SportsNation Blog Archives NBA
Heat get big win over Pacers
In what was as close to a must-win as one will see in an NBA December, the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 97-94 on Wednesday night in South Florida. And it was no back-and-forth affair; Indiana opened up a big first-half margin, led by as many as 15 in the third quarter, then watched as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade -- and clutch shot hitters Chris Bosh and Ray Allen -- rallied back.
In the end, a Paul George miss -- or was he fouled? -- gave Miami a one-all tie in the head-to-head series this year. The Heat also moved to within one game of the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings. The two rivals play each other again on March 26, April 11 and -- barring a big surprise -- in the East finals. What does the future hold?
pollcenter:category=4830+heatgetbigwinoverpacersAndy Lyons/Getty Images
Which team wins -- Pacers or Heat?
Can a mid-December NBA game be a must-win? It just might be, thanks to the stakes involved in the Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat series. While no team has come close to these two in the Eastern Conference, home-court advantage appears to be all-important. And if the Heat don't defend AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), they'll be in an 0-2 head-to-head hole -- and trail the Pacers by three games in the standings. Making things murky: LeBron James (ankle) is a game-time decision.
Is Mike Woodson on thin ice?
Mike Woodson's already-precarious position with the Knicks became that much more untenable on Monday, as a coaching blunder resulted in an embarrassing loss to the Wizards. Woodson failed to call a timeout to set up a final play with 6.9 seconds to play and trailing by a point, despite New York having three timeouts to use. Carmelo Anthony thinks Woodson is safe for now, but with losses piling up, it's becoming more and more likely that the Knicks will have a new coach soon.
LaMarcus Aldridge goes off
Normally, it would be worth talking about a 32-point, 17-rebound performance from Dwight Howard, but not today. Instead, we're marveling at LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 31 points and grabbing 25 rebounds in a 111-104 win over the Rockets. Aldridge has really come into his own this season; through 23 games, he's averaging 23.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, both far above his career averages. If he keeps this up -- and the Trail Blazers remain atop the tough Western Conference -- he might be in line for the NBA's top award.
pollcenter:category=4806+lamarcusaldridgegoesoffAP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
What's up in Western Conference?
If the Minnesota Timberwolves were in the Eastern Conference -- like, say, their neighbors the Milwaukee Bucks -- they'd be fourth, with an 11-12 record. Instead, the Kevin Love-led team is in the West ... where it's 11th. And just half a game out of 13th. Tough conference, eh? Which teams will come good?