It’s already been a special NBA Playoffs. The Celtics and Bulls have treated us to perhaps the greatest non-Finals series of all time, but that series’ exact opposite just wrapped up in Atlanta. Yes, I’m going out on a limb and say that the Hawks-Heat series was the worst series to go 7 games in NBA history.
(Lou Hudson was the leading scorer for the Hawks the last time they won a 7-game series… in 1970)
Part of it is that none of the games were all that compelling in the fourth quarter, with every game being decided by double digits. Today’s final game was no different, with the Hawks leading by as many as 29 in the fourth on the way to a 91-78 victory. How horrible was this debacle? There were no lead changes after the first quarter… in the entire series.
The other part is that the outcome of this series seems so irrelevant anyway, since the winner has to play the Cavs, who are so much better than either of these teams it’s ridiculous.
The only similarity between the transcendent Bulls-Celts series and this one was the “what am I doing here?” look sported by Vinny Del Negro and Erik Spoelstra throughout their respective series. Of course, we never got any close games to see if Spoelstra could waste all of his timeouts drawing up plays that involve just dribbling around for 22 seconds and then hucking up a 25-footer.
My lasting impression of this series will be all the sideline shots of Spoelstra, who constantly looks amazed that he was hired to be an NBA coach. I imagine that all he does in every huddle is just shout “c’mon guys!” and ask if anyone has any ideas for plays.
In the next round, Atlanta has perhaps less of a chance of winning this series than any team since the Bullets played the Bulls back in 1997. But at least we’ll get to see that Anderson Varejao – Zaza Pachulia matchup we’ve all been dreaming of.
As for Cleveland, well, just continue being happy that your LeBron-based economy is still keeping the city afloat: