It’s officially April.
Opening Day in baseball, playoff stretch in hockey and playoff stretch in basketball—this is one of the best times of the sports calendar.
With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, it is officially put up or shut up time for teams who want to make the dance.
What has happened in the past couple days:
• Ty Lawson says Nuggets could beat Miami Heat in Finals. Give me a break. Lawson’s confidence is more like arrogance. In most cases I think it’s good to have, but this is simply silly
• Javaris Crittenton indicted on murder, gang charges
• Dwight Howard: Lakers should win last eight games. For a team battling to stay above .500, this is really doubtful. Then again, should we ever believe anything Dwight Howard says?
• Kobe Bryant says Shaquille O’Neal’s Lakers jersey retirement ‘well-deserved’
• Utah beats Portland to stay in playoff position
• Pistons erase double-digit deficit in second half to post rare road victory over the Toronto Raptors
• J.R. Smith, Al Jefferson named conference Players of Week. Smith continues to prove why he’s one of the best shooters in the entire league. When he’s on, he’s on. There is no denying that
• Erik Spoelstra, George Karl named Coaches of Month. These two coaches have been on top of their game this season. Both have been equally impressive
• Bosh’s 3-pointer gives Heat 88-86 victory in San Antonio without major contributors
• 76ers sign Justin Holiday to contract
• Pacers top Clippers 109-106 in Los Angeles. Roy Hibbert recorded a double-double after posting 26 points and 10 rebounds
• Knicks blast Celtics 108-89. Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points. The Celtics have been simply mediocre this season
Latest injury news to note:
• Spurs’ Ginobili could miss start of postseason with a strained right hamstring. This is definitely a huge blow for the Spurs because Manu is their glue guy. When he’s going, offensively and defensively with his ability to create turnovers, San Antonio is a different team. Having him on the shelf will put the Spurs in a hole heading into the postseason
• Celtics’ Paul Pierce sits out vs. Timberwolves for ‘personal reasons’
What to look forward to in the next couple days:
• New York Knicks visit one of the tougher places to play in the league, Atlanta, to face off with the Hawks
• Chicago travels to Brooklyn to play the Nets
• San Antonio Spurs look to get back on track when they visit Oklahoma City