Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Monday, March 10, the morning after three of the top four teams in the NBA took it on the chin.
Sunday was a bad day to be one of the league’s elite. Of the teams with the top four records in the league, three of them lost and the only thing that spared the San Antonio Spurs was the schedule maker, who had them idle.
The day began with the Miami Heat losing their third game in a row, this one in overtime at Chicago. The Oklahoma City Thunder followed that up by turning Jodie Meeks into the second coming of Pete Maravich in a 114-110 loss to the hapless Los Angeles Lakers—yes, the team with the Western Conference’s worst record beat a team tied for the best mark in the league. That was a thing that happened. And in fairness to the Lakers, it took a furious rally by OKC to turn the game into anything other than a rout.
The Indiana Pacers ended the festivities with a loss at Dallas, the fourth loss in a row for the Pacers. The good news for Indiana in its oft-stated quest to earn home-court advantage ahead of the Heat in the East—Miami hasn’t been able to take any advantage of the Pacers’ recent woes; the Heat have been awful, too.
Miami actually hasn’t won since the night LeBron James went nuts with 61 points against the Bobcats. That game re-ignited James’ name in the MVP discussion, but since then, James hasn’t been all that … umm … “V.” In Miami’s three losses since his 61-point explosion, James is averaging 19.3 points, seven assists, six rebounds and 2.7 steals a game on 39 percent shooting, including 11.1 percent from 3-point range. One of those games was the infamous sleeve game against the Spurs, when he was 6-for-18, but James followed that effort up with an 8-for-23 day against the Bulls sans any offending jersey appendages.
Perhaps it’s just as simple as this: This is why they refer to February and early March as the NBA’s dog days.
The Daily NBA Fix will deliver highlights, game capsules, the top and bottom five players, the dreaded Goose Egg, Clean and Sober and Ironman awards, we’ll recap who’s circling the drain, there will be some interesting pieces of relevant (and not-so-relevant) information and we’ll look at today’s daily lines for those people who like to wager a buck or two.
Check out the highlights below from the night that was, then get into the game capsules (home teams in CAPS).