Thursday, June 2, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Teamwork in NBA, military

As the playoffs head rapidly toward the showdown date in June, the Spurs have taken a 2-0 lead over the Phoenix Suns in their Western series (at the time of the early deadline for this week’s column). And they have been turning in some pretty hefty scores. Both teams. Of the two games played, the clock has been busted on each. In the first, the Spurs were seven points better at 121-114. In the second they were 111-108. It is clear that the Suns are trying to hold their own.

There are those in the community who feel as the Suns’ coach does, that Amare Stoudemire has yet to play his best game in this series. Lest we forget, he has already had three 30-plus games. And further, the Suns were the best offensive team in the league this season. You can look for these Suns to start shining again.

With the loss of the first game, the Miami Heat gave up the home court advantage but they bounced back and showed the Pistons that this was not a cake walk. Remember that yours truly told you that this Eastern series was going to be satisfying.

They bounced back on Wednesday night (of last week) as the basketball world stayed up late to watch the show put on by Dwane Wade. It wasn’t the Fourth of July but there were plenty of fireworks.

Wade, who has picked up the nickname “Flash,” led the Heat to a 1-1 tie with the Pistons. He took charge of the game in the last stanza, and not only did it on offense but defense as well. The Flash had 20 points in the fourth for an overall game total of 40. Wade put his team ahead for good with a monster dunk with a little over five minutes left.

The Heat didn’t knock the clock off the wall and Shaq didn’t destroy any goals as the Heat won 92-86.

I know that it hasn’t escaped you viewers out there that these games thus far are tame...even though there were a handful of technicals, but no one fouled out and no one was ejected. I know, I know, the playoffs aren’t over yet so there is still time for some ugliness, but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

As these teams are exhibiting examples of teamwork during the Memorial Day weekend, there is another team that is performing outstandingly. The heroic team of men and women who face peril every day to protect our way of life and bring hope to the oppressed.

We don’t say it often enough, but they need, and certainly deserve our unwavering support.

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