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14 May 10

As predicted here on NASG, Thursday would be the rise or fall of Lebron James for this year.  Well, the truth is a little more complicated than just his rise or fall in Game 6 of the playoff series between the Boston Celtics and James’s Cleveland Cavaliers.  James had an outstanding game—a “triple double” with 27 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists—but it wasn’t enough as his Cavaliers fell to the Celtics 94-85 on Thursday evening.   The game ended the season for the Cavaliers and now Boston will go on to face the Orlando Magic for a 7 game series to decide who faces the winner of the Phoenix Suns/Los Angeles Lakers series for the NBA championship.  The Celtics/Magic game is on Sunday while the Suns and Lakers start their series on Monday.
The Cavaliers had the NBA’s best regular season record and James was named for the second time in his career as the League’s MVP.  As in most sports, though, individual accomplishments do not always mean much unless the player is also able to win a championship.  James becomes a free agent this July which means he can sign a contract with another team and leave Cleveland.  Even the White House has gotten in on the Lebron James’s sweepstakes. President Obama’s advisor, David Axelrod, stated that “the president thinks LeBron would look great in a Bulls uniform."  Another rumor is that James will go to the New York Knicks.  At the game on Thursday, Celtics fans taunted James during the game by chanting “New York Knicks!” while other fans wore Knicks jerseys with his name on them.   There is no telling when this drama will final be over, but you can bet when the dust settles, some team will be paying record money for the services of one of basketball’s best players.

One Liner: “Where do you think Lebron could go to win a championship?  The Bulls and Knicks don’t look so hot these days!”  (While the Bulls did make the playoffs this year, they are a long way off from a championship and the Knicks were among the NBA’s worst teams)

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The Basics

The NBA is divided into two Conferences, the Eastern and West conference.  Each conference has eight (8) teams vying for their respective championship in a best of seven series playoff.  The winners of the Conference finals meet in the NBA finals in June.   Much like baseball, no one really cares about the regular season unless it involves some traditional rivals (Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics is the current gold standard).


Fast break: a play in basketball in which a team moves quickly down the court in an attempt to score before the opposing defense can get set up

Rebound: gaining possession of the basketball after a missed shot

Assist: a pass to a team member that scores

Triple Double: When a player achieves double digits in three of five statistical categories (points, assists, rebounds, blocked shots, and steals).  For example a player with, 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a single game would have attained triple double.