With four Game 6’s on Friday night, we were assured of seeing four teams playing for their playoff lives.
Unfortunately, none of the teams facing elimination – Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets – were able to extend their respective series.
All of them had some form of drama – from Blake Griffin getting into a wrestling match with Zach Randolph, the Hawks bringing their game against the Indiana Pacers to the wire, Kevin Durant and Omer Asik picking up technicals against each other, to Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks nearly blowing a 26-point lead.
The turn of events leading up to Game 6 have been pretty remarkable: the Knicks and Thunder both nearly blew a 3-0 series lead, the Clippers lost four straight games after winning the first two, and the Hawks were one win away from tying up their series after being down 2-0.
The summer will be very interesting for the losing teams, who have plenty of questions to address in the offseason: what does Chris Paul do now that a team expecting to contend for a championship gets eliminated in the first round? Do the Clippers fire Vinny Del Negro, who has shared a fair amount of scrutiny over the last two seasons (benching Jamal Crawford for the entire second half was probably not a good idea)? Do the Hawks or Rockets have any chance of acquiring Dwight Howard? Does Josh Smith stay? What is in the future for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the two aging pieces of the “Big Three Era”?
We won’t get the full context on how some of the players that lost may really feel (you’ll have to check the post-game conferences for that), but here are some thoughts on twitter: