Thursday, May 11, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

NBA playoffs

While the entire basketball world was trying to do Jerry West’s job for him, telling him who to send packing and who to retain, the rest of the NBA teams still in were finishing up business in the first round.

We had already reported that the Suns swept the Griz and the Heat just had too much fire for the Nets, while the Pistons sent Philly to the woodshed.

The Spurs almost swept Denver and ditto on the Sonics over the Kings. Don’t know how I missed it but I couldn’t find a score for the outcome of the Dallas and Houston series. Given Dallas’ record going into the playoffs, I would have to give Mark Cuban’s boys the edge. And speaking of that owner, have we not seen a kinder, gentler Cuban this season? Years prior, Mark was always involved in controversy.

The Pistons and Washington both moved on although Washington had a tougher test. How about a quick basketball trivia question? What was the name of the Washington franchise before they became the Wizards? Colonels? Senators? Bullets? Royals?

Anyway, the Wizards who haven’t been close to a playoff in over two decades took six games to knock the Bulls out of the box. Then with scarcely one day’s rest they were in Shaq country. The Wizards are building a machine and whereas they won’t win this one, they have the world watching. Gee, since this team represents our nation’s capital, maybe Congress could help. Just kidding, they have enough problem of their own! Incidentally, the Heat won game one.

I am sure that you all caught Shaq’s act on TV when the NBA named Steve Nash the MVP. O’Neal leaned on Michelle Tafoya and started boo-hooing. It got a real rise from the crowd. Shaq then cut the act and he was happy and proud for Nash. The point man for the Suns became only the third guard in NBA lore to win the coveted honor. And the first Canadian.

A couple of people asked if it wasn’t about this time of year when yours truly made his brilliant picks. I have sort of mellowed out in my old age. No more rush to judgement.

Besides, I have decided to use all my energy to help Jerry West solve his personnel problems.

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