*With the sad news of Tom Seaver’s passing, homage will be paid to Tom Terrific tomorrow.
SPANISH HARLEM – If you love the NBA basketball, then the last two nights gave you Game 7 match-ups on back-to-back days. There were others games on those nights, with the Boston Celtics beating the Toronto Raptors to take a 2-0 lead in the series on Tuesday. The same can be said about the Miami Heat, who beat the Milwaukee Bucks to take the same lead on the series last night. All really good games to watch but they were the preview games to the marque matches of the night.
DENVER NUGGETS vs UTAH JAZZ (80-78)
The game featured a scorching hot, Jamal Murray, who had scored 50, 42 and 50 points again, to tie the series at 6. Everyone wanted to know if Murray could have another game like that to get his team into the next round but in the end it was, Nikola Jokic, who led the way with 30 points and 14 rebounds. It was a coming out party for Murray and he surprised many in the media. The flashes were there in the past with Murray but the three games he had coming into this one were on par with the elite athletes.
If you watched the game, it was ugly from the start and it continued that way for most of the game. For Utah, Donovan Mitchell was showing the world how great he can be but it just wasn’t enough. Other than Mitchell, the Jazz didn’t have another reliable scorer and it showed in big moments. Going into the game, the key matchup everybody wanted to see was Murray verus Mitchell but it wasn’t meant to be. Each played reasonable well but when I tell you it was an ugly game, it WAS AN UGLY GAME. I will end it with… just look at the score and tell me that’s not a low score for the modern NBA.
HOUSTON ROCKETS vs OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (104-102)
Let’s start with the obvious. Chris Paul was traded from the Rockets to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook. Then they meet up in the playoffs for a first round series and you think to yourself… this is a great story. Two guys who were traded for each other and want to show-up their former team in the process. Sounds nice right? Yeah, I knew you would like it. Then have those two teams play 7 games to determine who is better.
I’m in basketball heaven.
The game itself was hard fought and Chris Paul had a triple double but his team lost to Westbrook and the Rockets. Not that Westbrook out-played Paul but the Rockets were the better team last night. James Harden did not play a good game overall but he did play some terrific defense on the last possession of the game. Something we don’t we say often with Harden… he got a block, which sealed the game and victory.
Game 7’s are tough; it’s win or go home. A few mistakes can kill any momentum you try to sustain. Sometimes you have elite athletes showing you why they are also elite and sometimes the unlikeliest hero emerges from nowhere to win the game you needed the most. Other times, you get teams that just want to play well enough to survive another round. The last two nights we got just that… two teams that moved on, for better or worse.
Please comment below and come back tomorrow for Short Matt and his Tom Seaver story.
Until next time…