What a Sports weekend!

Boston falls to Orlando: I predicted this when Boston had a 3-2 lead in the series. One reaction I could not resist is that the team is not built around the Big 3—it is built around the Big 2.5. Without Kevin Garnett, the team is way too limited offensively and has a huge hole in the d as well. The team is aging and already in salary cap hell. There isn’t any way out of that for the Celts. They will get old together. If, and it is not a given, KG comes back at or close to 100%, they will be in the playoffs for another year or two. But they will not be able to get to the finals again without finding a mid range exception superstar. Orlando and Cleveland are likely to be playing in the East finals for the next several years as long as they are healthy.

LA handles the upstart Rockets easily in game 7: The Lakers jumped off to a quick start against Houston in game 7 and never looked back. The bad sign for them is that the Rockets forced them to game 7 without their superstar center Yao Ming and his … Read more at FryingPanSports

NBA Playoffs—What have we learned?

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Here comes Lebron and the Cavs!

We would like to thank the Hawks for participating in the playoffs. Please pick up your parting gifts as you leave the arena: The Cavs are serious! The Cavs are undefeated in the playoffs so far. They are disposing of the undermanned competition by an average of nearly 20 points a game. This team for the first time in franchise history looks like it has no intention of taking a game off let alone allowing a team to beat it in Cleveland.

The team seems to be totally focused on winning and that focus is provided by Lebron James. He has the will to win regardless of the situation and has willed the team to comebacks against some of the best teams in the league during the regular season. Now, he and his mates are making playoff teams look like the Washington Generals against the Globetrotters.

Don’t expect them to get pressed by any team until the finals.

Boston is struggling with the Magic: This version of the Celtics is a shadow of the team that won the championship last year. They are hurt and seem to be using that as an excuse to … Read more at FryingPanSports

The NBA Playoffs are rounding first and staggering toward second.

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By Bill Smith

The first round of the NBA playoffs is complete—FINALLY! At one time the first round of the playoffs was the best of 5. The league decided that didn’t provide enough money so that round was changed to best of 7 like the rest.

Eastern Conference

For a long time, the Western Conference has been dominant. That could be changing soon. The Suns are setting. San Antonio is a shadow of its former greatness. In the East, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, and Atlanta are all on the rise.

8 Detroit vs 1 Cleveland

Fortunately the Cavs were kind to the Pistons. It hurts less when you pull the bandage off quickly. The Cavs sat watching Atlanta and Miami slug it out. The Cavs move on and the Pistons will rebuild. They have been competitive for a long time. That time is over. They need to rebuild or face falling to the top of the draft. I predict ping pong balls in their future.

7 Chicago vs 2 Boston

Of all the series in the first round, this is the only one that we could have enjoyed seeing more games. I’m not sure that either team could have survived … Read more at FryingPanSports

Niblets from around the net for 5/2/09

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By Bill Smith

Best comment of the week:

From ReverseCellPhones on AFC Draft winners and losers:

Great material Bill. I am a little worried about the Bengals picks. They have had character issues with players in the past but still continue to draft those players on the fringe of being trouble.

Everything I read about the Bengals 1st pick Andre Smith (OT Alabama) isn’t a bad kid but just VERY immature. A couple of “expert’s” final projections showed Michael Johnson (DE Georgia Tech) taken in the first round. He has never matched the hype he had coming into college let alone at the beginning of this season. But in the 3rd round, he was a great pick. I loved the picks of Rey Maualuga (ILB USC 2nd round) Chase Coffman (TE Missouri 3th round) Jonathan Luigs (OC Arkansas 4th round). All are outstanding values where they were picked. MAYBE, just maybe, the Bengals are turning things around.

Updates on previous columns:

A few names in the draft you won’t recognize but should know.

QB Stephen McGee Texas A&M—Dallas 4th round pick 101

RB Gartrell Johnson Colorado State—San Diego 4th round … Read more at FryingPanSports

Boston Vs. Chicago—Tackle basketball is back!

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By Bill Smith

Dr. James Naismith who invented basketball watched the first game ever played from the stands. After a foul, the official was unsure how many free throws to award. Naismith gave the refs a rule of thumb that is still used today:

1 if by hand and 2 if by knee.

At the end of the first quarter of the Bulls Celtics game, Kirk Hinrich blocked Rajon Rondo away from the ball. Rondo grabbed Hinrich by the arm and swung him into the scorers table. Hinrich responded by charging Rondo but the refs separated them before anything else happened. The call was a technical foul on Hinrich and a Flagrant 1 foul on Rondo.

That makes me wonder what you have to do to get tossed out of a playoff game. Are we playing under WWE rules where anything short of hitting your opponent over the head with a folding chair is just a Flagrant 1? I hope that there is a no weapon rule in the arena at least for the players and coaches.

Seriously, when you throw an opponent into the scorers table, you ought to get tossed yourself. Rondo did not. That led to a … Read more at FryingPanSports

The NBA Playoffs are set!

Fryingpan Sports

The NBA Playoffs are set!

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By Bill Smith

The NBA playoff match-ups are set but this edition won’t be similar to previous years. Seldom has home court advantage meant as much. Here are some things to watch for in the first round series.

Eastern Conference

8 Detroit vs 1 Cleveland

In the past, the Pistons would have been able to out-physical the Cavs. But the Pistons are not the team that pushed their way past the NBA Eastern conference in the past. The Cavs will win in 5 or 6 games. While the Pistons are no longer as physical, the series will turn into tackle basketball when they get behind.

7 Chicago vs 2 Boston

Danger Celtics! Danger! Yesterday, the Celtics head coach Doc Rivers announced that Kevin Garnett will probably miss the playoffs. If the Celtics had Garnett, this would be no contest. Chicago’s core talent is young, hungry and dangerous. Since the Celtics have had several weeks to adjust to the loss of KG, Boston wins in 6 or 7. But the Celts will have to spend so much energy winning the first round match up that they will be twice as vulnerable in round 2.… Read more at FryingPanSports