1. The Warriors came out to play (and win)
Well, we’ve been talking about the “biggest upset in playoff history” for what feels like an eternity, but now it’s time to start discussing exactly where this bad boy ranks on the all-time upsets in the history of sports. Golden State used a 36-15 spanking throughout the third quarter to hammer the final nail into the Mavericks’ coffin, 111-86. Yup, that’s no typo; 111-86. Dallas now has to be considered one of the biggest chokers in recent postseason memory after blowing last year’s Finals to the Heat and now this inexcusable defeat to the Warriors. It’s surprising that Mark Cuban didn’t spontaneously combust during the game. Dirk Nowitzki didn’t even bother to show up in the biggest game of the year, but why should he? After all, he already said that the series would be over if they lost Game 4, which they did. Way to go Dirk, you just gift wrapped the MVP for Steve Nash with your pathetic postseason performance. Then again, that’s what friends are for.
2. Home cookin’ makes all the difference
This is what all fans of basketball look forward to every year, and now we finally have our first Game 7 of the 2007 postseason. So far the series between Utah and Houston has gone exactly according to form with each team winning the games on their home floor and Game 6 was no different as Utah used a late surge to force the ultimate win or go home scenario and won 94-82 in Salt Lake City. The Jazz big men led the way with 41 points and 18 rebounds and cry baby Andrei Kirilenko even wiped away his tears long enough to chip in a nice defensive effort of three steals and five blocks to go along with 14 points. The Rockets got decent offensive games from their stars but nobody else bothered to step up in the close out situation. Well, we can’t really say nobody; after all, this is a team that had only four players score in a game not too long ago.
3. Boy, Luol, you’re swell
Well, David Robinson, Grant Hill, AC Green and Joe Dumars will have to set the prim and proper table with one more setting for the newest member of the good guy club as Luol Deng snatched up the NBA’s sportsmanship award on Thursday. Receiving the award is a pretty lofty accomplishment but what’s even more impressive is that Deng beat out Mr. Manners Shane Battier. However, it wasn’t by much: 22 total votes to be exact. But we’re in the playoffs man, who really cares about sportsmanship? It’s good to know that there actually are players who give the league a positive image but now’s the time when we wanna see Deng start throwing some elbows when crashing the boards and putting a little extra umph into those picks. Chicago has Detroit in the next round and Deng has been a good boy long enough, it’s time for him to channel his inner Bad Boy.
Thursday’s Player of the Day: Stephen Jackson vs. Dallas 44 min, 33 pts (FG: 10-19, 3FG: 7-8, FT: 6-8), 5 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl
Buzzer Beater: Ron Artest finally got sentenced for smacking his wife back in March and now he gets to spend a nice sized chunk of his summer picking up trash alongside the highway. A judge sentenced Ron Ron to 100 hours of community service and a 10-day work project to go along with a whole butt load of counseling. Despite what some reports said, Artest lucked out and avoided jail time; there goes his hardcore rap image. You can’t really get street cred by doing hard time in a 10-day work project. Something tells us that Tupac is looking at Artest from somewhere out there and just laughing his ass off.