Thursday, May 15, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
The teams in these playoffs seem to set great stock by having their series flip back to home court. There has always been that certain comfort factor of playing “at home” in front of your own crowd.
In the case of the Oklahoma City Thunder in their semi series against the Los Angeles Clippers, starting at home didn’t put them in very good stead. They left home after dropping one of two and went farther West to L.A. However, they didn’t appear to mind all that much since their eyes were smarting and their hearts were singing because their Thunder hero had been named MVP and scoring titlist. Durant’s accepting speech has had clips shown across all channels. Actually, it was more of a tribute to his mother, who like himself and teammates couldn’t hold back the tears. It was more than fitting since Mother’s Day was just a couple of days hence.
It was a motivating factor since the Thunder got the one game upper hand at the Clippers. That game was good but, compared to the fourth game in the series, paled in comparison. The Thunder herd came out in a storm and racked up a 22-point lead in the first quarter. There were audible sighs from the vast Clipper crowd but no groans. The fan base acted as though they had to demonstrate concrete loyalty in light of the scandalous net of rumors swirling about their team. During that entire game, the Clippers, led by Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Darren Collison, kept bouncing back time and again. Even in the last two minutes when it seemed hopeless, no fan deserted. Collison made back-to-back plays, cementing the win for Los Angeles, although their super star Durant had the last attempt, sending the Clippers into a victorious hugging frenzy. The finals field better watch out for these Clippers.
And while we are naming names, a lady asked me a couple of weeks ago if Tim Duncan was still playing and with whom. I am honoring her by alluding to her request for anonymity but I had to tell her that yes, Duncan was alive and well and still a viable part of the San Antonio Spurs. I also told her it was a fair question since yours truly didn’t realize that Vince Carter and Derek Fisher were still making outstanding contributions to respective teams in the playoffs. I have written about Fisher many times in playoffs in the past. He has a boatload of championship rings.
Early this week the Spurs were looking good to advance over the Portland Trail Blazers, leading three games to none. There is a deep sentiment that the Heat is on course for their third in a row. The feeling is that the game which the Nets won (game three), was a “throw away” game. They attach no weight to the fact that Miami lost all four regular season games to Brooklyn.
If it comes down to a finals with the Heat and San Antone, I have to go with the Heat.
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