April 14, 2004
THT news and some basketball
The Hardball Times was knocked out for about a day and a half, but we should be back up and running very soon and perhaps, depending on when you're reading this, we already are.
I've got a brand new article for today and it's likely you didn't get a chance to read my article from Tuesday before we crashed, so you should check that out too.
Meanwhile, the NBA regular season came to a close last night and the Minnesota Timberwolves, through a unique set of circumstances, caught a little break (at least in my opinion).
The Lakers managed to beat Portland in double overtime (thanks to two amazing Kobe Bryant three-pointers), while the Kings lost to Golden State. LA and Sacramento came into the night tied atop the Pacific Division, which means LA ends up winning it by one game. What that means is that the Lakers move up to the #2 seed, while Sacramento falls to #4.
Had LA and Sacramento tied, the Lakers would have been the #4 seed, thanks to losing the tie-breaker. Why does this matter to the Timberwolves? Well, because, thanks to a win over Memphis last night, they are the top seed in the West. That means, assuming they beat Denver in round one, they will likely face the #4 seed in the second round, which is now the far-more-beatable Kings and not the Lakers.
The Kings dropping to #4 is good for Minnesota, but also good for all NBA fans, because now the two highest scoring teams in the league -- Sacramento and Dallas -- are facing off in the first round. It should be one of the more entertaining, high-scoring series in years.
The regular season turned out about as well as possible for Minnesota. The team is clicking heading into the playoffs, having won nine in a row. They are the #1 seed in the West, something they've never even come close to before. They managed to avoid potential second round matchups with, in my opinion, the two most dangerous teams in the West -- LA and San Antonio. And they get to play a defensively challenged team that will probably be worn out from a fast-paced first round series instead.
Oh, and Kevin Garnett is going to win the MVP too, which is pretty cool (and totally deserved).
If anyone is interested, here are my picks for the NBA awards:
Most Valuable Player:
1) Kevin Garnett
2) Tim Duncan
3) Peja Stojakovic
Rookie of the Year:
1) LeBron James
2) Carmelo Anthony
3) Dwayne Wade
All-NBA First Team:
C) Shaquille O'Neal
F) Kevin Garnett
F) Tim Duncan
G) Kobe Bryant
G) Sam Cassell
All-NBA Second Team:
C) Yao Ming
F) Andrei Kirilenko
F) Peja Stojakovic
G) Tracy McGrady
G) Jason Kidd
Florida (Pavano) -125 over Montreal (Day)
Total to date: $620
W/L record: 14-13 (1-2 yesterday for -140.)
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