DeadBall is about to go mental over the NBA playoffs (this post arrives hot on the heels of David and Henyry’s – sorry, but we may as well just keep this fire burning), so I’ll just keep it brief. Plus I’m fresh off the final of Mitre 10 Dream Home, and a little shaky emotionally as a result. I have no idea how Jane Kiely held it together in those final climactic moments – I’ll put it down to her experience as a world class athlete (was it long jump? I’m not prepared to get on the googler for this one), and her time on A Game Of Two Halves where she regularly appeared as the female foil between Veitchy and Ridgey (and unenviable position for any woman, although possibly not an exclusive club).
Of all the intriguing matchups and possibilities of Round One, Sky TV NZ kindly offered us the Spurs v Mavericks game this weekend. Brief thoughts on the match itself a little later, but come on Sky – a team, who thanks to McCain & Palin I will never again take seriously, against a team that I feel guilty for wanting to win. It was worth watching just to get a taste of the occasion, but the frustration of reading about the other games of the opening round has makes me question the relevance of ATPA Tractor Pulling – and I hate myself for questioning tractor pulling.
Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Playoffs was one for the ages. Let me just spray bullets here:
– The ROY race is over. It already was but Derrick Rose licked his own envelope (sorry) on Saturday. A record equalling point scoring effort for a playoff first-timer, and the first time that the Chicago Bulls have ever beaten Celtics in a playoff match. The Boston Celtics are the NBA champions, and they didn’t lose a home playoff game last year. Obviously the absence of Garnett leaves a massive void (especially at the defensive end) in the Celtics game, but for Rose to score in such a manner (taking the ball to the hole with merciless ease) against Rondo is impressive. Remember, Rondo is rated by many as the best defensive point guard in the league. Without getting carried away by one game, not even Lebron was making that kind of playoff impact at this age.
– Taking nothing away from Rose, two of the Celtics really lost the plot. First of all there was the missed free throw by Pierce which allowed the game to go into overtime. Much more alarming however was the shooting performance by Ray Allen. 1 from 12 on the night, and 0 from 6 three pointers. Ray Allen has bad shooting quarters, not bad shooting matches. So you have one of the Big Three on the sideline, one who misses a game-winning gimme, and one who is just using up court space.
– Boston still have too much firepower for the Bulls, and its inevitable that the C’s won’t misstep in this manner again soon, but Chicago have already given us our money’s worth and proven that they belong. Dare to dream?
The Detroit v Cleveland game went exactly to script:
– Lebron explodes for 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists – the MVP trophy is his, and I don’t think he’ll give it up for a long time.
– Lebron passes laser beams from both hands.
– Lebron throws down.
– Lebron hits buzzer beater from half-court.
– Lebron’s chalk thing was a little sub-par to be honest.
– My favourite stat of the night: the last time that Detroit had the lead was when the scores were 2-0.
Portland host Houston:
– 4th seed in the West plays 5th seed in the West so this one was allowed to be close. However, a lot of people are tipping the Blazers as the one team who have the potential to stop the Lakers – but to do this, they have to win at home. the result was a minor upset, but the scoreline was alarming.
– Yao shot 9 – 9 from the field. If the Rockets continue to exploit their front court dominance, they may steal the series.
Spurs v Mavs:
– The Mavericks most engaging personality sits in the stands and owns the team.
– The Spurs most exciting personality sit in the stands and isn’t afraid to mount her man in public.
– As a Spurs fan, this result (and yes, even without Manu on the floor I’m calling it an upset) was tough to take. I expected Nowitsky, Terry, and Howard to front, but my main concern looking forward in the series is this JJ Barea character. Barea is an unbelievable annoyance on both ends of the floor. He is an active defender. He pokes. He prods. He flops. He uses whatever tools are at his disposal to make up for his lack of size. He did an excellent job stifling Tony Parker’s offensive effectiveness in one-on-one situations (drawing two key offensive fouls out of Parker in the second half). He was equally as problematic on the offensive end. A confident slasher and savvy decision maker, Barea did an excellent job taking advantage of any defensive rotation that came a second too late. This little punk rubbed me the wrong way all night.
– Tim Duncan played an amazing second half of basketball. Incredibly, his only trip to the free throw line was an “and one” – he deserved more.
– The Spurs can only hope now that Parker takes some personal responsibility for the result. After a strong start, he appeared to lose any decisiveness and focus, committing 5 of the Spurs 9 turnovers. If Parker can some right, San Antonio will become dangerous again – if not, The McCain’s advance.
A parting thought:
Are the Bulls receiving assistance from above? Take a look at this…
…bulls logo+upside down+ some color= robot reading the bible on a bench? The plot just got a whole lot thicker…
PS. Congratulations to the yellow team. You had my vote.