Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while reminding yourself not to make love to a pizza….
Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards. That is why Washington needed Marcin Gorat. It may have taken John Wall a while to realize it — there were some rough patches at the start — but Gortat has good hands and can finish the pick-and-roll, which he did a lot on Thursday night. Gortat finished with a career high 31 points — 15 of those in the fourth quarter plus overtimes — and he had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. That is six straight double-doubles for Gortat. When they get Nene back (hopefully before the playoffs) he and Gortat (and John Wall) may make the Wizards the third best team in the East.
Washington Wizards/Toronto Raptors. When two teams play this entertaining a triple-overtime game filled with highlights, we applaud them. On a night when the big nationally televised games were the kind of blowouts that had you flipping over to watch “Parenthood” the Raptors and Wizards put on a show. The kind of show I would love to see in the first round of the playoffs. That would be an entertaining series.
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat. When Wade is scoring like this next to LeBron Miami becomes almost impossible to beat. He had 10 points in the second quarter when the Heat started to pull away and finished with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting on the night. What is most impressive is Wade is doing it with a different, old-man style game — he’s playing clever ball, not the high-flying throwing his body around Wade of days gone by. He’s got a mature game now, but it still puts up points.
Brooklyn Nets first quarter defense. I could pile on how unprepared Denver seemed for this game, but they are without Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee, Danilo Gallinari, Nate Robinson, and Darrell Arthur so we will cut Brian Shaw a little slack. Instead we’ll credit the Nets defense, which held Denver to 8 points on 3-of-18 shooting in the first quarter. In in its last 10 games Brooklyn allowed 101.9 points per 100 possessions, 10th in the NBA. It’s their defense that has Brooklyn in the playoffs, not the offense.