Thursday, May 2, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
Early exit in playoffs unusual for Lakers
The last throes of the first round in the NBA playoffs draw testily to a close with a couple of shutouts (sweeps) and some rancor.
Possibly a sad sight was seeing the entire Lakers retinue displaying white towels in their do-or-die game against the San Antonio Spurs. This is territory quite unfamiliar to the Lakers for the most part.
The Lakers, sans Kobe Bryant, went up in smoke and became the second team to be swept in post season round one. Bryant returned to the Lakers’ bench probably and strictly for moral support. He saw his team go out in game four, 103-92.
He was also on hand to see teammate Dwight Howard ejected from the game for challenging a game official for the second time. The rumor is that the Lakers plan to release Howard at the end of the season, which is now.
It is hard to cover these games without putting emphasis on certain players. Or coaches. One of the very early finger-pointing incidents not praising, mind you, involved the affable coach of the Boston Celtics.
The generally unflappable mentor was slapped with a $25,000 fine for criticizing the officiating of one of his games with the New York Knicks.
Though I am not aware of any fines being levied, the OKC Thunder and Rockets were involved in two incidents thus far. Critics claim that a vicious attack on Rocket Jeremy Lin was motivated by an injury on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook by Patrick Beverly. Westbrook is out for the rest of the season.
The word is that the play on Lin by Kevin Durant was unwarranted because Lin had signaled for time.
The Miami Heat was the first to catch the train to the second station with their sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks. Lebron James was his usual spectacular self in game four. It was James’ first shutout in a playoff series.
While some teams were still hanging on the edge of a cliff pending Monday and Tuesday games, the Griz was not one of them. They cleaned the Clippers’ clock at the Forum to make it 2-2.
Should the fan base be buoyed up and optimistic by the margins of victory? Totally, tentatively.
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