In this edition of the Four-Point Play, I’ll discuss Kobe Bryant winning the NBA MVP, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers getting the monkey off their backs, my final reaction to the Hawks series, and how the Celtics can stop LeBron James this series.
1. Kobe Bryant was named the NBA MVP for the first time yesterday, claiming that the award was more for his team than himself.
- Well, I guess it’s about time Kobe won his first MVP, but too bad it’s at the expense of Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett.
- I think Chris Paul has done literally everything for his team. He’s their best scorer, he’s their best passer, and I could make an argument that he’s their best rebounder and definitely their best defender. He does everything well. He’s the real MVP.
- Kobe would not have won this award if Pau Gasol didn’t join the team, and I’m 100% sure of it. The Lakers would’ve limped into the playoffs with 45 or so wins (not good enough this year in the West) and Kobe would’ve been an afterthought in the MVP race.
2. In winning the Hawks series, Doc Rivers finally won his first playoff series as and NBA head coach. It was also his first Game 7. Kevin Garnett also advanced past the first round for only the second time in his entire career.
- Finally! Doc Rivers really deserved to have this monkey lifted off his back for his psyche. If they lost Game 7 and was fired, why would any other team sign him if he can’t win the playoffs. This is the first time he’s had that’s had a chance to do some great things. He’s had some OK Magic teams and one pretty good Celtics team in 2004.
- Kevin Garnett also really needed this. He was on a lot of good Timberwolves teams. For eight straight years, the T-Wolves went to the playoffs, and in a remarkable seven of those years, they were ousted in the first round. Only in 2004 when he actually had people around him (Sam Cassel, Latrell Sprewell) did he do anything in the playoffs. Congrats to both!
3. Speaking of the Hawks series, I never thought in my wildest dreams that the Hawks would take the Celtics to a Game 7.
- I give them all the credit in the world. They put up a hell of a fight at home, even though they were pitiful in Boston. They really exposed the Celtics in the fourth quarters of Game 4 and Game 6.
- On the Celtics side, they really looked pitiful themselves at times during Games 4 and 6. They had double-digit leads that vanished because they got away from driving to the hoop and instead kept launching outside shots. Part of that credit goes to the Hawks defense that wouldn’t let the C’s penetrate at will. So, the Celts settled for shots. Anyway, that’s over and onto Cleveland!
4. The Celtics beat the Cavs 76-72 in a tight, but sloppy game. The C’s lead the series 1-0.
- LeBron James shot 2-18 in Game 1, which is outrageous for him. I guarantee he wont shoot that poorly for the rest of the series, but it was nice to see that he was succumbing to the C’s pressure defense all game.
- As far as stopping him like that again, they need to approach the way they guard him the same way. The other Cavs couldn’t make a shot either so let’s see if they’re capable of beating the Celtics while LeBron is blanketed with tight Celtics defense.
Tags: Doc Rivers, Four-Point Play, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant