After a two day hiatus the Nightcap returns with love in our hearts.
Lakers 89 Rockets 70 – The good Lakers showed up, or the bad Rockets, honestly I have no idea, either way the Lakers won. This game was never close as it took Houston over 5 minutes to get their first point and 7 and a half minutes to get their first field goal. The Rockets were so bad that Kobe only needed to take 12 shots and the Lakers still won by nearly 20 and led from beginning to end. Anyone hoping for a little more drama in this Game 7 obviously hadn’t watched past Game 1, since each of the last 6 games of this series has been decided by 12 points or more. The fact that the Rockets rallied together and forced a Game 7 in spite of playing without Yao Ming, Dikembe Mutombo, and Tracy McGrady was pretty impressive so they should be commended for that, but it doesn’t erase the fact that the Lakers are moving on to the conference finals again.
Magicians 101 Celtics 82 – A guarantee from Patrick Ewing actually came through! Making good on Ewing’s prediction that they’d win Game 7, the Magic pounded the Celtics and will move on to their first Eastern Conference Finals since 1996. Hedo Turkoglu was the star of the show for Orlando, scoring 25 points and handing out 10 assists. Dwight Howard added 12 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Orlando rarely trailed the entire game (just 36 seconds) and pulled away in the 4th quarter to put down Boston. For all the crap I’ve given the Celtics over the course of the last few weeks, to get to a Game 7 with all the injury problems they’ve had is downright impressive. Provided KG can return healthy next year and Ray Allen doesn’t completely embrace the legs of a 30+ year old shooting guard, they should have at least one crack at the title left. Orlando on the other hand moves on to face Cleveland. No offense to Howard’s Magic, but I just don’t see it happening for them.
J.J. Watch – Perhaps the greatest part of the Magic playing on is the fact that J.J. Redick is still playing! Redick is inexplicably still starting and played 24 minutes, but shot only 2 of 3. Will he be a difference maker in the Conference Finals? Only time will tell. (No it won’t. He won’t be a difference maker). Let’s remember the good times:
The final four is now set. Tuesday brings us Game 1 of Nuggets-Lakers and also the NBA Draft Lottery selection show. I predict the Lakers in 6 in the West Finals and let’s just go with the Clippers to have the #1 overall pick (and the right to somehow screw it up). On Wednesday the Cavs and Magicians kick off their Eastern Conference Finals series, I like the Cavs in 5 here. It’s all setting up perfectly for the ratings bonanza that will be LeBron v. Kobe in the NBA Finals.