We now return you to our regularly schedule posts. Well, at least for today. Who knows about the rest of the week, they call it March Madness for a reason you know!
Celtics 94 Clippers 85
Boston went into “get off my lawn” mode last night and showed those young wipper snappers from Lob City what’s what, on their home court nonetheless. As you would expect, the veteran (read: old) Celtics have seen it all and know how to slow a game down and win ugly. The Clippers are still learning this and it showed. I don’t want to put all of the blame on Vinny Del Negro, but he certainly deserves a good bit. I’m not sure if he’s the right guy to coach this blend of talent, even if he’s a huge upgrade of Mike Dunleavy. Still, the Clippers are one of the three most talented teams in the West and still should make some noise in the playoffs. They’re currently in 5th in the West and could really use a top 4 seed to guarantee home court for at least one round.
Heat at Magic (7:00 NBA TV): Could this be Dwight Howard’s last home game in a Magic uniform? The Thursday trade deadline looms large in Orlando and it’s hard to say how this team will react in the preceding days. After a tough start to the season, the Magic are playing well right now. They haven’t lost back to back games since January and find themselves 3rd in the Eastern Conference. The Magic and Stan Van Gundy hope this hot run as of late will entice Dwight into staying around.
NCAA Tournament “1st Round”: I used quotations because I’m still calling these play-in games despite what the NCAA says.
Western Kentucky (15-18) vs Mississippi Valley State (21-12): The Sunbelt and SWAC Champions face off for the right to face #1 overall seed Kentucky. Both teams will provide a decent story line in the 1 vs 16 matchup on Thursday. WKU obviously has a geographic rivalry while Miss. Valley St. is coached by UK legend Sean Woods.
Iona (25-7) vs BYU (25-8): Last year people questioned the committee’s inclusion of VCU in the tournament and they turned their play-in game into a Final Four birth. This year, it’s Iona’s term to prove they belong in the Big Dance and it starts with BYU.
Heat at Bulls (9:00 ESPN): Tough back to back here for Miami, going from Orlando to Chicago (who will have today off), but I expect it to still be a great matchup. The Bulls appear to want in on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but will they sacrifice a potential championship team this year to get him? Meanwhile, Miami is chugging along trying to figure out these late game situations (Did you know Lebron took and made a game tying 3 pointer the other night? I wonder what the next “Lebron sucks” narrative will be?). I expect some of the trade chips to begin to fall by this game tomorrow night, so stay tuned. This game could be really interesting both on and off the court.