More than anything, as Nowitzki approaches what could be his final NBA season, he would like to retire following a season that’s more palatable than the 24-58 season the Mavs recently completed. “I miss the playoffs the last couple of years,” Nowitzki said. “The intensity goes up, the atmosphere is amazing, so it’s still tough to watch.
The Wolves’ last playoff game at Target Center was Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, a 98-96 victory that forced a Game 6 they lost in L.A. “It’s great,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We’ve had great support all year and we certainly appreciate the support we’ve gotten. I know how hard this team has worked andfought to make it. You’re trying to erase 14 years of losing. It’s not an easy thing to do. This team has fought like crazy all year. We were basically a three-seed when Jimmy went down. We finished out game out of the fourth spot. I’m proud of what they’ve done and now our challenge is to win this next game.” Injuries
For example, tonight’s Game 3 between the Celtics and the Bucks could be termed as a swing game. Boston enters the contest with a 2-0 series lead, and a win would give it a commanding 3-0 lead. No team in NBA playoff history has ever blown a 3-0 series advantage. “Momentum can change, yes,” said Celtics big man Greg Monroe, “but we’re not going in here saying, ‘Oh, this is a swing game.’ We don’t use that term. “I think that’s a term that people from [the media] might make. Here (in the locker room), it’s that you’re trying to win each individual game, from a player’s standpoint.”
Al Horford was also asked if he subscribes to the notion of “swing games.” He took nine seconds to gather his thoughts on the topic before making a similar comment to what Monroe offered. “I really just focus on the game to game. I think that every game is its own,” Horford said. “I don’t really think that in one game you magically do something. I think you take it a game at a time, and what you’ve done before doesn’t really mean anything. You have to go out and prove yourself.”
When asked about how the Blazers will be “desperate” considering the circumstances, Davis responded, “We’re desperate too.” “I think that’s what makes us so great, we play every game with desperation. So we know they’re desperate, but we’re desperate to get a win at home too,” said Davis, who said the Pelicans have gotten this far by staying “even keel” – even when they’re down in games.
Jason Lloyd: Final: Cavs 100, Pacers 97. James 46p,12r,5a; 15p,8r; Korver 12p. IND Oladipo 22p,6a; Collison 16p,6a,5r; Turner 18p. CLE 51%, 15TO; IND 54%, 17TO Paint points: Cavs 30; Indy 62 3s: Cavs 11/28; Indy 6/22 Bench pts: Cavs 16; Indy 25