Thursday, May 1, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
It is becoming very difficult to even mention anything about basketball nowadays without having some tidbit about the Memphis Tigers thrown in. Wow! What would have happened if they had held on to their win? Don’t worry, we are not here to bury Caesar, we are still praising him.
The Calipari entourage just seems to keep on reaping the benefits of their season. Assistants going on to become head coaches in their own rights and players testing the deeper waters of the big league.
And I would think that would be a big enough segue to get into the NBA playoffs. The early round in the best of seven (all are “best of seven” now) is yielding few surprises thus far. The word is out that Boston has returned to its old ways and is ready to stack up multiple wins again. They wrapped up the Eastern Conference with a record that was 10 games better than their closest chaser in any conference. Some are already terming their series with the Hawks a mismatch in the worst way. Going into Wednesday (of last week), they were ahead of Atlantic by one game.
The same kind of excitement is fast spreading to the Western Conference. Lakers fans are thumping their chests hoping that the fact that L.A. took the West will transfer in a return to championship status. And currently, Mr. Basketball is extolling all of the contributory virtues of his newest best friend and teammate. Bryant has openly stated more than once that Pau Gasol was the missing ingredient in the Lakers’ latest recipe. And like their Eastern counterparts, they have the lead over the Nuggets. Yours truly would caution the Lakers’ faithful not to get too excited. San Antonio and Dallas still have a lot of punch and New Orleans appears clearly the dark horse in this race – a starved dark horse.
With the departure of Mr. Big Stuff, the Southeast Division suddenly found that there was no longer a looming threat each and every week. Ergo, Orlando and Washington blossomed. Who knows? The Southeast just might provide some interest after all.
In case anyone is wondering, yours truly likes the Celts in this one. They have a few unsung heroes.
And speaking of unlikely things, remember Scott Skiles? He who was fired by the Bulls last December? Well, he is now the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Good for you, Scott, saving all that gas money on the moving van.
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