CELTICS ELIMINATE BULLS

After trailing 2-0 in the series, the Boston Celtics won 4 straight games eliminating Chicago tonight, 105-83.

The C’s came into tonight’s game dishing out 27 assists per game and turning it over 12 times.

Tonight they had 28 assists and just 9 assists.

“We haven’t got too caught up in the results, we try to stay the course on the day-to-day,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens,

Celtics face the Wizards Sunday in game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

FROM WAY DOWNTOWN

Golden State eliminates the Blazers last night.

The “3” ball of course is a factor.  Here’s the top three teams in the playoffs for three-point field goals made as of Wednesday morning.

1-Cavaliers 54

2-Celtics 51

3-Warriors 50

ALL THAT JAZZ…

Joe Johnson went off last night.

Not only did Iso Joe score 11 points in a row late in the game but he also hit the open man four straight possessions.  Joe’s been in the league 16 years. WOW!

“He’s so sure with the ball,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”It’s not often you find a guy that has that combination of skill, as far as his ability to handle the ball and make plays. And the strength to get to spots on the floor.

”The thing that really takes us to a unique place is he’s such a willing passer. He basically either scored or assisted on every basket (down the stretch). … We knew this is who he is and he knows it’s playoff time.”

As for the game, the Jazz beat the Clippers last night 105-98. Series is tied at 2.

Rudy Gobert was back in action last night. 6-6 shooting for 15 points. He also grabbed 13 rebounds in 25 minutes.

Gordon Hayward had food poison last night.  Played 9 minutes in the first half.

DNP in the second half. I had it once, it is bad.

Joe Ingles dished out 11 assists. Love his game. He’s part of the Aussie crew. Those guys can ball.

Utah averages 93 possessions per game – the lowest in the league. Not sure why Charles Barkley thinks the Jazz should play faster – they’re fine bro.

Chuck’s partner on TNT,  Kenny Smith did a good job of breaking down Utah’s sets. Jet would make for a good coach.

There was a Dante Exum sighting last night…

Remember when Peter Vecsey called the Clippers, “The Paper Clips?”

Chris Paul went off last night.  Guy is amazing.  He does it all. CP3 is the only player in this year’s playoffs with 10 or more assists each game. 27 points -9 rebounds and 12 assists last night for Paul. Worth mentioning, just two turnovers. 12:2 ratio – incredible.  Entering last night’s game Paul had made 40 straight free-throws. Streak is over, 6-8 last night. His three-point shooting has to get better. 1-6 last night.

“We let that one slip away,” Paul said. ”It was 87-80, and that’s on me. Being the point guard, I have to manage the game better and make sure we get good shots”

How about Jamal Crawford – he too went off. 9-13 shooting for 25 points. 5-7 from distance. The former Michigan Wolverine came in 0-11 from downtown.

TNT’s Shaq on Crawford: “Street style. Plays all year around. Seattle in there.”

Blake Griffin is out for the playoffs. (Big toe injury) Here’s George Hill of the Jazz.

”You’ve got to think, your big toes are the main part of your body to help with balance and explosion and things like that,” Hill said. ”Just like if you didn’t have thumbs, it’d be hard to do a lot of things in your daily life. Just think about your thumbs and big toes are your main points of your body. I’m sure it’s something that’s excruciating pain for him because I’ve been in that situation.”

Derek Harper is in studio for NBA TV.  I was impressed with the job he did last night. Harper was a heck of a player back in the day. Solid defender. Solid point guard. Tough. Played the right way…

Remember, always hit the open man…

Hoops135@hotmail.com

 

 

 

CAVS 106 PACERS 102

First off, RIP Jess Kersey, a former NBA official.

Cleveland sweeps Indiana 4-0.  A major plus was Hubie Brown on the call for ABC.

After the game, ABC’s Jalen Rose said Lance Stephenson should play J.R. Smith one-on-one. LOL

LeBron James now has swept a playoff series 10 times in his career.

Not only did LBJ make a big-time 3 late in today’s game, come up with multiple key defensive plays, including another chase down block from behind.

The King finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

“I hate turning the ball over. In my head I have my little league and high school coaches saying if you turn the ball over you better be the first one back on defense,” said James.

The guy is incredible.  He came into the game third all-time in scoring and assists in the playoffs.  I always say Michael was the greatest to play the game, I think LeBron may be the second best of all-time.

“I just wanna try to play the game the right way, said James after the game.

The Cavaliers came into the game with an “assists-to-turnovers” ratio of 22:12 – today was a different story though.  The Cavs only had 11 assists (0 in the first quarter) and they turned the ball over 13 times.

Cleveland came in making 15 three’s per game – today they had 9.

Pacers came in with 11 per game, today they made 10.

Lance Romance played well. The Coney Island product scored 22 points on 4-9 shooting from downtown.

Former NBA player Leon Wood, who is now an official worked the game.

When a player makes a mistake in the game, “my fault’ sounds more sincere than “my bad.”

Speaking of mishaps, how about J.R. Smith’s behind-the-back pass late in the game? Ty Lue said he didn’t see it.

Paul George scored 15 points on 5-21 shooting from the field. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan on PG-13: “He looked worn down. he gave us what he had.  He tried to play the right way.”

George said after the game:

“Rough night. Every year isn’t a golden year. Not every year is going to be special.  Remain positive. Try to make the most of it.”

Not sure why reporters ask players immediately following the final game of the season if they want to stay in their home city and have they thought about free-agency?

“I’m not even into that. Next question,” said PG-13 when that was asked of him after the game.

Cleveland has an outstanding second unit led by Deron Williams, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver.

McMillan on Lance:

“He brings energy and a passion. Somewhat of a toughness to the roster. Coming off the bench he provides the energy. Our guys responded to that. I like his fight. He tries to play the game the right way. He’s a pass-first guard. We’re going to have to work with him on his defense. Committing to that end of the floor.”

Last season at this time Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News wrote that he thought LeBron James was the best basketball player ever. http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/with-sixth-trip-to-finals-lebron-james-basketballs-best-ever-nba-finals-cleveland-cavaliers-golden-state/1v2fmf47u8bg61n9te73rc5e4s

And, here’s another piece from DeCourcy, one in which he wrote a couple of days ago. http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/nba-playoffs-2017-lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers-indiana-pacers-game-3-score-result-record-comeback/ofea50pt5xk6154ip19hvoafp

Decourcy on LBJ’s Game 3 performance:

Triple-double powered Cleveland’s comeback from 25 points down at the break to a 119-114 victory, the largest halftime deficit overcome in NBA playoff history. The win provided the Cavaliers with a 3-0 series lead and the opportunity to complete a sweep Sunday afternoon.

James scored or assisted on 73 of the Cavaliers’ points, or 61.3 percent of their output. He played every minute of the third and fourth quarters. He led all scorers with 41 points, all rebounders with 13, all passers with 12 assists, all 3-point shooters with a half-dozen made in 12 attempts and, of the seven players who attempted double-figure shots, was the only one who made more than 50 percent.

It was one of the most astounding performances of James’ brilliant career, and it underscored the reality of his 2016-17 season: If James is able to drag this crew to another NBA Finals, and especially a championship, it will stand as his masterpiece, his greatest achievement.

And finally, from James himself who has won 21 straight, first round games. Something no other player has ever done.

“I just try to put myself in position to help my teammates win no matter who is on the floor with me,” James said. “I try to empower them, try to make them better, try to make them believe that we can be great every night.”

Hoops135@hotmail.com