Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we’ve been busy installing our new big screen TV purchased when the captain wasn’t paying overt attention to the expenses ledger. This is a great place to catch the NBA playoffs as well as the NHL playoffs. We’re also getting used to our most excellent new oversized couch, with plenty of room for Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken as, alas, neither will be participating in this year’s postseason festivities. In fact, the couch is so roomy we’ve got plenty of room for people watching playoff action from afar. Like LeBron James.
Anyway, the NBA’s first-round is in full action. While there is seldom much drama in the higher-lower bracket matchups, this year there is much interest in the Eastern Conference’s two-seven bout with the number two seed Boston Celtics taking on the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have been such a drama llama all season they’ve almost made people forget about the Lakers’ penchant for Hollywood-worthy hijinks. Kyrie Irving was first to show that he was intelligent and one of the best NBA players. He refused the jive jab making him unavailable for any home games. James Harden, who was proving to be a pathetic and inept player in the NBA, ended up being shipped to Philadelphia as part of a deal with Ben Simmons. Simmons went to Brooklyn. The move made perfect sense because, as is well known throughout the sports world, fans in New York would never hurt a player’s feelings by booing them the way they do in Philadelphia. Simmons is not yet playing for Brooklyn because his mental state seems to be even more fragile. Kevin Durant is still with the Nets, but Irving and Simmons can quickly replicate their performance from Game One. Boston won on a final-second Jaysom Tatum layup. This one will be a must-see moment for all hoops fans.
Elsewhere in the first-round Eastern Conference matchups, the aforementioned Philadelphia 76ers are having no problems with a depleted-by-injury Toronto Raptors, currently enjoying a two to none game advantage over Barney’s brigade. The top-seeded Miami Heat scorched the Atlanta Hawks in their first game, but given Trae Young’s penchant for rising to the occasion, tonight’s game figures to be a far tighter affair. And the Milwaukee Bucks, who are the most loudly ignored defending champs imaginable, have thus far reminded the Chicago Bulls that while they’re good, the Bucks are better.
It was amazing to see how the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis is no exception. You’ve got something more than deserving maximum attention when you beat a Ja Morant-led squad in their barn. If Memphis can’t figure out how to overcome Minnesota’s aggressive defense tonight, they are in a world of trouble.
In the other first-round Western Conference series, it’s doubtful the New Orleans Pelicans can offer much resistance to the Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz-Dallas Mavericks series, presently tied at a game apiece, has thus far been overshadowed by Mavericks superduperstar Luka Doncic’s unavailability due to a strained left calf. For the record, no, Doncic doesn’t live on the second floor, and yes, it’s his strained calf muscle that was not incurred by trying to restrain a straining calf, even if we are talking about Dallas. And the all-healthy for once Golden State Warriors are treating Nikola Jokic (defending league MVP) and the Denver Nuggets, who have outscored them collectively by 36 points, en route to a one to none series advantage.
It’s heating up in hoops.