With the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season, 100 NBA games went down the drain.
Hang an asterisk on this season — these are games commissioner David Stern said are gone. He said there is no chance of making them up.
But what games are we now going to miss?
How about a great opening-night doubleheader — the Chicago Bulls heading into Dallas on the night the Mavericks raised the banner. Then a battle of generations as the Oklahoma City Thunder faced the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers’ second game was to have Chris Paul come in and test Kobe Bryant. Not any more.
How about the Miami Heat vs. the New York Knicks? Gone. The Orlando Magic taking on the Heat? Gone.
The Bulls start their annual circus trip Nov. 13 — when the circus comes to the United Center and the Bulls are kicked out of the arena for weeks. Which means that if the owners and players figure this out in the next couple weeks and the season starts Nov. 15, the Bulls will be on the road for the first chunk of it.
The more likely scenario is that more games will get canceled and the entire trip will get wiped out. The league is going to do it in two-week increments — it’s more painful for fans that way.
And this is going to be a lot more painful before it ends.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.