- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie37 mins ago
The 2013-14 NBA regular season ends Wednesday, and all 30 teams will be in action on the final night of the 82-game campaign. For 14 squads, it'll offer an opportunity to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehn and goodbye — until the draft lottery, at least. For the 16 teams that'll enter postseason play this weekend, it offers one more potential pitfall, one last night to survive without incident or injury before loading up for the long, arduous journey to hoisting the O'Brien trophy come late June.
That journey will begin with opening-round quarterfinal matchups, a number of which have yet to be officially determined and will be locked in on the final night of the season. Here's a quick refresher on what's up for grabs and left to play for as we head into the 15-game Wednesday that will set the table for the playoffs.
What we already know for sure
• The No. 1 Indiana Pacers, who will have home-court advantage for as long as they're alive in the Eastern Conference playoffs, will take on the No. 8 Atlanta Hawks.
Iman Shumpert shakes Paul Pierce to floor, throws down off-glass alley-oop as Knicks beat Nets (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie13 hrs ago
New York Knicks swingman Iman Shumpert's third NBA season has been a fairly sizable disappointment. Things started off poorly, thanks to a secret offseason knee surgery, and never seemed to get on track. He got mad at himself for unfocused play during the preseason and decided to get a , which seemed to have the Samsonian effect of turning him from a swaggering Johnny Bravo type into something more like, I don't know, a 6-foot-5 Piglet at points.Wed, Apr 165:00 PM PDTToronto at New YorkPreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie20 hrs ago
There are only two games on the NBA calendar on Tuesday night, as the league prepares for its annual regular-season-ending 15-game, all-30-teams-in-action smorgasbord on Wednesday, but they both have playoff implications.
Yep, that's what I said, Terrence Jones. (Did I stutter?)
Here's a quick reminder of what's at stake in Tuesday's TNT double-header:
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets, 8 p.m. ET
• If the Nets win, they lock up the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and the right to face whichever team loses the battle for the third seed between the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls.Wed, Apr 165:00 PM PDTBrooklyn at ClevelandPreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie23 hrs ago
I shared this in Friday's 10-man rotation when i first got a look at it, but that was apparently a super-hot leak, because when I went to go re-watch it on Monday, the link was broken. (Talk about your all-time classic Internet blunders!) Now, though, I'm glad to say that the clip's not only working, but that we can embed it and share it as it's meant to be seen. Here, then, is sharpshooting San Antonio Spurs reserve Matt Bonner — a noted teacher, comedic performer, inspiration of artistic endeavor and, most of all, lover of sandwiches — sitting down with legendary Geto Boyz MC Bushwick Bill to eat tacos as part of a new Web series, "Wrapping with the Red Mamba," for ESPN:Wed, Apr 165:00 PM PDTLA Lakers at San AntonioPreview Game
The Memphis Grizzlies clinched their fourth straight playoff berth on Monday night, earning a 97-91 road win over the Phoenix Suns that locked up the final available postseason spot in this year's historically competitive Western Conference.
Zach Randolph was a monster early (13 points in the first quarter) and late (eight points in the final frame) as he drew all sorts of defensive attention and just cast it aside. The Grizzlies' bellwether power forward scored a season-high 32 points on 15-for-25 shooting to go with nine rebounds, two assists and a steal in 39 minutes of bruising work.Wed, Apr 167:30 PM PDTPhoenix at SacramentoPreview Game
After clawing their way back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit, the Charlotte Bobcats held a lead over the Atlanta Hawks entering the final half-minute of the fourth quarter on Monday night. Mike Budenholzer's playoff-bound Hawks found one last bit of inspiration, though, tightening defensively to influence Bobcats guard Gary Neal into a wild desperation jumper that went awry, giving Atlanta the opportunity to tie the game ... which they did, thanks to a simple but sharp bit of pick-and-roll basketball that saw rookie center Mike Muscala create enough room for jitterbug scoring guard Lou Williams to get into a wide-open space at the left elbow and pop a jumper that knotted things up at 93 with 2.6 seconds remaining.
With one chance to beat the buzzer and secure a big late-season road win, you might've expected Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford to draw up a final shot for his big fella, center Al Jefferson. Well, if that's the case, you were probably surprised by what wound up happening, too:Wed, Apr 164:00 PM PDTChicago at CharlottePreview Game
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: PistonPowered. Dan Feldman surveys Joe Dumars' now-complete tenure leading the Detroit Pistons, and tries to figure out where things went, and kept on going, wrong: "Nearly a decade-and-a-half of change came to this, but throughout the destructive transitions emerged three constants that led to Dumars’ downfall: failed pursuits of superstars, repeated unwillingness to challenge players and a lack of long-term planning."Wed, Apr 165:00 PM PDTDetroit at Oklahoma CityPreview Game
The New Orleans Pelicans waived reserve center Greg Stiemsma on Monday, jettisoning the 6-foot-11 shot-blocker with just two games left in the regular season. Stiemsma was coming to the end of the one-year, $2.7 million deal he signed in free agency back in July, and he wasn't an especially productive player for the disappointing Pelicans — his most notable moments this season included being headbutted by Hasheem Thabeet and hit in the throat by O.J. Mayo — so it's not necessarily stunning that New Orleans would want to move on without him, but it was a little surprising for the hammer to drop before the end of the regular season. (Especially, it seems, for Stiemsma.)
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins entered Sunday's matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves sitting on 15 technical fouls for the season. On one hand, that's a lot — more than anyone else in the league except Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. On the other, though, it's the same amount that Cousins has had since Feb. 25, when he got T'd up twice and ejected from a blowout loss to the Houston Rockets. That outburst put the third-year man from Kentucky within a hair's breadth of getting a mandatory siesta — according to the punishment schedule laid out in the NBA rulebook, a player's 16th technical foul of the season carries with it not only a $5,000 fine, but also a one-game suspension — and in the aftermath of the loss to Houston, Cousins promised his coaches, teammates and Kings fans that he'd be on his best behavior to ensure that he remained in the lineup as the Kings finished out their season.Wed, Apr 165:00 PM PDTUtah at MinnesotaPreview Game
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie2 days ago
In the here-today, gone-tomorrow world of professional sports, late-season acquisitions rarely have an especially significant influence on the teams that sign them. But while the contract of the Washington Wizards' latest backcourt addition has already expired, I'm betting that she — yes, she — made a pretty significant impact on her "teammates" during her short time at the Verizon Center.
Youngest player in NBA history, Amaris Jackson, signing her contract with Owner Ted Leonsis and GM Ernie Grunfeld pic.twitter.com/mRjZWxJvNaWed, Apr 165:00 PM PDTWashington at BostonPreview Game