New York 46-26
The division leading Knicks had a very nice week with two impressive wins. A huge road win in Boston with J.R. Smith scoring 32 in a 100-85 victory. New York followed that up with a home win against the Grizzlies where Smith again led the way with 35. The Knicks played down to their opponent on Friday, but still pulled out a 111-102 win over Charlotte. The Nets were in the midst of their west coast road trip, where they squeaked out a win over Phoenix behind Deron Williams 20 points and 11 assists. Brooklyn then traveled to Portland where Reggie Evans ripped down 26 rebounds in a 111-93 win. A trip to Denver was not very pleasant as the Nuggets dominated the Nets 109-87. After suffering a home loss to the Knicks, the Celtics took care of their next two opponents including a fellow playoff team. Jeff Green’s game winning layup saved the C’s from an embarrassing road loss to Cleveland. Boston followed that up with a 118-107 win over Atlanta where Jeff Green led the way again with 27. The Sixers continue to not give up on the 2012-13 season, proving it with two wins this week. They finally beat the Bucks, something they couldn’t do before the All Star break when they needed it. Evan Turner’s return to Ohio was successful as they took care of the Cavs 97-87 and have a few winnable games coming up. Toronto got smoked by the Hawks 107-88, but then took out their frustration on Detroit 99-82 behind Rudy Gay’s 21.
The Knicks schedule will very tough this week with road games in Miami, Atlanta and Oklahoma City and a home game against a desperate Milwaukee team who is clinging to the 8th spot. A very tough home game against the Bulls is scheduled between cupcake games of Cleveland and Charlotte for the Nets this week. Brooklyn is trying to earn a home series in the first round, so all these games are very important. The Celtics should be able to cruise this week as they get Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland and Washington, but they might be without Paul Pierce for a few of them. Now we get to the Sixers who need to win every game to stay in the playoff race. They head out on a a four game road trip with three against playoff teams, so a .500 trip would be a victory. Toronto is just playing out the season, but this week is a winnable one for them with Detroit, Washington and Minnesota on the docket. New York clearly has the toughest week, while Boston should be able to go 3-1 easily.