Wednesday April 16, 2014Gators in the NBA
The NBA regular season will conclude with tonight’s match-ups as eight of the 10 teams that home former Gators will compete in the 2014 NBA Playoffs beginning this weekend.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Almost matching last week’s effort, Beal posted a 12-of-22 effort from the floor again, but finishing with 26 this time in a win over the Bucks on Saturday. Beal has been consistent for the Wizards, hitting double-figures in six of the seven contests this month and is averaging 17.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.3 apg. Washington (43-38) will play Boston (25-56) tonight at 8 p.m.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs
Bonner missed action on Friday with food poisoning but returned to the hardwood Monday night for seven minutes of court time and added three points in a loss to the Rockets. He is averaging 3.2 ppg and 2.0 rpg as the number one seed in the West and overall best record in the league Spurs (62-19) host the Lakers (26-55) tonight at 8 p.m.
Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves
Brewer dropped a career-best 51 points, shooting 19-of-30 from the field and grabbing six steals on Friday as Minnesota defeated Houston, 112-110. With his performance, Brewer joined an elite club that includes Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Rick Barry as the only players in NBA history with at least 50 points and six steals in a game (steals became official in 1973-74, via ESPN Stats and Info). Brewer followed up his outing with 10 points on Sunday and 22 against Golden State on Monday. He is averaging 12.3 ppg and 2.6 rpg. The Timberwolves (40-41) will meet Erik Murphy and the Jazz (24-57) tonight at 8 p.m.
Nick Calathes, Memphis Grizzles
Since beating Miami last week, the Grizzlies have won four straight. Calathes scored 12 points, grabbed five boards and dished four assists in the win over the Clippers on Friday. Memphis (49-32) will battle Dallas (49-32) tonight at 8 p.m.
Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat
After missing two games last week with an illness, Haslem scored 11 points and grabbed nine boards as the Heat defeated the Pacers, 98-86. He then had six points and eight rebounds on Saturday and nine points and eight boards on Monday, both losses for Miami. He is averaging 3.7 ppg and rpg as the Heat (54-27) host the 76ers (18-63) tonight at 8 p.m.
Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
Horford suffered a season-ending injury on Dec. 28 but remarkably still leads the Hawks in points and blocks. The Hawks (37-44) will play in Milwaukee for the regular season finale tonight at 8 p.m.
David Lee, Golden State Warriors
Lee missed seven games with a sore hamstring and will sit out tonight’s contest against the Nuggets for precautionary reasons. He returned for three games, including a 25-point performance on Monday night versus Minnesota. Lee went an impressive 12-of-14 from the floor and also pulled down nine rebounds. He is averaging 18.2 ppg and 9.3 rpg.
Mike Miller, Memphis Grizzlies
Miller has been lighting up the floor in the last three games, hitting 72.4 percent of his field goals and almost 80 percent from long range. He dropped 21 on Monday in a win over Phoenix, 13 on Sunday in LA and 19 last Friday against Philadelphia. He is averaging 7.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.6 apg entering tonight’s wrap-up of the regular season.
Erik Murphy, Utah Jazz
Since being acquired by the Jazz two weeks ago, Murphy is yet to see playing time. Utah (24-57) will take on the Corey Brewer and the Timberwolves in what is expected to be the end of the road for both teams, missing out on playoff berths.
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
After collecting his seventh career triple-double last Wednesday, Noah came close to repeating on Friday night as he pulled down 12 boards and dished 10 assists with six points. Noah has produced back-to-back double-doubles since, hitting 13 and 17 in a loss to the Knicks Sunday and posting 18 points with 10 rebounds on Monday night versus the Magic. Noah continues to average a double-double with 12.6 ppg and 11.2 rpg as the Bulls (48-33) take on the Bobcats (42-39) tonight at 7 p.m.
Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets
Parsons has been a huge producer for the Rockets, scoring double-figures in his last 13 contests with the exception of sitting out of last Saturday’s game with the Pelicans. Parsons tallied 27 points, connecting on 11-of-19 from the field in Friday’s loss to Minnesota and had 21 with seven boards and four assists as the Rockets defeated the Spurs Monday night, 104-98. Parsons is expected to sit out in tonight’s finale in New Orleans to rest for the playoffs.
Marreese Speights, Golden State Warriors
Speights posted 16 on Friday against the Lakers, hitting 7-of-11 from the floor and grabbing eight boards. He missed action in Sunday’s match-up with Portland but had nine points, seven rebounds and one assist in Monday’s victory over the Timberwolves, 130-120. The Warriors are set to play the Nuggets tonight at 10:30 p.m.