In lieu of doing my ‘NBA [insert something] With Malice’ bit, you’re getting this.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if San Antonio won game 5 in New Orleans. Nor would I be surprised if the Lakers got beaten at home by the Jazz, or the Lakers beat the Jazz in game 6 in Utah. Orlando coming back and beating Detroit in game 5 would raise an eyebrow… and I’d expect to see the Spurs win at home, but who knows with New Orleans.
Anyone here expect them to win game 6 in Cleveland? I don’t.
Not after the woes they’ve had on the road thus far in the playoffs. And this, from the best road-team in the NBA (31-10 on the road during the regular season). Now, they cannot buy a win on the road – against the Hawks they lost in Atlanta 93-102, 92-97, 100-103. Against the Cavs they’ve lost in Cleveland 84-108 & 77-88.
As of today, the Boston Celtics are the only team still in the playoffs that have failed to win a game on the road. That’s got to be more than rather alarming for Doc Rivers & co. Basically, it’s getting to the stage that opponents are expecting to win when they are at home. See the C’s in the green uniform & you pretty much know that you’ve got a win.
And at this stage? It has to be in the minds of the Celtics players. You don’t lose 3 away games to a 37-45 team, then 2 games to Cleveland post holding LeBron James to the worst consecutive games in his career and not have it play on your consciousness.
Not necessarily so, as we are all aware, Boston were the best team in the regular series and as such hold homecourt throughout the playoffs into the finals – they can simply win home games and walk away with the hardware.
But… in a series versus Boston, opponents have to be figuring that all they have to do is steal one at the Garden, and it’s theirs for the taking. Pretty sure that’s what Mike Brown is drumming into his charges… and post Detroit beating Orlando tomorrow – Flip Saunders will be pointing to (should the script go to plan and Boston do actually get by the LeBrons Cavs).
I guess we should be thankful for it. For it certainly has livened up the playoffs from the Eastern perspective – Boston’s season-long dominance hasn’t carried over, and there are cracks showing.
- Orlando in Detroit – Despite Jameer Nelson’s foolish statements, Orlando are done. The Pistons can sense the blood in the water. Done.
- San Antonio in New Orleans – Would anyone be overly surprised if the Spurs took this one? Not me. It will be either this one or game 7… but the Spurs will win in New Orleans.