Thursday, September 17, 2020

NBA Update

I have always hated the blowouts in NBA playoff games.  There's no excuse for them.  If a game in February between UK and Ole Miss is close with five minutes left -- which is almost always the case -- then NBA playoff games should be close.  Instead, a huge percentage of them are decided by more than 15 points.  UK doesn't usually win more than two or three SEC games a year by more than 15 points.

What happens, of course, is that teams pick their spots.  If you're the road team, you want to win one of the first two games on the road, and then win games 3, 4, and 6 at home.  If you're the home team, you want to win games 1 and 2 at home, split games 3 and 4, and then close out the series in game 5.  If the series is evenly matched, teams will basically trade wins back and forth until they get to game 5, and then start really playing hard.

Look, I get it.  The NBA season is ludicrously long.  There are too many games -- and each game is eight minutes too long.  No one can play 100 high-level basketball games every year.  Teams have to pace themselves -- and even then you get breakdowns.  Look at what happened to the Warriors last year with all those injuries.

So guys pace themselves and don't go all out every game.  I don't blame them.  But I don't like to watch.

Anyway, this year has been different.  There is no home court advantage, because of the bubble.  And everyone is really healthy and rested, because they took four months off in the middle of the year.  So the quality and intensity of the games have been fantastic.

The Heat beat Boston 116-114 in overtime in Game One.  Now they're locked up in another battle in Game Two.  Boston leads 70-67 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. 

27 comments:

  1. I really hope that Brad Stephens stays in the NBA. Because he'll never coach UK, and I don't want him in college basketball unless he's coaching UK.

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  2. I really like that they still do jump balls in the NBA. There's always one or two critical jump balls down the stretch, and I enjoy them every time. I really like the plays where a big guy has to jump against a little guy. Of course, Dean Smith wiped out the jump ball in college basketball. Dean was a great coach, but "joy" wasn't one of his priorities.

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  3. Miami scores 37(!) points in the third quarter, and leads 84-77 with one quarter to go.

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  4. Adebayo has 19 points; Herro has 11.

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  5. I feel like Brad Stevens is living the ideal life for lots of guys who grew up in Kentucky and Indiana in the 1960's and 1970's. I'm not jealous. I'm actually happy that out of all of us who grew up watching basketball and coaching along with the game, there was a person who actually turned out to be a genius coach.

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    1. He represents all of us in the same way that Van Cliburn represents every Southern boy who grew up taking piano lessons.

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  6. But his Celtics are getting out-hustled now -- which is something that almost never happens. The Heat lead 87-79 with 10:18 left.

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  7. I cannot overstate how much I dislike these black uniforms the Celtics are wearing. They have just about the best uniforms in all of sports. They ought to use them.

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  8. Boston's point guard is Kemba Walker, who beat Kentucky (and Brad Stevens's Butler squad) to win the national championship for UConn in 2011. Here was Walker's line against UK in the Final Four:

    40 minutes
    5-10 on two-point shots
    1-5 on three-point shots (no one could shoot in that dome)
    5-6 from the line
    18 points
    7 assists
    4 turnovers

    He was great. But the Cats lost that game by only one point, 56-55, and they shot 4-12 from the line. Terrence Jones went 0-5 from the line. Brandon Knight went 3-11 from three-point range.

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  9. Miami 89, Boston 87 with 7 minutes left. Brad Stevens is hard to beat in games like this.

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  10. Game now tied at 89 with 5:36 left. After scoring 37 points in the third quarter, Miami has only 5 points in the fourth quarter.

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  11. Celtics lead 94-93 with 3:33 left. Here we go.

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  12. Jaylen Brown is fouled by Adebayo. Brown misses the first FT. Makes the second. Celtics lead 95-93.

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  13. Jimmy Butler hits a layup and the game is tied at 95. 2:53 left.

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  14. Smart misses a jump shot. Herro rebound. Walker fouls Goran Drogic. Drogic makes both FT's, and the Heat lead 97-95 with 2:21 left.

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  15. Walker misses a three. Heat rebound. 2 minutes left.

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  16. Drogic hits a three-pointer, and the Heat lead 100-95 with 1:31 left.

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  17. Drogic has 23 points, and the Heat are very close to taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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  18. Butler steals the inbound play and the Heat get a runout! Heat lead 102-95. But Jaylen Brown hits a 3-pointer. Heat lead 102-98 with 1:16 left.

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  19. Drogic hits a 20-footer, and the Heat lead 104-98. But Brown hits another 3-pointer. Heat lead 104-101 with 43 seconds to go.

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  20. The Heat miss a three-pointer, get the rebound, and then lose the rebound. Boston has the ball with 23.6 seconds to go.

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  21. Jayson Tatum misses a three-pointer from the corner for the tie, and Adebayo grabs the rebound. Miami has the ball, and a 104-101 lead, with 10.6 seconds.

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  22. Celtics are 10-28 on three-pointers in this game. Miami is 14-43.

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  23. Miami inbounds to Jimmy Butler, who is fouled. He makes the first FT. He makes the second FT. Miami leads 106-101 with 7.4 seconds left.

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  24. The Heat get one more steal, and run out the clock. They win 106-101, and they lead Boston two games to zero.

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  25. Thanks for this report, too. I missed all of the sports last night, as I was out playing tennis. I play tennis every Thursday night now. I wear a headband and everything.

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