1. No Mailman needed for this West finals delivery
The best story in the NBA postseason is finally over as the Jazz put together a late run and sent the league’s version of Cinderella packing for the offseason with a 100-87 victory in Game 5, but, more importantly, the win put Utah into the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1998. But just because Golden State is out of the picture doesn’t mean that there are no true heroes left. At least that’s what the media keeps shoving down our throat about Derek Fisher. Handling the rock in all the critical moments and knocking down his shots with a sharpshooters’ precision (7-10 FG, 4-5 3FG), Fisher left his fingerprints all over this game. Now the Jazz are left to practice, watch, wait and repeat until the dramatics over in the other half of the West bracket finally get hashed out. But GS can still be proud of what they did this year and how they played. Unfortunately, they were just a bit too raw for the refined playoffs and while it was rabid emotion that carried the Warriors over the Mavericks, it was that same enthusiasm which would eventually be their downfall. There was a whirlwind of whistles directed at The City ballers toward the end of the third quarter and the Warriors just began to slowly unravel over the final 12 minutes. We all knew that the Golden State run would eventually end but it still doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to Jessica Alba.
2. Who’s getting Bull-ied around now?
Two games ago, the Bulls were beaten up, thrown around and left for dead on the side of the road after falling down 3-0 to Detroit. But unlike those bloated deer that get blasted by speeding SUVs on streets across the nation, these guys rose from the dead to win two consecutive games against the Pistons. Never seen road kill do that before. Ben Gordon was obviously alive and well as he scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field that included a 5-of-6 performance from behind the arc. Kirk Hinrich didn’t resemble a dead armadillo or opossum either as he dished out 13 helpers to go with 17 points in the 108-92 Chicago victory. The Pistons are known for blowing comfy leads in the postseason but they are also known for winning the games that they have to have. But if they want to end this series quickly they are going to have to take care of business on the road. And Chicago is where Ben Wallace has had his biggest games of the series. In the two games in Chi-Town, Big Ben has pulled down 29 rebound while he only has 20 boards in the three Detroit contests.
3. The commish shows no love for Amare
We all knew that there would probably be suspensions handed out by David Stern after Robert Horry sent Steve Nash
flopping flying into the scorer’s table. The incident had Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw hopping mad, and unfortunately for the Suns they hopped off the bench and onto the court which earned each of them a game suspension. Guess the whole “I was checking into the game” strategy didn’t work out for Amare. On the other side of the series, Horry’s actions earned him a two game suspension. It would seem that the Suns just lost Game 5 but now there is a ton of extra pressure on the Spurs as the suspensions have put them in a must-win situation that they must capitalize on. But, hell, we think it’s pretty safe to say that any coach in the league would rather be in Gregg Popovich‘s loafers instead of Mike D’Antoni‘s in this pivotal Game 5.
Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Andrei Kirilenko vs. Utah 34 min, 21 pts (FG: 8-12, FT: 5-5), 15 reb, 1 ast, 3 stl
Buzzer Beater: Dwyane Wade had to be feeling like a total idiot as he started putting on that stupid paper garment before going under the knife to repair both knee and shoulder. This was a surgery that he could have done back in February but instead opted to skip the procedure and rehab his way back into shape for the playoffs. And we think everybody knows how productive that decision turned out to be for Flash. Turns out that Dwyane’s pains were primarily coming from his knee and not the shoulder that sent him sobbing from the arena in a wheelchair. The recovery will probably take the entire offseason and possibly longer. Unfortunately, for Miami the “jumper’s knee” condition is nothing new to the franchise. Jason Williams had a similar operation performed last July and he was still in pain for half of the season.