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NBA: Out with the old, in with the New

We knew it was coming but I don’t think anyone would have imagined it happening so quickly. The end to the veteran teams is here, whether you like it or not. We have already seen the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers crash out of the playoffs in the first two rounds.

Of the remaining teams there are two true veteran sides left, the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics and they are doing everything they can to prolong their stay at the top of the NBA food chain.

But there will come a time where the younger sides catch up and overtake them, it may have already happened. The part after that is the most frightening because you don’t know when your team will have a legitimate chance to compete for a championship again. It is evident that the Spurs – Lakers era has come to an end (that is if the Lakers don’t get Dwight Howard) Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant cannot put up the numbers they used to when they carried their teams.

It’s sad and depressing to think that sooner rather than later we will see our favorite players taking a back seat to younger talent. As their numbers decline, playing time gets reduced and if they chose not to retire we will be able to find them in another uniform sitting on the end of the bench like Shaquille O’Neal.

But there is a light to this, with all these old guys stepping aside there will be room for new and upcoming talent to fill that void and for current stars to win some silverware that may be the only thing missing from their trophy collection. Yes that’s directed specifically to LeBron, but I would love to Dwight and Kevin Durant to win the MVP and a championship during the next ten years while they are still in their primes.

There are very bright days ahead for the NBA, I wish I could say the same for the veteran teams mentioned as it is win now or possibly lose your chance for a long time.

Until next time..

D.B.

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NBA Playoffs: First Round Hits and Misses

Here are the highlights I have drawn from the first round, if you think I’ve missed anything please add it in the comments section.

Hits

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies were written off before the playoffs even started and they are now in the second round. They are not the team we thought they would be!

Dwight Howard

This man did everything he could to keep the Magic in the playoffs, if his team mates did the same Howard wouldn’t have to be killing the rumors about being traded or free agency.

CP3

Chris Paul showed the world that he is well and truly back. If the All-Star point guard carries this form into next season I’m sure his name will be mentioned in the MVP conversation.

Brandon Roy

Those unstable knees of his didn’t keep him grounded for too long. B-Roy came up big in Game 4 and made it clear that the Blazers could still depend on him.

Kevin Durant

Always a beast on offense, averaging 32.4 points in the series, including two 41 point performances. No one can guard KD.

Serge Ibaka

More like Serge I-Blocka! He had 9 blocks in Game 5… 9! And averaging 4.8 in the series, Ibaka is turning into a key player within that OKC defense.

Miami’s Big Three

I’ll have to that this was expected, playoffs are the time for stars to shine and that’s exactly what Miami’s Big Three did, proving to be too much for the 76ers.

Boston’s Big Four

Boston was the only team to sweep in the first round. The old guys look very fresh and will be trouble for the Heat in the next round.

Indiana Pacers

The 8th seeded Pacers showed a lot of fight against the Bulls, they showed that they weren’t going to be a push over like any regular eight seed. Interim coach Frank Vogel can take all of the credit for getting these guys to come out and compete every night.

Misses

San Antonio Spurs

They had the best regular season record but this meant nothing to their first round opponents. The Spurs looked old and battered, Z-Bo had his way with their bigs and Manu wasn’t Manu after that elbow injury. It’s rebuilding time for the Spurs this offseason, happy fishing!

New York Knicks

It would be very optimistic to say that the Knicks had a chance to beat the Celtics in this series. But getting swept is very disappointing, I thought they had at least two wins in them. It will be a very eventful offseason for them too.

Pau Gasol

I think his parents fed all the tough pills to Marc when they were little. Pau struggled against the New Orleans big men, his numbers were way down from what they were during the season.

Any Orlando Magic player not named Dwight Howard

If your name is not Dwight Howard and you play for the Orlando Magic watch out because the guys upstairs will do anything to keep Dwight happy. After their performance these playoffs I don’t think anyone’s job is safe within Orlando.

Hit and Miss

Russell Westbrook

He is an NBA All-Star and one of the leaders on that team. But if you have Kevin Durant on your team you can’t be taking more shots than the best scorer in the game. Westbrook will have to make better decisions when it comes to the next round.

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NBA: Best Reality TV Around

It has definitely been a season to remember, filled with intrigue and excitement. Starting in the summer of 2010, LeBron James’ free agency, then followed by the ups and downs of the Miami Heat, the rise of Blake Griffin, no pun intended and the Carmelo drama. But these are only a few of the compelling stories that occurred this season and it is all being concluded with these playoffs.

I’m not sure if this season could have been scripted any better because it has been great television all round.

Last night’s game between the Grizzlies and Spurs is a perfect example of why the NBA and sport, in general, makes for great entertainment. The two teams knew what was on the line and went at it for 48 minutes, turns out that this wasn’t enough to decide a winner as the final minute of the game would have had anyone, sports fan or not, on the edge of their seat.

I know I definitely was. I was anticipating the upset to be completed when Memphis had gained a bit of momentum at the end of the third quarter. However the veteran Spurs didn’t go away, the Grizzlies’ lead was cut to one on a George Hill lay-up with 37.9 seconds left. Zach Randolph was clutch on the next play hitting a mid-range jumper which was thought to be a dagger. What followed was a Ginobili lay-up, Randolph making a couple of free throws, then Ginobili hitting, what seemed to be a three off a broken play but was reviewed and called a two as his toe was on the line. The Spurs had to foul again and Randolph once again iced both free throws. With 1.7 seconds left the ball went to Gary Neal, taking one dribble and draining a three with Mike Conley contesting the shot as time expired.

Overtime followed and it was the Spurs that made their shots, denying Memphis from completing what is probably one of the biggest upsets in professional sports. The final score favoring the Spurs 110-103. Memphis will have to wait until Friday to get another shot at moving into the second round.

Its games like these that cannot be compared to any sort of scripted or reality TV shows. The great thing is that the playoffs are still in the first round and you can only expect them to get better as the stakes get higher.

Keep tuning in!

D.B.

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