1. Video game James
There has been lots of criticism about LeBron James‘ game of late, but nobody can say anything about the league’s young King anymore. Scoring 29 of your team’s final 30 points in a double overtime Game 5 road game victory has a way of shutting people up. LBJ ended up with a career playoff-high 48 points as he led his Cavaliers to a 109-107 win that put his boys up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals and just one win away from a finals appearance. Oh, and let’s don’t forget about his nine boards and seven assists; the kid is multidimensional, ya know. However, Detroit has been making it easy for LBJ to win games for his team; just like they’ve blown a 2-0 lead in the series, the Pistons blew a seven point lead in Game 5 with 3:15 left in regulation. But the Bad Boys could have been up by 20 with the clock winding down and James was going to find a way to win that game. Big shot after big shot after big shot; it was an incredible performance. And even though the reference is way overused when it comes to some of today’s young superstars, LeBron’s takeover of Game 5 was definitely Michael Jordan-esque.
2. The Magic’s man
The Magic are ready to shoot up the Eastern Conference ranks with an All-Star in the middle and talented young point guard running things on the floor. And now it appears that they now finally have the superstar coach to guide take this franchise back to the promised land. Billy Donovan had fulfilled his duty to Florida by winning a pair of championships and after all his players jumped ship for the NBA there is absolutely no reason for him to turn down a five year deal worth $27.5 million from Orlando. And talk about stepping into a sweet situation! Most college coaches end up running squads like the Hawks when they get the big call; but not Donovan. Nope, a championship pedigree has earned this former Gator an immediate opportunity at success. Now we just have to wait and see if he’ll be another college punk who couldn’t make it with the big boys.
3. Movin’ on up
If you enjoy hearing Steve Kerr‘s in-depth analysis and self-references of dishing the ball off to Tim Duncan and Michael Jordan while racking up five rings o’ bling then you better be DVR-ing these final Eastern Conference finals games. Why you ask. Well, once either the Pistons or Cavs move on to play the Spurs, Kerr will be leaving the TNT booth for an awesome gig as the Suns president of basketball operations and general manager. Mike D’Antoni will be stepping down as GM so that he can be a full time coach and Kerr can be a full time fat cat. No more having to put up with Marv Albert‘s stupid comments or spending nights squeezed in-between John Thompson and Kevin Harlan while his spits out his obnoxious “Buckle up!!” catch phrase. Not a bad promotion if you ask us. We’d like to see that schmuck Mark Jackson from ESPN do that.
Thursday’s Player of the Day: LeBron James @ Detroit 50 min, 48 pts (FG: 18-33, 3FG: 2-3, FT: 10-14), 9 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl
Buzzer Beater: There’s a saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but Salt Lake City might have something to say about that after John Amaechi gave his old home town a shout out as “the hippest, gayest place east of San Francisco.” We’re sure that Deron Williams was even happier about his current situation in Utah after hearing that excerpt from Amaechi’s memoirs. Not that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, Utah will be drenched in gayness this weekend when Amaechi serves as the grand marshal for the Utah Pride Parade. But America is still waiting for an active player to come out of the closet and lead one of these parades in uniform. And hurry it up Brady Quinn; we’re not getting any younger.