Week 10 was an important week for some teams as they were trying to position themselves up for a postseason birth. Emotions can get out of control at this time of year so like my friend Rahul says...'just play and have fun'. He also says, 'this is not the NBA' lol...which is also true even if the jerseys make you feel like you are ;)...so let's make sure to be respectful (especially towards the refs) and show some sportsmanship! Harmless trash talk is okay of course but don't go overboard. We have another guest recap from '6.5 Fan' who will tell us what happened in the Blazers/Spurs game. Let's get right to it!
BULLS vs BULLETS: This was a huge game for both squads and the Bulls came out with a strong first half to lead by 6. The Bullets who have been struggling as of late could have folded to the pressure once again but they actually got some much needed energy from their role guys. Prabath had some big time rebounds in the second half and made some huge defensive plays for his squad. He finished with 8 boards, 2stls, 2blocks and chipped in 6 points! His length on defence really bothered some of the shots the Bulls were taking and he was certainly the x-factor in this game. The Bullets also had a big time performance from James Arakill who hit an incredible 7 triples and the Bulls kept leaving him open on easy out of bound plays. He went 7 for 10 from long range and absolutely torched the Bulls and this felt awfully similar to the defence GM Billal's team played last season. He is also in a similar situation with his team now as they are on the outside looking in for a wildcard spot and will need to win 1 out of their 2 remaining games at least to have a shot at a postseason birth. Nishan did all he can this game once again as he dropped 36/9/2 with 4 steals!! He had a last second attempt to win the game with a triple but it was not meant to be. The Bulls were nursing a 7pt lead (48-41) late in the second half but the Bullets made them pay for their defensive miscues. Sam had two 'and1' baskets which the Bullets needed badly plus another 'and1' basket by Javan to secure the lead in the dieing moments. The Bulets showed us alot of mental toughness and heart while the Bulls did the opposite down the stretch.
Final Score: Bulls 56 - 58 Bullets Player of the Game - JAMES Arakill 23pts/3rebs/3asts - 7 Triples - 67% Shooting
WARRIORS vs JAZZ: The Warriors had won 6 in a row...the Jazz were missing GM Sayon and their starting Center Jenush...so this was an opportunity for GM Gautham/Asok/Gopal to get a tiny bit of revenge on the team that beat them in the finals of Season 2. However, the Jazz had other plans on this night as they laid a beating on the Warriors! Firstly, there was a stylistic advantage to the Jazz not having their big men in this particular game because it allowed them to play with shooters at every position against the zone defence of the Warriors. They were able to move the ball and every player was capable of shooting from distance which really proved to be the difference as they made 10 long range bombs! (which almost equals the total the Warriors scored). Zaid and Thannojh combined for 7 triples and the Warriors did not make many adjustments in this game...rather they just got mad at each other and continued to play the blame game throughout. Demone held it down on the boards with 12 which was particularly huge without his fellow big men available. He has always been a great rebounder for a guard but the team needed him even more in this one. Gautham, Gopal, Bahee combined for just 3 measly points and as the leaders of the team...much more is expected from them. The Jazz have positioned themselves up for a postseason birth which could have been in question if they had lost this game! The Warriors were playing extremely well before this game and so you would expect them to figure it out again very soon.
Final Score: Warriors 32 - 56 Jazz Player of the Game - DEMONE Lewis 15pts/12rebs/5asts/2stls
PISTONS vs NUGGETS: The lowly Pistons vs the tough Nuggets squad in this one and it turned out to be a thriller of a game. The Pistons needed the upset victory to put pressure on the wildcard teams and considering they were up by 9 (49 to 40) with about 5 mins to go in the game...it looked like they were about to secure this huge victory. This is when the Pistons once again showed very little mental toughness. They cried non-stop about foul calls (should have been crying about the turnovers but I digress) and were looking at the refs to bail them out during their poor finish. I guess they are claiming the Refs have a vendetta against them and are simply not going to give them any calls. Are these the oldschool 'Bad Boy Pistons' where they were hated by so many? is Usamah...Isiah Thomas?...is PJ...Bill Laimbeer?...is Sanjoo...dare I say it...Dennis Rodman?!?...nah I don't believe so...the Refs did not cause them to make silly mistakes in the last 5 minutes...they were not responsible for the open looks the team missed and the missed defensive rotations. Half of the Piston's shots were from long range (29 of them) and your not going to draw many fouls there (unless you are Manveer). Pistons played incredibly well up to the late stages of the game...mainly by hitting long range bombs...which you gotta give them credit for...and they had 4 players in double figures for the first time this season...but they failed to remain composed when it mattered the most. Sanjoo picked up a late tech during the meltdown...they were still up at this point tho which makes you question where the leadership is on this team...and the Nuggets of course cashed in on the free-throw for the tech...and yes...the Nuggets go on later to win by one point in the end...it's been a forgettable season thus far for GM Sugee. The Nuggets did not play their best game and struggled to make shots from the outside but still found a way to amp up the defence in the last 5 minutes and rip this game from the Piston's hearts.
Final Score: Pistons 51 - 52 Nuggets Player of the Game - CHRIS Searles 16pts/11rebs/1ast/1stl - 50% Shooting
TIMBERWOLVES vs GRIZZLIES: The roller coaster of a season continues for the Grizz as they hold on for another victory and this time it came against a top team in the Wolves. GM Vimal remained confident in his team even during the tough times as he would regularly say...'see you in the finals' to the other GM's in the league. I thought he meant he would be watching from the bleachers but heck...they have turned things around have now won 3 in a row! They are sitting in the 8th spot and could possibly sneak into a top 6 seed with a victory this week which would put them automatically into the Quarter-Finals. They play the Pistons this Sunday so they have a very good chance of finishing the season off strong. They will be sitting for almost a month without a game however if they finish in the top 6 which is the downside in this scenario. There are no games for the long weekend (May 20th) and the final week of regular season for the rest of the teams is May 27th as the Grizz would have already played their 11 games by this Sunday. Then finally you have Wildcard games on June 3rd before Quarter-Finals start on June 10th! So maybe it is not such a bad thing if they finished in the Wildcard spots lol. But GM Vimal wants to win as badly as any person in the league and thus you do not want to subject yourself to playing an extra 'playoff' game and then having to face one of the top 2 seeds in the Quarters...as the road to the finals just becomes much more difficult. The Twolves gave up way too many rebounds and numerous opportunities for the Grizz. Nisan and Vimal combined for 25 boards plus the Twolves compounded the issue by fouling and sending them to the line. They lose a close one and we shall see if they can bounce back in the next one.
Final Score: Twolves 50 - 53 Grizzlies Player of the Game - NISAN Gnanalingam 19pts/15rebs/1ast/2blks/1TO - 1 Triple
LAKERS vs CELTICS: This game was important for both teams but for whatever reason...the Lakers did not show up to fight in this one. There just was no energy...no emotion (Ara showed some)...the role guys did not give anything and this game was pretty much done by halftime as they trailed by 16. The dynamic duo was back in full effect as Umaraj and Abdul combined for 50 and absolutely controlled the entire game. Jasinthan also chipped in with a big double double and that was more than enough to blow out the Lakers. It was a big statement game by the C's and they now wait to see who their opponent will be in the last regular season game on May 27th. The Lakers are clinging to the last wildcard spot but they do have 2 games remaining and we shall see if they can bounce back from this awful performance. They have a bunch of solid players and will need to work as a team to have success...and even more importantly, everyone has to come ready to play and chip in any way they can. This 30 point loss is going to hurt them in the run differential department and obviously this is going to help the C's tremendously. Abdul responded nicely after a subpar performance and this is what the C's are going to need from him if they want to make some noise this season.
Final Score: Lakers 65 - 35 Celtics Player of the Game - ABDUL Wahedi 26pts/13rebs/3asts/2stls/1blk - 1 Triple
BLAZERS vs SPURS (written by 6.5 Fan)
Before the game started we were wondering if there would even be a game. Spurs only had 4 to start and were given a 15 min buffer by the Referees. Luckily for them, Josh showed up in time. This was a foreshadowing of things to come and a synopsis of how the Spurs season has gone thus far. For most of the first half it was Rip City putting on a show. They took a 15 point lead to the half lead by NJ's strong play (almost a huge triple double), Vijth’s shooting (5 triples) and Blazer's team rebounding. We gave the Spurs zero chance of winning this game but then they were gifted an injury! The Blazers who only had 5 players were hit with some bad luck as Koby rolled his ankle. It was so bad that he couldn’t walk and had to limp his way to the bench. If he couldn’t continue the Blazers would have to forfeit the game. Front runner for GM of the year, Annojh, came up with an idea to have Koby stand at half court in order to comply with the rules. Yes, that’s correct people the Blazers played 4 on 5 essentially for the entire 2nd half and the Spurs could not close the lead! It’s been a tough season for the Spurs who now play the Nuggets next. Depending on which Nuggets team shows up it could be a close game. Spurs have 2 games left to try and get a win. Let’s see if they can.
Final Score: Blazers 60 - 46 Spurs Player of the Game - NJ Krishna 25pts/17rebs/9asts/2stls - 4 Triples