Tag: Baron Davis

Boozer Attempt

NBA Playoffs: 76ers hold on, end Chicago’s season


Normally, when an 8-seed upsets a 1-seed, like the Golden State Warriors did in 2007 or the Memphis Grizzlies did last year, NBA fans are generally thrilled for an underdog team that beat the odds and prevailed.

This time, however, it’s hard to feel anything but a sense of melancholy for the Chicago Bulls, who did everything right all season long only to see it all go catastrophically awry when Derrick Rose made that ill-fated jump stop in Game 1.

The 76ers deserve a lot of credit for taking care of business and beating the Bulls, particularly in a tightly-contested 79-78 Game 6. Especially since Chicago played well without Rose in the lineup all year. But it’s hard not to put an asterisk on this series when the Bulls were without their best offensive player for the final five games of the series and the leader of their defense for the final two.

With the win the Sixers will face the Celtics in the next round in a series that will begin on Saturday.

The Bulls gave the 76ers everything they could handle in game 6, holding them to just 79 points on sub-40% shooting from the field, but without Rose and Noah they simply couldn’t muster enough offense to bring the series back to Chicago for a Game 7. Carlos Boozer will be a likely scapegoat for the Bulls after this game, as he was only able to score 3 points on 1-11 shooting in a game where the Bulls needed him to provide some offense. Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton were able to provide some offense for the Bulls, but with Boozer melting down and C.J. Watson, Rose’s backup, only managing 6 points on 2-11 shooting, the Bulls simply didn’t have enough scoring to get past the 76ers’ tough defense.

To the Bulls’ credit, they hung tough after falling behind early, and actually had a great chance to win the game late. With a 1-point lead and the ball, Omer Asik went to the line with a chance to put the Bulls up 3 points with 7 seconds remaining. Unfortunately for Chicago, Asik, a 45.6% free throw shooter in the regular season, came up empty at the line, and 5 seconds later Andre Iguodala was able to hit two free throws and end the Bulls’ fantastic season before they had a chance to make a true playoff run.

The big question facing the Bulls coming out of this series is whether they will be willing to stand pat and chalk their disappointing playoff run up to the Rose and Noah injuries or make a big move, one that would likely involve Carlos Boozer. Boozer is a great rebounder and can fill it up in the regular season, but great defenses have given him trouble in the playoffs: he shot 42.2% in this series,  40.7% in last year’s series against the Heat, and 44.6% against the Lakers in the 2010 playoffs. The Bulls have a great young core, unmatched depth, and one of the best coaches in the league, but it may be time to ask if they can win a championship with Carlos Boozer playing a major role against top-level defenses in a 7-game series.

As for the 76ers, they showed why they shouldn’t be overlooked in this series — they play tough defense, they have a lot of depth, and they come to play for the full 48 minutes. They’ll certainly be the underdogs when they play the Celtics or the Hawks, but they shouldn’t be counted out either.

For now, they should celebrate their 1st-round victory, even though most NBA fans are probably feeling more sympathy for the Bulls than excitement for the 76ers right about now.

Reiterating what we already knew, Lin out for Heat series

Injured New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin reacts during pregame ceremonies before the Knicks play against the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoffs in Miami

Yesterday, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Jeremy Lin was very doubtful for Game 5 and it looked like some of the point guard duties for the Knicks would fall to Carmelo Anthony. And some to Mike Bibby.

So of course, Woodson had to be asked about it again on Tuesday, and this time he tried to close the door so he won’t get asked about it again on Wednesday. (Good luck with that, coach). Here is Woodson’s quote, via the AP.

“Speaking with medical and Jeremy, he will not play in this series,” Woodson said after practice.

I think it’s cute that Woodson acts like there might be a Game 6 in this series.

It’s all ending Wednesday night in Miami, likely in a very ugly fashion for the Knicks. The fact that Lin couldn’t play this series — along with Iman Shumpert, Amare Stoudemire and Baron Davis getting injured — sped the demise along and made the series less competitive. But the Knicks got a win in the playoffs, so consider that a step forward.

But Knicks fans will not see Lin on the court until next season.

Baron Davis has torn ACL and MCL, this may be it for him

Baron Davis Warriors

There were times when Baron Davis was as good a playmaker, as entertaining a point guard in the NBA — remember how he played when he led Golden State to the first-round upset of the Dallas Mavericks in 2007? He had the gift of court vision, and even in his frustrating later years on the nights he showed up physically and mentally right he could be magical. I’ve seen few players be able to light up a crowd like he could on the right night.

We may never see those days again.

The Knicks have announced that Baron Davis’ knee injury is much worse than we thought. And anyone who saw the video thought it was bad. Here is the announcement from the New York Knicks:

Injury Update: MRI on Baron Davis’ R knee revealed partial tear of the patella tendon & complete tears of the ACL & MCL.

Davis will have surgery later this week but would be age 34 when trying to make a comeback from this. A guy who has struggled to come back from injuries in recent years such as the herniated disc in his back that has limited him these playoffs.

Davis, when he was going right, was always one of my favorite players to watch. Too often, due to conditioning and more, we only caught glimpses of what he was capable of — in transition he could dazzle. Too many days he settled for threes (early in the clock), but when he attacked he could score or dish with the best, his feel for the game was incredible.

He’ll try to come back, but it’s hard to be optimistic. I’ll miss him. I’ll miss Boom Dizzle. I’ll miss the beard.