There are NBA pundits that will claim the Celtics and Lakers can still turn it on when they want, however, PT Barnum said it best, "there is a sucker born every minute."
There is not one dominate team in the league this year; this includes everyone in the West and the two best in the East, Cleveland and Orlando. The Association Championship has never been more wide open.
The Prez hits the backboards for his daily review of the NBA.
Kendrick Perkins returned to active duty from a sore knee and had six points, six boards and three blocks in the Celtics Wednesday night loss to the Thunder.
Paul Pierce played through a shoulder injury and hit 5-of-10 shots for 15 points, six boards, six assists, two steals, a block.
When Boston secures their slot in the East, Pierce and the rest of the Celtic starters will see their minutes drastically cut and possible DNP's.
The Celtics are simply too old to play the defense that won them a championship two seasons ago. They lost despite hitting 60 percent from the floor on Wednesday night..
After tonight's loss to one of the West's playoff bound teams, Boston is now a middling 20-18 at home against the spread. Not only are the Celtics giving up far too many layups this season, the Thunder capitalized on nine Boston turnovers to score 10 of their 30 points in the first quarter.
Tyrus Thomas (ankle) dressed for Wednesday's game against the Sixers but did not play.
Watch the Sixers closely moving forward. It's still unclear whether the Philly coaching staff will shut down Andre Iguodala and his plantar fasciitis. Iggy played through the injury on Wednesday and finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes of action. Before the game, coach Eddie Jordan said that Iguodala's minutes would have to be monitored. However, Iguodala played his usual 18 minutes in the first half and after the Sixers became lame ducks in Charlotte he found the end of the bench.
As expected, with very little to play for, the Cavs were flat and sorely missed energetic forward Anderson Varejao, who didn't dress for his second straight game because of a sore hamstring.
With Wednesday's no-cover against the Bucks the Cavs went 13-2 SU and 9-6 ATS in March.
Brendan Haywood left Wednesday night's game in Memphis with an undisclosed injury and didn't return. Haywood has been dealing with a finger injury, which he may have aggravated. Consider the center day-to-day. The Mavs have a big game against Orlando tonight and without a back-up center one would logically expect the Magic, and Dwight "Superman" Howard to go right at Eric Dampier.
Caron Butler (flu) and J.J. Barea (knee) are both probable for tonight's game against the Magic. Despite missing the morning shoot-around with a stomach ailment, Butler played 27 minutes on Wednesday night, helping the Mavs beat the Grizzlies in overtime. Butler shot just 4 of 10 from the field to score 11 points and doubled up with 13 boards. Barea has missed two games with the injury and was upgraded to probable for Thursday's game against Orlando after the Mavs won in Memphis on Wednesday.
Ben Gordon had just nine points in 23 minutes even though Richard Hamilton (ankle) was inactive on Wednesday. Gordon has been a bust this year and can't seem to break out of his season-long funk, even when Hamilton is out of action.
Rodney Stuckey drew the start at shooting guard making his first start since March 5. Stuckey finished with 18 points, five assists and three steals. Stuckey only started because Hamilton (ankle) didn't dress, and played 32 minutes of productive ball, despite the Pistons loss.
Ben Wallace (knees) returned to action and registered four points, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal. It was a surprise to see Wallace play again this year. Just as interesting will be how his knees respond.
Jason Maxiell (back) left tonight's game against the Heat and didn't return. He is considered day-to-day.
Ronny Turiaf missed Wednesday's game with the flu. There is a good chance it is the same bug that has lingered in the Warriors locker room causing Monta Ellis to miss the team's last two contests.
Chris Hunter was struck by friendly fire in Wednesday night's game in Utah. Hunter was hit in the nose with an elbow from teammate Corey Maggette in the first quarter of action and didn't return to the game.
Kevin Martin missed his third straight game on Wednesday against the Spurs due to his shoulder injury. His return is in question, reports Rockets.com. He could return on Friday against the Celtics but is currently considered day to day.
Center David Andersen has now missed seven straight games with his back injury. He is considered day to day. The Rockets have a very shot bench with due to a multitude of injuries.
After Wednesday's lopsided loss to Toronto the Clippers are 0-11 SU since the first of the year in the second tilt of back-to-backs
Sasha Vujacic has been benched by the Lakers for a run-in with assistant coach Brian Shaw. Vujacic referred to the Lakers as 'they' instead of 'we' in interviews and Phil Jackson says he'll have to atone for his mistakes before playing again.
Jackson told the NBA Network that Luke Walton (back) might return Sunday when the Lakers host the Spurs, but added that Andrew Bynum (Achilles' strain) won't return for at least another week.
Starting in place of Jermaine O'Neal (knee), Joel Anthony had three points, five rebounds and two blocks on Wednesday night. Anthony is an elite shot blocker, but his scoring upside is very limited.
The Heat still found a way to win against a undermanned Pistons team but without O'Neal's scoring in the paint the Heat will struggle when the postseason schedule rolls around.
It's rare that Miami is a 6.5 point road favorite this season. Tonight's win makes the Heat 2-1 ATS in this situation, 5-2 as a road favorite this season.
There is a battle for minutes at the point guard spot for the Bucks. Brandon Jennings played just 19 minutes, hitting 2-of-9 shots for five points and two steals, but was benched in favor of Luke Ridnour (11 points, 11 assists). It will be interesting to see what transpires from Scott Skiles does moving forward.
Since the end of January the Bucks are 8-1 ATS in the second tilt of a back-to-back and they have failed to cover as an underdog just once, on February 2nd in Orlando. Milwaukee closed the month with two road covers as double digit dogs; both in the second leg of back to backs, the first at altitude, in Denver, straight up, while getting 10 points in the contest and the second last night in Cleveland.
The oddsmakers opened the total for Wednesday's game in Cleveland at 189 and the Bucks are 20-7 ATS when the opening number is between 180 and 189.5 points over the last two seasons, winning outright in this situation by an average margin of four points.
The Bucks are 15-3 this season in the second game of back-to-backs, 8-1 ATS after a home win of 10 points or more and 13-3 ATS following a game they scored 105 points or more.
The Timberwolves played Wednesday against the Kings without forward Damien Wilkins, who missed the game because of an upper respiratory illness. The Wolves shooting guard is day to day.
Chris Douglas-Roberts missed Wednesday's game against the Suns with back spasms.
Devin Harris is now dealing with a bad back after Wednesday's game against the Suns. Harris shot only 2 for 10 and was seen leaving the locker room for the second half with his back wrapped. He said he fell on a photographer's knee in a recent game. Consider the Nets point guard day-to-day with a probable status for Saturday's contest against New Orleans.
Wilson Chandler has been shut down for the remainder of the season with a left groin injury.
Backers of the Suns and Steve Nash were concerned that his minutes might be limited in back-to-back situations considering his age and his bad back. However, the MVP guard had 24 points, 14 rebounds and found the bottom of the net with three treys in Wednesday's win over the Nets. On more than one occasion since the All Star break Nash has told the media that after every game that his back is killing him.
Rodney Carney did not play on Wednesday because of an injured big right toe. He is considered day to day. The Sixers' bench is currently shorthanded with Willie Green as the only healthy reserve guard. Green had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists in Wednesday's loss to the Bobcats
Spencer Hawes didn't dress for Wednesday's game in Minnesota with a left hamstring contusion. The Kings center returned from a back injury to play on Tuesday, but suffered a hamstring injury during that game.
Omri Casspi was expected to return from an illness on Wednesday against the Wolves but didn't dress via coach's decision. Casspi remains day to day.
Francisco Garcia missed his third straight game to a wrist injury and is considered day to day.
Sean May has missed three straight games with a knee injury and could not play Wednesday at Minnesota. May has a bruised right knee and is one of several Kings listed as day to day.
Manu Ginobilli (back) and Roger Mason Jr (finger). both played Wednesday against the Rockets.
Hedo Turkoglu played just 17 minutes off the bench on Wednesday, finishing with six points, three boards and six assists. It was the second straight game that the Turk has come off the bench since being spotted out partying the same night he missed a game with the flu.
The Raptors have won 12 of their 24 home victories by 10 points or more. Before tonight they had been a home favorite of 10 points or more only once, against Detroit, a game the won by nine points.
Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko (strained left calf) didn't dress for Wednesday night's game against Golden State and will not travel to Los Angeles for Friday's contest against the Lakers. Kirilenko has missed eight of the past 10 games with calf problems.