I think I'll miss this daily column when the season ends. I mean, I've grown to love at least 12% of you guys -- which, for my pessimism-filled heart, is quite the accomplishment. Maybe when it's all over we can all sit around and talk NBA Draft, Summer League, or constitutional law. All sounds fun, does it not? But fear not, my friends, the basket hoops are not over yet. We have plenty of time to over-analyze every single thing that happens.
Last night brought us not just the Celtics-Magic but also the NBA Draft Lottery, which is just an epic half hour of television. Washington rose up and snagged the number one pick and what seems to be the right to select Kentucky point guard John Wall. I'm sure there will be a great deal of random jibber jabber about how they're going to take Evan Turner, but they're gonna go Wall.
Tuesday May 18th Playoff Results:
Boston Celtics 95 Orlando Magic 92 (Recap): If you haven't been beat over the head with it enough during the last few hours I'll just get it right out there -- the Celtics are old...and they are WINNING. From the way things are being reported, I'm fairly certain that Kevin Garnett played with Elgin Baylor (citation needed). Obviously that comes off a little overly snarky, but with their win on Tuesday night the Celtics have completed the impressive feat of taking a 2-0 lead on Orlando with both games happening IN Orlando. Following a Rasheed Wallace corner three, the Celtics took an 11 point lead early in the fourth quarter but the Magicians fought back. Orlando actually managed to take a 1 point lead on a Vince Carter jumper with 3:35 remaining in the quarter before they went cold. Down the stretch, the Magic shot 1/4 from the field, had J.J. Redick pick up a charge, and saw Vince Carter miss two clutch free throws with the Magic down just 3 with 31 seconds left (paging Nick Anderson. You've got company, boss. I'm sure svspider can fill in the details for the youngsters). The Magic had one final chance to tie the game with three seconds left, but Jameer Nelson's 36 footer was off.
Although Game 1 star Ray Allen was held in check (he had just 4 points on 1/6 shooting), Boston got 25 from Paul Pierce while Rajon Rondo added 25 and 8 assists. More importantly, Boston held Orlando to under 40% shooting for the game. Dwight Howard led the Magicians with 30 and Vince Carter and J.J. Redick put in 16 each. Just a fun note: Rashard Lewis (THE NINTH HIGHEST PAID PLAYER IN THE NBA....LET THAT SINK IN) scored only 5 points, his second consecutive single digit game in this series.
Conference Finals Series Standings:
(2) Magic v. (4) Celtics: 2-0 Celtics
Wednesday May 19th Playoff Game:
Game 2 - Suns @ Lakers: Game 1 was ugly. Like really ugly. If the Suns intend on evening the series, I'd start with a little defense and then perhaps consider hitting more than 22.7% of their three point attempts. Re-filling Kobe Bryant's knee with lots of fluid probably wouldn't hurt either. But you know...I'm not a basketball (or medical) expert.
And just because again (and I want you all appreciating the 90's flavor)....Penny Hardaway.