Thursday, May 15, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
In the heat of the playoffs, and believe me, it has become very heated – which is to be expected at this point – the teams which failed to advance in the first round are licking wounds, firing coaches and counting casualties.
It didn’t take the Knicks very long to decide what, and who, they needed. Mike D’Antoni, he who was West, suddenly went East, to take over the reins of the Knicks. There were a few headlines heralding his arrival, but the one which I deemed cutest was “The End Of An Error.”
The local fans are also beginning to feel the heat. The questions are flying all over the place, seeking answers to which team is going how far. One of the most asked is, “How far will the Lakers go?” I have never been a fan of the Lakers (not since they left Minneapolis). But I have been a fan of their coach. However, I don’t think Phil and his managerial magic will get them out of the second and through the third rounds. It is true that L.A. has the league MVP. After all these years, Kobe Bryant was finally tapped. I think he deserves it. Before the advent of Pau Gasol, he was truly a one-man team.
But while they manhandled the Utah Jazz in the first two games, Utah came back and tied it at two all on Sunday. Those were Jazz home games. The ball bounces between venues for the next two games and L.A. has a chance of hosting a couple of them should the series go the distance. Methinks the reason which they have progressed thus far is the acquisition of Gasol.
You know this is the time of the year that one hears the names of the franchise players over and over. We expect that because they earn the most iron men. However, some of the games in this second round have seen some lesser touted come to the top. Point one, in the Detroit-Orlando game on Saturday in Orlando, star Chauncey Billups was sidelined. The Pistons won the most exciting game thus far, 90-89, getting the first road win of any team in the second round. Richard Hamilton led the comeback with 32 points.
And in the Celtics’ contest with the Cavaliers, names like Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have been capturing the spotlight. They completely outshone Lebron James to go 2-0. The Cavaliers finally won one but are still down 3-1. This writer still likes the Celtics’ chances for the title.
As much as yours truly admires the manner in which the Hornets have been taking care of business, I have not been watching them that closely; however, it was stated that they would shake up their division. The last update I had, they were leading the Spurs 2-0.
I don’t see this holding up.
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