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.
Miami Herald: Even with the Heat again playing well — as it did in Saturday’s 103-98 victory over visiting Denver — this season continues to be littered with speed bumps. The latest: a knee injury to Mario Chalmers, who looks like he could be out for awhile. Chalmers, unable to put any pressure on his right leg, left for good with a sprained knee late in the first quarter. He will get an MRI on Sunday.
Peninsula is Mightier: tonight was the last in a streak of 11-straight games against above .500 opponents for the Heat. Miami has done a good job finishing it off, getting nice revenge wins over the Spurs and Grizzlies in the past week, and tonight they got another win against a team that they had previously lost to. The Denver Nuggets had beaten Miami by 28 points in their first meeting, but the Heat took care of business last night, leading the game from start to finish.
Orlando Magic Daily: The recently completed West Coast road trip did reveal more about this team. The team still does not have a solid identity as it continues to fall into bad habits. The defense lapses at times and the focus and intensity not always there. The stand-and-watch Dwight or completely ignore him on offense habit continues to set in. Either Orlando is going into Howard too much and not doing enough offensively or not going to him enough and hoisting up somewhat contested 3-pointers.
Sentinel: Dwight Howard received the 2010-11 Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award during the annual Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Black Tie & Tennies Gala on Saturday night. It was the fifth time Howard won the award, which goes to the player who dedicates himself off the court to helping others.
ESPN Chicago: The Chicago Bulls are re-signing guard John Lucas III, while talks on whether to bring back fellow guard Jannero Pargo are ongoing, according to sources with knowledge of the team's thinking.
Lucas will be added for backcourt depth in time for Sunday's practice but is unlikely to see meaningful minutes after appearing in just two games in his first stint with the team this season, one source said.
Newsday: Despite the recent evidence, the decision to trade for Carmelo Anthony wasn't a mistake. It was the decision to change the team to conform to him, thus fulfilling the sense of entitlement he's had since he dominated the ball at Oak Hill Prep, that is the most troubling error of the blockbuster deal [...] So before this goes any further, before Melo starts in with the stubbornness that the Nuggets dealt with all too often, the stuff that once made George Karl irate and now makes him chuckle, Amar'e Stoudemire — let's say he's the Jeter to Melo's A-Rod — spoke up after what the Knicks have to hope was the lowest point of the post-trade era, the inexcusable 99-95 loss here to the Pistons.
The Knicks Blog: [Doc] Rivers complained of burnout last year as well and it would be of no shock to see him take a year off. But would the allure of coaching the Knicks, and the subsequent major paycheck change his mind? The Celtics are trying to rebuild on the fly, if that’s how you choose to explain trading Perkins and shocking their roster despite dominating the East for yet another year and I believe they know it’s time for Doc to take a break and eventually move on. I don’t see Miami as being that team considering Pat Riley is there, I believe Doc wants his own legacy and wants to win more titles on his own. Although, he did get the Riley education while in NY. There would be no better place for him to go next than a roster that supports two All-NBA players.
My SA Spurs Nation: Tim Duncan got a chance to wear his sports jacket and watch the game from the bench Saturday night. The only 21 jerseys we saw near or on the court in San Antonio’s 109-98 victory over Charlotte were the replica “21″ worn by Spurs public address announcer Kevin Brock and Charlotte reserve forward Eduardo Najera.
My SA Spurs Nation: On a Saturday night in which all bench hands were on deck, Novak enjoyed the finest night of his fledgling Spurs career, hitting five of a franchise-record tying 17 3-pointers and scoring 19 points in a 109-98 rout of Charlotte.
OC Register: No news could be good news concerning Lakers center Andrew Bynum's status for tonight's game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. The Lakers had not been notified by the NBA of any possible suspension as of 1 p.m. Saturday and the league typically doesn't announce anything if there won't be any action.
ESPN Dallas: After Jason Kidd played 37 minutes, Dirk Nowitzki logged 38 minutes and Jason Terry 35 in Friday's disappointing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided there is rest for the weary.
Despite a light week ahead and the Golden State Warriors on tap Sunday night at the American Airlines Center, Carlisle gave his team Saturday off, perhaps as much to re-energize physically as mentally as Dallas has lost five of its last eight games.
ESPN Dallas: But, there's no hiding from 47 turnovers in three recent losses to the Los Angeles Lakers (13 turnovers), Portland Trail Blazers (15) and Friday's 97-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs (19). In the three games, the Mavs turned it over 20 times more than their opponents. L.A. and Portland combined for 16 turnovers, or the Mavs' average (15.6) in the three losses.
NewsOK: Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who suffered a bruised left shoulder with 1:40 left in Friday night's 99-82 victory over Charlotte, has been cleared to play for Sunday's 6 p.m. game against Toronto inside Oklahoma City Arena.
NewsOK: * Thunder: Though Perkins has played just three games since recovering from a sprained left knee, his presence literally and figuratively has given the Thunder a scowl. OKC is 3-0 with Perkins in the starting lineup. Verdict: WINNER
* Celtics: Krstic has much better numbers with Boston than he did with OKC (25.8 mpg; 11.9 ppg; 6.7 rpg; .565 FG). Green is shooting lights out while coming off the bench as a solid sixth man (.510 FG; 23.5 mpg; 11.6 ppg; 2.2 rpg). Verdict: WINNER