NBA News: Some expected and some not so expected developments
3DW View: Saturday, I was in the car and I heard ESPN Radio’s Dr. Jack Ramsey saying to his partner Jim Durham, that despite Miami having a 31-point third quarter lead, it was a wise time out by Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, after New York had cut the lead to 22-points. My initial thought was Dr. Jack was just trying to keep a listening audience, but after what the Clippers did in Memphis on Sunday, maybe there was more validity to his statement, “This is the NBA, anything can happen.”
Trailing 95-71 with exactly 8:00 left, visiting Los Angeles went on a 26-1, that’s right 26-1 run, fueled by Reggie Evans and Nick Young (seriously). Even Blake Griffin, a one-bite better than a Subway sandwich 50 percent free throw shooter, drained a pair for the unlikely victory of the weekend and the gift cover of the spread.
I’m not sure what Utah can do to beat San Antonio, unless they can find a way to better work the ball inside to punish the Spurs.
Denver needs a much faster pace to compete with the Lakers, but when Andrew Bynum is swatting away 10 shot attempts, the first thing you think of is going fast enough to beat Bynum down the court.
Boston played the first two-thirds of their game in Atlanta like Game 1 started on Monday, with a lackluster effort. The Celtics finally became mentally engaged and the Hawks started to find swallowing hard to do. But Rajon Rondo lost his cool, took one unnecessary technical and followed that up by bumping the ref; making it two T’s and most likely he will be in street clothes for Game 2 with a suspension. Dumb.
From Saturday, Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said losing Derrick Rose “was not a death sentence for him (Rose) or his team”. While that is true, nobody died or is going to from Rose suffering a torn ACL; the Bulls go from a great team with Rose at full throttle, to a very solid club that cannot win the NBA title.
The Miami defense took away everything from New York and rendered them useless. Interesting to see how the Knicks respond.
Oklahoma City was more lucky than good in stopping Dallas 99-98, as Kevin Durant made a last second shot with his team 7.5-point favorites. It’s a matter of interpretation, but the Mavericks bench outscored the Thunder’s 39-19. Part of the reason for this was Brendon Hayward, Delonte West and to a lesser degree, Jason Kidd, provided very little, giving Jason Terry and Vince Carter the chance to shine.
Lastly, what was Indiana thinking? The Pacers were positioned to make short work of Orlando and scored 77 points against a Magic defense without Dwight Howard. Roy Hibbert was supposed to have his way inside, but was outscored 16-8 by Glen Davis and had the same number of rebounds (13) as the much smaller former LSU product. If you include everyone who played in the backcourt, Orlando guards scored 40 points to Indiana’s 24.
NHL News: Phoenix uprising
3DW View: The number of people that thought the Phoenix Coyotes had a chance to win two games at home over Nashville were in the Phoenix locker room and some of the Yotes fans in the lower bowl of the arena. Since the Coyotes defeated Chicago, most of the talk has centered on how much better Nashville was in all areas of the game and the strengths of Phoenix could be negated by the Predators style of play.
However, Nashville has been pathetic in their defensive end and goalie Pekka Rinne has been only slightly better. This was supposed to be Nashville’s time, with several free agents expected to leave after the season. We’ll find a lot about both teams in games three and four in Tennessee.
NHL News: The three other series
3DW View: If Philadelphia can hunker down in the defensive end, they have a great chance to return to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Flyers were all over New Jersey offensively and it is hard to imagine the Devils are going to stop them from scoring consistently. Philly continues to be loose on defense however.
The Rangers go after a 2-0 lead against Washington tonight and have enough varied scoring to accomplish this feat.
St. Louis is quickly in a predicament against the L.A. Kings and is presumed to be without their top defensemen, Alex Pietrangelo, who was injured in Game 1. The Blues front line players have to come up with better results or like Vancouver, they could be head to Los Angeles down 2-0 in the series.