Sad faces.

Tuesday's 2012 NBA Playoff schedule brought us one surprise that in retrospect isn't all that shocking. Of the three games played, two went as expected. Wednesday night we get three more and while we can't tell you which, we can virtually guarantee a surprise...or at least something worthy of a brief but intense Twitter Storm.

The Boston Celtics were supposed to lose the Atlanta Hawks without Rajon Rondo who took the night off to celebrate bumping an official. Instead, the Hawks predictably failed to get the job done and in the process lost Josh Smith to a knee injury of unknown severity.

In a slightly more surprising game, the Chicago Bulls defense decided to mourn the loss of Derrick Rose by not bothering to show up. The result was a home court loss destruction by the Philadelphia 76ers. That series is now tied 1-1 and headed back to the land of the Liberty Bell where the Sixers will most likely crack under the pressure.

The only game out West featured the Los Angeles Lakers controlling tempo and beating the Denver Nuggets to take a 2-0 series lead. The Nuggets played well but are simply over-matched in this series unless they can crank up the pace to HIGH and hit a ton of outside shots.

Here's what's on tap for Wednesday night:

Utah Jazz at San Antonio Spurs at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT on TNT. The Spurs were a bit rusty to start this game but still easily handled the Jazz. Utah is going to be hard pressed to get one win in this series and it isn't likely to come on the road where they don't play very well (11-22).

Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on NBA TV. The Pacers woke up in the second half of Game 2 and tied the series. They should be able to cruise through the next three with no problem. If you need to pick just one game to watch, don't make it this one.

Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on TNT. This is the main show on Wednesday night. The Grizzlies blew their big fourth quarter lead despite being the better team. If they are for real, they will bounce back and take care of the Clips at home. They're for real.

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I feel bad for Amare Stoudemire. Today he was rightly lambasted for being on the wrong end of a fight with a fire extinguisher, as The Wall Stree Journal so colorfully illustrates. The resulting...

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He's the man.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Not only is Amare Stoudemire suffering from a brain fart, he's already being written out of the Knicks future in some circles.

"It's been pretty firmly established this season that Anthony and Stoudemire cannot play well together," Neil Paine of writes for Insider today. "Offensively, Carmelo shoots much better without Amare because he is given more freedom to create for himself, particularly in areas of the floor where both players' repertoires overlap. Further, Stoudemire's presence on the floor requires an increase in ball movement, which clashes with Anthony's preferred style of play. In short, neither player is equipped to accentuate the other's gifts; instead, they just end up stifling each other. ..."

This rumors article on goes on to make a trade suggestion. My jaw dropped.

So what teams might be interested in Stoudemire? One that immediately comes to mind is Phoenix, where Stoudemire grew up in the league and became a bright young star next to Steve Nash. It might seem like an unlikely scenario going back to the Valley of the Sun, but Stoudemire has the star power the franchise so desperately needs. Putting Stoudemire in the frontcourt next to emerging center Marcin Gortat could allow both to thrive.

In addition, the Suns have tradeable pieces in Channing Frye, Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick who would save the Knicks just over $15 million over the next three seasons.

I don't know what to say to this. There are so many possible angles to take. It's obvious that Amare's best days were as a Phoenix Sun (7 years in Phoenix vs. 3 good months in NY as well). Amare and Carmelo cannot play winning basketball together. Steve Nash needs his Robin back. Suns with Amare would be a contender again.

But to actually consider this would be, and is, quite mind-boggling.

Should the Suns re-acquire Amare?

  825 votes | Results

I suppose winning 50 of 66 games will help one get the vote for coach of the year.

Gregg Popovich won the award for a second time, the other in 2003. I suppose this news isn't very surprising. The Spurs have once again figured out how to kick the league's asses even with an aging Timmay, Tony Parker, oft-injured Manu Ginobili, and a host of complementary parts

The rest of the voting went as follows:

2. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau (27)

3. Indiana coach Frank Vogel (7)

4. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins(6).

Boston's Doc Rivers and Denver's George Karl each received a vote.

Gregg Popovich Named 2012 NBA Coach of the Year-SB-Mike Prada

Popovich won the award for the second time in his career and first since the 2002-03 season, the league announced on Tuesday. Popovich beat out Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to take home the honor.

And perhaps Alvin Gentry didn't deserve 1 (one) single, solitary vote. Maybe only the Suns faithful truly understood how lacking in talent this squad was, how improbable a playoff birth would have been, even after a furious comeback the team made in the second half of the season. The Suns did not quit though. The locker room held together, and the team finished strong. And for that, you have to give Gentry some credit.

Goes to show you the big W means everything. Nevertheless, I still think Gentry was more deserving than Karl and Rivers for their single votes. What say you all?

Not a real interesting story, was it?
Well, stay tuned for our "Suns Season
in Review Recap LATER THIS WEEK!"

Beard beats Jet every time.

(SB Nation Arizona, Seth Pollack) Monday's 2012 NBA Playoff schedule gave us two so-so games and one really fun contest. Not surprisingly, the really good game featured the Western Conference Finals rematch between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks. The Thunder took a 2-0 series lead with their win (102-99)

The game once again came down to the wire, with Jason Terry having two shots at tying the game with a made three-pointer. He missed both attempts. The Thunder have yet to shoot the ball well and are showing flaws, but they've been good enough to beat the Mavs, who lack enough punch. This series should go at least six games, however, unless the Thunder are able to find another level of play on the road.

In the other games, the Miami Heat took care of the New York Knicks (104-94) and took a 2-0 series lead, and the Indiana Pacers bounced back to tie their series 1-1 with the Orlando Magic (93-78).

The big story in the NBA from Monday's playoff action is the status of Amare Stoudemire's hand. He reportedly hit the glass door of a fire extinguisher case and caused himself some damage. Not the smartest thing Amare's ever done but we still don't have all the details. With the Knicks trailing the Heat 0-2 in the series, his availability for the next few games is unknown.

Here's Tuesday's schedule of playoff games.

Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on NBA TV. The Celtics will be without Rajon Rondo, who is serving a one-game suspension for bumping an official. The Hawks will need to stay focused (never a strong suit for that team) and hopefully get better shooting from Joe Johnson. If they do, they can take a nice 2-0 lead in the series.

Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT on TNT. The Bulls will begin their post-Derrick Rose playoff run Tuesday, but they still should be fine against the offensively-challenged 76ers. Rose missed almost half the season with other injuries and backup CJ Watson is playing well.

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT on TNT. The Lakers killed the Nuggets in the paint and there's no reason to think that will change anytime soon. The Nuggets will need to play VERY fast and try to wear down Andrew Bynum, and they'll need a ton of threes to win. Possible, but not likely.

For more 2012 NBA Playoff coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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