Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Oh… Charlotte
Can we just take a moment to look at how bad Charlotte is?
The Bulls CRUSHED Charlotte without Derrick Rose or Luol Deng 100-68. They've won seven games and, if they lose their last five, they'll finish with the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
The added kick to the baby-maker? Their last game is against the New York Knicks on TNT. Nothing like a nationally televised embarrassment of historic proportions, right, Michael Jordan?
2: Celtics clinch Atlantic
The resurgence of the Boston Celtics, coupled with the complete collapse of the Philadelphia 76'ers, is pretty much complete. The Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division last night with a tight win over the Orlando Magic, cementing the Celtics into no worse than the 4 seed. That's an amazing accomplishment considering the Celtics went into the All Star break a couple of games under .500 and just trying to stay afloat.
The Sixers should send Milwuakee a fruit basket or something. The loss to Washington last night really made things difficult in Milwaukee's attempts to steal the 8th seed. Philly and Milwaukee do play each other once more, which could be the pivotal game in determining the last playoff spot.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are now focused on Atlanta and Orlando. The Celtics will face one of those two teams, but they still need to finish with a better record to get home court advantage in the first round. The Celtics have the Hawks next on Friday night.
Greg Stiemsma with the rejection, leading to the Paul Pierce and-1 on the break
A wild finish to the first half in Miami
Rudy Gay… can jump
4: Line of the Night: James Harden 40 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
Harden showed off in front of his friends last night. The former Arizona State star torched Phoenix by shooting 12-17 and making all 11 of his free throws in a win at Phoenix. Harden is in line for some award this offseason… be it sixth man or most improved… Harden deserves something for being a largely unheralded but major contributor to Oklahoma City's success.
5: You can quote me on that
“I want to finish with Pat Summitt. She’s a neat lady. I got to know her a little bit and I just think it’s really sad in a lot of ways. Not basketball, but everything. So, I didn’t want to get emotional. I’m an emotional person and when you see a giant like that leave the game and leave the game because of health, it’s just sad. But she is responsible for women’s basketball. She’s not just a women’s basketball coach, she’s a great coach.
-Celtics coach Doc Rivers, ending his post game news conference last night
''We want to be Milwaukee. We want to be in the hunt, but if we're not, let's cause some grief coming down the stretch.''
-Wizards coach Randy Wittman, after beating the Bucks, who are trying to get the 8th seed in the East