When Chris Andersen does something particularly impressive for the Miami Heat, a heavy metal guitar riff blares through their arena. Some children have shown up for games with replicas of his tattoos drawn upon their bodies. Others have gotten their hair gelled and shaped to match his Mohawk `do.
Losing a game at the final buzzer, no less than a playoff game on the road against the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat, would seem to have potential to demoralize the Indiana Pacers.
Losing a game at the final buzzer, no less than a playoff game on the road against the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat, would seem to have potential to demoralize the Indiana Pacers. Or not.
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson isn't quite ready for the traditional season-ending handshake. Yet he knows if the Senators can't find a way to slow down slow down the Pittsburgh Penguins, it's coming soon.
James blew past Paul George and made a layup as time expired, and the Heat found a way to outlast the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in a back-and-forth Game 1 of the East title series Wednesday night.
"I really think I can say it can't get any worse than it did last year," forward Monique Currie said, reflecting on the Mystics' 5-29 record. Of course, a year ago, similar rock-bottom statements were made following a six-win season — then things got worse.
For Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem, this marks five East finals appearances in nine years. For LeBron James, it's a fifth trip to this round in the past seven years, now three straight with Miami after a pair of trips to the East finals with Cleveland. For Ray Allen, it's a fourth East title-round trip in six years, the first three of those coming with Boston.
The Caps will have to go through a tougher division to make the playoffs and then to reach the East finals. They won the Southeast Division five of the past six seasons but went 8-10-2 against the Penguins, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Flyers and Hurricanes this year.
Perhaps the early struggles and late run to the playoffs should have been predictable for a rookie head coach, especially given the lockout and shortened training camp. In looking back at his first season running a team, Adam Oates might take all summer to hone his craft for next year and beyond.