Good morning. Let's basketball.
ZOMBIES FOR REAL: The Mavericks zombied their way into the playoffs, played like zombies in Game 1 and refused to die in Game 2. The result? A shocking road win in Oklahoma City thanks to clutch plays from, uh, Raymond Felton. Steven Adams very nearly won it at the buzzer, but his tip was a whisker too late. Kevin Durant had an atrocious night from the field, shooting 7-of-33. The fact that OKC was still a 10th of a second away from victory despite that seems like a minor miracle.
ROARING BACK: The Raptors ended their seven-game playoff losing streak on the back of Jonas Valanciunas and a killer bench. Still some huge red flags here, though, as DeMarre Carroll doesn't look healthy and DeMar DeRozan shot just 5-of-18 with no free throws. This series is going to be mighty interesting. Toronto's bench might be the difference-maker.
NO STEPH, NO PROBLEM: The Warriors sat Stephen Curry for Game 2 out of an abundance of caution. Hey, the less Patrick Beverley Curry has to see, the better for us all. Golden State still won. Klay Thompson hung 34 on James Harden, but another Warrior got the best highlight on The Bearded Statue.
BOX SCORES GALORE ...
ON THE AIR TONIGHT ...
Celtics at Hawks, 7 p.m. ET, TNT, ATL leads 1-0
Grizzlies at Spurs, 9:30 p.m., TNT, SAS leads 1-0
TOO COLD: Andre Iguodala compares playing the Rockets in the playoffs to a practice scrimmage. Dang, man.
WAIT WAIT WAIT: Jordan Clarkson leaped over a 5'10 Kendall Jenner at Coachella. Which leads to the question: Jordan Clarkson has entered the Kardashian-Jenner circle?! Add him to a list that includes Rashad McCants, Kris Humphries, Lamar Odom, maybe Chandler Parsons, and James Harden.
THE CLAW, AGAIN: Kawhi Leonard won a second straight Defensive Player of the Year award. He's the first non-center to go back-to-back since Rodman. As I always do, I enjoyed Jeff McDonald on Kawhi's increasingly crowded trophy case.
SURE? Jamal Crawford wins a third Sixth Man of the Year award. The award hadn't officially been announced as of newsletter time, but it will be interesting to see the vote breakdown. I bet it was close.
WEIRDEST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE: Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis are going to lead a mini-camp on the Triangle for the Knicks players this week. Are they trying to push Carmelo Anthony to light his no-trade clause on fire?
NOPE, REGGIE: Reggie Miller jokingly claimed that TNT could put together an analyst team that could beat the Grizzlies. I kinda hope Z-Bo, Vince Carter, and Tony Allen forfeit the Spurs series and show up in Atlanta to make Reggie eat his words.
Happy Tuesday. See you next time.