Can a short series still be a great series?
Here’s one for you:
Can you have a “great” championship series that ends, say, 4-1?
I don’t imagine it’ll happen in the NBA – I believe the Thunder have all kinds of life left in them and we’re headed back to OKC – but in case they don’t, can this one still go down as something memorable if the Heat win the next two games at home?
My immediate reaction is yes and mostly because the first three games have been compelling and there’s no reason to think the next two won’t be, even if the Heat get them both.
Saw somewhere that the Thunder have scored 286 points so far in the series, the Heat has scored 285 and except for a bizarre coaching decision in the third quarter of Game 3 and some youthful mistakes in the fourth quarter, we could be signing a different tune today.
But there you have it and maybe all this chatter about experience meaning so much could very well be true because the Thunder looked skittish at times Sunday night while the Heat simply stuck with it even when it wasn’t going well.
Why in the world Scott Brooks sat Russell Westbrook when he also had Kevin Durant on the bench in the third quarter is beyond me and Brooks’ explanation – something like “we need to get people rest, it’s hard to play 24 straight minutes, Westbrook had had a few bad possessions in a row” – rings hollow.
With James Harden invisible – and except for the first half of Game 2 he’s pretty much been awful – the Thunder needed at least one guy out there who could make something happen and while I think it should have been Durant, that it wasn’t at least Westbrook was puzzling.
But, anyway, that’s minutia and hindsight and a bit X and Oish; the fact is this series has, so far, lived up to all the hype.
The best players are being the best players, the games have been close until the final minutes and it could easily could be 2-1 OKC, or even 3-0 for either team.
We had the discussion late last night (and if we’re not going to get out of the arena until about 1 to decompress, this little offering is going to be a tad late every day, I hope you understand) and we agreed: You can have greatness in a short series, and we’re getting it now.
I fully expect to be making arrangements to be going back to Oklahoma later this week and that’ll mean a six- or seven-game series and that’ll be memorable; if we don’t have to go anywhere but home on Friday, I’m still thinking this will be known as something special.
I know there’s a big catalogue out there to choose from and there was that whole time with John and George and Ringo but if you’re looking for best McCartney post-Beatle, this has to be on the list, right?
And we mention it only because he’s 70 today.
You know, you get out with the older set here at things like the Finals and you get to telling stories and the 50-somethings remember a good bygone era, when fun was to be had and the consequences dealt with.
After all, only the greats play hurt, right?
Anyway, five are us are around a table and we’re telling tales and one of the best ones is about this guy – and names aren’t important but you have to trust me that it wasn’t me – at a finals series long time ago.
Fella goes out for some post-game hospitality, one story turns into another, the liquids are flowing and finally he decides it’s time to go because he’s got an early flight.
Gets to the room, calls the front desk:
“I need a wakeup call.”
“What time, sir?”
“Early flight, need it for 5 a.m.”
“You just missed it.”
Ah, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Last day, we understand, for potential No. 8 picks to trot through the building for the Raptors; Jared Sullinger of Ohio State is scheduled in.
Not sure how he fits given the bigs they already have but why not take a look?
Oh, and I hear they might try to get Jeremy Lamb back in for another session; he had to pull out after about five minutes when he sprained an ankle last week.
There you go, as up-to-date as you can get.
Now, I’m sure he’s a great guy and the expectant wife was a nice touch and it’s a sweet story but how come when I hear Webb Simpson, I think of some character from Caddyshack who hung with Judge Smails?
I know it’s not true but …
Big weekend for the Canadian men’s under-19 team, which has already earned a berth in next year’s world championships with a couple of relatively easy victories at the qualification tournament in Brazil.
They beat Columbia 98-67 on Sunday after trouncing Puerto Rico on Saturday and by virtue of having already qualified for the tournament’s semifinals, they’re in next year’s worlds.
Shouldn’t be a surprise at all, actually. Canada’s had great success at age-group championships for the last half decade or so and this continues it.
But maybe that is a surprise, that we are no longer remotely surprised when Canada does well at an age-group competition. Speaks volumes for the programs they’ve put in place and the experience these kids are gleaning can’t be discounted.
Oh yeah, me and the Netherlands are done. Over. Kaput. Finito. See ya later.
So, who should I jinx again?
How about England? Or Spain? Or maybe I just sit back and watch and see what happens. Yeah, that’s what I think’ll be.
Watch and not have a rooting interest; that’s the way to go.