How much change is coming?
I had a very quiet night and spent some quality couch time and I must have dropped off and had a nightmare because I swore I saw Johan Petro and Kyrylo Fesenko as the starting centres in an NBA playoff game.
Couldn’t be, could it?
I think for most of the season the Oklahoma Thunder was everybody’s second-favourite team and I’m pretty sure that’s even more a fact today.
Wasn’t that game and series something?
Close Game 6, huge crowd, all kinds of emotion and a last-second bucket to end it.
Probably the best of all the series, right?
Okay, now comes the hard part for the Thunder.
At some point, they’re going to have to pony up big bucks to keep a promising young team – mostly on relatively small rookie-scale contracts – together and that’s going to test the mettle of both ownership and the players.
We saw it a bit in Chicago and a bit in Portland, at some time it becomes financially unfeasible to keep a big group of young kids together and I wonder what they’ll eventually do in Oklahoma City.
But for now, I guess, they just ride it out and worry about the future when the future gets here.
I know that they’ll be remembering this series for a long, long time down there; I just hope it’s not the high-water point of the next few years.
There’s always a danger of a big bounce-back for a young team like that, no one takes them for granted any more, the tendency is to relax a bit after achieving a level of success and it’s going to be interesting to see how they handle next season.
Until then, though, they can remember this ride pretty fondly.
Not quite the same in Denver though, is it?
There have to be some serious questions raised about the Nuggets, who were, in my opinion, legitimate championship contenders in early February.
Now? Now they’re a bit old, a bit slow, a bit disjointed and I wonder who will be moved this summer.
They’re locked into some longish contracts for guys giving diminishing returns – they’ve got about $73 million committed for next season already – and I can’t imagine ownership, or the front office, is going to take this first-round loss to well.
The absence of George Karl, who seemed to be the only guy who could keep a group that had some knucklehead in it together, was a huge blow and since no one knows for sure if he’ll be back next season due to his health issues, I can see them trying to make big moves to get younger and with different chemistry over the summer.
Hey, remember when Derby Day used to be a big deal?
I can recall everyone heading to some local and running some kind of pool to randomly pick horses and having a jolly old time because it was one of THE events you looked for on the sports calendar.
I know I’m old and all that but, still, it’s lost its allure a bit, no?
Joey Graham plays 25 minutes of Game 6 for Denver, scores 21 points and has a huge impact on the game, albeit in a losing effort.
And it makes a guy wonder, what if he could bring that every night?
Oh, wait, a guy’s been wondering that for five years now.
Mail? Last chance to send it here ‘cause there’s a good chance I’ll be on some stool somewhere tonight watching Cavs-Celts and then the fight so I’ll have to get it out of the way this afternoon.
Or, I’ll be lying on a couch watching Cavs-Celts and I may not want to type.
I take back everything bad I said about the Atlanta Hawks and their proclivity to play like dogs on the road.
Well, maybe not everything since a lot of what transpired last night was on the Bucks and their inability to score, a problem I’ve figured would pop up sometime during the series.
Too bad it had to happen at such a crucial point because I think it’s going to be next to impossible for Milwaukee to win a Game 7 on the road.
The Hawks, for all their foibles and tendencies to play selfish basketball, are a very good home team and that’s probably the thing that cements the series for them.
Too bad, the Bucks were, and are, a pretty good story.
Anyway, now I have to go off and figure out what to write about Lakers-Jazz for a setup piece for tonight here and tomorrow’s newspaper and, luckily, I don’t have to figure out Suns-Spurs until tomorrow because I still can’t get my head around that series totally.