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This Waaaaay, Is-a-Water-Slide-Away-From-Me-That-Takes-You-Further-Everyday (Phoenix at Washington):

Even though Moore is more convinced of Amare’s’ potential successes as a one-man wrecking crew,  I’m still depressed to see just how far down the ladder he’s fallen with Shaq on the roster.  At one point it only helped, and I hoped, that the shift back to the four would open up some kind of Pandora’s Box of basketball goodness.  And it did.  It really, really did.  But every Suns game now seems like a ticking clock to the end of the Stoudemire movement in Phoenix (It’s not even a capital M, and it’s certainly not an era.  Damn you, Steve Nash!).

Oh yeah, but that won’t stop him from ripping the Wizards a new one tonight.  Meanwhile, the Wizards, Clips, and maybe the Grizz are the most tragic teams in the league, completely unable to spark ridiculous stretches of win percentages that far exceed their season averages.  Pity.

I Have Been Performing Feats of Strength All Morning. (Atlanta at Miami):


When the world is just beginning to take notice of just how good this Heat team can be, we’ll be the first to tell you that nothing’s changed.  They’ve been this way the entire season.  And there’s nothing you can do to change that…unless you have a baseball bat, Dwyane Wade’s address, and a sense of sadism, OR if you happen to have a starting caliber center on your hands that you’ll be willing to part with for the paltry sum of one Shawn Marion or pennies on the dollar.  Either way, y’know.

But I seriously fear for Atlanta’s playoff hopes.  They are so damn fun to watch and play so well at times, but I still have the sneaking suspicion that they’re going to need to go through the Celtics if they want to get out of the second round.  Otherwise, you’d have to think that the Magic or Cavs would just rip them apart.  You don’t have to think that, but if you don’t, you’re probably wrong.  So there.


In the Land of the Center-less, the One Centered Team is King (Houston at New York):


Of course it doesn’t matter tonight, because Houston will be without Yao Ming.  Figures.  So in a sense, you’ve got a small, well-trained team that knows how to run their offense, sometimes decides to play some semblance of D, and other times forgets to get off the bus, against a team that relies on a still-injured T-Mac, Ron Artest mininovas, and consistent, heady play from Rafer Alston.  The Rox almost blew it against the Pistons, and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if they fall apart tonight.  It’s one thing to play the way they do with Yao, and another entirely to try to get by on gimpy McGrady jumpers and establishing Shane Battier as an offensive cornerstone.  But injuries are the Rockets, and the Rockets are injuries.


CALL FROM: UNAVAILABLE (New Jersey at OKC):


Could be a great game, but instead it’ll fall somewhere in the middle.  Moderately exciting if anybody would bother to watch the Thunder, especially since Westbrook might be the player best equipped to stop Devin Harris in the entire league.  I mean that.  Of course that Chris Paul fella is pretty good too, but in terms of a fully-developed Westbrook versus a fully-developed Paul, I think I’d actually side with Westbrook.  /conjecture

The point is, in the modern NBA the point guard is king.  The rules are made to his benefit, the whistles are typically his friend, and apparently some stat-keepers might be as well.   So it only makes sense that a game like this boils down to a point guard battle, when scorers like Carter and Durant have the ability to cancel each other out, and Jeff Green is essentialy an amalgamation of production from the Nets’ supporting cast.


I’M A MONSTER! (Philadelphia at New Orleans):


No one loves Elton Brand anymore.  :(


Do You Believe in Life After Redd? (Minnesota at Milwaukee)


No.  Did you really think I was going to put the song on here?

The Bucks are in serious trouble, and I never thought I’d be saying that against the T-Wolves.  But Kevin McHale might actually know how to get some decent burn out of his roster, even if that means giving Sebastian Telfair the reins at times.  The Harbinger is harbinging, Foye looks natural, and Kevin Love is finally making me not look like an idiot when I told a friend of mine that he would be better than O.J. Mayo.  All is right in Minnesota, and just saying that feels so wrong.

Ain’t That a Shame (Portland at LAC):

Terrible game.  Then again, they usually are when the poor ol’ Clips are involved.  I’m sure DeAndre Jordan’s mom is eating it up, though.  Blazers are good, Clips are not, Blazers are healthy, Clips are not, Blazers are not the Clippers, Clips are…well, not.  Game over.

Seth Carstens