“Everything that could happen, we’ve seen happen in the last two minutes,” Hubie Brown announced during the conclusion of the Chicago Bulls narrow win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. While Brown is often criticized as a color commentator that simply states the obvious, his statement ended up becoming more poignant than he realized because of what happened around the association last night.
Hubie has seen a literal ton of basketball played in 42 years as a coach and broadcaster, but these first round series are so wonky, that even the 81-year-old is taken aback. We’ve seen things that almost NEVER happen in NBA games. The Thunder’s improbable comebacks in Games 2 and 3, Tony Snell fouling John Wall on a 75-foot heave to extend Washington’s hopes in Game 3, and the Nets getting so nervous with Rihanna sitting court side that they nearly coughed up a 15-point lead in the final five minutes of Game 3 in Brooklyn.
As soon as you think about writing a game off, these teams find a way to surprise you. Usually the higher seeds simply hold serve at home and fans can wait for a deciding Game 7 to see a highly competitive contest. Yet, so far teams are 11-11 at home in the 2014 playoffs, and no one has won at home in the Bulls-Wizards, or Rockets-Blazers series.
Every matchup in the Western Conference has been virtually even and consistently exciting, but the finishes between Houston and Portland have been a step above the rest. Most people on the east coast probably missed the nightcap in Portland, but of course an unproven rookie that had played a total of 75 NBA minutes put a proverbial cherry on top of a delicious slate of basketball by keeping the Rockets alive with a game-winning three and ensuring that this series will last a little longer.
Right now I don’t even care what I’m missing out on by watching the playoffs all night. We’d like to think that the new CBA agreement and its salary cap restrictions are creating a league with more parity, but this type of April Madness may not happen every year, and if you’re going to see things that even the ancient Hubie Brown hasn’t seen, you might as well do it live.