Thursday, May 8, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
The first round in the best of seven in the NBA was concluded late Friday for all of the teams except two. The team which Doc Rivers has rejuvenated was forced to a seventh and final game in their series with the lowly but undaunted Atlanta Hawks. Even this writer never gave the Hawks a chance of going the distance with Boston.
But the Hawks were playing before a hometown crowd and we all know that when one’s back is against the proverbial wall, who better to have behind that wall other than your most diehard fans?
There are some who would tell you that the Celtics were in no great danger of elimination, having busted the clock on three of the games going into the sixth. The Hawks returned the favor and did a little clock breaking of their own on Friday, downing the visitors 103-100.
Atlanta was the only team below the .500 radar making the playoffs. They were the only team taking their opponents to a seventh game in their series. But, sadly to say, the underdogs had to remain that when they contested the Celtics back in Boston. The Celtics took all feathers off of the Hawks with a resounding 99-65 triumph on Sunday. That could very well have been Boston’s greatest test before the NBA finals.
There were not any surprises with the Lakers and the Nuggets. Kobe Bryant and company did exactly what they were predicted to do. They polished off the Nuggets in four games, with Pau Gasol furthering his worth. Then they won over the Jazz in the first game of the Western semi-finals. There is still head scratching in the Grizzlies’ camp. Who was responsible for that doofus trade?
The Spurs, Magic, Pistons and Cavaliers also didn’t experience a lot of difficulty with their opposition.
The Dallas Mavericks were a little bit different and there was a casualty. With little fanfare and despite his winning record at Dallas, head coach Avery Johnson was unceremoniously terminated by the chief Maverick. Yours truly could find no quotes by owner Marc Cuban on the firing.
As was splashed across the screen, Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni was confirmed for a second season after a three-hour meeting with Mike Heisley and Chris Wallace.
Please excuse the ending of this on a sad note, but I have always been a fan of the Kentucky Derby. After 20 years of a filly not winning the roses, Eight Belles made a run for it, taking second place and then breaking both front legs at the end and having to be euthanized on the track.
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