Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad Start, Good End To A Road Trip

The Yankees played there worst baseball of the season last week in Detroit, dropping three straight for the first time all season after winning the series opener. Actually, that should really be ammedned to saying they had their worst offensive performacne of the season. The pitching was between good and terrific, and the bats just couldn't get much of anything going at all. Wasting those kind of pitching performances - which really dates back to the previous homestand against the White Sox - made the losses all the more frustrating.

On the flp side it made the series win in Texas all the more satisfying. Coming off a bad series loss, on the road, against the defending American League Champions, getting two out of three is a good job. It shows that this team has a little toughness to them, which is great to see displayed early on. For these reasons it was easily my favorite series win of the season, with only the first series being close because it's always nice to get the first one.

Obviously we have a lot of people who are dissapointed about the result here, but that was a great basketball game last night (followed by one that may have been even better in Thunder/Grizzlies). You have to tip your cap to Miami's Big 3, they severly outplayed Boston's Big 4 in a must win game. Wade was excellent, and Pierce did everything he could to will Boston to a win, but Lebron was the dominant force in that game when it was on the line in the 4th Quarter and OT. Even played through a key turnover to get the biggest defensive stop of the game and go on to control OT. Also have to give Bosh credit where credit is due, he bounced back from all of the criticism from Game 3 and gave Miami a big lift in the second half, badly outplaying Garnett and having his presence felt more than anyone else's on the interior. There were a few plays at the rim that could have swung that game either way, and Bosh had a lot of them. Should be interesting to see if Miami can close this out in Game 5 or if this is going to get really interesting in Game 6. The one thing Boston can really hang on to is that they don't have to do a ton to put some pressure on Miami in this series. They just need to win the next game.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pat,

I've heard that the Gunn has sent David Stern a letter recommending that they cancel the rest of the series and make the Heat winners by default since they won the decisive game 4.

I do think the series is over but your right that a win in Miami would make game 6 interesting.

The Celtics do not have enough guys that can create their own shots. They had 31 points in the first quarter and 59 in the rest of the game AND overtime. Think about that for a minute.

Yes the Heat played well defensively but not that well. The C's are just running out of gas.

Lebron came up big in big moments. Bosh destroyed Garnett.

Out west, tough matchup for the Mavs with either OKC or Memphis due to the athleticism.

Should be an interesting series. You could argue that Dirk is the best scorer in the NBA right now. Not sure who can guard him.

Patrick said...

the western conference finals is going to be interesting no matter what the match-up ends up being. memphis presents a size problem on the inside for dallas and okc presents an athleticism problem for them. dallas presents a dirk problem for either of them, and also has the advantage of experienced veterans who have made numerous deep playoff runs before (dirk, kidd, terry). i'm assuming it will be durant or battier who get the lion's share of the minutes on dirk if their team advances. although i know battier is considered a premier defender, i actually think durant will be the tougher match-up for dirk. i don't think getting into dirk's body or good positioning really bother dirk, especially when he is in a zone like he's been in. i think your best bet is to try to bother him with length by putting pressure on that high release and trying to alter as many shots as possible. the problem is that most guys who provide that length aren't athletic enough to stay with dirk on the perimeter, as we've already seen this playoffs. in terms of that combination of length and athleticism, durant has as good a chance as any to try to disrupt dirk. and if dirk ends up spending time on him on the other end (no idea if this is realistic or not), that will take something out of him too. durant is obviously a handful to guard himself.

TimC said...

That sure was a great game, although tension really took over for great basketball in the fourth. That Rondo layup will be tough to get over.

With Rondo playing one-armed, as was pointed out, the Celtics cannot create their own shots. Even Ray's 4th quarter bricks were forced, stand-still shots, not in his usual rhythm, while Garnett had to dribble one too many times on multiple fourth quarter possessions. These are all factors of Rondo not being able to put the ball in the hands of guys where they can score. Ultimately, it had to be Pierce shimmying around and he just did not have enough in the tank. A lot like game seven last year, really, in that the Celtics probably could have used a few more minutes from the bench guys to prevent a late loss of legs on the offensive end. Not sure if I blame Doc for this or if he just made the best of a tough spot.

One big factor from last night yet to be mentioned is how much help the Celtics got from the officials...and they still lost. Not confident moving forward (or south, technically). I did not like the charge call against Pierce in OT- outside of that, the refs probably would have echoed Bosh's comments after game three if anyone bothered to ask them.

West finals will be outstanding...first, though, this current semi-final will probably go seven. Interesting that Tony Allen and Perkins are going to be key guys with how they defend the other team's top threats.

Anonymous said...

TimC,

I hope that your comment about Perkins and Allen were not meant to imply that they would have made a big impact had they still been on the Celtics. The C's have much bigger problems than not having those two.

Ross Kaplan said...

Getting back to baseball, I feel like the Yankees pitchers are living on borrowed time. Sabbathia has pitched fair, but way below his ace potential so far, AJ is bound for his usual mid season implosion, Hughes is out for who knows how long and there's no way Garcia, Colon and Nova keep doing what they've been able to do so far, maybe one of those guys will end up with a surprisingly decent season, but definitely not all 3.

Anonymous said...

Right, just more of a 'wow' moment for Celtics fans, I think, as they contemplate the ramifications of that.

Anonymous said...

PF

Didn't really have time to post today. I will comment on the C's/Heat tomorrow. Didn't want you (or anyone else) to think I was being a sore loser.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

I'm being a sore loser. I also never really have much worthwhile to say about basketball.

Pat and Tank,

If I were you, my biggest concern with this pitching staff now has to be Colon. I may have mentioned this in a long-ago comments section, but Colon was actually a pretty darn good pitcher a couple years ago with the Red Sox. However, he was only that for about five starts, and then he was either figured out, out of gas, or some kind of combination. You can't say definitively that Colon's performance on Saturday, when he failed to escape the fifth inning, was the beginning of the end, but you can't help but be a little worried, especially considering his recent track record.

John said...

I watched the game but was at a bar so I was slightly distracted and couldn't hear anything. But this non-call stuck out at the time to me, and even more so now. Lebron takes his two steps, with his right foot needing to be planted. Slides his right foot, then looks like he picks up both feet(barely) before going up for the shot. Not sure how they missed it, and yes there are probably a bunch of things they missed on the C's as well that could have been turnovers instead of points, so not trying to complain the C's got screwed just pointing out a terrible non-call. Also, obviously its a Boston site so the commentary is over the top.

http://www.barstoolsports.com/boston/super-page/why-was-the-lebron-4-step-travel-not-called-a-travel-last-night/