The Final Four

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-58-28-13

It’s time for the final four games of the year. I decided I owed I to the city of Denver to get to the playoffs. My ankle is still screwed up, so this is going to be tough. Up first is Oklahoma City.

nba2k11 2011-04-13 22-38-12-31

Happy Easter, everyone! Well, everyone but us.We got our butts kicked soundly. I had one of the freakiest sensations of déjà vu – I was like, ‘I recognize this beating.’ I actually thought I was reliving my past because the game felt so similar to the butt-kicking we got in our last meeting with OKC.

nba2k11 2011-04-13 22-51-35-60

This is all I’m going to say about our performance. I scored 28 points with 8 rebounds, 9 assists, a block and 3 turnovers on 46% shooting in a misleading 10 point loss. It wasn’t nearly that close. We were by far the inferior team, especially with me limping around. Oh well. Next up, Portland.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-22-42-85

Hey, it’s Greg Oden, everybody! He looks stoned as hell, too – probably on pain killers.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-23-49-50

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-23-53-70

Ok, I’m pretty sure this is a technical foul. Isn’t it? Nicolas Batum is just showing off.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-50-06-25

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-50-14-08

Of course, who am I to talk? We beat the Blazers, albeit barely. I shot the lights out, scoring 26 points on 83% shooting. I also had 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and 3 turnovers in our win. Now we have to play Golden State, and I honestly didn’t relish the thought of chasing Stephen Curry around on a bum wheel.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-59-08-66

nba2k11 2011-04-14 04-59-18-68

Hey, look who’s back up to speed! I was healed and felt like I was going 300 miles an hour out there. Unfortunately, I was going too fast and played really poorly. I was pulled in the 4th quarter with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, a steal and a block in a tight, 2 point game and was never put back in. The reasons were two fold. One was my horrible shooting percentage (20%),, but mostly to give our star of the night room to operate.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 05-23-39-99

Ben went bananas and scored a season-high 37 points and helped us beat the Warriors by 2. It’s down to one game to control our own destiny in the playoffs. Who’s up next?

nba2k11 2011-04-14 05-26-30-23

God dammit. Ok, this is how it had to be. The T-Wolves and us were tied at the bottom of the west bracket and were going to duke it out to secure a playoff spot. More importantly, it’s reckoning time.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 05-29-20-75

Owen Boone. My nemesis. In 2K10 I never had to face my arch rival Lyle Johnston in any meaningful game. Here, though, Owen and I were going to go head-to-head for a playoff spot. It’s fate. I won the first quarter, scoring 18 points by myself while the Wolves whole team had 19. After that, though, things went to hell. Owen began a slow-but-steady attack that hit a crescendo right when it should: the fourth quarter. I missed so many layups and short mid-range jumpers in the last two-plus quarters it was unbelievable. We were down 5 in the 4th when the defining moment of the season, and my career as a whole, happened. We were inbounding the ball on the sideline to try and get a shot off to keep things close. I called for the ball.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 06-02-30-69

Ffffffffffff…or goodness sake. Owen stole the ball, and possibly our season.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 06-03-28-41

I finished with 42 meaningless points on 51% shooting, but I don’t care. Owen Boone beat me again. I HATE that guy.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 06-06-56-62

Yeah, thanks for that.

Now, it was up to chance. We were tied with New Orleans for the eight spot when the season ended. The playoff bracket was then released. Let’s look at it.

nba2k11 2011-04-14 06-09-13-05

Hey, we made it! We’re the 8th seed and… we get to play… damn. Just damn. We’ve been drubbed by the Thunder twice in the last week and now we have to face them in the playoffs. I don’t forecast big things for us, but you never know. On to the playoffs!

- Rick Daniel

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