The Knicks made it to the second round of the playoffs, only to be bounced from the postseason by a very tough Pacers team in a six-game series.
Tyson Chandler was wholeheartedly outplayed by Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, due in part to injury and illness which limited his ability to perform at that late stage of the season. Chandler averaged six points and six rebounds in the series against the Pacers — hardly enough to offset Hibbert’s impact, or to hep his team advance.
Chandler is making no excuses, but was disappointed by his postseason effort. He’s using it as motivation to get better for the upcoming season.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“I vowed to myself I would never let that happen again,” Chandler said Friday. “I would never let my team down and be in that situation again.”
In Chandler’s defense, he was coming off a neck injury and strep throat that caused him to lose 12 pounds.
“I’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Chandler added, referring to his second-round performance. “It’s not about him. It’s about me. My job is to stop whoever is in front of me and outplay them, no matter who it is. I’ve got to look at it like motivation, like I got my ass kicked. So next time I’m not going to let that happen.’’
If Chandler was playing at 100 percent and was dominated by Hibbert, this might be somewhat understandable. But fighting through injury to battle one of the best centers in the game is nothing to be ashamed of, and Chandler, when healthy, has more than enough defensively to deal with the likes of Hibbert in a long playoff series.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.