Cleveland 110, Detroit 101: Charlie Villanueva went to set a screen, and collided with Ryan Hollins. The contact angered Villanueva, who threw two punches with his left hand in the direction of Hollins’ groin. Then the two clawed each others’ faces. After everyone calmed down, Villanueva went ballistic, first going after Hollins, and then toward the Cavs’ locker room (he went down the wrong tunnel) hoping to finish the matter. According to the Beacon-Journal: “Minutes later, he was stopped by security trying to get into the Cavs’ locker room while shouting threats about what he wanted to do to Hollins.” An embarrassing meltdown for Villanueva, an otherwise nice guy. Somewhere, Kevin Garnet was laughing.
Orlando 95, Philadelphia 85: This thunderous Dwight Howard dunk on the head of an unsuspecting Jrue Holiday shook up the 76ers, who were blitzed in the second half by the streaky, turnover-prone Magic. Ryan Anderson had another solid game – 18 points, 14 rebounds. He and Howard (19-13) combined for nine offensive rebounds; the 76ers collectively had eight. Philly was without Lou Williams and Iggy, and now is locked in to play Miami in the first round. I think they could win one game.
Boston 94, Washington 95: The Big 4 sat and the reserves nearly pulled it off (Jeff Green had 20 points and took 15 rebounds), but the Wizards overcame a 6-point deficit in the final minute, and then prevailed in overtime. I think JaVale McGee (13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks) will be a finalist – if not win – the Most Improved Player award. And I think he’ll be a fashionable preseason pick to “blow up” next season. Will anyone be so bold to guess McGee makes the leap to 17-10ish next year? As for Boston … SOFT! says the Boston Herald. The Celtics play the Knicks in the first round.
Miami 98, Atlanta 90: The Heat locked up the 2nd seed in the East on the strength of 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists from LeBron. The Hawks had nothing to play for and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz …
Denver 134, Golden State 111: Thirty-one assists on 50 baskets … 53% shooting … no Chandler, Gallo, Harrington or Mozgov … yikes. I still maintain 1-10 this is the deepest team in the league, and it isn’t close. There’s a slim chance the Nuggets could play the Lakers in the first round, but it will probably be Oklahoma City. I think that’ll be the most competitive series, followed by Knicks/Celtics.
Dallas 98, Houston 91, OT: I really loved my stat from yesterday about how the Mavericks haven’t beaten a playoff team in the West in three months. As for the Rockets, one of the best point guard battles to watch next preseason – assuming there is one – will be Goran Dragic (15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals in 53 minutes) vs. Kyle Lowry. I wonder who will be the 2011 playoff version of Dragic? Remember what he did to the Spurs last year?