Thursday, May 27, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
The NBA conference championships roll on with the Celtics taking complete command in the East. They went into Orlando and came away with home-court advantage. Although the Magic came pretty close in game two (95-92), they couldn’t build on that closeness on Saturday when the series flopped back to Boston. The Celtics dominated 94-71.
The media started early Sunday predicting Orlando’s downfall in game number four at Boston on Monday evening (after press deadline for this week’s sports section). The word is that number four will sound the death knell for the Magic’s run this season. The predictors say that even a win would only forestall the inevitable.
Over the history in NBA, 93 teams have gone up 3-0 and never lost a championship series.
Factually, across all pro sports, only four teams have come back to win a championship after a 3-0 deficit. And if one needs an expert opinion, Magic Johnson joined the SportsCenter crew on ESPN Monday and responded with “none,” when asked what chance the Magic had in game four.
The West Conference finals were also generating a lot of interest and some of it didn’t fly around Kobe. Not minimizing Bryant’s part in the current run for a repeat ring, for truly he has put up his usual awe-inspiring performances throughout the playoffs, 30-plus points (one 40-plus), with seemingly little effort.
And the whopping combined point spread in games one and two (33), made the Phoenix franchise start to question its star players. Although denied by Amare Stoudermire early on Saturday, it must have struck some chord within for Stoudermire went out and hit 42 points with 11 rebounds on Sunday. Phoenix just hopes that this will carry over to game four on Tuesday which is also in Phoenix.
During this point in the season, one can always expect the unexpected. It would seem that whenever any high profile conversation comes up in basketball, John Calipari’s name will creep in. The latest rumor was that King James would declare his free agency, bolt to Chicago and be coached by the fast becoming legendary Calipari.
Remember, the Bulls up and fired their head coach just as the playoffs got underway. But that was yesterday.
Sunday night (why do these things always happen at night?), the Cleveland hierarchy fired head coach Mike Brown. It was a move which was necessary, according to the Cleveland hierarchy – time for a new direction. Brown had given them their best records in the history of the franchise with the largest winning percentage of any coach. During his five-year tenure he took them to the playoffs five times.
The word is that King James will have some input as to who the next coach will be, that is if Cleveland wants him to tear up his free agency certificate. And the beat goes on.
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