Week 11 came and left with us having to say goodbye to a couple teams who will not see the postseason light. We are off this Sunday May 20th as it is off course the long weekend and it will be a great time to recoup and prepare for the playoff run. Guest writer, "6.5 Fan", will be blessing us with 2 more recaps below so let's get right to it.
PISTONS vs GRIZZZLIES: This was a must win game for the Pistons as they needed to win the last two games and hope to sneak into the wildcard. GM Sugee would have to do his best coaching job of the season to get these guys motivated and prepared for this huge game!!! So how did he do? Well...they...did not have enough players and forfeited hours in advance of the game...I mean sure it was Mother's Day and I guess that's somewhat of an excuse and since this team was full of excuses all season...I guess it's not suprising how their season officially ended. It's been a consistent decline for the Pistons franchise after reaching the Semi's in the previous 2 seasons...you had players electing to enter the draft and 2 of them go onto be GM's (Patrick & Thileep)...you had arguements over how the offence was run by the current players...and finally you had players not show up to games. The leadership of GM Sugee was tested often and he failed to deliver throughout the course of the season. Maybe he was too busy making 'memes' or 'gifs' of other players/teams to make others laugh...failing to realize his team was the actual joke of the league. He made trades for the sake of making trades...he couldn't control his players from fighting with the Refs...he couldn't stop his team from choking a game to the Lakers...but hey...at least he will get a high draft pick next season as consolation. Meanwhile, the Grizz get gifted a game which pushes them into the top 6 with a great run differential thanks to this forfeit.
Final Score: Pistons 0 - 25 Grizzlies Player of the Game - Mother's Everywhere
BULLS vs RAPTORS: This was a must win game as well for the Bulls who were trying to keep their postseason chances alive. A victory would have pushed them ahead of the Raps in the standings and into the wildcard but they once again lost a heartbreaker. GM Billal is tired of seeing great games against his team from his opponents and he got one again from the Raps. Specifically, he got one from Mr. Somi Ravin who dropped 24 points on 50% shooting including 4 triples. Somi is deceptively quick and his stamina is impressive which gave the Bulls issues in this one. He was also under the weather and considering Harrison was dealing with sprained ankle...Somi came through for his team in a big way. Thileep struggled offensively as he missed a few bunnies but came up big defensively with 12 rebs, 2 stls, and 3 blocks! He was also playing with 4 fouls for more than half of the second period but the Bulls let him off the hook by not going directly at him. Just another one of the small things this team has failed to do during crunch time which has come back to haunt them this season. The talent was there...Nishan put up MVP numbers...the role players were skilled...they had a previously successful and experienced GM...but the ball just did not bounce their way. Jeron missed this game along with 2 others which hurt of course as he was the second best player on the team. This is now back to back seasons of failing to make the playoffs which is a shock for GM Billal. It also goes to show you the parity that exists in the league and that any team could be successful on any given night (yes, I am patting myself on the back for this). The key role players for the Bulls (Steven, Jonathan, Wilbert, and Michael) combined to go 3 for 31 in this game and had 7 turnovers between them. That pretty much summed up the game. It will be a long year for the Bulls thinking about the missed opportunities (and there were alot of misses).
Final Score: Bulls 47 - 51 Raptors Player of the Game - SOMI Ravin 24pts/5rebs/2asts/3stls - 4 Triples - 50% Shooting
SPURS vs NUGGETS: This was a very competitive first half which we have been accustomed to from the Spurs this season. They have usually played one half at a high level and then would falter in the other. Alot of this is due to the fact that they have been shorthanded alot of the games including this one. They were playing without a bench once again but still put up 35 points in the first half against a tough team in the Nuggets. This was led by Dylan Tee who had a career night as he dropped 31 points on 10 of 19 shooting including 4 triples!!! He was hitting shots from all over the floor and kept his team in it for a long stretch. He also hit 7 of 8 from the line and has proven that he can flat out shoot the ball. Ajevan was solid once again from the field with 12 points on 50% shooting but the rest of the team could not produce to get their first win of the season. GM Pirasaanth has had a rough year and there is only one game left on the season to get a win (won't be easy against the Jazz). The Nuggets defence got exposed in this one and they allowed the second most points they given up all season. Luckily they had a sharp shooter themselves in Sen who dropped 8 triples in this one and was on fire from long range. He hit a couple long range bombs which showed he was in the zone in this one! Arun also hit 3 bombs and the team hit 13 triples in total to put things away in the second half. If the Nuggets hit triples and take care of the ball (only 4 turnovers)...then they are going to be impossible to beat. They now have the opportunity to finish with the top seed if they win their last game. For GM Ray it does not matter where they finish as they will only be judged on what they do in the playoffs.
Final Score: Spurs 57 - 73 Nuggets Player of the Game - SEN Thayalaseelan 28pts/2rebs/3asts/0TO's - 8 Triples
BULLETS vs LAKERS: This game ended up being a thriller as Chenthu missed a wide open three to win the game followed up by a putback miss from James to tie the game on the same play! Lakers had control for most of the game and had a double digit lead throughout but the Bullets made a late charge without any bench players as they were extremely shorthanded. Javan had 21 points to lead the Bullets but the comeback fell just a bit short as they showed alot of heart. The loss also meant the Bulls were officially eliminated from making the playoffs as the Lakers have now secured a spot in the postseason! Wilbert from the Bulls was on the sidelines rooting against the Lakers obviously and tried to motivate the Bullets any way he can. The Lakers would have had to lose the last two games for the Bulls to have a shot but the Lakeshow took care of business with some big shots from Shariar who dropped 15 clutch points. He led his team in scoring and was the x-factor in the game. Lakers can now play without pressure as they are headed to at least the wildcard round and should look to improve their chemistry and plays during their final regular season game.
Final Score: Bullets 43 - 45 Lakers Player of the Game - SHAHRIAR Syed 15pts/2rebs/1TO - 3 Triples -67% Shooting
JAZZ v BLAZERS (written by 6.5 Fan)
The first game of the night was a grind it out kind of game. The Jazz made it a dirty physical game which is part of their identity. NJ and Vijith had a wet blanket on them all game. The Blazers also played some great defence as both teams were able to switch onto different players and hold their own on defence. This type of game looked like it was taking a toll on both teams as fatigue set in down the stretch. Both teams were missing shots and layups they normally make. Suren had a few point blank layups that are usually guaranteed that he missed in this game. He knows he should have had those which ended up hurting the team. Nishant also had a couple really awful turnovers in the second half which also contributed to the loss. The most exciting part of the game was in the last minute of play. With the Jazz up 4 and 28 seconds left, the Blazers fouled and put Jenush to the line. He missed his 1 and 1 but got his own rebound with a new shot clock. Instead of holding the ball, he decided to shoot and missed. BAD IDEA! Blazers took the ball down the court and NJ hit a 3 to put them within 1. Blazers then fouled Joseph who calmly hit his 2 free throws and put the lead to 3 with 4 seconds left. Jo is now 30 for 38 from the line on the season and he is the guy you want at the line if you are the Jazz. The Blazers still had time to tie the game but could not get a shot off in time. Great game played by both teams as this was a rematch of the semi-finals from Season 2 and once again the Jazz got the upperhand. It was a blowout that last time they met but now these two teams seem to be on equal footing and let's hope they can settle the rivalry for real in the playoffs.
Final Score: Jazz 41 - 38 Blazers Player of the Game - DEMONE Lewis 18pts/5rebs/3asts/1stl/1TO - 1 Triples -50% Shooting
WARRIORS v TIMBERWOLVES (written by 6.5 Fan)
In the main event tonight we saw a battle for 3rd place between the Dubs and Twolves. I use the words "main event" as it was a heavy weight bout atmosphere. In the first 10mins, we saw double technical fouls awarded to Bahee and Manveer. A technical for having 6 guys on the court, and a normally calm Ali losing his cool. He pulled aside the team captains to give them warnings as well. This was probably the most amount of trash taking we've seen by two teams all year. Now to the game at hand. The Dubs came out with a little change in their defensive scheme as they played a 3-2 defence the entire game. The change seemed to throw off the sharp shooters in Thuva, Manish, and Manveer who normally shoot a higher percentage. This allowed the Warriors to take the lead into half time led by Asok and Amit's scoring. GM Suthan made some adjustments and focused more for corner 3s where the 3-2 zone was weak. Manveer started to heat up and brought the game closer. Ultimately the game was put out of reach as the Wolves depended too much on the 3s which lead to long rebounds and transition points. Big win by the Warriors who have come on strong late.
Final Score: Warriors 59 - 52 Twolves Player of the Game - AMIT Sieukumar 19pts/5rebs/4asts/3stls/2TO's - 1 Triple