoffs, will struggle to meet expectations?
2: Spurs... exposed?
Speaking of which. As I sat in the palatial Crossover Chronicles headquarters watching hoops last night, resident Spurs fanatic Jeff Garcia was bemoaning the fact that his Spurs were getting decimated by a bigger team. The knock on the Spurs, the other top seed out West, have shown they have a tough time with big teams (ahem, Memphis, playoffs.... ouch).
Last night it was the Lakers and the Pau Gasol/Andrew Bynum combo making a living inside and handing the Spurs a 14 point loss. Next up for the Spurs... that big Memphis team tonight. And after what Bynum did to them (more on that later), the Spurs have to be wondering what they can do to keep big front lines from having their way.
Both OKC and San Antonio are very good teams, but they, like every other team in the NBA, have flaws. There is no "pefect" team out there right now that will carve its way through everyone to a title. Everyone can be beaten.
Blake Griffin catches another one... this time its Serge Ibaka
Chirs Paul wins the game for the Clippers
Marc Gasol didn't stick the landing... the Russian judge will deduct points for that. Still, nice dunk, though.
4: Line of the night: Andrew Bynum: 16 points, 30 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists
Bynum came three rebounds shy of out-rebounding the entire Spurs team. If you took Bynum's eight offensive rebounds, he still had three more than any Spur's total rebounds. Get the picture? Oh, why not one more: Bynum almost doubled up the Spurs starters, who combined for 16 total rebounds.
The Lakers out-rebounded San Antonio 60-33. That's not good.
5: You can quote me on that
"They played great and beat us to death. There's nothing else you can say about it."
-Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, on the loss to the Lakers
"On paper, all that stuff, you know who we are. But they figure it out. They like each other and I think that allows us to win games on certain nights that we shouldn’t win. I really believe it."
-Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, after the Celtics beat Atlanta in overtime
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