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TIME TO DRAW THE CURTAIN
Posted by Jeff Dengate on April 5, 2005 2 p.m. ET

LAKE-SHOW OVER?

New York is home to Broadway, but the Fat Lady is taking her revival on the road to an NBA city near you. While teams around the league use April to make a final push at securing a postseason berth, others clinging to playoff hopes hear the words, "mathematically eliminated."

The Lakers find themselves in the latter collective.

It seems unlikely the purple and gold can stave off elimination for the first time since 1994. The team is currently 8Ĺ games back of Denver and Memphis for the West's final playoff spot. With nine games remaining in the 2004-05 campaign, the Lakers need to win every game and hope the Nuggets go on a 10-game skid.

Even coach Hamblen finds the scenario unlikely.
-- [Orange County Register, Reg. req'd]

So, have the players already resigned the fact summer vacation will arrive sooner rather than later?
-- [Los Angeles Daily News, Reg. req'd]

Looks like that could be the case given the strange happenings in the locker room.
-- [Los Angeles News, Reg. req'd]

With the end of the road in clear sight, the Lakers could be lottery bound as early as tonight, when the Lakers travel to Phoenix without Lamar Odom and with Kobe Bryant and Chris Mihm on day-to-day status. A strained left shoulder has likely shelved Odom for the rest of the season.
-- [Los Angeles Times, Reg. req'd]

The banged up squad is looking for any help possible to shore up the gap in the middle, including activating Vlade Divac from the injured list. Could coach Hamblen be considering suiting up assistants Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw?
-- [Los Angeles Times, Reg. req'd]

L.A.'s departure from the playoff scene would mark only the second time in the past 29 years a team has missed the playoffs after reaching The Finals the previous season.
-- [The Arizona Republic]

Of course, fans in Los Angeles are unaccustomed to being basketball-free in late April and May. The last time the Lakers failed to make the playoffs, Kobe Bryant was then finishing his sophomore year of high school.

SAY IT'S SO, REGGIE

The Knicks appear to be joining the Lakers in the land of ping pong balls, but before looking ahead to next year, there's a little business to take care of this season: Sending Reggie Miller on his way -- NYC style.
-- [Pacers.com]

The thorn in the side of Knicks fans for the past 18 years is calling it quits and will play his final game at Madison Square Garden tonight. And, how fitting that it could be Miller who plays the role of the spoiler and all but slams the door on the Knicks playoff hopes.
-- [New York Times, Reg. req'd]

The Knicks have gotten the better of the Pacers at the Garden during the Miller years, going 38-11 against Indy since Miller was drafted in 1987.
-- [Indianapolis Star]

But it's Miller's trash-talking and gun-slinging that will be most remembered about the rivalry. Of course, who could forget the heartbreak Miller inflicted with performances like in Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Playoffs, when he drilled in eight points in 8.9 seconds?
-- [The Star-Ledger]

Miller not only managed to get under the skin of Knicks faithful and the city of New York, but also the most staunch of Knicks fans: Spike Lee. Despite the public hate-fest the two shared over the years, expect to see Lee standing and applauding when the final buzzer sounds.
-- [New York Post]

TIP-INS

Who's worthy of MVP stature? Here's why one scribe says Shaq edges Nash for this year's award.
-- [USA Today]

Winning NBA MVP honors is one way to join esteemed company.
-- [Memphis Commercial Appeal]

Big Dog moves to San Antonio to team with the Big Fundamental in search of a ring.
-- [San Antonio Express News]

AND FINALLY...

March Madness is over. It's time for you college seniors to get noticed if you expect to hear your name on draft night this June.
-- [NBA.com]

Don't look now, but the Lakers could be eliminated tonight.
(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

2004-05 ARCHIVE
March 29 -- Battling For Position
March 22 -- Gone A Long Time?
March 15 -- Deja View
March 8 -- Top to Bottom
March 1 -- Dynamic Duos
Feb. 25 -- Much Adieu About
Feb. 16-20 -- All-Star Blog 2005
Feb. 15 -- Random House
Feb. 9 -- Reserves, Deserves
Feb. 1 -- All-Starters
Jan. 25 -- South by Southwest
Jan. 19 -- My Kind of Town
Jan. 11 -- 'S Wonderful
Jan. 4 -- Points Well Taken
Dec. 29 -- New Year's Wishes
Dec. 21 -- A Wonderful Life
Dec. 14 -- How Good is Good?
Dec. 7 -- Getting Medieval
Nov. 30 -- LeBron vs. Dwyane
Nov. 23 -- Playing Good Ball
Nov. 16 -- SuperbSonics
Nov. 9 -- Hitting the Blue Note
Nov. 3 -- Bling, Bang, Boom
2003-04 -- Archive