Good morning. Let's basketball.
STATEMENT. GAMES. The road teams did it again. The Wizards danced on the heart of Indiana, and the Clippers silenced Oklahoma City.
In the East game, the Wizards jumped out to a huge early lead, gave it up, got it back and survived a few Pacers runs to finish with the 102-96 win. Bradley Beal was the star with 25 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. (Beal!) Trevor Ariza hit all six threes he took on his way to a key 22. John Wall was frenetic.
Roy Hibbert was held scoreless and picked up zero rebounds in 18 minutes. Gilbert Arenas made sure everyone knew about it via Instagram trolling. Pacers.com reports that David West -- "as heated as he's ever been" -- had a private conversation with Hibbert and Rasual Butler after the game.
Out West, the road Clippers similarly went nuts early on. Chris Paul hit five threes in the first quarter and eight in the game as L.A. ran away with it. The Point God finished with 32 in 28 minutes on 12-14 shooting. But don't fret: Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin still found time to share an embrace.
Speaking of Westy: how about those highlighter pants?
TONIGHT: Can a home team catch a break on Tuesday?
Nets at Heat, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Blazers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
THE NEW DEANDRE: Peering into DeAndre Jordan's improvement with Ricky O'Donnell.
WELPVILLE: The league officially announced Michael Carter-Williams as the Rookie of the Year on Monday. It was revealed that Tim Hardaway Jr. received one first-place vote. It was revealed that Steve Kerr gave it to him. Yes, the Steve Kerr who is apparently the next Knicks coach. Well then. (Kerr did say on TNT that he's still considering his job options.)
HAIL THE LOSERS: For Monday's Hook I considered the plights of the eight teams eliminated in the first round. It turns out they are all in pretty good shape heading into the offseason.
BILLION-DOLLAR TEAM: Zach Lowe reports that $1 billion could end up being the price of the Clippers. Nate Silver considers what we know about franchise valuations to assess whether that's the appropriate pricetag.
AN ACTUAL NBA GM SAID THIS: "Grit is the No. 1 factor for having success." Can you guess which GM said it?
MORE ON TREVOR ARIZA: Brilliant piece of reporting and emotional writing by Michael Lee.
BASKETBALL'S RORSCACH: Ethan Sherwood Strauss on Mark Jackson's future and what everyone thinks about it.
SWEET FIRST-ROUND HIGHLIGHT VIDEO VIA THE POINT FORWARD. The Lillard shot gets better every time you watch.
Happy Tuesday. See you next time.