Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

Baseline-to-baseline recaps: Knicks continue streaking, shorthanded Heat take care of Spurs


Welcome to PBT’s roundup of yesterday’s NBA games. Or, what you missed while trying to avoid seeing the replay of Kevin Ware’s horrific injury in the Elite Eight.

Heat 88, Spurs 86: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Mario Chalmers all sat out of this one for Miami due to various injuries, but the Heat managed to come away with the win anyway thanks to a game-winning three-pointer from Chris Bosh that pushed Miami’s lead in the overall standings to three full games over the Spurs.

Hornets 112, Cavaliers 92: Kyrie Irving returned from injury for the Cavaliers, after missing his team’s last eight games due to a shoulder injury. He scored 31 points in 29 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to keep a Hornets team that got big performances from Ryan Anderson and Greivis Vazquez from coming away with the victory.

Knicks 108, Celtics 89: New York has now won eight straight games, which is the longest active winning streak in the NBA at this point in the season. This particular game saw the Knicks lead by as many as 24 points before the night was through, as New york finished with six players in double figures.

Bulls 95, Pistons 94: Detroit actually led by as many as 13 points in this one, before Chicago, continuing to play without Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli, managed to impose its will over the game’s final 24 minutes.

A disadvantage of eight turnovers helped to bury Detroit, while an advantage of 18 free throw attempts in Chicago’s favor (40-28) helped to close this one out against the Pistons.

Wizards 109, Raptors 92: Washington has been much better at home than the team has been on the road, and Sunday night hosting the Raptors was no exception. The Wizards got balanced scoring, led by 24 points from Bradley Beal on 8-14 shooting that helped Washington post a victory for just the second time in its last five games.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Don’t expect more wins in Toronto

Leave a comment

After winning the Atlantic Division then getting thumped in the playoff two years running, the powers that be in Toronto decided it was time for a change.

The added DeMarre Carroll and made shifts to make this a more defensive-minded team, all because of dreams of playoff success (which for the Raptors would be making the second round). What this changeover is not going to mean is an improvement off the 49 regular season wins the Raptors had last season — they sacrificed some scoring to get this defense, and there is a trade-off.

That said, I still expect the Raptors to win the Atlantic. Maybe they make the second round of the playoffs (way too early to make that call).

How many regular season wins they get — and if they win a postseason series — for me is going to come down to if Jonas Valanciunas takes a step forward. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will be strong, Carroll is an upgrade, but the big man in the middle will be the hinge for everything.

Mike Budenholzer smirks at lawyer calling Thabo Sefolosha ‘NBA superstar’

Mike Budenholzer, Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

The funny part, via Robert Silverman:

The substantive part:

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA player Thabo Sefolosha, who was arrested outside a New York City nightclub in April following a confrontation with police officer, has a character “of the highest order,” his head coach, Mike Budenholzer, testified Thursday.

Taking the stand as the final defense witness in Sefolosha’s trial, Budenholzer described the Atlanta Hawks guard-forward as “highly intelligent” and a “hard worker.”

When asked by defense attorney Alex Spiro to describe his character, he said it was, “of the highest order.”

“Thabo is of the highest character,” he said during brief testimony in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The Swiss national is charged with misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation with officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub early in the morning on April 8. He has pleaded not guilty.

Officers testified this week that Sefolosha and former teammate Pero Antic repeatedly disobeyed their orders to move off the block and away from a crime scene that had been established following the earlier stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland, and two women.

One of the officers also said Sefolosha lunged at an officer with his arm extended but was intercepted before making contact, eventually taken to the ground and arrested.

Sefolosha has testified that he was complying with orders and moving up the block as a particularly aggressive officer screamed profanities at him.

His attorney has argued that his client was singled out by the officer, who is white, because Sefolosha is black.

Sefolosha testified Thursday that he was trying to give money to a panhandler before entering an awaiting car when he was grabbed by police. He said his leg was kicked in the scuffle and he was taken to the ground, handcuffed and hauled to a police precinct. He suffered a fractured right leg, which forced him to miss the playoffs.

The case is the second one involving high-profile athletes accusing New York Police Department officers of wrongdoing this year. On Wednesday, the city agency charged with investigating police misconduct substantiated claims by former tennis star James Blake that an officer used excessive force when he took him to the ground last month after mistkaing Blake for a fraud suspect.