Thursday, May 13, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
The NBA playoffs blasted into the second round with few surprises.
As alluded to last week, the NBA sends the best 16 of the 30. And, also as pointed out last week, hitching your wagon to the shining star of the Cleveland Cavaliers wouldn’t be a bad bet. True, they are currently locked in a do or die battle with the Boston Celtics to see who or which will forge the way to meet the best of the West. If memory serves, this road is not at all dissimilar to the one taken last season.
The question was posed last week as I made my weekly rounds throughout the circulation area, “Does Boston really have a chance against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially at a time such as this?” That is interpreted to mean that the Cavs are super hungry for a championship ring and feel that this is the best time to grab it. Are the two teams closely matched? The case can be made on a few fronts – talent, ability and records.
The NBA plays an 82-game schedule during the regular season and Cleveland came out with the enviable record of 61-21. The Celtics, with all of their past glory, were 11 games behind at 50-32. We know that King James is still picking up accolades by the bushel and here lately is being classed along beside (if not in front of) NBA notables like Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson and the modern day Robin Hood, Kobe Bryant.
It is worthy of note that Boston evened the series at 2-2 on Sunday, using its own heroes. The next two games are pivotal and one will be played at Cleveland (Tuesday) and Boston on Thursday.
At other points in the playoffs, Orlando could very easily wrap up its second round with Atlanta on Monday night (May 10) in Atlanta. The home court advantage might not mean a lot to the Hawks. The Magic has “busted” the clock in all three games of their second round series.
Way out West, Phoenix was having little trouble with San Antonio. They also overloaded the clock three times to take a 3-0 lead going into Sunday’s game. The Lakers also put up some big numbers in their games versus the Jazz. However, they barely escaped by one point on Saturday night at 111-110. They could send the Jazz back to New Orleans on Monday evening.
And we are not quite ready to address the “coaching carousel” just yet, but we know of a few vacancies. One is at Philadelphia and the head shed has already begun interviewing likely suspects. Among those so far are Avery Johnson, Doug Collins and Bill Laimbeer. Laimbeer has won three championships in the WNBA in the last six seasons.
You can bet that the carousel will be in full rotation in a couple of weeks.
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