13 Rules: Random NBA Thoughts, Play-In Games Edition

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NBA Play-In games: Eastern Conference

  1. You have to hand it to the Heat. After losing to the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night and losing their best player, Jimmy Butler, they beat the Chicago Bulls to earn the eighth seed. They win this game knowing they have to play the number one seed, the Boston Celtics. If ever a team could have quit it was the Heat tonight. Of all the play-in games last night’s games were the most surprising.
  2. Going back to the Philadelphia vs. Heat game. Erik Spoelstra coached a great game and he used the zone defense, especially in the first half, to open up a double digit lead. What really surprised me was that Nick Nurse, the 76er coach and a good one, had few if any answers in how to attack it. The Sixers despite their problems against the zone and with an out of shape but effective Joel Embid came back to beat Miami. Credit Nic Batum who went six for ten from three and made a key block of Tyler Herro‘s three attempt late in the fourth quarter.
  3. The Atlanta Hawks made a quick exit in their game against the Chicago Bulls. Of all the play-in games this result was the least surprising. The bigger question is who does Atlanta trade, Trae Young or Dejounte Murray. Keep in mind in this game Young’s plus minus was -27, while Murray’s was -9. For my money they deal Young.

NBA Play-In games: Western Conference

  1. The New Orleans Pelicans were the other surprise last night beating the Sacramento Kings. Playing without Zion Williamson the Pels were able to hold off the Kings and win by seven.
  2. You have to feel sorry for Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans have been waiting for Zion to dominate a big game. They finally get this as he had forty points and eleven rebounds in leading the Pens comeback against the Lakers in the fourth quarter. Then with three minutes left in a tie game he strains his hamstring.
  3. The most discussed issue during the play-in games was what is the San Francisco Warriors future and it centers around Klay Thompson. I understand sentiment is to re-sign him and keep their big three together, Stephon Curry, Draymond Green and Thompson. I ask you does it make sense knowing they will each be a year older and are past their prime. They came in tenth this year, is it going to get better next year. I know the Warriors would like to trade Mitchell Wiggins but he’s got three years left on his contract with over 80 million due him. I don’t know who may want him and if there is a buyer, they can’t offer much.
  4. Check out the fouls called in the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans game. Twenty-three were called against the Pelicans and twelve against the Lakers. Conspiracy theorists have at it. The Lakers made fifteen more free throws than the Pelicans and won by four points. One interesting note, LeBron James played forty minutes and in the fourth quarter shot one for eight. I guess this proves even LeBron gets tired.
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