It may only be April, but things are definitely heating up as we go through these final ten games of the regular season. The #2 seed in the playoffs is at stake, something we really want so we can avoid playing the Lakers until the Conference Finals.
Unfortunately, things don't go as planned as we start off by losing both games of a back-to-back. Memphis beats us 98-91, even though Mateen Yeaton scores 37, Kirk Hinrich gets 22 points and 16 assists and Dan Jacobson plays well with 12 points and 22 rebounds. What -really- irks me is when the lowly Hornets top us 104-96, ruining 20 and 22 points a piece from Vince Carter and Emeka Okafor, 10 points and 15 assists from Kirk Hinrich and 12 bench points from Patrick Pastner.
I damn near shatter the glass table in front of me, slamming my fist in frustration when the Timberwolves nip us 89-87 as Vince Carter's 30 points as the starting SG go to waste, Patrick Pastner shooting a horrendus 2 for 11 in his first game in forever as a starter. Phillip Gill just missed a bench double-double with 9 points and 14 rebounds. The slump finally ends the next night in a 30 point trouncing of the Supersonics (115-85) as Mateen Yeaton lights up Seattle for 34 points and Steven Caspers has 10 points to lead the reserves.
A 106-80 savaging of Golden State draws us to 2-3 as Mateen Yeaton erupts for 34 points, Kirk Hinrich garners 22 points and 11 assists and Patrick Pastner finally has a decent start at SF with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Larry Brown limits Vince Carter's minutes as a precaution against Carter's sprained wrist.
I wish I knew what the hell it was about this New Orleans team, but they smack us around again, 108-88, in Denver no less. We had some good performances but I'm too irate to bother noting them. 20 point loss to the freaking Hornets at home. Unbelievable.
We finally drag ourselves back to the .500 mark with a 4-4 record following a sweep of the doubleheader. Memphis is the victim of our vengeful and free-spirited scoring as we gain revenge in a 112-94 victory. Vince Carter scores 22, Kirk Hinrich is the man of the hour with 20 points and 13 assists and Dan Jacobson double-doubles with 14 points and 12 rebounds. We narrowly beat the Rockets 94-85 as Kirk Hinrich is our savior with 19 points and 11 assists and Dan Jacobson contributes 10 points and 14 rebounds.
At this point, all I'm hoping for is a split in the season-concluding back-to-back to finish .500 in the final ten games and that's exactly what we get. We set the Suns 113-93 on the strength of Kirk Hinrich's 33 points and 11 bench points from Marcus Williams, but lose 106-84 to Portland as a souring season finale. In a perverse mirror of the Washington game where every Wizard was held below double-digits except Gilbert Arenas, so too does it go here, with Mateen Yeaton the lone valiant, scoring 37.
Needless to say, we lose the race for second place. But what's really infuriating is that the bastard Mavericks did -just- well enough, finishing 57-25 to our 56-26.
West Conference Seeds
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. Dallas Mavericks
3. Denver Nuggets
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
5. Memphis Grizzlies
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Utah Jazz
8. Sacramento Kings
East Conference Seeds
1. Toronto Raptors
2. Indiana Pacers
3. Charlotte Bobcats
4. Boston Celtics
5. Detroit Pistons
6. Philadelphia 76ers
7. Milwaukee Bucks
8. Orlando Magic
...Great. So not only do we lose the #2 seed, we play against a team that can definitely beat us in the Spurs. Want more salt in the wound? See that #2 seed for Indiana and the favorable matchup against the wretched Bucks.
Honestly, I've got a bad feeling about this playoffs. As much as I like this Nuggets outfit, it's way too bipolar in its performance for me to hold out much hope this year.
But who knows? Miracles happen, right?
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)