Note I'm not a Celtics fan, I just wasn't all that impressed with the Sixers (and they squeaked into the playoffs in the 8 spot).
Speaking of not impressed, holy crap were the Lakers just awful last night. Bynum and Gasol just looked to be going through the motions and Kobe was taking too many long jump shots (and the Nuggets played really really well).
He should have played keep-away from everyone, just dribbling as far away from the defense as possible, running more time off and eventually getting fouled (as the team's best on-court FT shooter). It'd have taken another second or two for anyone to catch him, and then he'd have at least hit one of two. And the Bulls would likely have been in better position to defend (if he hit the second). Just a horrible, horrible decision. It's amazing how one single decision can so dramatically swing the tide of the game that late.
The tough part is that I really think this team had a chance to win it all if not for the injuries. Their bench was much better this year than last year, they vastly improved at SG, Boozer was healthier, and Deng, Noah, and Rose had a year's more experience with Thibadeau. Now, I worry that the door is going to close. Next year is a question mark with Rose's injury. And an ACL tear for a player as reliant on quickness and explosiveness is a reason for concern long-term. They're so heavily invested in two guys (Boozer and Rose) whose injury history becomes a long-term concern. I suspect Boozer will eventually be amnestied after next year, and the Bulls will then try to reload with another star. But what was potentially a Finals contender for this year and the next couple of years now is very much in doubt.
Free throws played such a huge roll in the last minute of both deciding games last night.
-Obviously, Asik missed his but, just as importantly, Iggy, a sub-70% free throw shooter, made both the tying and go ahead foul shots with only seconds remaining.
-In the Celtics v Hawks game, Ray Allen shockingly missed the first of two shots (made the second) allowing Al Horford to step to the line with a chance to tie...but he missed the front end...and then Pierce hit 2 to make the margin 4.
Chicago and Atlanta both could have won those games and looked like they would win them with one minute left in each. Crazy.
I am psyched for Sixers/Celtics partially because it was such a torrid rivalry in my youth. I mean, Dr. J and Bird had a fist fight midcourt!
Only one game tonight, Grizz at Clips.
CP3 and Blake are starting but are injured.
I think that the Grizz will win this game...and Game 7.
Windy City Devil
Stern gave a great interview with a reporter for ESPN in the stands of the Indiana/Heat game.
The question from the reporter was something like, "given all the injuries this season blah blah the condensed schedule, blah blah blah"
Stern's response was, "Normally we have 5 ACL injuries a season, we had two until the playoffs, and then 2 very public injuries. You guys at ESPN have all the data, all the numbers, why dont you do the homework and come back and tell me if it has anything to with condensed season (before you ask inaccurate, stupid questions was the implication)."
I like Stern, he is the commish I would most love to pick his brains about Sports and running a league.
Battier had a great game defensive on Danny Granger, despite not doing much for the offense.
Also, I have an extremely negative, visceral reaction anytime I see Hansbrough playing football, erm, I mean basketball.
I like Stern too, though I thought the lockout was handled in a very hamfisted fashion. Which is probably why he's so prickly about questions about the injuries that may or may not have come as a result of the shortened schedule. (Though, I mean, come on, we all know the injuries come from wearing Adidas sneakers.)
Bosh is out indefinitely with an abdominal strain.
Apparently this type of injury can be tricky. Al Jefferson didn't miss a game...however Kevin Garnett missed 3 weeks. Right now most are assuming that he'll be out for the rest of this series at least, which means that Lebron is going to play the 4 more. Battier/Miller/Anthony/Turiaf/Haslem will have to step up because the Pacers will probably trap Bron and Wade as much as possible in order to get the ball out of their hands. I still think the Heat will win in 5, but if they play the Celtics without Bosh it could be a major major problem...
I was looking forward to the Memphis-LAC game 7 basketball game. Unfortunately it was more of a football game. The refs lost control of this game from the start and it was ugly the whole way. Looked like and NCAA tournament game (and that's not a good thing). Hope it's not a trend because I prefer hoops over wrestling and MMA.
Congrats to the Clippers for fighting their way to a series win. And I do mean fighting!
the celtics are the whiniest, dirtiest team in the league.....they get calls like they were paid for....
way to go 76er's .....love seeing the celts lose...
"Either we're going down, or they are....... Kirk out!"
I think the Celtics are a bad match-up for Elton. He has played little and I don't expect we'll see a lot of him this series.
Yeah, it was interesting that the Sixers went down the stretch with this lineup: Jrue, Lou Williams, Evan Turner, Iggy, and Lavoy Allen (!!) at center, whose sideways 16-ft bank shot heave as the shot clock went off possibly kept the Sixers from coughing up the game... Sweet Lou drives me nuts - his shot selection is not only atrocious but predictable. I think I can tell when he brings the ball across half court whether or not he's going to jack one no matter how many guys are on him. On the other hand, he attacks the basket and he's their most consistent shooter when they're moving the ball around. Looks like we're going to get a classic matchup of Old and Savvy vs. Young and Stupid. The biggest surprise to me is that Thaddeus Young didn't get much time; he must be either banged up or in Coach Collins' doghouse.
"We are men of action, lies do not become us."
Hard for him to do much against KG.I think the Celtics are a bad match-up for Elton. He has played little and I don't expect we'll see a lot of him this series.