The Spurs visit the Thunder tonight in a rematch of the thrilling Western Conference Finals from last spring.
The Thunder come into the game having won their last 10 games and in possession of the conference’s best record. The Spurs enter the game winning six of their last eight games and have the conference’s second best record.
Ginobili was considered doubtful to play tonight, so this isn’t that big of a surprise. Gregg Popovich will not rush players back from injury, even if it’s a big game against a major conference rival.
That said, when you combine Ginobili being out with Kawhi Leonard (missed the last 16 games) and Stephen Jackson (missed the last 14 games), the Spurs are extremely thin on the wing. Luckily they’re not facing a team with several great players on the perimeter to take advantage.
Oh, that’s right. The Spurs are facing the Thunder with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Martin on the wing. This will certainly not end well for San Antonio who will look Danny Green and Gary Neal to raise their games tonight.
And while no team gets more out of their role players than San Antonio, facing this specific Thunder team will be a tall task. So while it’s typically foolish to doubt the Spurs, this is one of those games you can do so safely.
Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim
It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.
Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).
The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.
With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.
The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.
It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.
Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors
Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.
Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.