Just a few days ago I thought there was going to be some exciting action in the NBA. Saturday had two game 7s to finalize the first round, while the next two days would be filled with the initial offerings of the second round. It was reasonable to consider given those matchups, there would be at least a few exciting games out of those six.
Boy was I mistaken.
The Pacer-Celtics game was 35-32 at the half, which should have triggered some flashbacks of my freshman English teacher instructing me on the definition of foreshadowing. While the game required an offenisve shot in the arm, it appears that only the Pacers were innoculated. They were up by 14 by the start of the fourth, where they outscored the New Englanders by 13 more. The Celtics failed to score more than 20 in any quarter, and the luck of the Irish were with them as they shot 39.7% eFG. The luck of the 1840s Irish, that is.
At least the first game was close at the half. The final deciding game of the first round was a 116-76 snoozer. The Mavs were up by 15 by mid game, and it got so out of control in the second half, that Jeff Van Gundy sat Tracy McGrady in the early 4th. Watching this game you might have forgotten that after the first two games, Houston was heading home up 2-0. Did the players forget their coach was slapped with a house-sized fine for over-zealously campaigning for a few extra whistles to benefit his team? Or maybe that was on their minds, instead of stopping the Mavs from putting the pretty orange ball in the hoop.
As for Sunday, despite the Heat turning over the ball 15 times, their best player fouling out (Shaq), and 48 points from Washington’s backcourt, the Wizards still lost by 19. The tale of the tape was the bench, as the Miami reserves outscored their Washington counterparts 46-5. In the second half of the doubleheader, Ray Allen’s injury in the second quarter meant doom for the Emerald City. The Sonics didn’t regroup until the third quarter, but by that time the Spurs already had a commanding 27 point advantage.
The song goes “whenever Monday comes you can find me cryin’ all of the time,” which accurately described my basketball life by Monday night. After opening a can of whuppass against the Celtics, the Pacers were on the back-end of the humiliation as they failed to outscore Detroit in any quarter. When Ben Wallace drops a blackjack on you, you know you’ve been Punk’d. Finally, the Nash-Nowitzki, high-powered, octane-fueled, nitro-charged Mavs-Suns game was highlighted by Avery Johnson’s one man Three’s Company tribute. In the third quarter, with the game already out of hand, the Lil’ General stepped on the court protesting a non-call against his team during play, and proceeded to fall on his ass in a way that would have made John Ritter proud. Johnson got up and went into an angry Mr Furley berating the ref, which earned him an early trip to the showers. In an ode to the 5th season of Threes Company, Johnson exited stage left ala Suzanne Somers.
Six games, three nights, six stinkers. Tomorrow night doesn’t seem to offer any solace. While I’m not a gambler, I doubt even Pete Rose is desperate enough to take Washington or Seattle for even money. The NBA could easily extend this streak to eight for eight. What Tuesday night viewers need is a little magic from the Wiz, and a healthy dose of a Ray Allen.