Associated Press

NBA playoff picture after Saturday: Nets jump up to six seed with win over Bucks


Every night between now and the end of the 2018-19 NBA regular season, we will take an updated look at the NBA Playoff picture — what the standings look like, the potential matchups, who clinched, who moved up and down, all to set the stage for the NBA’s second season.

Brooklyn 133, Milwaukee 128
Philadelphia 116, Chicago 96

• Brooklyn caught the Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo and took advantage, getting a win that jumps them up to the six seed and greatly improving their chances of earning a playoff spot.


X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference

Saturday’s playoff movers and clinchers:

• Brooklyn’s win jumped the Nets up to the six seed, tied with Orlando at 40-40, and half-a-game ahead of Detroit (39-40). Brooklyn, however, has the tiebreaker over both Detroit and Orlando, leaving them in a good spot. The Nets are 1.5 games up on nine-seed Miami with two games to play (and those teams play each other on the final day of the season).

• Philadelphia’s win all but locks them into the three seed. The Sixers are 1.5 games ahead of Boston with two to play, their magic number to clinch the three seed is one (Sixers win or Celtics loss).


X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference

Saturday’s playoff movers and clinchers

• No Western Conference teams played on Saturday.

Detroit at Milwaukee
Orlando at Toronto
Brooklyn at Philadelphia
Indiana at Boston

San Antonio at Golden State
Oklahoma City at Denver
L.A. Clippers at Houston
Utah at Portland


• Miami at Toronto (Noon ET, NBATV). If Miami is going to make the playoffs and extend Dwyane Wade’s last dance, it has to win out. Which on Sunday means waking up early and beating Toronto in a game north of the border. The Raptors are locked into the two seed but want to have a better record than Golden State, so they are resting nobody.

• Charlotte at Detroit (4 ET). If Detroit wins they will eliminate the Hornets from the playoff chase. However, if Charlotte wins they would be just one game out of the playoffs with one game to play, and the Detroit loss could tie them with Miami for that final playoff spot (if Miami wins Sunday).

• Brooklyn at Indiana (5 ET). The Nets, on the second night of a back-to-back after beating the Bucks, now have a chance to take a big step toward a playoff berth that before the season would have seemed a crazy longshot. The Pacers need the win to keep alive any chance of home court in the first round (and they’d still need help from Boston).

• Orlando at Boston (7:30 ET). The Magic enter Sunday a playoff team and the seven seed, but they need more wins to secure that spot. Boston comes in as the four seed on a three-game win streak and just 1.5 games back of the Sixers for the three seed (Boston is just one game up on Indiana for the four seed, but the Celtics also have the tiebreaker).

• Denver at Portland (9 pm ET). Portland is supposed to get C.J. McCollum back, and it couldn’t come at a better time — the Trail Blazers sit as the four seed but are just one game up on red hot Utah (seven wins in a row) to keep home court in the first round. Portland also could catch the Rockets for the three seed, but Houston would have to help out.

Watch Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica’s game-winning deep three to beat Rockets

Leave a comment

After a rough start to the season, the Kings may be finding their footing. First, Sacramento went into Dallas and picked up a win on Sunday.

Monday, on the second night of a back-to-back, the Kings took down the Rockets in Houston.

Buddy Hield had tied the game with a leaning three-pointer with eight seconds left. Houston called a timeout, then Mike D’Antoni made a smart call having the Rockets bring the ball up the length of the court. Russell Westbrook brought the ball up, the Kings sold out to keep the ball out of James’ Harden’s hands, and that left a lane for Westbrook to blow by Heild and get all the way to the rim for a layup. Houston was up 118-116 with one second left on the clock, and Westbrook was yelling “game over.”

Nemanja Bjelica had another idea.

Smart play design by Luke Walton. It forced P.J. Tucker to make a decision, he helped on Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s flare screen then had to decide between dropping back to help protect against a Harrison Barnes rim run — what he did — or come out with Bjelica. The design left Bjelica with a clean look at a three.

The back-to-back wins improve the Kings to 10-13, just a game out of the playoffs in the West. And this week they will get Marvin Bagley III back.

Things may be turning for the Kings.

Patrick Ewing on Knicks firing David Fizdale: “Very disappointed in that”

George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing currently is waist deep… well, at his height maybe knee deep, in the college basketball season. His Georgetown team is off to a solid 6-3 start with a game at Syracuse coming up this Saturday.

He still has time for his SiriusXM radio show, “Center Court with Patrick Ewing,” where he said he was “very disappointed” to see David Fizdale let go.

“Very disappointed in that. I think that Fiz is an outstanding coach. I’ve had an opportunity to get to know him over the years, met him when he was working for the Hawks. And just want to let him know that I support him and I know he’s looking forward to his next opportunity, but he is a very good coach and I was disappointed to see him getting let go.”

Coaches back the other coaches, it’s a fraternity that way. Rick Carlise is the master of it.

Fizdale is not blameless for the current state of the Knicks, his rotations and ability to develop young players certainly are in question, but he wasn’t the root of the problem. The best analogy I can come up with is Fizdale was the first contestant sent home on “Chopped”: Nobody was going to make a delicious meal out of the horribly mismatched ingredients in that basket, but the chef still has to do something cohesive with it. Fizdale did not.

The question becomes, is team president Steve Mills — the long-time Knicks employee who has known how to survive in James Dolan’s world — going to finally be let go and a big name brought in, or are the Knicks just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Pacers fans still boo Paul George, he responds with 34 through three quarters (VIDEO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Don’t make Paul George angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry (if you’re the opposing team).

It was a couple of seasons ago, but the wounds of Paul George forcing his way out of Indiana are still fresh for Pacers fans, so they booed him when he handed the ball at points during the Clippers visit to Indiana.

George’s response? Go get buckets and tell the crowd to “shhh.”

Like 21 points in the first half buckets.

And 34 points after three quarters, with seven from beyond the arc.

The Clippers — without Kawhi Leonard on the back-to-back — were up double digits in the fourth quarter in Indiana. George will be your player of the game for L.A.

Kevin Love on latest rumors Cleveland will trade him: ‘Nothing’s changed’

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Kevin Love has heard it all before.

Rumors floated around Cleveland was going to trade Love in the summer of 2015 after his first season with the team. They sprung up again the next season at the trade deadline — before Love played a central role in Cleveland winning a ring. The rumors kept springing up, especially after LeBron James left. Then this past summer, Love signed a four-year, $120 million extension to stay in Cleveland.

That has not stopped the rumors.

Love was asked about the rumors and sounded unmoved by them but a little frustrated, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“Nothing’s changed,” Love told ESPN after Cleveland’s morning shootaround at TD Garden. “What I mean by that is, since I got here they’ve been … since I f—ing got here, there’s been talk of me being traded, so it’s nothing different. If they decide to go that way, I’ve just got to know it’s part of the business, or if we decide to go that way, it’s part of the business.

“Truthfully, I don’t know how it’s going to play out, because I see both sides.”

This time it feels like Love could get moved, if not at the trade deadline then this summer — and he wants to go to a contender.

The logic is simple: Cleveland is rebuilding, Love is still a stretch four and good rebounder who can help a playoff team. Love is averaging 16.1 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, is shooting 37.1 percent from three, and remains one of the best outlet passers in the game. Boston, Denver, Portland and a host of other teams could use him this season.

The challenge is that massive contract, which is why a trade may be put off until next summer.

Whatever happens, Love isn’t going to stress over it.