Who’s Got the Ticket for the Last Trip?

As I’m writing this, game 1 of the Detroit-Orlando NBA seminals pairing have already been played and I’m still looking forward to the SA-NO matchup. The other western semifinal matchup between LA and Utah is already scheduled for tomorrow following Houston’s ouster yesterday.

Strangely it’s the Celtics who are still stuck in the first round. That is, they still have to grind out with the underdogs from Atlanta in a do-or-die matchup that has the top dog from the regular season facing the reality of elimination.

What is it with top teams from the regular season and eighth seeds that the latter seems to give the former the scare these days? Sure we’ve seen the Warriors do the feat last year at the expense of the Warriors and it still remains to be seen whether the same can be done for the serious title contenders from Boston this year. I guess that goes to show the level of competition out there on the league. The only thing surprising being that it appeared on the generally perceived weaker east when the regular season had 9 western teams racing for 8 slots for the playoff.

So just when everyone thought that it would be a piece of cake for Boston to find a place in the semifinals, the Hawks just turned the showdown into a winner-takes-all affair. While the home-team has gone to win each game of that series, recent history doesn’t leave the underdog without an ace either. That and the fact that Atlanta doesn’t have anything left to lose at all isn’t exactly something quantifiable from the stat sheets.

After all wasn’t it the Spurs who defied the odds of age and a wobbly regular season finish to turn the anticipated blockbuster against Phoenix into a mostly one-sided series?


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