Kevin Durant stood at the free throw line with a chance to tie the Memphis Grizzlies at 100 with 27 seconds left in the overtime session of last night’s game between the Grizz and the Thunder. But before he got to shoot it Joey Crawford, the NBA’s most recognizable and enigmatic ref, raced up to him, took the ball and…chewed out the scoreboard monitor over a scoreboard issue. Durant, usually as reliable as they come at the stripe, missed the freebie and the Thunder proceeded to lose the game.
The (first-ever?) referee-icing-of-a-player was a strange conclusion to the thrilling battle and the Grizzlies, a lowly seven seed in the stacked Western Conference, now hold a 3-2 lead over the two seed Thunder. The entire series has been bananas–each game outside of OKC’s game one romp has gone to OT. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant has been slumping.
But the Grizzlies are not the only team with a first round upset on their mind. In the East, the top seeded Pacers trail the eight seed Hawks 3-2. In the Hawks’ game five win, they held a 30 point lead at one point over Indiana! Honestly…
The Hawks have been spraying threes all over the vaunted Pacer defense while Roy Hibbert, usually hard to miss at 7-2, is nowhere to be found. It’s a bad scene in Indianapolis.
Oh, and Paul George’s house was burglarized. Whut.
The 1 vs. 8 matchup in the West–Spurs vs. Mavericks–has been a dogfight too, with the series currently tied at two. And while the Portland Trail Blazers hold a 3-1 lead over the Houston Rockets, that series has featured three overtime games.
Off the court, the new commish has been busy dealing with Los Angeles Clippers (probably soon-to-be former) owner, Donald Sterling, who, if you somehow missed it, was caught making repugnant and appallingly racist comments (not that we’d expect anything different, Donald). The Clippers got blown out in game four after the news broke but bounced back and took down the Dubs last night following the announcement of Sterling’s ban. LA holds a 3-2 series lead.
Moving back to the East, Nets-Raptors has been riveting thus far as well. The series is tied at 2-2, and DeMar DeRozan has been big time for the Raps, averaging just a touch under 25 points per game in four games.
Basically, the first round of the NBA playoffs has been utter madness. Overtime games, racist owners, and potential upsets everywhere. Heck, the Wizards already pulled a minor upset in the east, rolling by the shorthanded Bulls in five games.
The drama from a crazy March Madness in the college game has seemingly carried over to the Association’s playoffs.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.