Saturday, May 2, 2009

On The Court Off The Court Ed. One

Back in High School I somewhat followed the NBA. I remember wanting one of those Starter running writing style team hats for the Phoenix Suns. As per everyone, pretty much, who grew up in the Nineties, this interest culminated in collecting basketball cards.

In an effort to expand the content here, I’ve invited a good friend who is serious about his ball to contribute to these pages. This is just in hot off the presses.

No BULLshit! Chicago knocks off Boston in triple overtime.

At $4.20 for the win in game 1 of the series, many thought I’d lost my marbles and the pouch that I kept them in when I threw a measly 30 bucks of the Chicago Bulls. Now in the dying minutes (3:30 remaining) of regulation of game 6 in a best of 7 series, the inexperienced Bulls are clawing their way back into the match down 8 points at this stage. With back to back baskets by mid season acquisitions Brad Miller and John Salmons (via Sacramento) the baby Bulls are back in it as they’ve done all series. Salmons driving to the hoop beating Pierce off the dribble and scoring inside drawing the foul on Kendrick Perkins and making his free throw, Brad Miller nailing an open 3 from the top of the key, then a pick and roll with Hinrich who found Miller (23 points 10 rebounds off the bench) streaking to the basket with the game tying lay up. Miller’s pumped, the crowd frenzied and I’m still sitting in my undies wired from a pot of coffee glued to this thriller in Chicago.

Pierce and Gordon both exchange missed shots in the final 5 seconds of regulation, and like 3 other matches already in the series…. game 6 is headed to overtime 101 -101. No doubt Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are the go-to guys for the Celtics and combined for a total 73 points but that wasn’t enough even from the veteran duo as the Bulls evened the series at 3 games apiece in a nail biting triple overtime finish. A deft shooting deadly touch from Allen (51 points) kept the Celtics close in overtime and even a 2nd and 3rd overtime though it was Pamplona revisited as Noah stole a pass from Pierce and charged the length of the floor to slam it home and draw the 6th foul on Pierce to see him fouled out of the final 35 seconds. Noah went on to hit the most clutch free throw of his tender career to put Chicago up by 3 (128 -125). A valiant effort by 2nd year player Rajon Rondo who was playing with a sprained ankle put the jets on to blow by Rose and get the tip shot from his own missed attempt saw the Celtics only trail by 1. But it was the rookie of the year Derrick Rose who all but sealed the victory with a block on Rondo whose spinning turn around jump shot in the lane was sent back with 7 seconds to go. Rose reeled in the block and was fouled to stop the clock. He went to the line and missed both free throws, though with no timeouts remaining Boston was forced to heave a half court shot on the buzzer, which Rondo missed. Chicago hung on to win at home 128 – 127.

In the triple overtime marathon John Salmons finished the contest with 35pts (13-22) 6rbs, 4assts, in 60 minutes of a possible 63 minutes. He saw help from rookie Derrick Rose 28pts (12-25) 8rbs, 6assts in 59 minutes of play. Ray Allen tied his own record as well as Rex Chapman and Vince Carter for nailing 9 3pointers in a playoff game. Allen shot 9-18 from beyond the arch and could’ve broken that record though one of his shots was reviewed by officials as he had a toe on the line as he buried a shot from the right wing and had it changed to a 2.

Drew Donikian

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