I feel a bit turncoat-ish as I write, but with last's night's thriller still fresh, and so many great finishes to the games already this year, I wonder if there's interest in a space to comment on what's happening specifically. On the other teams left, on the part of Blog a Bullers.
Of course many will say it could've or should've been "us". The Bulls simply couldn't afford the two flat games (only one truly bad) they had against the chumps. But it is hard not imagining how nice it would've been to go into the second round against a team that the officials will call a moving screen against! Even the DPOY, if warranted!
I'll remain skeptical of how the team would have actually faired though. With remembrances of Dwight Howard's infamous steal, to Varejao being granted a time out after sliding out of bounds (the game before the home loss to NJ, one that cost 50 wins and the "easy" post season bracket just the same), even the record (2-9 vs ORL, 1-3 vs CLE this year, but 6-6 over the last three) shows Orlando especially has kind of had The Bulls' number recently.
I think it was majoyenrac who bandied about with me in another thread regarding the quality of NBA East vs West, and this Magic team specifically. So with that as reason, not to mention LeBron, perhaps some of the community here would care to post comments regarding what's shaping up as a phenomenal post season.
In last night's game two, can't you feel for Van Gundy, the fact he's liable to turn into a walking ulcer over letting LeBron get the ball with ONLY ONE SECOND LEFT? After Pavlovic ran over Gortat and was rewarded with the "and 1", I thought the refs were going to hand it over to the Cavs. The subsequent technical (4 point play/possession!) and Varejao's crazy flop (running alongside Hedo!) only reinforced that, but then they called LeBron for traveling (LBJ: "...a great call by the officials", LOL!) and something else that went Orlando's way late (offensive foul on James, maybe?), my faith was temporarily restored. So, a great end, great shot by Turkoglu.... but let's get to it, shall we?
How do you let the guy touch the ball? There's ONLY ONE SECOND LEFT! But I think Stan Van can only beat himself up for something he wishes he'd said. Because the players all know the time left, and where the Cavs want the ball. In fact, I said aloud, "Watch now. James is gonna make a 3 to win it". Who didn't?
This points to what I discount in Orlando. I just never had much appreciation for Rashard Lewis. I thought those years in Seattle with Ray Allen the team underachieved considerably. I don't like the no PF line up. I like Houston so much more with Rafer out of there (and T-Mac). But even though Lewis did nothing on defense that last play, and somebody (Courtney Lee?) got pulled out from under the basket all the way to half court, I have much, much respect for the Magic TEAM now. I see the flaws, and I stand by my opinion that their size (even disregarding Howard) makes it easier for them to play effective defense. Not good defenders, per se. But they're a team, and play like winners, especially in this match up. (Even Rafer has impressed, the way he's filled in. Though a big key for them is they can use Hedo as "PG", with Pietrus in there, especially at crunch time.)
Can't wait to see more of this stuff! Sorry I didn't include links, and for any misspellings of the foreign born players. But there's another game now!
Funny how I don't hate Chauncey anymore!