Shocking, I know. There has been so much action and it’s been so good to watch. I actually enjoyed watching the Knicks and Celtics yesterday. I glanced at the Philly/Miami game throughout the Easter meal at our local Outback (Andrew Bogut’s favorite restaurant, just ask him). I realized why we all like the Playoffs, especially this year. All we’re looking at are games. The looming CBA discussion and possible NBA lockout has disabled all talk of trades and even free agency to some extent. The draft is a big deal, but the teams still playing aren’t in the lottery and the actual order isn’t determined until those ping pong balls are picked on May 17th. Plus the kids like Harrison Barnes at Carolina are saying they’ll go back to school. Then there’s that whole weak draft argument…which I don’t fully understand yet, more to come on that in the coming weeks.
So it’s just playing the games. No off the court BS. There are the injury reports but in the first round, if the Spurs can’t win without Manu against the Grizzlies, they have bigger issues. So who cares what people say about injuries? I’m looking in your direction, Tony Allen.
The Knicks were swept. Good games and yeah, it looks like Boston is legit again but they were playing playoff basketball in Madison Square Garden again, and that’s a big deal. When you think of how bad the Knicks have been but they’ve kept themselves, or at least the New York media, has kept them so relevant, it’s astonishing. They have Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stodumire and a team option on Chauncey Billups. That’ll be something to watch for the next few days, whether the team excersises that option. For all the crap I heap on the Celtics, they are impressive. Rondo had 20 assists and the Knicks whole defensive scheme was to dare him to shoot by sagging off of him. Not only did he hit some shots, he was able to see the floor. Yeah, you want to guard the big three but come the hell on with giving an All-Star point guard access to like a fifth of the half of the court and sight lines like he was on a deserted island looking for ships passing. They made it too easy.
Just so much intrigue and intensity out of the first sweep of the post-season. Doc Rivers outcoaching Mike D’Antoni, Mike D’Antoni’s ties from 25 years ago making a comeback, 6 All-Stars, 2 finals MVP’s, one league MVP, the biggest story of the season coming to fruition. It was like the perfect storm of NBA BS and garbage, highlighted by two fanbases who take themselves far too seriously and two squads in flux. I loved watching it like a full on trainwreck of a series, thank God it was only 4 games so I can actually appreciate it.
The East, of course, is my focus because I see those teams more and because I watch the scoreboard every night in the final months of the season for the East. I never thought Indy would steal a game and certainly not in the fashion they won on Saturday. Leading, then losing the 13 point lead, then Boozer for a three to tie at the end? Just weird. Their only players in double figures were Granger, Hibbert and somebody called A.J. Price? Ok, sure, extend the series, fine, let them win it in Chicago on Tuesday.
The Atlanta/Orlando series? What the hell is that all about? I said that Atlanta wasn’t really even a playoff team or something and I’d be surprised if they won a game. 3-1 series lead? Okie dokie. If you ever want to make money, bet against something I say, but if you want to make a lot of money, bet against something I say that is a definite. Good for the Hawks, proving the thousands of people following that series that they’ve got a chance. Shame on the Magic and their firey attitude and man-boy-superstar for laying an egg to begin this series. I don’t get it and I won’t get it because I don’t get NBATV. Seriously TWC, let’s put that in some normal package that won’t raise my bill $20 a month.
Philly and Miami? Ehh, glad the Chosen Ones didn’t have a cake walk to the second round and the old “Big Three” can get some rest to face the new “Big Three.” Seriously, could there be a more hated team than the Miami Heat? Could there be a more “blah” team than the Philadelphia 76ers? My brother in law was asking me about the Sixers “who plays for them?” I stammered through the roster while he looked at me with a blank expression. I nothing the 76ers but I hate the Heat and that whole “We’re better than you but why do you hate us,” mentality they have.
Anyway, it’s great to just watch games and see the play of elite teams and the scrappy ones clash and collide. The off-court stuff isn’t discussed right now and I think it’s tremendous and it’s the way things ought to be all the time but, hey, I don’t make the rules.