Andrew Bogut will travel with the Warriors for Wednesday’s finale against the Blazers, but I just can’t see him playing on his bum left ankle. He’s a game-time decision, so watch for updates later today. The Warriors can clinch the No. 6 seed with a win and Stephen Curry is chasing the all-time 3-pointers made record for a season, and given Mark Jackson’s mindset, it looks like most of the Warriors’ regulars are safe to play tonight. That now includes Festus Ezeli and Carl Landry, as long as Bogut is out.
Byron Scott is expected to be fired as the coach of the Cavaliers at the end of the season. We have no idea who might become the next coach of the Cavs, but it appears that Scott has worn out his welcome. And my guess is this should mean even bigger things for Kyrie Irving next season. In other Cavs news, don’t look for C.J. Miles tonight, as he’s likely done due to a concussion.
Andray Blatche may not be in ideal shape, but he had a double-double on Monday and could be ready for another big game on Wednesday, if the Nets sit their starters again as they prepare to enter the playoffs healthy. The Nets will either get the Bulls or the Hawks in Round 1, and we’ll have to see what Wednesday’s news brings to find out if the starters are going to play or not. They were mostly held out on Monday, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get more time off tonight.
Raptors Crush Hawks
The Raptors destroyed the Hawks last night, who now have to win on Wednesday against the Knicks, and see the Bulls fall to the Wizards in order to wrap up the No. 5 seed. In other words, it looks like the Hawks are going to be the No. 6 seed and face the No. 3 Pacers in Round 1, while the No. 5 Bulls will get the No. 4 Nets if they win and the Hawks lose tonight. Josh Smith hurt his knee on Tuesday and never returned to the game. He played just 13 minutes last night and with the Hawks seemingly locked into the No. 6 seed and a date with the Pacers, I’m not expecting Smith to play on Wednesday. Al Horford missed Tuesday with a sore shoulder and DeShawn Stevenson was out with an illness. The Hawks’ starters played extremely limited minutes last night and it’s possible that they all sit on Wednesday. John Jenkins, Mike Scott, Shelvin Mack, Anthony Tolliver, Dahntay Jones and Johan Petro could end up being the stars for the Hawks on Wednesday. As usual, watch for news regarding who is in and who is out prior to game time, as Larry Drew could suddenly decide that the Wizards have a chance against the Bulls, and then try to beat the Knicks.
The Raptors got 30 points from DeMar DeRozan, eight points and 11 assists from Kyle Lowry, 13 points, eight boards and three blocks from Jonas Valanciunas (who returned from a neck injury), 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocks from Amir Johnson, and 22 points and a full stat line from Rudy Gay, as all of them started for the Raps on Tuesday. Look for all of them to go again on Wednesday when the Raptors finish with the Celtics, but owners should obviously keep an eye out for news to make sure Dwane Casey and I are on the same page. Terrence Ross suffered a left ankle injury tonight and went to the locker room, meaning he’s not likely to go tonight.
Blazers Fall To Clippers
LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum’s seasons appear to be over for the Blazers, as all three sat out on Tuesday. Injuries and inconsistency held Batum back this year, but we’ll be all over him as a hot early pick in next year’s drafts due to his ability to produce in nearly every single fantasy category. Aldridge and Matthews are still a possibility to play in tonight’s meaningless finale, but I’d be surprised to see either one of them go. Will Barton, Damian Lillard, J.J. Hickson, Joel Freeland, Meyers Leonard, Victor Claver and Sasha Pavlovic should all see decent minutes tonight.
Caron Butler returned from a sore knee to go off for 22 points, four rebounds and four 3-pointers on 9-of-14 shooting in 25 minutes as the Clippers waxed the Blazers on Tuesday. Chris Paul was quiet with eight points and 11 assists in 25 minutes, Blake Griffin scored 16, and DeAndre Jordan had 10 points, nine boards, a steal and three blocks in the win. Chauncey Billups returned from his groin injury, but missed all five of his shots for four points and five assists, while Jamal Crawford came off the bench for eight points and two 3-pointers. The Clippers face the Kings tonight and will either be the No. 3 or 4 seed, and homecourt is still in jeopardy regardless. In other words, look for them to try to beat the Kings, meaning most of the regulars are a decent bet to play solid minutes in tonight’s finale.