It's March, and its time to start focusing on the playoffs and our potential roadblocks to Banner 18. Every day we'll bring you what's making news in enemy territory. This way we know what they're up to when it comes time to take 'em out.
Peninsula is mightier: "considering the circumstances of having lost two straight home games that could have just as easily been victories as they were defeats, the way that Miami came out against the Spurs last night was as bewildering as it was embarrassing."
Miami Herald: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke of his team strengthening its “collective resolve” after Thursday’s telling defeat to the Magic. On Friday, Miami got that chance. And failed. Again. Hype met substance on Friday night in San Antonio. Substance won.
Sun Times: [Omer] Asik's physical play and fearlessness against Dwight Howard helped set a tone that led to a 50-30 rebounding advantage — the Magic's largest discrepancy this season —and a staggering 23-6 edge in second-chance points.
ESPN Chicago: "I felt pretty bad after the game the other night," [Kyle] Korver admitted. "That was a late night. I was thinking about that. I wanted to come out and hit some big shots. I want to be known as someone who can be counted on to hit those shots." He did just that against the Magic, hitting three clutch three pointers on Friday night and helping secure a victory.
Orlando Pinstriped Post: Orlando's perimeter players apart from Jason Richardson (16 points, 4-of-7 from three-point range) had a night to forget. Jameer Nelson, Quentin Richardson, J.J. Redick, and Gilbert Arenas combined for 24 points on 10-of-30 shooting.
Sentinel: Howard received his 16th technical foul of the season and will be suspended from Monday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers if NBA disciplinary officials don't rescind referee Ed Malloy's call. Howard received the tech after he gathered an offensive rebound and absorbed a hit on the head by Chicago's Joakim Noah. Then, Kyle Korver grabbed one of Howard's arms. Howard, who had both hands on the ball, swung the ball away and narrowly missed hitting Korver's face with an elbow.
Project Spurs: "They played extremely well. This is a team that’s clicking on all cylinders right now," Heat forward Lebron James said. "Everyone on the team has confidence Tim Duncan all the way down to the last guy off the bench. We saw tonight why they are the best team in the league.” The Spurs, who re-inserted Tony Parker into the starting lineup, got started early, with Manu Ginobili getting things going on the offensive end and Matt Bonner leading the Spurs with four three-pointers through the first quarter. The Spurs ended the quarter up 36-12 and never looked back.
My San Antonio: When Spurs doctors told Tony Parker he would miss two to four weeks with a strained left calf, he sought a second opinion. His own. “I was like, ‘I disagree,’” he said. “I only needed a week. That’s what I felt in my body.”
ESPN Dallas: However, [Jason Terry] readily admits that he’s also fueled by his quest to reclaim the honor that he has considered rightfully his since he accepted a reserve role a couple of seasons ago. And he’s staking his claim to the Sixth Man of the Year award one big shot at a time. “That means a lot to me,” Terry said after coming up clutch again in the Mavs’ 116-108 win Friday night over the Pacers. “It’s something I put out in all my summer workouts. It’s something I’ve been focused on ever since I won it my first year [as a reserve]. Last year, I finished second and that wasn’t good enough for me. It’s still on my mind.”
Dallas News: Corey Brewer’s Mavericks debut produced five fouls in five minutes, but the good news is he isn’t in Minnesota anymore. Brewer was just a box score footnote as Dallas outraced Indiana , 116-108, Friday night
The Lakers Nation: Bynum was THE MAN out there for the Lakers. Nine points on 3-4, 3-4 from the free throw line, 17 rebounds, 6 blocks, 1 steal and zero fouls. He was the menace that Charlotte may have scouted for on offense, but had no plan for what he did to them on the defensive end.
ESPN LA: As has been the trend for the Lakers of late, they buoyed a spotty offensive effort with some shutdown D, controlling all but the first few minutes of the game and earning a 92-84 win, their sixth straight coming out of the All-Star break
Daily Thunder: It didn’t take long for Kevin Durant to show that he was feeling good against the Hawks Friday. He dropped his first shot — a smooth standstill jumper over Marvin Williams — hit back-to-back 3s and by the end of the third, had 25 points on 10-15 shooting.
Welcome to Loud City: The Thunder played terribly offensively at the end of this game though, and it is a bit of a serious problem. They were missing badly shot jumpers, and the ball movement was terrible. If our star players weren't so excellent at getting fouled, the outcome of this game would seriously be in question.