Congratulations Philadelphia 76ers, you made the playoffs.
As your reward, I’d like you to meet Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
At least they are going to the dance. The 76ers went in and beat the New Jersey Nets 105-87, spoiling the party for the Nets last ever game in New Jersey. The win secures Philadelphia the eight seed and means the Bucks will go fishing early this year. (Philly plays Milwaukee on Wednesday but that game is meaningless now.)
Much like this whole season has gone the Sixers, they made this clinching game harder than it had to be by falling apart late — they led by 15 at the half and just one with less than four minutes to go but hung on to get the win. Thaddeus Young saved the Sixers bacon with five late field goals.
While mathematically the Sixers could catch the Knicks for the seven seed, the likely outcome here is they are eighth and get the Bulls in the first round. Chicago has not been firing on all cylinders lately and is trying to re-integrate Rose back into the offense. Which means maybe Philly can win one.
Still, they got into the dance.
If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.
Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.
Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.