Good morning. Let's basketball.
THE TALK OF THE TOWN: The Wizards and Raptors had themselves the game of the year: a triple-OT thriller claimed by Washington. Here's the full recap, as well as gamers from Bullets Forever and Raptors HQ. Marcin Gortat forced overtime by forcing Kyle Lowry into a miss; John Wall forced a second overtime with a layup of his own; DeMar DeRozan matched to force the third. Amazing entertainment by all involved. Bravo.
ICONIC: LeBron's nose got broke last week, so he wore a mask on Thursday in which to destroy the Knicks' souls. It made LeBron even scarier, but also an easy target for hilarious Photoshops.
ON THIN ICE: The Heat destroyed the Knicks by 26. Or did they? Meanwhile, Carmelo says making the playoffs or not won't change his free agent decision. I can't imagine that's a good sign for New York.
FALLEN ON HARD TIMES: The Nuggets are a mess. They basically conceded in the first quarter to the visiting Nets.
CHARM OFFENSIVE: Jason Collins presented his popular jersey to Matthew Shepard's family, who attended the Nets' visit to Denver. Remember, Collins chose No. 98 in recent seasons as a silent ode to Shepard, who was killed in 1998.
BEGS THE QUESTION: What exactly do assistant coaches do? Former assistant coach Doug Eberhardt provides a look at a day in the life.
GAME-CHANGER: Jimmer Fredette to the Bulls, y'all.
THE NEW NORMAL: The Clippers get veteran free agents, like Danny Granger. Basically, L.A. was able to swap Byron Mullens and Antawn Jamison (traded last week) for Glen Davis and Granger. What is this magical competence?!
A MODEST PROPOSAL: I proposed that Royce White washed out with the Sixers because Sam Hinkie wasn't actually interested in him; he was just doing old boss Daryl Morey a favor. Sixers fans rebuffed that Hinkie never wanted White -- he did the deal for prospect Furkan Aldemir. That may change the focus of Hinkie's motives, sure. But it doesn't change the fact, then, that White never got a real chance in Philly, which supports my theory that he might not yet be a total NBA washout. That's the important part: whether or not White can work in the NBA.
POSTER CHILD: The up and down life of an NBA prospect.
PARADIGM SHIFT: How in the Hades are the Bulls five games above .500?!?
HOW DID WE GET HERE?: Andrew Sharp wonders how the heck the 2005 Tar Heels (Sean May, Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants and Marvin Williams) won a national title given, you know, everything that followed for those players.
SUFFICE IT TO SAY: Nikola Pekovic has impeccable fashion sense.
OR SO IT SEEMS: "The 'Phil Jackson coaching tree' might be poison ivy."
SEE WHAT I DID THERE?: By listing all of the horrible clichés journalists use, the Washington Post has only served to imbue said clichés with a certain dusting of ironic intrigue. Viva el cliché!
AND HERE'S THE KICKER: Happy Friday. Have fun at SSAC, for those of y'all attending. See you next time.