If you watch closely every night in the NBA you can learn a little something. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to help with those lessons from another night in the Association. Here’s what you missed while thinking you need to find a girlfriend who likes grilled cheese sandwiches…
1) Stephen Curry is just flat out ridiculous. I’m not going to say “this moves Curry to the front of the MVP race” because, much like the voters, you have pretty much made up your mind on who you think will be MVP. (My sense is Curry wins it.) This was just vintage 2015 Curry — 45 points on 17-of-23 shooting, draining eight threes, dishing out 10 assists. More key, this was an 84-84 game entering the fourth and Curry took over late, dropping 19 of his points in the fourth. He accounted for 60 points on the night — don’t ever let anyone tell you he’s not valuable to the Warriors (they are +15.7 per 100 possessions when he is on the court compared to when he sits).
2) Arron Afflalo injures arm, could be another blow to Trail Blazers postseason dreams. Portland was already facing challenges entering the postseason without Wesley Mattews — he was more than a “3&D” guy, he was the heart of the Blazers. Now it looks like his backup could miss time: Arron Afflalo hurt his right in the fourth quarter battling for post position with Stephen Curry. It’s a triceps injury. Afflalo is getting an MRI on Friday, and that will determine if it is torn, and how much time he will miss. But this is not good for the Blazers — he is key to their perimeter defense, as well as their three-point shooting and offensive spacing. If he misses playoff games the Blazers are likely going home early.
3) Miami’s going to need help to make playoffs now. The Heat had a 19-point lead Thursday. Then the third quarter happened — Chicago outscored Miami 33-8 in the quarter and never looked back in the fourth to pick up a win. The win puts the Bulls back into the three seed in the East for a night, half a game ahead of Toronto. For Miami, they are now 1.5 games back of Brooklyn and Boston for the seven/eight seeds in the East. With three more games to play, the Heat are going to need some help to make the postseason. (They may get it, Boston in particular has a rough final four games.)