Though the NBA playoffs are no longer possible for bitter Seattle sports fans, basketball fans can still watch, and even enjoy the drama and excitement that play-off basketball creates. This year so far has been no exception. To start with, the Charlotte Bobcats and Oklahoma City Thunder made the playoffs for the first time in history. They were both eliminated in the first round, but made it nonetheless. Meanwhile, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Boston all made it through the first round, showing that the top teams from last year are still dominant.
Here is a brief summary of the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs:
Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls insulted the entire city of Cleveland before his Bulls got knocked out of the play-offs after only winning one game in the series. Derrick Rose played very well, and so did Noah for that matter, but Lebron James continued to dominate even with an elbow injury which forced him to shoot free-throws left-handed.
Denver Nuggets’ coach George Karl, who was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year, had to watch from his living room as his team struggled and eventually got knocked out by the injury-plagued Utah Jazz.
The Milwaukee Bucks took a 3-2 series lead on the favored Atlanta Hawks even with two of the better players injured but were blown-out in the final two games and eliminated.
The Mavericks, considered by many to have the best shot at beating the Lakers to the championship series, got beat by the San Antonio Spurs who perhaps showed that they deserve some hype.
Orlando dominated every game against Charlotte, winning the series 4-0. Dwight Howard was not a huge force due to foul trouble, but Orlando is good enough without him.
Boston beat Miami 4-1 in what would have been Dwyane Wade’s last season playing for the Miami Heat. He is now a free-agent. Fans also got to see Celtics forward Kevin Garnett suspended for a game, which Boston won anyway.
After losing game one and two in Los Angeles, The Thunder won game three at home and held Kobe Bryant to 12 points in game four, which they won 110-89. However, the Lakers came back to win games 5 and 6 to knock Oklahoma City out of the play-offs.
In a hard-fought battle between two western conference teams, the Suns prevailed behind the leadership of veteran point-guard Steve Nash and the inside presence of Amare Stoudamire. Brandon Roy tried coming back from knee-surgery to help his team, but never made much of an impact.
Jock Talk: Q: Who will take home the trophy?
Aaron Brooks (senior): “I want Phoenix to win because they almost never do and they are the underdogs in my opinion.”
Cristine Lotz (junior): “I wanted Oklahoma City to move on, but that didn’t work out. So the Suns because I love [Steve} Nash and I’m tired of all the hype about the Lakers and the Cavs.”
Le’Trey Benson (sophomore): “Lakers. The championships will be tough but they will take it all.”