Poor decisions and great games
Memphis is so going down in Game 6, it’s not even funny.
Youngish team, no experience, blown out in Game 5, they’ve got no chance, right?
I are smrt.
But a couple of things did leap out when I watched the final three quarters of that one kind of closely and they could very well have an impact on who wins Sunday afternoon.
There is no question that Kevin Durant is a special player, a gifted scorer, long and athletic, can beat you in a lot of ways and a pretty good defender, too.
But if he’s going to take that many threes – and I mean extra crazy deep catch-and-shoot threes – he’s not going to have nearly the impact on the game as he should.
Now, some of it is the Memphis defence but Durant’s seen every conceivable scheme and beaten most of them. Not sure what got into him Friday but he looked too passive and passive isn’t going to win.
And don’t you think at some point, the Thunder might want to send a second guy more quickly to deal with Zach Randolph when he catches the ball down low? You know, the dude isn’t Magic Johnson, he’s not going to shred you with pinpoint passes or catch his teammates with his peripheral vision. He’s going to catch the ball, think about scoring and if you can harass him with a second guy, maybe your chances of him trying to too much increase.
Anyway, I still think the Thunder win and that comes from a guy who had Boston in six and the Lakers in seven so, as I said, I are smrt.
Sunday night for the opener of Miami-Chicago?
If you’re interested, I’ll be here around 8 p.m. and we’ll have some fun.
I’ll tell you, Super Son and 370 of his Cawthra Croonies crooning Danny Boy at the end of an excellent Springfest concert ripe with outstanding performances.
It isn’t, though, Jack Armstrong and me on stools at the end of the night.
As mentioned, tomorrow’s the first Game 7 of the playoffs and there’s really nothing like that drama, is there?
So, list time?
I haven’t done an awful lot of post-season basketball (it’s got something to do with the team I cover and the attention we’ve paid to early post-season series of late) but there has been some.
As I recall, though, only three that I’ve seen in person and here’s how I’d rank ‘em from third to first:
2005 NBA Final
San Antonio 81, Detroit 74
Kind of a grind-it-out game, as you’d expect with such large stakes.
Fourth-quarter timeout, game’s close, building’s crazy (even the sickly looking Spurs Chicken seems animated) and Larry Brown’s on a chair in front of Pistons about to impart some strategy.
He looks at them, shakes his head says, “I love you guys.”
I think Rasheed did a spit-take, I’m not sure.
2001 Eastern Conference semifinals
Philadelphia 88, Toronto 87
Maybe it’s because I was so wrapped up in writing, and wondering what I’d do about the hotels I had reserved in Milwaukee the next morning, but it can’t be first.
Best moment of the day might have been when Ty Hill paid Oak some money owed him; worst moment of the day had to be trying to find some Philly established open near where we were staying to slake our thirst.
Oh, and a guy missed a shot or something.
2002 Western Conference final
Los Angeles Lakers 112, Sacramento 106
We were out there because the final was going to start out west regardless and we had a chance to pick up some extra coverage; a wise boss move if one was ever made.
Peja short-arms an airballed corner three-pointer in the OT, Doug Christie’s playing a bit scared and Kings cough up a game they should have won.
But it was in Arco Arena at the absolute height of the Kings heyday and outside of world championship games, it might have been the most electric basketball atmosphere I can remember.
Oh, and the fix was in.
You people are amazing.
I can probably do a different style of ribs every week for the summer and shop at a different butcher shop for a month.
Now I’ve got to look around Casa Doug and see what else we need.
The Romero kid throws 8 2-3 innings of three-hitter?
That makes him Pitcher of the Year so far, right?
And, you know, give me a nice tidy 2-0 game any old day and I’d be quite happy.
Still not sure.
But since my bosses are going to want something to fill space in the paper tomorrow, and because we’re right up against the start of the series, guess I know what my morning’s going to entail.
Breaking down matchups.
One quick thought that might resonate here: Remember how effective Joakim Noah’s been on Chris Bosh?
I just glanced at the in-box real quickly and I can’t see more than a dozen or so legit questions.
Come on, people.
Don’t force me to watch the pucks tonight.
Al Green sang the national anthem before Game 6 in Memphis?
No wonder the Grizzlies won.
And no wonder it took them to the second half to do it, they were probably humming songs until then.
Before Wednesday, there were all kinds of questions about whether Doc Rivers would stick around to coach the Celtics next season.
He’d turned down a new deal, he had expressed desire to spend more time with his family, his boys have possible NBA careers ahead of them and it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if he’d walked away.
So the five-year deal announced yesterday caught some by surprise, even though Doc had said after Game 5 that he’d probably be back. One year, sure. Two, maybe. Three, a possibility.
But five? At more than $6 million a year, they say?
Wonder if the people who wanted him fired in Orlando or those who wanted him out the door early in his tenure in Boston might have been jumping the gun.
But it goes to what I’ve said for years:
Talent makes coaches. Doc’s no better or worse a coach today, I don’t think, than he was when he was on thin ice. And perhaps we shouldn’t be so hasty to toss guys away when things get rough?