10 Thoughts on the Eastern Conference Semis: Thursday, May 9


If They Weren’t Coaching: Time to Engage in Rampant Personal Speculation 
1. If Tom Thibodeau wasn’t coaching, he’d make a great high school principal.  He has that stern-genuine-practical-skeptical-determined expression at all times.  Frank Vogel would be his budget-numbers guy.  Mike Woodson would be the lovable history teacher.  Erik Spoelstra….hmm.  Can’t see Spoelstra at a high school.  Maybe the guy who comes in to give a presentation on some new educational product.  Spoelstra looks too much like he belongs on Entourage to work in a high school.
The Butler Did It
2. While you can argue that the Bulls style of defense is borderline abusive, you can’t argue about the way Jimmy Butler plays defense on LeBron. Steve Kerr said it in the first quarter, “You can see Butler keeping a hand on LeBron at all times, before the ball is in-bounded.  You can’t let LeBron get comfortable.  He will destroy you.”  Butler has been doing it all season, but with Deng out, his role has never been more important.
3. When you find out Jimmy Butler became homeless as a 13 year-old, when his mom disowned him, you start to understand how he he became such a courageous defender.  And how he played all 48 minutes for three straight playoff games.  Foul trouble sat him down in Game 2. http://www.thewindyapple.com/2012/03/06/21-things-you-didnt-know-about-jimmy-butler/
4. Five technicals were called in the first 15 minutes of play.  Nine overall.  You think perhaps David Stern was a bit worried about how physical this series might become?  Playoff fouls are always hard to call, and technicals do serve a purpose.  Wade throwing the ball at Belinelli on the foul that occurred on the opening drive of the game was ridiculous.
A Case of the Runs
5. Yes, the Miami Heat went on a casual 62-20 run starting with 3:42 left in the half and ending a few minutes after the whole country, except for Miami fans, changed the channel.  Yes, that is dominant.  Because the Heat lost Game 1 at home to the same team that stopped the 27-game winning streak a month earlier, shouldn’t they have been expected to dominate Game 2?  Chicago’s offense has never been accused of greatness.
6. Yes, the New York Knicks went on a 36-2 run in the 3rd and 4th Quarters of Game 2 against the Indiana Pacers.  Yes, that is dominant.  After losing Game 1 at home to Indiana, shouldn’t it have been expected, the Knicks would win Game 2?  Granted, it was an offensively-bad offensive half for the Pacers, but they had similarly ugly performances on the road against Atlanta.
Games Three 
7. Game 3 of the Heat-Bulls is Friday night at 8:00pm EST in Chicago.  Safe to say the United Center crowd will not be welcoming to hometown hero Dwayne Wade or any of the Heat.
8. Game 3 of the Knicks-Pacers is Saturday night at  8:00pm EST in Indianapolis.
9. Since Chicago is only a three-hour drive from Indianapolis, I propose that the Pacers and Knicks play some 3-on-3, in an exhibition scrimmage at halftime in Chicago on Friday.  And then the Bulls and Heat do the same thing in Indianapolis on Saturday.
10. If the whole teams don’t feel like participating, another great halftime show would be a four-man dunk contest between Gerald Green, Lance Stephenson, Iman Shumpert, and…Jason Kidd.  This way, we can see if Kidd still has enough lift to grab the rim.
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