One Crazy Night in the NBA! Curry (400+) Warriors (73) Kobe (60) and 4-Way Record Tie in Eastern Conference

Things played out not at all like I wanted them to last night in the NBA, yet I couldn’t be happier at the end results. Life is sometimes odd that way. You think you want something, but you end up getting something even better than what you thought you wanted.

4-Way Record Tie in the Eastern Conference

On Tuesday night, I sent the following tweet:

Crazy NBA night

I wanted Sacramento to beat Houston AND Utah to beat the Lakers, so that Houston (by far my least favorite team in the NBA due to reasons you all are very well familiar with) would be knocked out of the playoffs. I also wanted the Heat to beat the Celtics and the Hornets to lose to the Magic, because I wanted the Hornets to stay in 6th place to avoid facing LeBron in case they make it to the 2nd round, so that’s why I wanted the Hornets to lose. I also wanted Heat to win, so they could stay in 3rd place, since I prefer the Hornets to face the Heat rather than the Hawks in the first round, because the Hawks scare me. As you all know NONE of these things that I wanted happened.

In a bizarre twist, the complete opposite of what I wanted happened AND the Hawks also ended up losing to the Wizards, which is pretty inconceivable. The result is a 4-way record tie in the middle of the Eastern Conference with the Heat, Hawks, Celtics and Hornets all ending their season with a 48-34 record.

Historic Warriors Record

But because of tie breakers, the standings remained the exact same as it was the day before. So even though Hornets won, they didn’t move up in the standings. Miami also stayed at #3. So I ended up getting what I wanted anyway. Hornets face the Heat in the first round (rather than Hawks) and avoid LeBron if they advance to the second round. But Hornets managed to do it without having to lose their final game of the season. In other words, things ended up working out even better than I wanted them to, because I really didn’t like the idea of rooting for the Hornets to lose.

Sure, mathematically, it’s not that inconceivable that these four teams would end the season with the exact same records. What’s so bizarre about it, though, is that the teams that had incentive to win (Heat and Hawks) ended up losing and the teams that had incentive to lose (Hornets and Celtics) ended up winning. The Heat and Hawks had incentive to win in order to get the 3rd seed (and avoid LeBron). I thought for sure the Hawks would beat the Wizards, since Wizards weren’t playing for anything and they sat John Wall and probably other key players in a meaningless game for them. So I had the Hawks winning for sure, which is why I was rooting for the Heat to win so Heat can stay in the 3rd seed. But to my utter surprise, the Hawks lost. I have no idea how that happened. I didn’t see the Hornets games and it was well after the game ended that I checked the standings and was shocked at the bizarre results. I thought for sure the Hornets would be in 5th place, since I did see the score at half time and the Hornets looked like they were going to blow out the Magic and I thought the Celtics would throw their game so they don’t have to face LeBron in the second round. So I was shocked when I saw that the Hornets stayed in 6th place even though they did end up winning their game, because the Celtics also won their game. Then when I saw the the Hawks had lost, I was just utterly baffled. I’m not sure if other people appreciate how bizarre everything played out. To me, I was just like “WHAAAAAT?”

Anyway, I”m sure that was way more information than you wanted. If you read all the way up until now, I’m sorry that I can’t give you back those 5 minutes of your life that you wasted.

Stephen Curry and The Warriors Make History

Now, we turn to the second part of the night. First of all, the Rockets won their game, so it didn’t matter whether or not the Jazz won or lost. Rockets had already secured their 8th spot in the playoffs. So I didn’t get my wish for the Rockets to miss the playoffs. Sucks, but I’ll live. I love witnessing history, so I had both the Warriors vs. Grizzlies game AND the Lakers vs. Jazz game on at the same time. The Warriors, as you all know, are going for a record 73 wins and only 9 losses to beat the previous record of 72-10 held by Michael Jordan’s 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. Curry was also gong to break the 400 3-pointer barrier. Gong into the game, Curry needed to make 8 threes in order to reach the insane feat of 400 threes in one season. Curry ended up making 10 threes to end the season with 402 three pointers to shatter a previous record that he held just last season at 286. So, until this season, no one had even broken the 300 3-point barrier and Curry managed to hit 402 threes in one season! Unbelievable. Curry finished with 46 points and the Warriors easily ran over the Grizzles to win their historic 73rd game 125 to 104.

Although the Warriors had an easy time wining their last game, it was somewhat doubtful that the Warriors would get to 73 games when they got upset by the Celtics on April 1st (interestingly enough on April Fools day). The Celtics handed the Warriors their 8th loss for the season with 6 games to play, two of which are against the second best team, the San Antonio Spurs. And when the Warriors got upset by one of the worst teams in the NBA (Timberwolves) on April 6th, who handed them their 9th loss for the season, it looked like the best the Warriors could do was to tie Bull’s record of 72 wins. Somehow, the Warriors managed to win all four of their remaining games, including the two against the Spurs. Odds makers were expecting them to lose at San Antonio, since the Warriors haven’t won in San Antonio since 1997. But somehow, the Warriors managed to snap a 33-game road losing streak in San Antonio to tie the NBA record with 72 wins for the season. After winning that game, it was a given that the Warriors would break the record, which made their historic 73 wins today pretty anticlimactic.

Mamba Out

This brings me to the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant. The entire day yesterday was all about Kobe’s last game of his NBA career. There was a lot of hype for it and I didn’t pay attention to any of the hype. But I figured I’d watch his last game, just for the sake of posterity. I have to admit, I wasn’t really paying that much attention to the game. Since the Rockets had already won, the Lakers vs. Jazz game had no more meaning for me, because it didn’t matter whether or not the Jazz won or lost. Rockets had already secured a spot in the playoffs, damn it! The Jazz only have themselves to blame for losing to the Clippers’s bench.

So I’m mainly paying attention to the Warriors game and watching Curry hitting threes. 400. 401. Then the Lakers game starts getting interesting. Kobe started out missing like 5 shots, but then he starts making shots. He’s making tough shots. He looks a little like the Kobe of old.I start really paying attention as Kobe is breaking 40 points. Of course, he’s pretty much the only Lakers shooting the ball. But whatever, it’s the dude’s final game. He’s allowed to hog the ball as much as he wants.It’s all about giving a final performance for the fans. No one wants to see anyone but Kobe in that building on his last game. It’s all about Kobe. People are rooting for Kobe to get to 50 points, thinking that it would be a pretty difficult feat. But Kobe does it. But even as he broke 50 points, no one thought it was possible for Kobe to get 60 points. Getting to 50 was more than any of his rabid fans could even hope for.

The entire time I don’t pay attention to anything that the Jazz are doing. But I think pretty much the entire game, the Jazz are ahead by a comfortable margin. No one, including me, even cares what the score is. All everyone cares about is Kobe getting his buckets. That’s all I care about, too, even though I’m not even a Kobe fan. But then somehow, the Lakers have a chance to actually win the game and suddenly the score in a totally meaningless game did matter. Kobe actually had a chance to not only have a huge game, but actually win his last game of his career. I totally lost my shit when Kobe hit a tough jumper at the key with three defenders around him to reach 58 points for the game to give the Lakers a one point lead. It was vintage Kobe!

Kobe Last Game

Kobe managed to get to a nice round 60 points when he got fouled and sank two free throws. Kobe’s last points of his career. Love him or hate him, you have to admire the man’s will. All eyes were on Kobe last night and he willed a final performance for the ages, one that no one could have even conceived. At the age of 37, Kobe played 30+ straight minutes (42 minutes for the game) and somehow managed to score 60 points (22 of 50 shooting) when he’s dead tired. Last night, Kobe defied mother time by sheer will. Kobe’s will is something to behold.

The Lakers ended up beating the Jazz 101 to 96 in a meaningless game that took on so much meaning as it concluded. I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed. Even Kobe, in his post game press conference says that he still can’t believe what just happened. It was like something out of a movie. Not real life. Real life isn’t usually this perfect. 60 points. Not 57 or 58, etc. But a nice round 60. Wow! There’s something about round numbers that we humans are fascinated by. Something pristine about them. For example, Curry hitting his 399th trey for the season is just as impressive as when he hit his 400th, but it wasn’t until his 400th that Twitter lit up and everyone in the building stood up. To do what Kobe did at 37 years old in his last game and to come out with a win; It’s just too perfect of an ending for Kobe’s career. Up until that point, Kobe’s final two seasons had been pretty disgraceful. Well, Kobe may have redeemed himself with the best final performance in the NBA and probably even all of sports. Derek Jeter hit a game winner in his last at-bat, but what Kobe did was way more impressive. So originally I wanted the Jazz to win AND the Rockets to lose so that my most hated team in the NBA would be out of the playoffs, but I couldn’t be happier that the Jazz ended up losing, because Kobe getting 60, but losing the game would be a bit of a shame. So I’m glad Kobe managed to win the game and score 60 in his last performance. What a night for sports!

About JLintel

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  • MrPingPong

    The EC 4-way tie: though I’m not surprised about the final standing and seeding, I was surprised by the Heat’s loss and the Wiz’s win last night.

    The Wiz did not play their star players and their coach knew he was going to be fired the next day: how could they have beaten the Hawks? May be the Wiz players were playing their hearts out as a parting gift for their coach. I dunno.

    I was not surprised by the Celt’s victory: they are a very good home team and their coach is one of the best, I believe. But I was surprised by how the Heat blew a 26 pt lead and scored only 5 pts in the 3rd, en route to an embarrassing loss. Perhaps the Heart was tired due to second of a back-to-back? Not a very good excuse for a playoff-bound team, I don’t think.

    Anyway, it’s a new season now. Let it all hang out!

  • Ace Pagoda

    I don’t care what Kobe did and I doubt that because he scored 60 points in his last game will erase the damage done to the franchise over the last two years including his treatment of our favorite player. I did not see the game so don’t know if Utah just played matador defense for a washed-up player. Kobe is and was a selfish player. He may be a different person but had he not driven Shaq off he and Shaq might have won 1 or 2 more championships. Had he cooperated wit MDA the Lakers might have made greater strides, but no, it was always all about Kobe. In especially the last two years his legacy is that of the “biggest ball hog in the NBA” maybe in the history of the NBA. If young people were to use him as a role model it would be all about self. Glad he’s gone. I am in CA and was a Laker fan but no more. The extreme support the children of Laker’s owner Jerry Buss gave to Kobe the last two years was/is an embarrassment, and in my opinion just as unfair to fans as the open tanking in Philly. No respect.

    • yeah, Kobe is all about Kobe for sure! His last game is very representative of what he’s all about. Kobe is a performer. He gave a great last performance.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I got this from another blog. They are comments from JLin about his teammates and this one is about Jeremy Lamb: Jeremy Lamb: We call him JLamb. He gets my vote for best dancer on the team. “JLamb is really laid back and has that California personality even though he’s not from there. He’s so talented and will be a big time player. For the first part of the season, JLamb and I were playing really well off each other, and he has really helped take some pressure off of me and the second unit. He’s also a bball junkie, so you might see him at the arena getting shots up late at night.” The telling part is his comment about playing really well off of each other early in the season. And they did play well helping each other. It looked like JLamb had real potential. Then JLamb’s minutes got cut with even some a couple of DNP. When he got minutes again JLamb started playing like a PG! He even got the ball, brought it up court and shot it or tried to dish it. I wondered what was going on and now JLin’s comments cause some suspicion. Did Cliff tell JLamb to start acting like a PG! Lamb was much better as the off guard especially when paired with JLin. Is this change in JLamb Charlotte’s doing or his own? Has anyone else seen any commentary on this change in JLamb?

    • MrPingPong

      Lin posted a long discourse on his teammates at Reddit:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/charlottehornets/comments/4ey6k1

      Check it out if you have the time. Lin never says anything negative about his teammates, past or present. Lin always finds good things to say. How can people hate Lin? I just don’t know.

      As to why Lamb has been confined to some sort of a dog house, nobody knows. Hornets fans first were enthusiastic about the extension Cho gave Lamb, but now seem to agree that Lamb has too many flaws and weaknesses to get more PT.

      • Ace Pagoda

        Like JLin said in his posting about JLamb and how well they played together early in the season really leaves the door open for questions like “what happened later in the season then?” Did Cliff tell JLamb to change into a PG? Did JLamb become made and try to become an alpha dog? I don’t get to see many games but the difference in JLamb from early in the season to the last part of the season was striking.

        • My guess with JLamb is that Cliff isn’t happy with his defensive efforts and maybe Cliff also thinks he’s too much of a ball hog.

          To me, Lamb is probably one of the more selfish players on the team. I think he’s got a big chip on his shoulders, so he’s always trying to prove himself when he’s on the court. He rarely passes to Lin, unless he’s in a bind. Lamb has become even more selfish, lately, because Cliff has taken away his playing time, so he feels he needs to do as much as he can with the little playing time he has.

          • MrPingPong

            Yeah, I’m seeing the same thing you see about Lamb, Philosopher. A man has to know his limit. Lin can create plays for him, but he does not see it that way. Too bad!

            Troy the Trey has his job now. And Troy became known only because of Lin. And he knows that!

      • Yeah, I saw this on Reddit. It’s crazy how much Lin goes above and beyond for fans and teammates. Lin also posted this Reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/4eirzo/saw_this_tattoo_online_and_copied_it_anyone_know/

        In response to the girl who got the accidental Lin tatoo.

        Lin takes more time for his fans and teammates than any other pro athlete. It’s not even close!

        As I think most Lin fans suspect, Lin says that Mavin Williams is tied with Jared Jeffries for the best teammate he’s ever had. MW always had the JJ vibe to me and I think other Lin fans felt this way, too. Nice to hear Lin confirm.

        It’s telling to me that Marvin is the voice of the team, basically meaning the leader. But on Lin’s write-up about Kemba, it doesn’t really say much about leadership, etc.

  • Linfan123

    I couldn’t agree more with Ace on this one. Kobe is a bad person. He definitely imposed “will” on the situation in Colorado. If you are not familiar with how that actually played out google it….get into the details…..not good.
    As far as basketball is concerned that last game was the perfect way for Kobe to end his career; a selfish game for the ultimate selfish player. He showed no grace or class throughout his career and stuck with that to the end. If you are looking for a Michael Jordan knock off only not quite as good, and a lot more annoying Kobe is your guy!

    As for our guy JLin I can’t believe this regular season is over! Cliff bothered me sometimes but all in all he showed Jeremy respect kept his minutes consistent and gave Jeremy a great chance to rehab his rep. Which I think JLin took full advantage of!! GREAT D all year even the coach consistently praised him to the media. He won 3 huge games for Hornets almost on his own. Cavs = JLIN for the win, Spurs = JLIN for the win, Celtics = JLIN for the win. (21 pts in second qtr)

    Having said that he deserves more. More PT, More respect from refs, more time as a true PG so I hope he leaves Charlotte on the first plane to somewhere that FULLY appreciates his talent.

    Anyone else have a funny feeling JLIN might do something big in the playoffs??

    Mr. Ping Pong what does the OUIJA board say???

    Cant wait until Sunday!!

    • MrPingPong

      My Ouija board says Lin will dye his hair blonde and go Super Saiyan against the Heat. Check out this post game interview of coach Spoelstra after a stunning loss to the Celts:

      http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-erik-spoelstra-hornets-s041316-premiumvideo.html

      When asked about the Hornets in the playoff, Spo did not forget to mention Lin. It’s gonna be fun to watch Lin beat the Heat! 🙂

      • Ace Pagoda

        I think Spo respects JLin and possibly fears him more than KW because JLin can beat him in other ways. Whiteside is a JLin nemesis so consistently driving for layups is pretty tough. Whiteside can also neutralize Big Al. I would like to think Charlotte can beat Miami but I don’t think so for the series unless KW gets hurt and JLin is at the point. That, I think, is the only chance Charlotte has. If this situation came about and JLamb played more, and played more like JLin referenced early in the season, then Charlotte could have a chance. Charlotte has no good backup PG though. With KW I am hoping to see Charlotte win 2 games. JLin at PG with Batum, CLee, Marv and Zeller could be pretty exciting. Depletes the bench though unless JLamb can come to his senses and they something out of Troy and Big Al can assert himself against the 2nd team. Will be fun to watch though and see if there is any magic!

        • Agree with your thinking regarding the match ups. Hope JLin and the Hornets manage to defy the odds.

      • Yeah, Spo is not blinded by Lin’s talents. Perhaps because Spo is also a minority, so he knows what Lin has gone through. Spo knows that Lin is way better than the perception of him by NBA pundits. So that’s another reason Heat is not a good match up for Lin, because Spo doesn’t underestimate Lin and is on high alert when it comes to Lin.

        • MrPingPong

          May be Spo is the only active NBA coach that respects Lin and has a game plan for him. May be that’s why Lin doesn’t play well against the Heat historically. It’s ironic that a team has to have a game plan for a backup guard! 🙂

          But this is no ordinary backup guard, folks! This backup guard has been studying game films and will be beat the Heat this time. My Ouja board says so!

    • Ace Pagoda

      Unfortunately the situation in Charlotte is untenable. For JLin to thrive he needs to be the PG, the leader. Charlotte will not replace KW with JLin, and I very firmly believe that is Charlotte’s loss. Otherwise I think JLin would stay in Charlotte (if he were starting PG) and with some good personnel moves Charlotte might contend for an NBA championship! But Charlotte will not, and JLin cannot if he wants to achieve his dreams. They should both thank each other and move on after the playoffs. Maybe magic will happen but not with the way Charlotte uses their personnel.

    • Kobe is an egomaniac, for sure. There’s no doubt about that.

      Don’t forget the Raptors, in which Lin scored 35 points to defeat the #2 seed Raptors. I keep tweeting that Lin is the only sixth man to LEAD his team against wins against the toughest opponents: Spurs, Cavs, Raptors and Celtics.

      I’m very happy that Lin has been able to rehab his rep. Also, the viral video of non-called flagrant fouls I think draws even more fans for Lin, because people are starting to realize all the bullshit that Lin has to endure.

      Yeah, I do have a feeling JLin will do something big in the playoffs. My concern is that Lin doesn’t match up very well against Miami, because his game is to drive to the basket, but Whiteside is the best shot blocker we’ve seen in a very very very long time. I hope Lin incorporates his mid-range game, because he’ll need it against the Heat if he’s going to be successful.

      I think if the Hornets manage to make it to the second round, that’s when I see Lin really doing some magic, because Lin owns the Raptors. Problem is, the coach will still start Kemba, which will be a mistake. Oh well. Just the way it is.

      What I’m rooting for is great performances from Lin first and foremost so that he can get good opportunities in free agency. But if Lin can manage to help lead his team past the second round, man the offers will come rolling in in the off-season.

      • Ace Pagoda

        I think if JLin incorporates the mid-range game successfully maybe he can draw out Whiteside and Big Al can operate effectively in the post. JLin must not get stubborn and challenge Whiteside. It is Whiteside that I did not want Charlotte to meet first because it nullifies JLIn’s game. And if Charlotte is to do anything in the playoffs I sincerely believe it will be because of the success JLin has CLee will not make Wade work on defense which will help to defuse his offense. JLin will make Wade pay of he does not play JLin honestly. Cliff needs to be creative here to win this series but so far he has not shown me much in creativity. I think JLamb could be huge as part of the bench with JLin but he has to play like early in the season. This is really a mystery to me and I wish I knew what happened for JLamb to totally change his game! Jut because I don’t think Charlotte will win the series does not mean I hope they do not advance. They have shown and know they can beat both Cleveland and Toronto which means they have the potential to win the east. But the biggest obstacle is the coach.

  • LinFan123

    It is going to be awesome to watch!! I will be rooting for the entire hornets team!! We know how Kemba is as a player, but he has been good to Jeremy as a teammate. The whole team has from what I can tell. If Kemba starts jacking up those step back elbow jumpers and threes that usually bug me I will be just hoping they go in!! Jeremy has always shined on the big stage. Actually Kemba has too. Cliff needs to recognize JLIN is a star and stars win playoff games. Kemba and JLIn both need to be huge. I think they can!!

    • If Cliff manages to play Lin and Kemba as combo-guards when they’re on the floor, then Hornets have a good chance of upsetting the Heat. I think guys like MW may be the surprising keys to winning, since shooting threes is probably how you beat the Heat, because their interior defense is too good. I think Cliff will utilize Troy Daniels quite a bit for this reason.

  • LinFan123

    Do any LinFans that post on this site live in NC? Triangle area? Would love to meet some of you in person and watch the game at a restaurant or something. Seems like most of you live elsewhere, but I thought I would throw it out there!
    Let me know.

    • I don’t. That’s awesome that you do, though. I live in Portland and want to go watch Hornets games at a bar, but not sure if they’ll show Hornets games. I guess it all depends on whether or not Blazers are playing at the same time. Hope you enjoy watching the game with a raucous crowd. If I live in NC, I’d definitely take you up on your offer. Love watching games at bars–especially playoff games.

  • LinFan123

    Ask them turn one TV to the hornets game! They will do it for you. I agree with you about the Kemba issue at PG…… its just that we have all said it so much here I figured everyone is tired of hearing that HA HA 🙂
    I have said it before but once again I really appreciate you putting this site together! Its awesome that there is a place where those of us who actually watch his games and are informed about the situation can talk without all the other typical uninformed noise. Go JLin!

    • Appreciate the comment LinFan123. Thanks!

      I value my life, so I don’t think I will tell the bar to turn on the Hornets game if they’re playing Blazers games. Ha ha. But it looks like there’s no conflict tomorrow, so I think I will go to a bar and watch it. Won’t be as fun, though, because I don’t think there are a lot of Hornets fans in PDX.

  • For those who haven’t seen it, the story about non called flagrant fouls perpetrated on Lin was discussed on national TV on ESPN’s First Take. I’m so thankful that Sephen Ass Smith didn’t take part. It’s probably because he knew he would look insane taking the other side and so he had to recuse himself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0A6COweNVM

  • Ace Pagoda

    JLin has such an avid and loyal fan group that I wonder if there is a lot of pressure on him to “perform” well. Much is starting to be said about him leaving Charlotte because of KW and the fact that JLin cannot be PG in Charlotte. I am getting a little anxious myself that he will not perform well. In fact, I am hoping and looking for some of the JLin magic that will transform the series and the Charlotte team and maybe allow them to win the Miami series. It is possible. But the big sticking point here will be Coach Clifford. The team plays according to his dictates. If Cliff does not adjust to the game and if the game requires speed and tempo to counter Miami’s set-it-up offense, then Charlotte cannot win. Charlotte has speed, youth, playmakers and shooters that can be great in a rhythm, if allowed to play. And of course the greatest rhythm player on the team is JLin. If JLin is in his rhythm then so is Batum, Walker and CLee with Marvin as the stabilizing force. Play JLin 35 minutes per game Cliff. You have made your point that KW is the franchise cornerstone. Now give yourself a chance to win. p.s. To counter Whiteside play T. Hansbrough for a while and let him aggravate and annoy Whiteside out of his game.

    • MrPingPong

      In Lin we trust, Ace! Just relax and enjoy a battle to be remembered. 🙂

      I’ve been following Lin since his breakout Linsanity game in New York. I’ve always been optimistic when it comes to Lin, even during his “darkest” days as a Laker. I’ve not seen Lin regressed at all. He is a much much better player now. He is darn well-rounded. His defense is solid. He is a veteran with playoffs experience. He will not break under pressure. He will shine in this season’s playoffs.

      I’ve been scanning the WEB for previews of the Heat vs Hornets series. As expected, Lin is not considered as a key factor. The NBA pundits at ESPN favor the Heat at the rate of 18-3. Ha! Let’s see!

      It will not be easy, because after all, this is the playoffs! It will be a long and drawn out battle. Be patient! Lin will be the last man standing! Hornets in 7! My Ouija board says so! 🙂

  • I’m not very optimistic about how Lin will do in the Heat series. I do think Hornets have a good shot at advancing as long as they play team ball. But Lin doesn’t match well vs. Heat because of their strong interior D, due to Whiteside. Also, Spoelstra is one of the few coaches who really understand what Lin is capable of. Being a minority himself, he knows that Lin faces a double-standard and thus is highly underrated. Knows how dangerous Lin can be, so Spo game plans for Lin more so than other coaches. So even though I think Hornets overall match up well vs. Heat, because of Hornet’s 3-point shooting. I don’t think Lin will do too well in this series, unfortunately.

    It’s in the 2nd round that Lin will have an impact, so I hope Hornets make it to the 2nd round. That’s when Lin will show some magic.

    My only hope is that, like other fierce competitors, Lin turns it up in the playoffs and takes it to a whole other level. If he does, then we’ll see some magic in the Heat series. The key will be if he can find his mid-range game. If so, then Lin will have success. Hope he does.

    • MrPingPong

      Yes, 3-pt shooting is key here. The long range shots must fall in order to loosen up the interior so Lin can drive to the cup and make plays from there. Whiteside is the talk of town for this series and deservingly so. But Lin is a cerebral player and will figure out a way to compensate for Whiteside rim dominance.

      I’m optimistic about Lin, as always. And just like everyone here, I can’t wait to see how it plays out this afternoon in Miami!

      Letzzz Gooo JL7!

    • Ace Pagoda

      It looks like we agree on the match-ups with Miami JLintel. As Mr. PP says Charlotte’s 3 pt shooting will be key. However a successful 3 pt strategy depends a lot on drawing the defense inside by driving to the hoop, something that Whiteside ably defends against. Need something creative here in order for KW to bomb from 3 pt range. As you said before mid-range game by JLin could be critical. This will bring Whiteside out a little more and maybe Big Al or even Zeller will be beneficiaries of JLin passes inside. But as Mr. PP says JLin has progressed greatly from his Linsanity days so if Cliff allows JLin to play and be the coach on the floor then Charlotte has a chance to defy the oddsmakers by creating a flowing game. Charlotte must dictate the pace of the game. If they allow Miami to dictate a slower, set-it-up pace for their “old” men (Wade, Joe Johnson, et al) then there goes the 3 pt game. I would run their old legs off. Much of this is up to Cliff. Play JLin 35 minutes and give yourself a chance Cliff.

      • MrPingPong

        Yep, BB is a game of matchup alright. Heat and Hornets have tied 2-2 during the regular season where HCA did not matter. These two teams know each other well. And yes, the Heat is an older team which likes to slow down the pace while the Hornets are much younger and like to push the pace. And who else is more capable of pushing the pace that our man Lin himself!

        A BIG question among fans like ourselves is how much Cliff will allow Lin to be free and run the floor. May be it’s just me, but I’ve noticed Kemba passing the ball more to Lin for Lin to create more and more lately. Kemba is a smart bb player and knows who are on during the game. And I am very much encouraged by that.

  • Ace Pagoda

    I was looking at another JLin blog and a commenter referring to JLin’s reddit commentary on his teammates referred to a comment that Jared Jeffries, late of the NYK and Linsanity was JLin’s favorite teammate. This commenter further related that Jeffries was JLin’s “enforcer” and protected JLin. This is what I mean by settling matter like these violent fouls in-house. Coach and teammates need to defend JLin as well as others. I think Hansbrough would but he DNP. If JLin gets flagrant fouled again with no call Cliff needs to put Hansbrough in with instructions to “protect” the team from thugs. Big Al could do it but doesn’t. Zeller looks too wimpy. Marvin might. Batum is too Euro. JLin helped Jeffries a lot and Jeffries recognized JLin’s value to him and the team. Charlotte does not.
    On another note here is how the game and maybe the series could go Charlotte’s way: Miami controls the tempo from the tipoff, Charlotte falls behind by double digits. Charlotte does nothing but bomb from the outside, shots don’t fall, defense gets lethargic (sound familiar?). KW 1-7, Batum 1-5. Both sit, bench comes in. JLin immediately changes the pace, ball moves very quickly among all five players. Miami can’t adjust, Charlotte keeps running and passing. Defense picks up, momentum shifts. After the half, hopefully the starters can maintain the pace led by KW, the ball moves quickly and they stay in the game. If not, Cliff recognizes this and puts in JLin to run the point and win the game and create a template for how to win the series.

    • MrPingPong

      Speaking of Jared Jeffries, he is now promoted to the rank of Director of Pro Personnel for the Nuggs, whatever that title mean:

      http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/241607/Jared-Jeffries-Promoted-To-Nuggets-Director-Of-Pro-Personnel

      And the new Director of Analytics for the Nuggs is a Harvard man! 😉

      Hey, may be Lin will be playing for the Nuggs next season! 😉

      • Ace Pagoda

        I was going to comment on your Nuggets info but was going to scan the Denver roster first. Then I saw a recent report that Kenny Atkinson was or will be named coach of Brklyn Nets:
        http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2632326-nets-head-coach-search-latest-news-rumors-and-speculation-surrounding-position
        This may increase competition for Philly should they make D’Antoni coach because JLin gives Atkinson a lot of credit from back in the Linsanity days. Articles on the web about this relationship. Brooklyn seems to be moving in the right direction under new GM Sean Marks. The Russian owner seems to be OK letting Marks build the organization. How tempting to think of JLin in NYK backyard! The main drawback were JLin to be courted is assembling a good team w/o draft picks. However, I am not a big believer in the draft pick route. With a player like JLin you need professionals who are competent team players that fit together. You can do that with trades and signings because you do not need to empty the bank to get those types of players. A good GM, good coach and floor general can then maximize the potential. I think the Nets have some of the pieces already. I will scan their roster and provide my free analysis.

        • MrPingPong

          Yep, I posted this bit of news in an older thread. Atkinson is a Lin supporter from the Knicks days. I am sure Lin will get multiple offers to run the team this coming off-season, and one of them will be from the Nets!

          As to the Nuggs, I do not know much about them besides tidbits like Ujiri, the then GM of the Nuggs, fired the coach of the year, Karl, and then left for Toronto.

        • Lin to Nets with Atkinson as HC is ideal for me. Top choice for a number of reasons. I hope it happens! I’m very excited about this news. This is the best news for Lin’s free agency.

          Lin and former assistant coach of Knicks returning to NYC for Linsanity 2.0 is such a compelling story, as well. I mean, can you imagine how much fun the NYC media would have with it? Dolan’s gonna have an ulcer. Fans gonna be outside his place with pitch forks and torches.

  • Cliff got schooled in the 1st playoff game vs. Heat. Lin actually did well with what he was given by Cliff, which wasn’t much.Also, Lin got bad calls, as usual. Batum was the only other Hornets to show up. The biggest adjustment Cliff needs to make is one that he won’t. Lin needs to start. Kemba hasn’t had much success with tough competition. It’s Lin who has lead the Hornets in wins vs. Spurs, Cavs, Raptors and Celtics. But, of course, Cliff and Hornets are blind to this. The best we can hope for is that the Hornets actually move the ball around the rest of the series and maybe Lin can play some PG even when Walker is on the floor. Of course, the latter will never happen to the Hornets’s detriment.

    Chris Bosh not playing really hurt the Hornets. Cliff and company wasn’t ready for the Heat’s fast tempo and ball movement. Spoelstra totally schooled Cliff. “This ain’t NBA 101 no more, Cliff!”

    • MrPingPong

      This Heat team is nothing like the team we saw in the 4 regular season games against the Hornets: fast tempo and lots of ball movement and more treys. The Hornets weren’t ready to respond. Total beat down. Marv disappeared somehow. Lin only played 25 min and attempted 4 shots! Not enough to make any impact.

      The patient and optimistic side of me says it’s only game 1. Lin must find a way to take over somehow like he did against the Spurs. We may have to wait until game 3 for that to happen.

      OK, I am overly optimistic, I know. 🙂

      • Like I said, Chris Bosh not playing really hurt the Hornets. They’re much faster without Bosh

        The thing about playoffs is that momentum could change in a heartbeat. But I’m just not confident in Cliff’s ability to adjust.

  • Ace Pagoda

    Outmanned, out coached. No energy, no ball movement. Nic Batum had some stats but I think demonstrated that he is not a superstar that can carry a team, but shines within a team game. It was frustrating to watch JLin come into the game only to have to play with KW as the PG, relegating JLin to SG but not allowing him to initiate the action. Then you sometimes had CLee bring the ball up to initiate and JLin would be on the wing. I mean what the hell? Kaminsky and Zeller, the two bigs were overwhelmed. I hope they grow up a lot in the next 3 nights or there is zero chance of even winning a game. It is like playing without big men at all. DWade took JLin down into the post and had his way with him. He was too strong and too good to defend without help, and there was no help. And on and on. It’s up to Cliff to figure this out but for a team that is defensive oriented even that was not there.

    • I have no basis for saying this, but I have a feeling the next game is going to be close. It’s just the way playoff series works. Although I don’t think Cliff is going to make adjustments. By some miracle, the next game will be close. Just a crazy hunch.

      I have to say, though, I’m way more excited about the Atkinson news than the playoffs at this point. I’m already imagining Lin back in NYC with the Nets. I’m so excited for it that I’d be very disappointed if it doesn’t happen.