Starting 5: Nash’s swan song?, Knicks pitch to Phil Jackson & What Kobe needs to pass KD

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Every morning, we’ll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  Nash goes out with a loss

We’re not sure what’s going to happen to Steve Nash after this season (more on that later today), but if this was his last game in Phoenix, it was an unceremonious exit.  

In just under 18 minutes, Nash finished with eight points and seven assists in a loss to the Spurs.  The Spurs, meanwhile, are on a nine-game winning streak, one game from their third 10 game winning streak of the season.  If they win their last game, 30 of their 50 wins will have come in three big chunks of wins. 

Back to Nash… he has said he’s open to moving to a new address.  Expect a lot of “on the cusp” contenders to give Nash a hard look as a guy who can put them over the edge.  I see no reason for Phoenix to bring him back.  They need to move on.

2:  New York about to throw A LOT OF money at Phil?

The New York Knicks will face either the Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs beginning this weekend.  That makes a first round exit from the playoffs pretty likely.  And if that happens, the rumor is they’ll go hard after Phil Jackson

If the New York Knicks don’t advance beyond the first round of the playoffs, I’m hearing they’ll make a major — repeat, major — push to lure legendary coach Phil Jackson out of retirement.

With money being no object, the scuttlebutt is the Knicks brass may offer the “Zen Master” a four-year, $50 million deal.

Of course, this is just a rumor, but it seems like something the Knicks would do.  They’ve got unGodly amounts of money, they’d do something like this.  I’m not sure Mr. Zen Master would take the reins, but there’s no doubt that New York would be interested in the former Knick getting this house in order.  

I’m sure Mike Woodson is thrilled at the news.

(H/T: PBT)

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!

Kevin Durant puts JaVale McGee on a serious poster

A couple of nice plays by John Wall lead to the Jan Vesely dunk


 

How about a super-slow motion Blake Griffin dunk against New York?

4:  Line of the Night:  Kevin Durant – 32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists

Durant holds a slim lead in the scoring race.  He now averages 28 point points per game to Kobe’s 27.9.  That means if Kobe scores 38 against the Kings tonight, he gets the scoring title.  Should be interesting to see how the Kings play it.  They know as well as anyone what Kobe will want to do.  Can they stop him?

By the way… LeBron James can sneak in and steal the scoring title… with an 83 point night.  Now THAT would be fun to see.

5:  You can quote me on that

“It was bad timing for me and then, physically, it was bad timing for Mr. Harden,” World Peace said after practice was over. “Who can write up a left-hand dunk and then all of the sudden somebody is right behind you? It’s hard to draw that up and to plan something like that. It was just the worst timing for me.”
     -Ron Artest, on the elbow to James Harden 

”I probably won’t watch. If I don’t win the scoring title or MVP or whatever, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a good year by my standards.  To think back on everything I’ve done this season, I’ve gotten better. I’ve improved in every area I wanted to improve in. I scored a few points but I think as a defender and as a facilitator, I got better.”
     -Kevin Durant, on whether he’d pay attention to Kobe Bryant tonight 

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