Is there a more familiar--or annoying--playoff moment than Reggie Miller scurrying over to the scorer's table to powder up before going to the line? Love him or (more likely) hate him, you certainly gotta admit that scrawny No. 31 sure brings some theatrics to the table every night. Sure, he runs through so many screens that opposing coaches must want to put up the storm windows, and the next time he takes someone off the dribble might be his first, and he pushes off EVERY play, but damned if I won't miss him when he hangs them up. Michael Jordan may have said that playing against him is like a chicken fight (or something like that), but Money still hooks him up with his shoes. Respect is there.
And it should be, with the Pacers sitting at 2-1 with another one coming at Conseco (the World's Best Arena, if you ask me). Jermaine O'Neal's still not at full strength, Artest's still, well, somewhere (watching?) and the point guard combo of Jamaal Tinsley and Anthony "Beetlejuice" Johnson isn't exactly Stockton and Magic; but they're right there in it. The biggest question, I guess, is whether Dale Davis's new facial hair look (mustache only) is a tribute to Artest? (I missed the first half, so maybe it was discussed on-air.) And whether Jeff Foster is gonna tear up his contract and clock Croshere money (where the heck IS Austin these days?).
Actually, the biggest question is what business a defending champion has scoring 28 points in a first half. 28? Is this 1947? Can't a team get thrown out of the playoffs for a performance like that? Especially since Amare Stoudemire managed to score 25 for the Suns in the same amount of time. Shouldn't Rasheed and Rip scored that many on their own? Hasn't Ben Wallace been asserting himself on the offensive end?
Seeing that the Heat were able to handle the Wiz--in DC, no less--sans Shaq, he should just take the rest of the second round off. The Wizards may have worn t-shirts to celebrate their arrival at this level, but the Heat (and especially the Diesel) know their job is far from done. D. Wade has things under control, and the Pacers and Pistons can beat each other to death to their heart's content. Not to mention there's NO way the Wiz can take four straight from the Heat, even if Uwe Blab and Rony Seikaly manned the middle. (Can we get a Harold Miner update during the Eastern Conference Finals?)
Ray Allen v. Bruce Bowen--steel cage match after the series? Doesn't Ray realize that all his quotes and time spent thinking about Bruce is EXACTLY what Bruce wants? The Sonics may have taken a game, but the Spurs already had the series. Now we get to see if Ray Ray stays in Seattle when this is all over. Maybe go East and only play Bowen twice a year?
I know this has nothing to do with the playoffs, but I'm up for Phil Jackson to take any job out there if it stops him from doing Toyota commercials. I can't imagine why he'd take the Knicks job except for a check with LOTS of zeroes (I think he'll find living in NY quite different than it was in the freewheeling '60s--not that he'll live in the City anyway), and the thought of him back in L.A. with Kobe is kind of like the thought of Halle Berry remarrying David Justice. But the Zen Master does what he wants, I guess, and if he wants to come to NYC and coach the uncoachable (it's Tim Thomas, baby) that's his problem.
You know, while I love all these games all the time, sometimes I miss the dead bodies.