How ‘bout them Magics?
Or more correctly, how ‘bout them Celtics?
As well as Orlando played – and they did have some fight in them that I honestly didn’t expect to see – I think the Celtics kind of took their foot off the pedal in Game 4 and that’s why we saw what happened.
They didn’t have as much of the passion and intensity they did in Games 1-3, I don’t think; the offence bogged down considerably when Rondo was less than great and they probably gave the Magic some hope. A scintilla, but still, some hope.
Is it enough? Historically, no. Realistically, probably not but I would not at all be surprised if we didn’t have a Game 6 back in Boston on Friday night.
The Magic are, in my opinion, pretty big front-runners; that they went into Game 4 with no real chance, survived a late collapse and still won and that has to count for something.
And the fact they won with HWSNBN playing like a pooch and Rashard Lewis still pretty much MIA was kind of interesting in itself. I think Rondo was just average enough that his clear-cut domination of Jameer Nelson was diminished a bit and Ray Allen missed a couple of shots that might have changed the tenor of the game.
Do I think the Magic can win four straight? No.
But I do think they have enough life in ‘em to win Game 5.
(Which means an easy Celtics triumph).
One thing I was very glad to see?
Doc Rivers not calling a time out on the final possession of the fourth quarter.
Look, everyone in the building, nay, everyone in the world who was watching, knew that Paul Pierce was going to have the ball in his hands.
Letting him go against a defence in transition – even if it didn’t work out – makes far more sense to me than letting everyone catch their breath, figure out what they wanted to do and then doing it.
It wasn’t like they were going to lose the game in that situation – I may have thought differently had the Celtics been down one or two instead of tied – so what Doc did makes a guy who thinks coaches over-coach too often feel pretty good.
You know, I like a decades-old maple tree like the best of ‘em. Majestic and towering and maple leaves and Canada and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But I have to tell you, if I never have to see another of those little helicopter thingies cluttering up the deck I will be one happy man.
Steve Nash has a busted nose and a black eye and everyone’s lauding him.
Now all he has to do is play as well as he did in Game 3 or else the Suns are sunk in Game 4 against the Lakers.
I think we can all admit that Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire were quite average in L.A. to open the series and quite above average in Game 3.
If they can do it again, the Suns can turn it into a best-of-three and then we’ve got some excitement to deal with finally in playoffs that have been memorable only because they’ve been unmemorable so far.
What I’m most interested in seeing, though, is what the Lakers do.
When Phoenix played a zone defence for almost three quarters the other night, it completely befuddled the Lakers, turning them into a three-point shooting team that played away from its strengths.
Phi Jackson has always – rightfully – been lauded as one of the best coaches at dealing with the egos and personalities on his roster; I’m not sure he’s ever been put up there with the greatest tacticians in the game, especially when you consider the vaunted triangle offence was not his personal invention.
He’s had a day to drill into his team the right way to attack a zone with the personnel at his disposal. Wonder how effective he’ll be?
The Chris Bosh Saga has been eerily quiet since Friday afternoon.
I imagine he won’t stand for that. I’m wondering what tweet, list, ‘hey, I’m still here’ thing is going to come out soon. Because something will.
All I can hope for is that the Doofuses Up In Ottawa er, I mean Well-Respected Leaders Of Our Great Land Up In Ottawa, don’t weigh in on the situation like Obama did because I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle the angst.
I’m sure you’ve all already breathlessly read today’s tome about the process the Raptors are now under taking to get ready for the draft, which is four weeks away.
Now, if you want to break it down even further, and because everyone has a burning desire for every nugget of news imaginable, remember this:
They will “talk” to literally dozens and dozens of players between now and June 24 and probably work out 10 or 15 or even more. It is part of the due diligence that all teams go through. You will, I’m sure, hear about them chatting with guys expected to go in the top five, or top seven and it could all very well mean nothing at all.
The next “news” will be when they come up with a short list of guys they’re considering at No. 13, as they did last year with the three or four guys they were hoping to be there at No. 9. From that group they will simply be reactionary, hoping that things go as expected above them and they guy they most like is still available when they choose.
And that list isn’t going to become apparent for at least a couple of weeks.
We’ll see you tonight for Suns-Lakers, right? It’s post-Mighty Yankees practice so I might be a bit worn out but it’ll still be okay.
Oh, and I know I didn’t get to any mail today – I seem to have found enough stuff to prattle on about – but if you want to send some questions, send ‘em here.