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.
ESPN Boston: Derrick Rose had one of his best performances of the year, which is saying something considering some of the games he's already had this season. The 22-year-old had 30 points and a career-high 17 assists as the Bulls came from behind for the second night in a row. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah had solid nights as well, combining for 26 points and 22 rebounds.
By The Horns: The line: 30 points (game-high), 9-for-17 from the field, 12-for-12 from the line (game-high) and 17 assists (career-high). The crunch-time numbers: 10 points (3-for-3 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line) plus 3 assists in the final four minutes and nine seconds. On the second night of back-to-backs. On the road. Against a Bucks team playing for their playoff lives.
Miami Herald: LeBron James likens himself to a football player on the court, and Dwyane Wade often crashes to the floor like an NFL running back. The two players have taken a pounding this season, and a little rest would be nice before the playoffs, but the Heat’s physical slashers don’t exactly have that luxury just yet. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, Miami (50-22) is third in the Eastern Conference but just a half game behind the Celtics.
Heat Index: The first — the dramatic development of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James learning to play together — is one reason why the Heat can still realistically win the title this season. The second — the Heat's startling lack of depth — could be the biggest reason they won’t get close.
Sentinel: From 10-15 feet, Howard had taken 79 shots and made 31, good for 39.2 percent. His percentage isn't eye-catching, of course, but it's the rising number of attempts. If we look at Howard's third season in 2006-2007 (Hoopdata.com's numbers only go back to 2006-07), he attempted just 29 shots from 10-15 feet, making seven (24 percent).
Magic Basketball: The Orlando Magic were able to defeat the New Jersey Nets by the score of 95-85 to extend their winning streak to five games. This was a game where the margin of victory shouldn’t have been as close as it was for the Magic, but they were able to come away with a victory and that’s all that matters for them.
Love participated in a light practice Saturday after missing Minnesota's last two games. The Timberwolves host the Celtics on Sunday, and Love said if he wakes up feeling good he'll "probably try to give it a go." He said most of the pain is gone, but the muscle is still tight.
OC Register: They instantly, in classic flip-switching style, decided to start paying attention to details again — like playing defense, for example — and Andrew Bynum worked his way back and Ron Artest awakened and Kobe Bryant narrowed his eyes and …Ta Da!!! The Lakers were fixed! Odom was right! And everyone remembered how this team won two titles in the first place.
MY SA Spurs Nation: Riding just their second two-game losing streak of the season, the Spurs are hungry for a soul-soothing victory tonight in Memphis. But they are not desperate. Not yet. “Desperate is a strong word,” said Parker.
Project Spurs: San Antonio (57-15) still has a four game lead over the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the league, but they have to be concerned after wasting leads in the final quarter, losing back-to-back games for the second time this season.
ESPN Dallas: Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called Saturday's 94-77 win against a depleted Utah Jazz team that led 70-68 with 6:21 to play a "great game."
In this case, great is relative. "I felt like we were watching the NCAA tournament. At the end of the third quarter, it was 60-58," forward Shawn Marion said. "I was like, 'Whoa.' But, at least we hit 90."
ESPN Dallas: Brewer chose to come to the Mavs and signed a three-year contract. Upon being traded from Minnesota to New York and then being released by the Knicks, at least a half-dozen teams showed immediate interest in signing him, including the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. Brewer's second choice?
"Celtics," Brewer said.
Welcome to Loud City: Kendrick Perkins has now played in six games for the Thunder. Yes, it seems like he joined the team yesterday, but we've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to what he does for the Thunder. He hasn't been a disappointment per se, but there are times when you want to beat your head against the wall. That being said, he does bring definite advantages that the Thunder have never seen on their own team before. Below are a list of his advantages and disadvantages compared to current and past Thunder players.
News OK: The chief goal now for the Thunder is to now tighten up things before postseason play. The Thunder's playoff seeding has essentially been set. With a four-game lead over Denver, it would take a near choke job for the Thunder to fall out of the fourth seed, even with two games remaining against the Nuggets.