â†µ â†µBig: The Hornets. This franchise hadn't won in the city of Dallas for a decade, and on Friday, Chris Paul looked merely mortal in a loss. Then, they come out on Sunday with a state-of-the-art game plan that takes Paul's genius sub-rosa, making moves that allow David West and Julian Wright to come on strong. Now it's 3-1 and time to decide: NOLA for real, Mavs nihil, or some of each? â†µâ†µ
â†µ â†µSmall: Denver, which was supposed to fill the part of crazy, unpredictable eighth seed that proved the might of the West. Now they're a train wreck, with Melo admitting they all quit, and what should've been so much fun is sad, sad dysfunction. I don't want to live on an Earth where Anthony and Iverson can both go dead cold in a must-win. It's against the spirit of Christmas. â†µ
â†µ â†µTrue: More miracles from the Sixers, who won the first at home, and only lost yesterday because, well, the Pistons are good. But let's please ditch this whole "magical underdogs" thing, and acknowledge that Philly's finest are pretty darn good. This is this year's Warriors/Mavs, without any majesty or thrill. â†µâ†µ
â†µ â†µFalse: Orlando's taken a 3-1 lead, but I'm not convinced we've heard the last of the Purple Bird-Ancestors. The Magic won on Saturday because Shard, Lewis, and Turkgolu all sparkled. If everything goes right for Toronto in this same way, they can compete. â†µâ†µ
â†µ â†µWide: It's beyond me. The Suns spend all season scheming on how to match up with San Antonio. So after that demoralizing 2OT loss, they come out strong ... then disappear for a half, then get steamrolled in the next game. Only then does D'Antonio staff of advanced basketball minds concoct a solution. You'd think they'd have an entire vault filled with Spurs strategy. â†µâ†µ
â†µ â†µNarrow: Boston lost. To the Hawks. Josh Smith tore the roof off the place, the shot clock broke, and Al Horford showed Paul Pierce no respect down the stretch. That it's not happening again only makes it more momentous. â†µâ†µ
â†µ â†µObama/Hillary: The Sixers refuse to die, just like Pennsylvania refuses to stop being an issue. Hillary, this one's for you. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.