The NBA Playoffs, Week One Review
Well one thing’s for certain and it shouldn’t surprise anyone. There is no parity in the NBA. Top seeds are trashing the lower seeds,with the exception of injury ravaged Chicago, down now 3-1 in their series with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls lost league MVP Derrick Rose in game 1 and played much of game 3 and all of game 4 without rebounding leader Joakim Noah. The 6ers defeated the pesky but short bodied Bulls Sunday 89-82. The Bulls 3rd leading scorer was little used reserve Taj Gibson.
Elsewhere the Celtics are on the verge of going up 3-1 over the usual playoff struggling Atlanta Hawks. At press time the C’s were up 37 points in game 4.
Once again in terms of competitiveness no contest between the winter sports playoffs. The NHL, not as popular as the NBA had over 80% of their first and second round games decided by either one or two goals an amazing figure.
The NY Knicks staved off elimination Sunday but lost another player. The Knicks got 41 big points from Carmelo Anthony in nudging by the 7th seed Miami Heat 89-87. Amare Stoudemire returned from his attack on the fire extinguisher and played well for a 1 handed man with 20 points and 10 boards. His play inspired the Knicks and forced a game 5. It also broke the Knicks 13 game post season losing skid, a new NBA record.
The 3rd seeded Indiana Pacers are about to dust off the 6th seed Orlando Magic, who have fought gamely despite having no Dwight Howard.
The West is interesting but besides the 4-5 match up between the Clips and Grizzlies it’s all according to form and seed. The Lakers lead the Nuggets 2-1 going into Sunday nights game 4. It’s all over for the geriatric Mavs, swept and humiliated by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Seems to me the Mavericks tanked the year, losing 2 of their top players from their title run and signing all geezers to replace them. Owner Mark Cuban is eying free agency to rebuild his Mavs with Howard and Nets guard Deron Williams his targets. The Spurs are about to put out the Jazz beating out manned Utah Saturday to take a 3-0 lead in that series. Say goodnight Utah! No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a 7 game NBA series and the Jazz won’t be the 1st.
Not sure if anyone is surprised by the aweful games, lousy shooting, foul rich 1st round. Seems this is the NBA way. How the NHL isn’t more popular based strictly on playoff excitement is beyond me. I never have understood that and never will.
In the NHL, the West has their 8th seed in the conference finals after dusting off the top seed and 2 seed in order and in just 1 more game then the minimum. The LA Kings haven’t mattered in LA since Gretzky toiled there. In the East 1st the 8th seeded Ottawa Senators gave the Rangers a battle to 7 games now it is the 7th seed Washington Capitols making life miserable for the New Yorkers. NHL upsets are common and expected as are close games. The NBA could only wish to have the same level of excitement.
A few 1-6 point games are the rare not the common. It usually takes the NBA getting rid of the 1st round riff raff till their playoffs pick up some steam and get competitive. It certainly looks like that will be the scenario in the West when the Lakers finish off the Nuggets. It will be Lakers-Thunder and Spurs taking on the winner of a very good series between the Clippers and Grizzlies. Now that might get the suspense back to what has been mostly a very bad and somewhat boring 1st round!