The First Round of the NBA Playoffs was so exciting and surprising, that it's going to be difficult to match what we've already witnessed.
Before I break down the chaos that transpired, the one series which had zero drama involved the two-time defending champion, Miami Heat. How sick did it make every hater of the Heat knowing they barely broke a sweat in a four-game sweep of the Bobcats? Keep in mind, the Heat were in a similar situation as the Pacers in regards to second half mediocrity. In fact, the Heat ended up with the 2 seed. It should've been alarming to everyone who questioned Miami's age, health and depth -- seeing how easy they dismantled their First Round opponent.
The biggest question going into the postseason was whether or not the Heat and Pacers could turn it on after such a stretch of bad basketball. While it took the Pacers seven games to look like they did the first half of the season, the Heat looked like a dream team that was bored with the regular season.
And for those people I've heard say 'but they beat the Bobcats, big deal.' Yeah, well, the Pacers struggled with a 8 seed who won 38 games during the regular season. I can't even say with certainty that the injury to Al Jefferson may have changed anything. Could the Bobcats have won one game? Perhaps, but the Heat made people see how much separation there is between them and the Pacers.
Despite actually winning four games in their series over the Hawks, the Pacers didn't look like the Pacers until Game 7. And I mean playing the defense that led the league in opponents field goal percentage and opponents points per game for most of the year. I will need to see the same effort given in Game 7 to happen in Game 1 against Washington, in order to believe the Pacers had some kind of awakening. I just don't see it, nor can I predict the Pacers even advancing past the Wizards.
Paul Pierce has been so clutch in the NBA for such a long time. He was acquired by Brooklyn to produce big moments in the postseason. Only this time he didn't hit a game-winning shot; instead "The Truth" blocked a shot which may have ended the Nets season. Clutch players find ways to change games, and once again Pierce put his hand prints on a Game 7. In all honesty, Pierce prevented what would've been an end to another disappointing postseason for the Nets. We'll never know if Kyle Lowry's last second shot would've dropped had it not been blocked, but it's something the Nets and their fan base will never have to find out courtesy Paul Pierce.
It was beyond painful to see the Bulls look so pathetic during an elimination game. In 28 years as a fan of the Chicago Bulls, I've never been more embarrassed by their inability to put the ball in the hoop. It was disgraceful to say the least watching an NBA team have multiple scoring droughts of nearly six minutes. While it turned out Joakim Noah had a severe knee injury which required surgery, the countless open or mildly contested shots missed throughout that series-- was simply sickening. We're not talking about an elite Wizards' defense either. Size and athletic ability can be countered with smart ball movement. This just made me nauseous again.
Damian Lillard. Enough said! By the way, for those unaware, Lillard played four years of college at Weber State -- not a one-and-done project. Love stories like him.
Great and surprising job by the Mavericks winning three games against the Spurs. Most didn't have them winning a game. I was somewhat alarmed by those who thought the Spurs would lose Game 7 in their building. Parker, Ginobili and Duncan = Nowitzki. Anyone really surprised Monta Ellis shot 3-11 in Game 7?
OKC and Memphis always find a way to have an incredible series. Reggie Jackson truly saved OKC from being eliminated. All this talk of Tony Allen being in Durant's head, and then KD goes out and drops 69 total points in the last two games. OKC shot 61% in Game 7. That's insane, especially against that defense.
Huge series win for the Clippers. It was essential for that franchise to take the next step, and it says a lot about their character to pull through and move on. Doc Rivers' presence appeared to be the difference. It was clearly about mental toughness.
I don't deviate too much from what happens on the court, however, people have been asking my views on Donald Sterling. I'd be more surprised learning an old white person wasn't a racist or bigot. It's sad to think anyone in 2014 can have such closed-minded views. Look at corporate America and tell me how many minorities are running companies in this country. I've worked at places where zero minorities were even a manager -- forget about being in full control of the operation.
White people who feel guilty, or want to feel good about "equality", will say 'America voted for a black President.' Albeit true, how many times a week do we hear how Obama is being opposed and questioned by Congress aka old white men?
Sterling's views live inside so many people in this country, and guess what? Nobody can change it. Can't record everyone. Ignore ignorance!