Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
If you haven’t heard, Craig Sager is battling leukemia, so he’s not out there doing the normal sideline stuff during these playoffs. So TNT brought his son on to fill in. He had planned to tape the interview… but…
Arrived this morning to do a taped interview with Pop. He goes no, we’re doing this live 3rd qtr just like your Dad. pic.twitter.com/RPAwIt7tvR
— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) April 20, 2014
Perfect Pop. A ball-buster all the way, but a good guy. And Pop’s message to Sager was just absolutely perfect. Get well soon, Craig. These national TNT games aren’t the same without you.
Oh, some of you might be wondering where the Celtics news is. Well, a funny thing happens when your team misses the playoffs after making it for so many years.
Beat writers are going to take some well-deserved time off because there’s no real business to be conducted, no team around to cover, and no real interest from the casual fan who may have turned to the Bruins playoff run or the Red Sox (like Jeff Green)
So don’t be surprised if we expand our coverage a little bit until some Celtics news breaks.
Page 2: The curse of home court continues in the playoffs
“I said: ‘Take it over,’” Aldridge said.
Lillard did just that, finishing with 31 points and making the go-ahead free throws in overtime to lift the Trail Blazers to a 122-120 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in a thrilling first-round series opener.
The road team has won five of the eight Game 1′s played so far, and the three home wins weren’t exactly easy… not even Miami beating Charlotte.
Houston had this game late, but blew it. James Harden’s 8-28 shooting (3-14 from 3) didn’t help matters. Neither did Patrick Beverly’s knee injury. Beverly was everywhere earlier in that game.
Indiana, Chicago, Toronto, The Clippers… all joined Houston as Game-1 losers. Toronto might not be such a shock because Brooklyn is a “built for the playoffs” team that’s better than their record would indicate. The Clippers losing to Golden State isn’t jaw-dropping either. The Chicago loss came at the hands of a resurgent Nene… not sure that’s going to happen again.
And then there’s Indiana. Who was my preseason pick to win it all and it still talented enough to do it if they can pull their heads out of their asses long enough to realize this is the playoffs and it’s time to put whatever second-half BS that threatened their season behind them.
The people of Indiana are nice. Too nice. If I walked up to some of them and smacked them in the face, they’d tell me “sir, that was impolite of you, and I’m going to have to ask you to not do that again, please.” The people of Indiana are also nuts about basketball. So when they go to a playoff game and start to boo you, I’m not blaming them. It’s not like Philadelphia, where you’d get booed if your hundred point lead got cut to 85 on a 15-0 run.
Larry Bird needs to give one of his famous denigrating media sessions where he galvanizes this team somehow, or the Pacers are going to be one of this generation’s biggest disappointments.
Good luck to all the runners in the Boston Marathon today. I know this will be an especially emotional one in Boston.
The rest of the links: