The Orlando Magic are undefeated in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. They are the only team to boast such a record. For some reason, however, one of the louder responses has to do with the quality of their competition. Granted, the Charlotte Bobcats, nor the Atlanta Hawks were/are going to win the NBA Championship. Nevertheless, both of these teams had above .500 records, something not true about Cleveland’s opening-round opponent, the Chicago Bulls, who finished the season 41-41.
How much stock you put into that depends on how much stock you put into transitive properties in sports.
Whatever you think of the Magic’s chances of getting representing the of Eastern Conference in the Finals, it’s hard to deny how impressive the Magic have looked against the Atlanta Hawks — and that’s not even considering the 43-point Game 1 debacle. In Game 2, the Hawks actually competed. It didn’t matter. As indicated, the Magic unfurled a can of highlight reel-worthy basketball against the Hawks in Game 2; led, quite naturally, by their man-child Dwight Howard.
I probably should’ve put this in the previous post, but evidently, today is Bango the Mascot day. The following stunt is, for lack of a better word, insane. The commitment to upping the ante when it comes to mascot performances is impressive, and the result is even more so.
Here’s a warning to any Atlanta Hawks fans patronizing the downtown Milwaukee area: Watch your back — especially if you are wearing an Al Horford jersey. Thanks to nice flip of the script, in this case, a deer will be hunting you. It’s not just any deer, mind you. No, I’m talking about Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks mascot. Bango has been on a mission to terrorize anyone he catches wearing such offending clothing, something the following video demonstrates quite nicely.
Before I embed the footage, I should warn viewers the images they are about to see may not be safe for sensitive viewers; unless, of course, you like seeing folks in Al Horford jerseys get victimized in public Port-A-Potties.
While he might not be playing due to a gruesome elbow injury, that doesn’t mean Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut isn’t enjoying the NBA Playoffs, especially when his team is playing at home. In case you missed it, during the Bucks’ win in Game 3, Bucks fans serenaded Bogut with the Australian National Team chant towards the end of their Game 3 blowout of the Atlanta Hawks, who, apparently, don’t like winning basketball games when they aren’t playing at home.
To say Bogut enjoyed hearing the chant from Bucks fans would be an understatement; something the following animated gif demonstrates nicely.
In perhaps the key crunch time play for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s win over the Atlanta Hawks, Jeff Green threw down a dunk over Josh Smith that was so nasty, ESPN’s John Hollinger had to devote an entire article — not a post, mind you, but an 800-word thesis — describing just how important and impressive Green’s dunk was. For instance:
So instead, Green took matters into his own hands. He spun away from Smith’s pressure, dribbled down the lane, and uncorked a right-handed statue-of-liberty slam over Smith that left the home crowd gasping. It’s rare to see one of the league’s top shot-blockers posterized in his own building, let alone on such a crucial play.
Considering last night’s win, the Thunder’s 23rd of the season, matched last season’s win total, I can see why Hollinger is treating it as more than just your run-of-the-mill NBA poster dunk. The Thunder, with young studs like Kevin Durant, Green, Russell Westbrook and James Harden on the roster, have been wearing the crown of “most exciting young team with a future in the league,” a designation they share with the Portland Trail Blazers. Now that they are learning how to win in the league, expect the “buzz” surrounding the Thunder to only increase.
Of course, when you have game-winning dunks like the one Green threw down over Josh Smith, the excitement increases rather easily. Just ask John Hollinger.
Mercifully, the Cleveland Cavaliers put the Atlanta Hawks out of their misery last night as the LeBron Sweep Train rolls on. While LeBron himself look somewhat human last night, his teammates, especially Delonte West, picked up the slack as Cleveland continued on their currently-undefeated run through the playoffs. Next stop? The winner of the Orlando/Boston series.
Maybe one of those teams could actually win a game against Team MVP. You never know.
His game is so good, it can make a grown man go off in a tangent of hyperbole; although, in this case, you can believe the hype. LeBron has elevated his team to such a high level of play, the Cavaliers are playing more like steamrollers (Hey! The Cleveland Steam…, uh, no. I’m going to stop there.).
And with that, the NBA’s change of power is now complete with David Stern abdicating his position in favor of LeBron’s rule. At first, Stern was reluctant to leave the position he’s had since 1984; but after careful reconsideration, even he couldn’t deny LeBron’s incredible appeal, nor could he ignore the power of the Nike/LeBron cooperative.