ALL IN...WELL SORT OF....MAYBE NOT SO MUCH by ST
So the Knicks open 2nd round play in the post season for the 1st time since game one vs the Heat on May 7th, 2000. Long time. This was once a model franchise before many of you were old enough to follow the NBA or even born. The group who from 1969 through 1974 made at least the East Finals and captured the only titles in it's history. It was a very charismatic group that won the hearts of the Big Apple fans with their cerebral approach and heart. The leader was the Captain, Willis Reed. Walt Frazier was Clyde, among the greatest all around points guards ever, a defensive genius and a killer in the clutch. I've enjoyed watching this group most of the season as they can sting it from outside which can be entertaining. They lost me a bit when some showed up wearing black prior to Game 5 at Boston last week. It was classless and a punk move considering the horror of the Marathon and Newtown are still fresh in people's memories. Should be a great series with the Pacers for sure.
One must doff the cap to the Bulls. This team is banged up and battling illness yet they can win a game 7 on the road against a higher seed. Of course it's the Nets, one of the most brutal, failure of a sports franchise in the history of American team sports, especially when you consider the size of the market. Leading scorer Luol Deng and top assist man Kirk Hinrich were out and big fella Joakim Noah is playing a one and a half good feet. Smart money says the Coach of the Year will be Erik Spoelstra of Miami, but serious consideration must be given to Chicago's Tom Thibodeau. Sure, the ballots are in at the end of the regular season, but now you look back and admire the work he did without Derrick Rose all year to win 45 games. He's a defensive guru who worked along side another great coach Doc Rivers in Boston helping the Celtics win their championship in 2008 ending what was by far the longest title drought in it's history at 22 years.
Of course the key question is, does any of this matter? Do you see the Knicks or Pacers giving Miami a legit run for their money? With the Russell Westbrook injury is Oklahoma City a true threat? I think the Spurs and Grizzlies can give the champs a run for their money. Memphis is physical and really good defensively. San Antonio can "D" up and has transformed into a more athletic, dangerous offensive team as well. Game time!