Home » Blog » Heat Take Out the Lakers; Bucks Off the Hook in Phoenix

Heat Take Out the Lakers; Bucks Off the Hook in Phoenix

LeBron James

James was sensational in the Heat's win in LA.

The defending champion Miami Heat went out west and tangled with the Lakers Thursday night. LA is mired in a season-long funk yet showed a bit of life the last couple of games. With the game tied at 90-all with under three minutes to go, the Heat went on a 9-0 run the rest of the game for the victory.

LeBron James went for 39 points, seven rebounds and 8 assists in his team’s win. His superstar counter-part Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 22 in the fourth quarter, but clearly seemed unable to get into the flow of the offense.

Monta Ellis

Ellis helped lead the Bucks to a win in Phoenix for the first time in 26 years.

Milwaukee traveled west as well and while their match-up with the Phoenix Suns wasn’t exactly prime-time viewing like the Heat-Lakers were, the game did have an interesting twist nevertheless. The Bucks were able to pull out a 98-94 win in the desert which may not sound all that important considering the Suns aren’t that good this season. What was impressive about this win was the fact that Milwaukee had not won in Phoenix in 26 years!

Perhaps it isn’t that shocking when you consider Eastern Conference teams only travel to their Western Conference counter-parts once a season and vice-versa, but still… 26 years is a long time to not win a particular place. Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 24 points while Mike Dunleavy and Brandon Jennings each had 16 points.

News around the East… The New York Knicks plan to have a sound man listen to what smack opponents are saying to Carmelo Anthony has been axed by Commissioner David Stern… According to Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge, the team is keeping tabs on former number one pick Greg Oden who has not played since 2009… Is it really possible that the Celtics could trade Rajon Rondo this season? There are rumors out there that they could, but personally I don’t like it… The Eastern Conference playoff picture almost looks set in stone. Four and a half games separate the 8th and final playoff spot and the ninth. Granted, there’s a long way to go, but that’s a pretty big chunk to make up… If the playoffs started today, you’d have a Miami-Boston match-up in the first round.

Games I’m looking at this week

San Antonio at Atlanta – The Hawks have slipped to four games back of the Heat in the Southeast and are struggling at 3-7 in their last ten. The Spurs are just the opposite. They’re 7-3 in their last ten and have a four-game lead in their division. Atlanta cannot afford to fall too much farther behind, but I like the Spurs anyway in this one.

Boston at Detroit – The Celtics might have a four-game lead for that final playoff spot in the East, but one of the teams still on their heels is Detroit. Both teams are 6-4 over their last ten games, but the Pistons are starting to find a little rhythm of late. I actually them at home in this one.

LA Lakers at Toronto – OK, Toronto is terrible, I get that, but if the Lakers have any plans on making a run to the playoffs then they must defeat teams like this. LA is still four and a half games out of the final playoff spot and need every win they can get. Kobe cannot be a one-man show and needs help. It can start against a weak Raptors’ team. Take the Lakers.

Brooklyn at New York – The Knicks are struggling a bit while the Nets just ripped off an 8-2 stretch to move within 2 and a half games of their rivals so this one takes on some added importance. I like the play of Amar’e Stoudamire the last couple of games. He looks like he’s getting back in the flow. Take the Knicks at home in the Garden.

  • 100%