Thursday, May 28, 2009
Behind The Scoreboard
Views on playoffs in NBA
NBA fans are flocking to these playoffs in large numbers. So far the attendance has been running steadily between 18- and 20-plus thousand per game.
It would appear that the games in which King James is holding court have the biggest draws. Seemingly, the sustaining interest is to have the Cavaliers and Lakers in the grand finale.
Of course, the Cavaliers looked a little flat in their first game with the Magic. Quite understandable, say many, since the Ohio players didn’t exert really great efforts in polishing off their two earlier opponents. It was not a shocking defeat, 107-106, but it had a surprise element because it happened in Cleveland. Oddly enough the one-point win favored the Cavaliers on Friday evening at 96-95.
Cleveland had a “must win” situation in Orlando on Sunday (after our early sports section deadline this week). They have to leave the two-game stand with at least one victory if they want to regain that air of playoff dominance.
The Western scene was slightly different. Los Angeles slipped by the Denver Nuggets 105-103 in their opener. Thursday, the Nuggets opened the sluice gates and mined a little gold. They put together a pair of closing quarters of 26 points each to even the series 1-1 with a 106-103 victory. Denver won the three-ball war 21-18.
Saturday night late, the margin of victory was not really great but it probably showed what the Nuggets are up against. The 107-97 win gave the Lakers a most important road win. In the regular season they had the best road record in the NBA. Not so in the playoffs with about 40 percent.
A few columns ago, this writer remarked that, thus far, there was little or no outstanding drama surrounding these playoffs. And if one notices, there have been only a few technical fouls. This is the part of the series when tempers run high on the courts, in the stands, in living rooms and sports bars. There was a rumor that Mark Cuban and a relative of Kenyon Martin engaged in a shouting match during the Dallas Mavericks’ series with the Nuggets. After diligent search, this reporter found no supporting evidence.
Could it be that along with reaching parity in our major sports, we also have a greater understanding of what the games are all about?
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