Thursday, May 12, 2005

Road Court Advantage

The NBA play-offs took an interesting turn last night. Dallas and Indiana each got big victories on the road, swinging home court advantage and momentum in their favor.

Everyone knew that the Miami – Washington series would be a ho-hum series, and many people suggested the same about the San Antonio – Seattle series (I wish I would have listened to them). But, it was the Dallas – Phoenix and the Detroit – Indiana series that were supposed to give redemption to the second round of the play-offs and after Monday nights games it looked like these two series would be laughers as well. The Mavericks lost by 25 in Phoenix and Indiana lost by 15 to Detroit.

Then came last night, the Pacers shocked the fans at the palace by dropping the Pistons 92 – 83, behind 22 points from Jermaine O’Neal and 20 rebounds by Jeff Foster. The saga of Reggie Miller’s final season continues. Reggie scored 19 points as the Pacers reminded the NBA world that they are not going away anytime soon.

In the late game the Mavericks pushed the Suns around in the first half then survived a second half run by Phoenix to win 108-106. Dallas’ physical play in the first half was capitalized by a flagrant foul that really wasn’t a foul at all. It was more a sign of how Dallas out hustled Phoenix. Suns guard Joe Johnson was attempting a lay-up when his shot was blocked from behind by the Mavericks Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse appeared to get a clean block, but Johnson hung onto the rim causing his momentum to carry his legs forward resulting in him falling face first onto the floor. Johnson suffered a broken orbital bone and Stackhouse was whistled for the flagrant foul.

Now the series will shift to Dallas and Indiana with the Mavericks and the Pacers having home court advantage respectively. You would think that the home teams would be able to take a sigh of relief now, but Dallas lost the first two games of their series to Houston on their home floor and Indiana failed to close out Boston on their home court in round one. That is why the play-offs have been so exciting. Because there hasn’t been a home court advantage for any of these teams yet. Stay tuned!

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