Thursday, May 1, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Excitement in playoffs
Is there anyone out there in South Reporter land who doesn’t agree that this is one of the most entertaining NBA Playoffs series ever? Discount, if you will, the almost heart-stopping moments (in Pam Burleson’s words), which were brought on by some of our favorite teams.
We have witnessed a resurgence of teams which could be said to have been caught up in the “Rip Van Winkle” syndrome and now, amazingly enough, are becoming contenders. The Toronto Raptors evened their series with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday with a 87-79 victory. Unless you are a long-standing fan of the Raptors or a misplaced Canadian, you just don’t hear a lot about the franchise during the regular season. And what about the Nets since their name revamp and the unsteadiness of late, are commanding all kind of interest?
The team which is closest to us and the one which Pam was referring to, the Memphis Grizzlies, escaped the second nail-biter overtime on Thursday night after blowing leads of 13 (twice), 15 (once), and 17 (twice), and finally pulled it out 98-95. And would you believe that on Saturday night they were in yet another OT battle which they could not sustain and lost a five-point lead with less than a minute left to allow the OKC Thunder to tie the series at two-all? They were scheduled to play again on Tuesday (April 29 at OKC).
The Portland Trailblazers went up 3-1 on the Houston Rockets. Their victory came in a third OT for their series, late Sunday night. They could close the Rockets out on Wednesday (April 30) at Houston. Closer to closing is the Heat with their 3-0 margin over the Bobcats. They were to play again on Monday at Charlotte. Did anyone catch the visual exchange between Lebron and Michael Jordan during one of James’ scoring drives? It was classic.
The hottest topic during this playoff is the verbal battle being engaged in by the owner of the Clippers (Donald Sterling), and just about everybody. This could possibly be the absolute wrong time for something like to this to surface. Take a look at what the Clippers have done under new coach Doc Rivers. They are making a credible run for the roses out there in Cal. The players entered into a silent protest before Sunday’s game by turning their shooting jerseys inside out and wearing black wristbands. It is definitely to the players’ credit that they are letting their coach (Rivers) handle the verbal part.
Sterling stayed away from Sunday’s game probably at the urging of NBA commissioner (Adam Silver), who seems to be using a “wait and see” approach. Let us be clear on one point; a commissioner has full authority over the policy enforcement of the league. Sterling’s wife (Shelly, are they estranged, divorced, what?) attended the game and sat across from the team bench wearing black. Was that showing empathy with players or contempt for spouse?
The Clippers and the Golden State Warriors met before the game and discussed whether a boycott was in order. Wisely, they decided against such a move. This verbal tug of war probably won’t go as long as the search for MH 370 but it won’t be buried in a couple of days.
There is a rumor that Magic Johnson is contemplating buying the Clippers. Incidentally, the Clippers lost by their largest margin on Sunday (118-97). The series is tied with the next game at Golden State on Tuesday (of this week).
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