Heat show the two-man domination; and who shines in a Game 7?
So that was pretty much what the Miami Heat can do and there are two thoughts in the wake of their series-clinching win over the Pacers last night:
Can they do it eight more times and win a title?
Why haven’t they done it 100 times before?
That was as good a two-man game as I’ve seen in a very long time (guess Wade’s feeling pretty healthy after that five-point Game 3, no?) and showed, for one night at least, just how potent Wade and James can be playing with, and off, each other.
They ran pretty much the same play with a slightly different look when they took control in the fourth quarter, one of them using a high screen, the other flaring to the sideline and it was unstoppable.
I don’t know if the Pacers got the Heat so riled up that Miami put any differences or egos or whatever aside but the two of them in the final three games of that series might have been as good as they’ve looked as a “team” rather than two individuals all year.
I don’t know if they can keep it up, though; something always seems slightly askew with that team, there’s always some drama and the rest of the roster is so flawed I don’t know if they can beat either Boston (if that’s who it is) or the survivor of the Western Conference final.
But for last night, it was a sight to behold; no disrespect to a Pacers team that played hard and never really quit but that was completely one-sided from about the second quarter on and it never felt like Indy could steal a win.
We all know that the Philadelphia-Boston series that will wind up Saturday night has been far from esthetically pleasing – downright ugly at times would probably be a more apt description – but you have to admit, there’s nothing like a Game 7.
In almost any sport, any round of any playoffs, if things come down to one game it’s worth watching and paying attention to.
You get to see who can put aside the inevitable nerves and angst, see who can deal best with the mounting pressure, find out who shrinks and who shines.
The games, at least the ones I can recall well, aren’t generally the greatest ever played, most likely because everyone’s been careful not to make the one glaring mistake that will cost their teams so dearly. It adds a whole different layer to the narrative, finding the one guy who can take over with so much on the line.
We saw the great Kobe Bryant had a dog of a Game 7 in the Finals against Boston a couple of years ago; but I also saw Tim Duncan have 25 points and 11 rebounds in a sublime Game 7 for San Antonio against Detroit in 2005, as good a basketball Game 7 performance I can recall in the last decade and a half.
And talking about dog games, I’m not even going to mention John Starks for the Knicks against Houston (well, guess I am).
Trying to figure out who might shine Saturday in Boston is a mug’s game but if I had to come up with one name, I’d figure Paul Pierce has seen it all, been through it all and this is a game he could simply take over.
Speaking of Philadelphia, was typing the city name and this came to mind.
Not bad, eh?
Seriously, outside of the days when there’s been some contentious issue or hard news, I can’t think of too many times where there have been better comments and more fun than we had yesterday.
But I don’t know that I saw in a single ‘favourite concert’ note one mention of any of the SummerFests at Rich Stadium.
Looks like rain which means I’ll escape any kind of yardwork for at least a bit today so before they make me clean inside, give me some more mail to do, would you?
Mighty Red Tigers some number.
Dastardly Other Team some number MINUS ONE!
Yep, we may not have an unbeaten season but we’re not going to have a winless one, either.
Gonna make tomorrow’s very long, very full practice a bit easier to take.
This really has nothing to do with anything except a couple of friends I have down there and a general angst about the future of our industry but news this week that the New Orleans Times-Picayune was going to basically shut operations as a daily paper were jarring.
It’ll still publish three days a week but it’ll be a horrible replica of what’s out there now as the owners shift to a total web-based news operation; jobs – many jobs, I fear – will be lost and, frankly, the people of New Orleans will be short-changed as it becomes the only “major” United States city without a daily newspaper.
Two things stand out:
Cities like New Orleans “need” a paper if for no other reason than to do good, solid reporting that keeps civic officials, business leaders and, yes, cops in check. Papers – physical papers – still provide an invaluable service to their readers and their cities; they are watchdogs as much as information-deliverers and it simply is not the same if those words are on a computer screen because (a) I’m not sure they carry the same weight and (b) not everyone in that city spends an awful lot of time at a desk reading; you always saw the Times-Pic in coffee shops and the odd cocktail lounge it struck me they has always been well used.
The second is, and this is totally personal and reflects my age, I fear, is that I truly believe newspaper reading is close to a tactile exercise as it anything else. I truly think kids these days – and far too many adults, too – are missing something by not sitting leisurely for at least a little bit every day flipping through the pages of a physical paper if they’re just looking at some screen on some laptop, tablet or phone.
It’s fun to read with paper in your hand, kind of relaxing and you should try it sometime.
We’ve been lucky here in Canada that we haven’t lost any major papers, we have ownership still willing to weather any financial storm, we have designers who make them look pleasing and inviting and, right across the country, we have brilliant reporters and columnists who serve readers in so many different ways.
That might translate to a fully-web-based publication but I doubt it and I’m glad we haven’t had to find out.