Thursday, May 9, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
The second round of the NBA got underway with two games on tap for the weekend. The Oklahoma City Thunder had the pleasure of contending with an old Western Conference nemesis which is developing into an interesting rivalry. Our closest pro team, the Memphis Grizzlies, was seemingly prepared to meet the old foe after a spirit lifting win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Memphis had bested the Clippers in the best-of-seven series with a sixth game win to make it 4-2. It was spectacular as it elevated the Grizz to the 10th team in NBA history to come back and win a series after being down 2-0. But they made their own special history by becoming the only team to win such a series by double-digit scoring. This led some fans to question why Zebo (Zach Randolph) would get kicked out in the last seconds for taunting the Clippers’ bench. And in the classical words of Bob Newhart, “I have no idea what he said.”
Memphis had its share of possible winning moments in its first semifinal game with the Thunder. The Grizzlies kept taking the fight to the Thunder, knowing full well that Oklahoma was going without one of its stars (Westbrook). Time and again they came back and took a double-digit lead which they let slip away.
There are those of us who have always held the fourth-quarter runs by the Grizzlies suspect. Call it the fourth frame fizzle, if you will. One of the Grizz’ top free-throw shooters (Quincy Poindexter) couldn’t connect on a game-tying, three-point try. He missed the first, made the second and missed the third intentionally, hoping for a strategic grab and putback. Bad gamble.
Over the years, I have written about how valuable one enduring player has been to the playoffs. Derek Fisher, now supporting the lightning bolt and has enough championship rings to outfit a whole hand, poked a ball away from Grizz Mike Conley which was fielded by Kevin Durant, who hit his 35th point to seal the fate of the Grizz 93-91. By the way Durant came in second (to Lebron James) in MVP voting. He was second last season also. James picked up his fourth MVP award. He would have made history by becoming the NBA’s first unanimous MVP, save one vote (which went to Carmelo Anthony).
Game two for the Grizz and Thunder was Tuesday.
Hate to bring this up, but the ole coaching carousel has started to spin. The Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks are already “shopping around.”
And speaking of shopping around, I sincerely hope all of you took advantage of one of your most important inalienable rights, the right to vote.
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