The Hunted: Warriors, Rockets & Jazz

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It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will. And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver…whoever.
– Kobe Bryant

Over his 17 seasons in the NBA, Bryant could always guarantee that he’ll do something absolutely amazing with the basketball just about every time he steps onto the court.

He can shake off an 0-for-10 shooting start to bury a half dozen jumpers and an opponent in a fourth-quarter blink of an eye.

He can duck and whirl through traffic, change hands with the ball and squeeze through a crack in the defense for a clutch how-did-he-do-that bucket.

He can rise up with a hand in his face, almost down his throat, and knock down an impossible 3-pointer with the sheer grace.

He can lead a 20-0 comeback in the final 6 1/2 minutes to pull out a dramatic and critical 108-106 win over the Hornets.

But no matter how many times or how emphatically he says it, what Bryant cannot guarantee is all that can happen with the teams in front of his underachieving Lakers in the Western Conference standings. For even if the Lakers put on a strong finishing kick — say 14-6 or 13-7 — they will still likely need one or more of the Warriors, Rockets and Jazz to tumble.

Can it happen? Sure. Will it happen? Nothing guaranteed. Sometimes it’s not about the hunter, but the prey.

No. 6 — Warriors (35-27)

Back in those long ago days of early February when his team was threatening to compete for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the playoffs, coach Mark Jackson liked to shake his head and scowl at the doubters who didn’t think his Warriors could run and shoot and play defense all at the same time. Maybe those doubts were just premature. Over the past five weeks, the Golden State defense has fallen off any one of the area’s picturesque bridges and sunk to the bottom of the bay.

In losing 10 of 13 games that dropped them from elite status to suddenly hanging on for playoff lives, the Warriors gave up 112 points per game. Even in ending their skid with a win over the Raptors, they surrendered 118. The Warriors have often looked lifeless, confused, unfocused of late.

“We’ve been bad,” Jackson told reporters before Wednesday night’s 87-83 win over the Kings. “We haven’t been good. Overall, we haven’t protected the paint, we haven’t controlled the perimeter. There was a time when our defense was in the discussion for the best in the game, and we’ve gone through a tough stretch. If we expect not just to make the playoffs, but if we expect to do the damage that we want to do, we’ve got to be better. And we understand that.”

Of course, the Warriors have played most of the season without their two top defenders, center Andrew Bogut and swingman Brandon Rush (who was lost for the season after two games). Yet it’s a sense of urgency and effort recently that has set off the alarm bells.

“Regardless of where we’re playing, nobody is going to allow us to walk into a victory,” said guard Jarrett Jack. “We’ve got to go out there and take it. That’s not going to change unless we decide to change.”

There are two significant changes that should help the Warriors stop their slide and hold on. First, they’ve got Bogut back in the lineup after missing six games with back spasms. He not only guards the rim, but plays quarterback barking out orders from behind the defense. The Warriors are 8-6 (.571) with him in the lineup and 27-21 (.563) without him. No matter what the basic stats or advanced metrics say, the Warriors believe they’re far better off with Bogut manning the middle.

“For anyone to sit here and say, ‘We’re better without Bogut,’ is absolutely crazy,” Jack told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s a tremendous asset to our team. His interior defense has saved us on many, many, many occasions.

“Anybody who is even hinting that we’re better off without him is not cool and is inaccurate. I would definitely go against that thinking with everything that I have.”

Of the four teams in the race for the final three playoff spots, the Warriors also have the friendliest finishing schedule with 14 of their final 20 games — and nine of last 12 — at home. They have just three sets of back-to-back games and have more of their fate in their own hands than any of the other three teams with five games against Lakers (2), Rockets (2) and Jazz (1).

The details

20 games remaining: 14 home, 6 road.
(11 vs. current playoff teams)

Back-to-backs left:

Friday vs. Rockets
Saturday vs. Bucks

March 18 at Rockets
March 19 at Hornets

April 11 vs. Thunder
April 12 at Lakers

Head-to-head vs. other playoff hopefuls:

0-2 vs. Rockets
Friday — home
March 17 — road

1-1 vs. Jazz
April 7 — home

0-2 vs. Lakers
March 25 — home
April 12 — road

No. 7 — Rockets (33-29)

When general manager Daryl Morey traded away two of his solid young forwards in Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris at the trade deadline and brought in Thomas Robinson, it was a big-picture move. Oh, his Rockets and their long-suffering fans would enjoy and benefit from the postseason experience, but the big game hunt is next summer when Houston could have cap room to sign two max-level free agents.

Having said that, the Rockets, with their fast-paced offense, the virtuoso efforts of first-time All-Star James Harden and his running point guard sidekick, Jeremy Lin, have proven to be one of the league’s most entertaining teams. But even with the youngest roster in the NBA, they’re not looking over their shoulders at the Lakers. They are 3-3 since the trade-deadline shakeup, alternately looking capable and clueless, often within the same game.

“I could care less about the Lakers,” said forward Chandler Parsons. “If we win our games, maybe the Jazz will lose and help the Lakers get in if everybody wants them in. We control out own destiny right now.

“(Kobe’s) confident in his team and I respect that. He can’t guarantee us losing games. He can’t guarantee the Jazz losing games. Those are just words to me.”

“I have no idea how far away (in the standings) they are,” said Lin. “I actually have no idea. I just think for us, I’d rather look forward, look at the seventh and sixth seed than I would the ninth … If we do a good job, we should be able to move up, and we won’t have to worry about anybody catching us.”

“We’re not at a point where we’re going to be setting these lofty five-month goals or three-month or three-week goals or whatever,” said coach Kevin McHale. “No, I’m not even thinking about the playoffs.”

The Rockets have proven throughout the season that they are capable of beating many of the best teams (OKC, New York, Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta, Brooklyn) and losing to some of the worst (New Orleans, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Washington, Toronto).

For the past three seasons, the Rockets have missed the playoffs by one spot. Last year, they coughed up the No. 8 seed to Utah by losing six in a row and seven of their final nine games. This time around, it would seem the presence of Harden should prevent a repeat, though they did drop seven straight in January.

Their schedule appears favorable with 12 of the final 20 games at home, with four sets of back-to-backs left and three of them conclude against a team working with a full night’s rest. If the race goes to the wire, the season finale will be a doozy when they face the Lakers in L.A.

The details

20 games remaining: 12 home, 8 road.
(10 vs. current playoff teams)

Back-to-backs left:

Thursday at Warriors
Friday at Suns

March 29 at Grizzlies
March 30 vs. Clippers

April 5 at Trail Blazers
April 6 at Nuggets

April 14 vs. Kings
April 15 at Suns

Head-to-head vs. other playoff hopefuls:

2-0 vs. Warriors
Friday — road
March 17 — home

2-1 vs. Jazz
March 20 — home

2-1 vs. Lakers
April 19 — road

No. 8 — Jazz (32-29)

It would seem that if the Lakers are going to fulfill Kobe’s promise and bounce all the way back into the playoffs, the Jazz are the most likely trampoline. The simple reason?A schedule that has produced two consecutive blown road win opportunities in Milwaukee and Cleveland. Additionally, Utah has five losses in its last six games.

The challenge continues as the Jazz will play six of their next nine on the road, where they are already a miserable 10-21. In the middle of that is a tough pair of home games against the Grizzlies and Knicks. Toss in a Texas Triangle trip though Houston, San Antonio and Dallas and then close out the season at Minnesota and Memphis and the rope could slip right through their hands.

Did we mention that center Al Jefferson has been sidelined for three games by a sprained ankle?

“I never counted the Lakers out,” Jefferson said. “I knew sooner or later they’d get it together. But we got where we got because we play well. That’s what we’ve got to continue to do. It’s going to be a dogfight. If it was easy, everybody’d do it.”

“I think we know the standings,” said guard Gordon Hayward. “The (locker room) board over there gets updated and we realize each and every game is important.

“I don’t think it’s pressure. I think we’ve all been through pressure before so we’re just going to make sure we play our game and take it one game at a time.”

“It’s obviously important. We want to make sure we get to the playoffs and have the chance to fight for the whole thing. That’s the reason why you play. We can’t have any slides, especially on these road trips. All these teams are bunched up and a four or five-game losing streak could put us out of the playoffs.”

But what would another 8th-place finish would do for the Jazz as a franchise? Has anyone on the current roster benefitted from the 4-0 wipeout by the Spurs last season? And how much of the Jazz that we see now will be back in October?

“I said from Day 1 of training camp, this could be a [top 4 seed] playoff team,” said the veteran Jefferson. “I still feel that way. The way I felt in training camp was, we could compete against anybody. Once we get in the playoffs, I think we have a chance against anybody in the first round.”

Most around the league were surprised when Kevin O’Connor and Dennis Lindsey didn’t pull the trigger on a deal at the trade deadline to unload either Paul Millsap or Jefferson to free up minutes (and a starting role) for Derrick Favors.

Utah’s so-called “Core Four” of Favors, Hayward, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks is the future of the franchise. But the reluctance of coach Tyrone Corbin to commit to them — especially Favors — has frustrated Jazz fans and likely stopped Utah from taking a necessary step forward. It’s a team in that is stuck between the present and the future, also in need of a point guard and too often it shows.

“You’re always aware of what’s going on with your opponents,” Corbin said. “You can’t get crazy about it, you can’t control it. The only thing we can control is what we do. So we want make sure we put more emphasis on what we’re doing and how we’re playing, more so than worrying about somebody else winning or losing to give us an opportunity to move up.”

No guarantees. No matter what Kobe says.

The details

Remaining schedule: 11 home, 10 road
(12 vs. current playoff teams)

Back-to-backs left:

Friday at Bulls
Saturday at Knicks

March 24 at Mavericks
March 25 vs. Sixers

March 29 at Trail Blazers
March 30 vs. Nets

Head-to-head vs. other playoff hopefuls:

1-1 vs. Warriors
April 7 — road

1-2 vs. Rockets
March 20 — road

2-1 vs. Lakers
Series completed

Steve Aschburner and Andrew Aragon contributed to this report.

66 Comments

  1. Abe says:

    First of all, im a Lakers fan.
    2nd, jazz are out.
    Third, i would love to see Lakers go against Spurs or OKC. Not Clippers
    Why?
    Both games Lakers played against Spurs so far Lakers lost by below than 4 points, without the full starting lineup of Nash, Kobe, an SF, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard. With this lineup we can win, because they only have Duncan in the paint vs Dwight and Pau.
    Why do you guys think i picked OKC instead of Clips?
    1) We beat OKC once, and the other losses were also without a full lineup.
    2) We never beat Clips this season.
    3)Our home is Clips home so no advantage.
    4) With Pau and Howard in the paint, Westbrook is shut down.
    If you have any thoughts, reply.

  2. sports fan says:

    Coach Kobe needs to dress like a coach while he’s playing, In a suit and tie, also dress shoes. And his suit should be yellow and purple.

  3. Bstarr is Silly!!!! says:

    Bstarr you are silly!!!! If you seriously think the spurs are boring than you obviously have not watched a lick of spurs basketball this season.

  4. caloyski says:

    Believe it or not , the Lakers, Rockets and Jazz will be ousted from the playoffs. The Lakers are injury-prone; Rockets have poor perimeter defense and Jazz has a very weak bench

  5. installer-x says:

    Lakers won’t make it i believe unless one of those teams (Warriors, Utah and Rockets) have an injury to it’s core players (Curry breaks his ankle again, Harden goes down or Jefferson is out). Right now it’s the Jazz with Jefferson out. Lakers don’t have defense and no offensive flow. Dwight is only half of himself and Nash is now just a spot up shooter and has minimized role. Kobe will get burned out for sure and not enough gas even if they make the playoffs. Other than that, I still hope the Lakers make it, since even haters would watch the Lakers with all its drama and entertainment they bring. Casual basketball fans will watch the Lakers for sure and Stern and NBA will make sure they go in.

  6. sports fan says:

    i agree with Chandler, the Jazz will make the playoffs but instead I think they’ll keep the 8th seed. Rockets & Golden State will stay in & the Lakers will be out.

  7. dan cruz says:

    lakers will be in the playoff. . i prefer la clippers to be the next western champion and miami will be in deep trouble. oklahoma has no chance against miami.

  8. TTKIN says:

    Was this article about dissing Kobe’s guarantee or about the current playoff teams? Cuz it starts and ends with talking about Kobe’s guarantee but yet it seems like the article was supposed to be about the teams who have currently worked hard enough to get in. Good job taking that away from them.

  9. They'll make it says:

    The Lakers will grab the 8th spot, the Rockets will hang on but the Jazz will get tossed. Through sheer will power Kobe will get his team through to the playoffs, but they will get stomped on by the Thunder.

    • caloyski says:

      I doubt; they lack the materials that could endure the punishing final 22 games; mark my word; this will be the first time in 15 years that they will not reach the playoffs– there is always a peak and valley for a particular team; they are in a Valley right now

  10. Karlo Garcia says:

    Let’s go Jazz. We can still fight for the 6 seed.

  11. BIG-D4ever says:

    Dwights never going to houston u stupid fans keep dreaming mavs are doing terrible too but can still make play-offs and upset the spurs
    jk mavs need to regroup and get it together meanwhile GO COWBOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    f the lakers jazz rocks gsw and all except cavs and kyrie MVP after VINSANITY GO MAVS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. BIG-D4ever says:

    2011 champs are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than the lakers rockets jazz and maybe warriors but at least they dont choke like lac gsw lal uj hr f alllllllllllllllll uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu stupiiiiid fans

    • Go Lakers! says:

      you sure they are better cuz theyre 11th in the west have a 27-33 record and are second to last in their division only ahead of the pelicans… i still cant get over that new name

    • SlobOnBig-D4ever says:

      The only stupid fan here is you mavs fan. They are not even in the playoff picture and your running your mouth. Nobody cares about the mavs Please go to the dirk loves big D article and post there.

  13. Jheru says:

    Lakers will make the playoffs.. Lakers have a 60% of chance against the Mighty Old Spurs.. and if that happen Miami Heat will win again ^ ^

  14. Sky says:

    The hunted? The Lakers are hunting the disabled. It nice that these teams are all saying the right things and all, but only the Rockets are playing even remotely decent ball. Golden State and Utah will fall…the only question is what seeding will the Lakers obtain? When the Lakers are in the playoffs, I’m more excited to see how they perform because Kobe is about one thing… championships!

  15. lol says:

    I hope fakers will get what they deserve and go fishing

  16. True Fan says:

    Kobe ballhog will fallout that i Guarantee. a ballhog will never ever suceed. and i also guarantee that ballhog will never ever win another title anymore. sure they win a game or two with that ballhog, but this game is a TEAM game no matter who great a scorer he is it will not diminish his reputation as a pure ballhog.

  17. Lakers to WCF says:

    Lol number one reason Jazz is going to fall out is because they got 4th toughest schedule in the NBA now no way they going to survive it.. Kobe will make it to WCF but i don’t know if they can cope with OKC

  18. TeMiSu says:

    If the momentum of the Lakers rises.. They will definitely be on the PLAYOFFS

  19. Demp says:

    Lakers will make it to the playoffs for at least at the number 8th spot. Lakers has a chance to make it to the second round if LA vs. Spurs will going to be happen. It is a big test for the Lakers so if they beat the spurs, they have the chance to beat their opponent in the second round of the Playoffs.

    • Big D Jackson says:

      EMarch 8, 2013 at 3:46 am
      To Chandler, the Warriors have beaten the Spurs,Heat,OKC & won the season series vs the Clippers 3gms to 1 and with 14 of their last 20 at home where they are 20- 7 I believe they will make the playoffs .as for the Jazz they hav as good of a chance as a Drunk trying to standup in the actual Salt Lake which is none.lol

    • umm im going out a limb and say maybe we clinch 7th spot..anything is possible when you roll with the mamba!!!!!!!!!!

  20. chandler says:

    wow. i am the only person who thinks that jazz will make it. sure there going throgh a rough strecch but every friggin does, just cuz they lose a couple games in a row dosent mean that we will not make it. im betting that jazz get 7th at the end and rockets eighth, jazz have a more complete team with more talent. the jazz match up well against okc. they will pound it inside. The jazz and grizzles are the only teams to beat miami thunder and san antonio. lakers will not make the playoffs. They have NO defense just watch one of there games. kobe garentees theyll make it but hes kobe and hed say that if they were 16th in the west, i really dont want them to eaither i am sick of the lakers, its nice to have some consistantly good teas not make it this year (lakers and dallas) and its nice to see teams like GSW in.

  21. q says:

    The Lakers need to be only one game behind Houston to take their spot. Houston is the last team they play and if they arte one game behind then they will be tied and the spot going to la because their series in Tue season is tied and the Lakers have a better conference record.

  22. zgillet says:

    The Lakers have gotten a lot better ever since Kobe became their coach.

  23. zgillet says:

    SAS vs Jazz = lowest rating in a playoff series ever.

  24. Isaaac says:

    The hunted? portrays that the lakers are the ones in control. They control nothing! they are going to have to play like the heat to even make the playoffs, even if they do, they can’t beat the thunder, spurs or clippers. Please stop writing about the lakers. It gets old really fast.

  25. jazzfan says:

    First off at least get your facts straight. Jefferson is out with a sprained ankle and will be back Friday. Do your research bud!

  26. dj rgm9 says:

    What a game yesterday against mr.Stern’s team!Veto this one mr.Stern!One of the greates comeback from our Lakers last decade,solved less than a quarter !Now the race for the play-offs is back open,forza Lakers!

    • wakenbake says:

      if i was chris paul i would be happy that stern put a stopper to the LAL trade! so so happy.

  27. Albert says:

    The Lakers will make the playoffs, sure.Kobe is the guarentee.He’s a winner and at this level and at this moment into the season he makes the diference between the Lakers ant the Jazz.I think the Jazz will not.They’re a very good team in the frontcourt but their perimeter
    game is poor.

  28. J-Short says:

    I think that the standings will come downr to the last week of the season at the rate this is going. I hope my Lakers make it but the Jazz do have a dosy of a schedule that may be the help factor my Lakers need. Truth be told I would rather my Lakers play the Spurs in the first round if we make it, OKC has our number thus far and it is all about the matchups, like the Clippers dont want to see the Spurs in the playoffs. And I doubt Miami loose more than 6 gmes in the eastern conference side the teams are weaker and Miami is playing out of their minds right now,

    Laker fan since 87

    • Game Time says:

      I think Clippers will upset the Spurs in 6 games if they meet again. People seem to forget Griffin, Paul and Butler were injured and the bench wasn’t nearly as deep as it is this season. It all comes down to health with the Clippers.

      • angelo says:

        unfortunately, if the Spurs remains no.1 and the clips at no.3, they won’t be able to meet because the OKC is a more proven team than the LAC given the thunders remains as the 2nd seed

      • RG says:

        even if the Clippers are healthy, i still don’t see them beating the Spurs because of the growth of the young guys like Leonard, for example, and because of the way Duncan and Parker have been playing this season. and don’t look now, but Ginobili has picked it up in the last few games.

  29. yoyosuites says:

    In hating on the Lakers I’ve been watching Utah lately and I’m really surprised they didn’t make a move to improve their back court this season. They have to sacrifice a big guy some time, and it will most likely be to free agency… It’s always tough cheering for the Jazz against the likes of Kobe or MJ

  30. BeatHoustonGuy says:

    Anything is possible..just have that fighting spirit like the MAMBA..Lakers go go!!

  31. basketcase says:

    It’s amazing if you went back in time just after the big trades, and said the Lakers would struggle to make the playoffs, people would say you were crazy.

    • Canuck says:

      haha you are right there. Lots of people were counting multiple rings, not squeeking into the playoffs. Too bad, it looked like such a promising season in July.

  32. Game Time says:

    Yes they should make it, but even them he (kobe) is acting like they are guranteed a spot. I’d rather see the Lakers lose to OKC or SAN than watch the Jazz or Houston so let’s hope they do make the playoffs. Still it would be equally good to see him eat those words.

    • kobe will deliver..8th spot here we come..i actually rather play the spurs in the first round because we march up better with them..old vs.old….we need to save our energy for the clippers…in a 7 games series lakers will prevail

  33. bat_salko says:

    Jazz will be out, for sure. They are playing awful basketball on road. Kobe will do everything fo guarantee the play-offs. So, GO LAKERS! GO!

  34. W/E says:

    no one cares about these teams cause u know they are hopeless in the playoffs vs the top 4…

  35. JFC says:

    The Lakers will never be better than Houston especially next year with Houston going after Josh Smith or even Al Jefferson! And Howard might want to join in on the Houston parade! Could you imagine the Rockets beating LA’s record and the lakers not only not making the playoffs but losing Howard to Houston too! That would make my decade!

    • HaHaHa says:

      Howard will never go to Houston… He rather get a ring.. not lose 2nd round

    • zgillet says:

      Howard will never go to Houston. He actually said that.

      • Homecourt says:

        Howard said it so bank on it.

        That guy waivers like no other and will do whatever he thinks is best for him at any given moment. He leaves franchises hanging, pouts and whines while talking about “avoiding the negativity”, and throws current and former friends/players under the bus, backpedals from statements made, bold faced lies about wanting his coach fired.

        But he said he’d never play for Houston so that ain’t gonna happen.

    • Go Lakers! says:

      uhh… what… none of that would ever happen

  36. Chris says:

    Sad, I love my lakers but the warriors and rockets ate two underdog teams I want to see succeed >.> Jazz gotta go!

  37. Bstarr says:

    Rockets and Warriors are going to the playoffs and Jazz are out!

    I hope for this to happen:

    Spurs – Rockets
    OKC – GSW
    Clippers – Lakers

    * If LAL keeps winning they can finish 6th so we can have a clash at Staples Center, no predictions on this one…
    * Would like to see the beard beat the Spurs as a 8th seeded kicks out the 1st seeded. No offense but Spurs are boring
    * OKC is going to sweep GSW, no doubt about that

    • Wilt #13 says:

      Well The Spurs are maybe boring but they are the best team in the NBA.
      Im a Heat fan and Im sure that the San antonio is the best team in the NBA.
      Why you ask?
      Well without the big 3[T.Parker,Timmy and Ginobli ] and danny green they almost beat the heat on there home court.
      And they play with probebly the best coach in the NBA.
      I think people dont take the spurs sirious.[Sorry for my english.]

    • Kamote says:

      The spurs are boring to those who only care of highlights rather than basketball itself. If you play the game, you’d know that this team has the most sound fundamentals as of today. They were able to win 4 rings, be in the playoffs for more than a decade, has developed a new breed of young players, still able to win despite of their aging core, and has recently turned-up its offense (as once being known as a defensive team). This team breed unselfish team players and is not into crybabies, whiners and divas.

      Its just sad how most NBA fans have become.

      • Bstarr says:

        Nice reaction, I appreciate it and respects everyone’s opinion. But despite good season records the Spurs did not play the finals in the last 5 years. Good team and great fundamental basketbal but really no fun to watch buddy.

        Wasn’t it Gregg Popovich himself that asked for some nasty last year? So it is not how the fans have become but how the game has changed. If you cannot beat them you must join them. And Spurs seems to fail in this in the playoffs. Last 2 that kicked them out were Grizzs & OKC. That says enough. Those rings they have they do deserve but it’s the past.

      • reuby baby says:

        The Spurs are a great team, but I prefer to watch teams that have players that can do amazing things on the court and have interesting personalities.

    • JPaja says:

      Well you sir are a very uneducated NBA fan! Without the big 3, they can still run the court without a sweat, their bench players make more points than any other bench players in NBA, I’m not a Spurs fan either but they are a threat to my Thunder.

    • angelo says:

      Boring? Either you don’t really play basketball or a ballhog. I bet you haven’t seen any game of the Spurs for the last couple of years and heard 5 years ago that the Spurs are boring when Bruce Bowen still breaks ankles, literally. San Antonio have the best chance of beating the Heat this year. Not thunders, not Clippers, not Knicks. it’s because they are the most fundamentally sound, team-first, perfect-execution team. they don’t rely on a single superstar, they trust their system. Now, if you watch basketball because of dunks and alley-oops, don’t bother watching the whole game and just wait for the highlights because not all shots that make a team win and become great are spectacular.

    • RG says:

      you should not be watching basketball if you think the Spurs are boring. sorry, but it’s the truth.

  38. Silence I'll kill u says:

    Lakers will go to playoffs! No doubt. -coming from a heat fan!

  39. steppx says:

    jazz arent going to make it. They have a terrible lost and increasingly bad in-game coach in corbin, and for that reason alone they figure to keep losing. WHY did they notmake a trade??? WHY WHY WHY??? The problem though is corbin….and lindsay, who seems afraid to make a change. Fans know it, and they’ve stopped showing up at games……which might finally make ownership pull the plug on the corbin experiment.

    Rockets should survive……..not that mchale is a great coach either……but they have played slightly better. GOlden state i think can survive. They have a good coach, but just hit a bad spell. I suspect they can start winning again because i think they have a clear core set of starters and they have step curry. The jazz have the most talent and waste it all.

    • NYLakers says:

      Sorry, Jazz, you will drop out, no disrespect. KB is as close as to MJ ever. To me, best case for the lakers will be see the spurs in the first round, cuz OKC and clippers will run them out of the building, and i don’t think the lakers want to play any fast, young team (OKC, clippers, denver) before the WCF. second case will be clippers, since a playoff series in Staples can never hurt their chances. worst case is to see OKC in the first round, 0(zero) chance of winning that one.

      • Arky says:

        Even a week ago I thought the Lakers would miss out, but the losses to the Bucks and Cavs are just brutal for the Jazz’ chances – it’s hard to say a team that’s 10-21 on the road deserves to make it, too.

        I still have no idea why Jazz management saw that team which got 8th last year thanks to the Rockets falling apart, got spanked by the Spurs, and said “hey, that team’s so good it’s important that we play out another season with it even if it means getting nothing for Paul or Al before they become free agents, and even if it means we give less minutes to our future core guys”. If there was a Worst Front Office Of The Year award, they would have to be in the running (along with the Lakers front office)

      • stofstar says:

        uh arky,
        the lakers are 11-20 on the road so not much of a difference there.. but the jazz are not going to make it since they wont have a playoff run, and the lakers will.

      • angelo says:

        I like Lakers’ chances of making it to the playoffs but i don’t see them upsetting anybody in a seven-game series, last 18 games, 9 of their last 12 wins were against non-playoff teams, with 5 losses against the clips, okc, denver, boston and heat. they still have a below average defense, a FT black hole on Howard, questionble depth, inconsitent Metta and a clueless coach. The only thing that is keeping them afloat is banged-up Kobe’s brilliance and resilience. Playoffs is never a one-man show. I was a Nash-D’antoni in Phoenix-era fan and it pains me to admit that they won’t see 2nd round this year.