The Eastern Conference Finals called for that third cocktail… so things are about to get frisky.
After falling to a 3-0 trail, the Boston Celtics are just two wins away from becoming the first team in NBA history to climb out of that hole. They won Game 4 in Miami 116-99 before carrying that momentum back north for a 110-97 victory. While Miami managed to shoot 51.3 percent from the field, Boston forced them into 16 turnovers and also outscored them from behind the arc with an amazing 48-27 (it’s like a Bulls game!).
The series will now return to South Beach, where the pressure is fully on the Heat to wrap things up at home before the Celtics have a chance to win a Game 7 at the always intense TD Garden.
- I rarely if ever support the Celtics. I would also love to see Jimmy Butler continue his epic playoff run and reach his second NBA Finals in four seasons. With that said, I’m here for as much chaos as possible. Watching the Celtics force a Game 7 would be good enough theater to make up for some boring conference finals. Not to mention, the only thing better than seeing the Celtics lose a step before the Finals is seeing them lose in the Finals! And, if they pull off this historic comeback, it’s really hard to imagine they’ll have enough in the tank to handle this well-rested Denver Nuggets team.
- Ok, I’m going to have to refresh my memory on that Wizards-Bulls playoff game.
- I went to check and the Bulls were beaten 117-99. It was the Wizards’ first win in the series to cut things to 2-1 … before going on to win four straight and beat Chicago in six games. In Game 3, Gilbert Arenas scored 32, Antwan Jameson scored 21, Larry Hughes scored 21, and Etan Thomas scored 20 off the bench. Arenas also scored those 32 points despite shooting 10-for-24 from the field (lol). Basketball in the mid-2000s was UGLY.
- To be honest, I feel like we could be in for a pretty boring NBA Finals. I’m not saying that because of the teams involved. In fact, I’ve been really annoyed by how many people are expressing their frustration that the Nuggets went all the way. You just don’t love basketball if you say it’s not an interesting team to watch or follow. Nikola Jokic is on his way to becoming one of the greatest big men of all time, Jamal Murray is a playoff superstar, and the Nuggets are in their first finals in franchise history. There is a lot to talk about! Instead, the main reason I’m worried that it’s boring is because I think they’re that fucking good. They could sweep any of these East teams with ease.
- I’ve seen a lot of talk about Gabe Vincent during these playoffs, and I get it. He’s made a big step forward this postseason, particularly in the absence of Tyler Herro. And the fact that he’s done this with unrestricted free agency looming is certainly great news for him. But, with that being said, is he the type of target the Bulls should be after?
- For one, why not, right? He has proven to be a high-energy, two-way player who isn’t afraid to let him fry from center. He would also say that he has raised some questions about his ability to be the primary playmaker for his teammates to bed during these playoffs. We’ve seen him make several solid passes, and he’s certainly a key reason the Heat’s offense has gone from 25th in the regular season to 3rd in the postseason.
- On the other hand, the Bulls would have to be superbought in these playoffs with his true standout performance to believe he could be their answer at point guard. Vincent averaged just 9.4 points and 2.5 assists during his 25.9 minutes played this season. He also shot just 40.2 percent from the field and 33.4 percent from center on nearly 5.2 attempts per game. There seems to be an irregular nature to his game, and the last thing Chicago needs is another player who lacks consistency. Not to mention, as hard as he plays at times, the smaller point guards (6’2″) always give me a bit of a worry.
- I just think someone is likely to give Vincent a hefty paycheck after this run with the Heat. And my fear is that he might have a hard time meeting certain expectations on a struggling team like the Bulls. Conversely, if a contending team made him their top free agent add-on with his MLE, he could fill that role with ease. Makes sense?
- I’ll tell you this, at least it makes more sense than this!
- Alex Caruso recently hopped on The Old Man & The Three podcast with JJ Redick to talk about the NBA playoffs and his most recent season in Chicago. For his honest thoughts on the Bulls’ series with the Miami Heat, you can check out our post here. However, what he also wanted to share was his reaction to being named All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his career. Reflecting on his journey from being a two-way game in Los Angeles to now, Caruso couldn’t deny how much the award meant to him.
“It was really cool,” Caruso said. I think he hit me in waves when it first happened. Towards the end of the year, I almost expected it to happen just because I thought I’d had a really good year. I didn’t think many guys were as consistent as I was and had the kind of defensive off year that I did. And, besides, I protected the best player of all…
Then, it moved on to celebrating friends and family. And then I went in, I saw some of my old clips from when I was back and forth in Los Angeles. And I was like, this guy went from that to making All-Defense for the first time. That’s a great achievement.”
- Praying for a fully healthy Zach LaVine next year. Don’t count on an All-NBA nod if it happens.