Total Domination, that is what we saw in both of the NBA conference finals this weekend. Boston could not have dominated the Magic anymore than they did. The Magic were outscored, outhustled, outplayed and out of the Celtics league this past Saturday night.
I don’t think I can remember a team being so badly beaten that the Magic just gave up and that was evident from terrific hustle play by Rajon Rondo tracking down the loose ball that he had no business getting from Jason Williams. By the way, does Jason Williams have any business of being in the NBA? Williams does have the only Championship ring on the Magic roster, while playing for the 2006 Miami Heat, but he is so lost as is his teammates top to bottom.
From Rashard “I forgot how to shoot” Lewis, to Dwight “I forgot that I was defensive player of the year and high scoring center” Howard to Vince “The Raptors fans must be loving me for choking on the 2 foul shots a few nights ago and for not showing up, driving to the basket being afraid of any type of contact” Carter, to Matin “I took my eye of the best player on the court Rondo and had him come back while I was asleep and score a beautiful basket as I helplessly watched” Gortat to Michael “I left my 3 point shooting ability back in France and have no clue how to hit an open shot Pietrus, to Jameer “I am not sure who should be leading this team, am I the leader the point guard the guy that is supposed to generate some offense” Nelson.
Does this club have any guts, any self respect for their ever entertaining quotable coach Stan Van Gundy. Are they collecting a salary to show up? It will be difficult for them, that is for sure but a professional will go down fighting, one can lose by putting up a fightg. No one believes that the Magic can win 4 straight, including themselves, but please attempt to look like a team and play the game with some effort? Please?
No one managed the team. No one took over as the leader. No one showed the intensity and spirit and as the Celtics built up their 1st quarter lead, the Magic looking confused mailed it in. Game, set, match.
The league must have asked the referees to help with keeping at least one series alive as the Suns fought themselves back into theirs by winning Sunday night 118-109 and cutting the deficit to 2 games to 1. Of course the refs dominated this matchup giving the Suns 42 free throws to the Lakers 20. To out free throw a team more than 2 to 1 is inconceivable. How is it possible? Did David Stern send in a memo making sure that the NBA playoff would not be forgotten for a week before the Finals begin on June 3rd?
Could you imagine if both series closed out 4 game sweeps and the whole planet had to wait a week for the finals to start? Stern would have been going through the roof. The lost income, lost exposure and lost on the radar screen of America.
Kobe came within one rebound shy of a triple double going for 36pts, 11 helpers and 9 boards, but Amare Stoudemire showed up in a big way pouring in 42 pts and collecting 11 rebounds. Andrew Bynum was a no show in the paint and Stoudemire along with Robin Lopez made the Lakers pay a very high price. Bynum may not even suit up next game in order to give his injured knee some more time to rest. Maybe this will be the big moment DJ Mbenja has been waiting for! Has Bynum ever heard of Wally Pipp? Well, I think I am going a little over my head, but I had said before the series started that Bynum would be key in shutting down the Suns offense by forcing their squad to take outside shots and not have the opportunity to pound the ball inside for Amare to do his damage, which in last night’s case he did and he dominated.
Thoughts from the Pulpit
1) Congrats to the Red Bull for defeating a depleted Juventus team 3-1 in a friendly played in NJ over the weekend. Juventus did not come with a full roster due to the upcoming World Cup, but they did feature the likes of Diego & Del Piero, players who are All Stars and the red Bull came out to win the exhibition match. Good for them and good for the MLS! Fiorentina drew 1-1 in Montreal Vs. the Impact in front of 9,000 fans, but in this game again the play was dominated by the North American club and that is good news as they ready themselves to play AC Milan next week in what will most probably be a sold out Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
2) Mike Brown-You’re Fired! As being reported by ESPN this uh, will not exactly come to you as a big shock, how surprised can the basketball world be about this one. I don’t see any hands from the audience. Well no shocker here. How does Brown bring a team with arguably the best player in the league Lebron James into the playoffs both this year and last and not play up to their potential? How does Mike Brown look now for resting his stars the last week of the regular season? Uugghh. The question now is how much influence will the Cavaliers give Lebron James in order to convince him to stay in Cleveland? Will they give James a carte blanche to select the next coach? Will management give him a more vocal role in the future of the franchise? Cleveland really does not have much choice and will have to role out the red carpet to have Lebron stay. Tune in….
3) Will the Canadiens be playing their last game of the season tonight in Philadelphia or will they stay alive and put up another one of those terrific back against the wall games they played against Washington and Pittsburgh? I hate to say it but I have my doubts, especially after seeing Philly dominate them in games 1,2 and in Montreal in game 4. I guess I am looking forward to the summer and waiting to see how they will improve the team in order for them to be stronger during the regular season so they do not have to wait until game 82 to get into the playoffs. PK Subban has been a star during the post season and a full year with his services will be a big plus to the blueline corps of the Habs.