So much for that sweep prediction I made in my playoff preview of the Indiana-Atlanta series. At least I wasn’t alone. Using 20-20 hindsight, I and many others should have seen this coming.
Somehow, someway, the New York Knicks not only managed to miss the playoffs this year, but they have also stolen the majority of the headlines heading into it. With 16 teams left with championship aspirations, gearing up to start the second season on Saturday, Friday’s talk is all about the Knicks, who are expected to make a decision on the future of head coach Mike Woodson in the next few days.
Do they have to play this series? Do we really have to watch it and pay close attention? Look, we all know how bad the Leastern Conference was this season, and we all knew that there would be at least one bad team crashing the party. And the one we ended up with is an Atlanta Hawks team whose general manager, Danny Ferry, said a few weeks back that it really didn’t matter if the Hawks qualified for the postseason or
Transparency is a two-way street. For years, NBA media members – echoing the sentiments of its passionate fan base – wanted more transparency from Commissioner David Stern and his executive staff. Whether it was a lottery drawing, a suspension in the playoffs or a referee scandal, folks felt like they were entitled to an explanation. And they were. Stern grudgingly came around. He arranged for the media to meet with referees prior to the season about rules changes. He allowed the media
The Indiana Pacers, finally, brought home a big win. During a two month slump that has caused the league, media, fans and Pacers themselves to question their capability, Sunday’s 102-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder should help them sleep easy. At least for a night. With the win, the Pacers positioned themselves to successfully claim home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. Despite Friday’s crucial loss at Miami, because the Heat slipped up against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, the Pacers
Monday night. 10 p.m. Eastern. Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix Suns. Only one of them can make the playoffs. The Grizzlies will be coming off a game the previous night against the Lakers. If they win that game, they’re a game up on the Suns. If they lose, the two teams are tied. Phoenix has to be praying the Lakers get the win, because they’ve lost all three games against the Grizzlies this season, and they need to claim the eighth spot
The Indiana Pacers just keep getting more and more interesting. And tonight, we’ll find out if their second unit is good enough to defeat the worst team in the NBA. Why the second unit? Because all five members of the starting five — Roy Hibbert, David West, Paul George, Lance Stephenson and George Hill — are being rested tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks. It is one of the most bizarre moves by a coach in an important stretch run, ever. The Pacers
Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think the Indiana Pacers are coming apart at the seams. “Everybody goes through this,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said last week after San Antonio manhandled Indiana, 103-77, on the Pacers’ home court. “I’m not worried about them. They’ll still make it to the Eastern Conference finals and they’ll still play Miami.” Parker is somewhat right. From time to time, every championship contender has a stretch during a season where they look ordinary.