Thursday, June 7, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
It is at that point in these NBA playoffs where any writer has to start mentioning the contributions of individuals. On-scene commentators can do it all the time. I must admit there are scores of names of reserve players who I have never heard of who are rising from the bench and elevating themselves and their teams.
One of the “Bigs” for the Heat is still listed as “indefinite” (coach’s word) after missing eight straight playoff games. Chris Bosh was injured in game 1 of the second round (against Pacers). His coach, Erik Spoelstra, stated that he would not suit up for the game with the Celtics on this past Sunday night. His absence has created a void which is proving detrimental to the Heat’s progress. It has also left Dwayne Wade vulnerable. He has been mercilessly double-teamed; however, he has still been pretty adroit in handling the pressure. The Heat has brought in a couple of names familiar with us in the Mid-South, Mike Miller and Shane Battier, both of whom showed up huge in the first two games. There is really no great cause for concern if you are a Miami fan. Their lead of the series in the Eastern Conference finals was 2-1.
The conference finals have been producing some real cliff-hangers at times. The Western games with Oklahoma and San Antonio were all tied up on Saturday at two apiece. The Spurs won the first two and the Thunder the second pair. So far there has been no road wins in the series. The “old man” of the Spurs, Tim Duncan, once urged all to really embrace the words, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is your best. I am chasing perfection.” Tim Duncan is still proving his quote. The unassuming sometime center is just as effective as he was in his early career. He is still commanding respect on the hardwood and is constantly displaying the type of attitude that all super athletes should have. As much as yours truly has that penchant for success of the underdog, I would much prefer that it not come at Duncan’s expense.
The Spurs have a worthy opponent in the Thunder, however, I can’t shake the feeling they seem to be “toying” with Oklahoma. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have been performing well, in addition to Duncan, and they have received some able assistance from the bench (not that they really needed it in most instances). I expect the Spurs to take the Thunder out in the next two games.
Just in case a lot of you didn’t have time to check in on the Wood Memorial, Tiger got back on track and recorded his 73rd major win with a five under par. He tied Jack Nicklaus for second place all time. The Tiger appears to have regained some of his avid followers.
P.S. The Celtics, up the entire game with leads of 19 and 16 in the second and third quarters, respectively, turned a determined Heat team back in overtime to even their series at two all. Both Lebron James (Heat) and Paul Pierce (Celts) fouled out. This was James’ first dismissal since joining the Heat.
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