Freeman Cebu Sports

NBA restart 2.0

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Allan 'Coach A' Choachuy - The Freeman

In one of the strangest scenarios in the NBA, the games are again disrupted and put on hold not because of the pandemic but because the Milwaukee bucks refused to play Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic last Thursday. The Bucks are ready to close the series but matters far greater than basketball are affecting the players. Their mindset towards the game are distracted by the recent shooting incident involving a black man in Wisconsin, their home state, last Monday. It was a courageous move and at the same time risky. Nevertheless, they were able to get the attention of the authorities and even got an audience Wisconsin Attorney General following the Jacob Blake shooting.

After another emergency meeting yesterday morning, the NBA playoff is again on a RESTART version 2 after the players agreed to go back and play. After weighing all possible options in case they abandon the rest of the playoffs, it was obvious the show must go on. What matters most though is that they were able to send their message with their boycott drawing attention worldwide. 

On my end, I am a bit skeptical with their approach. What the players were doing may be for a noble cause but how it impacts the kids looking up at these NBA stars may create a precedence and see more of young athletes in the future doing the same. Maybe the whole NBA organization have crafted a more positive approach in addressing this ticklish issue like stopping the games for a moment to honor those who were at the bitter end of racial injustice they were fighting. Anyway, I am just mere fan. Let’s hope that this dramatic episode in the NBA yields a more productive outcome rather than a negative one especially on the psyche of the young aspiring athletes.

Going back to the games, the biggest factor in a team’s journey to NBA Finals is the home and away format. Just like in other sports, the 6th man plays a crucial, giving the home team the much needed motivation, cheer, and push in their bid to reach higher goals. Nothing feels better like home sweet home. But inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida with no fans around, the playing field is somewhat even. Home court advantage is non-existent. Higher seeded teams have to dig deep and teammates have to be creative and cheer, motivate each other during the crucial stages in the game. Both top seeds in the East and West stumbled in the series opener but the Bucks and Lakers swiftly bounced back and flexed their might to race to a commanding 3-1 leads. Although I have predicted an all-LA showdown in the Western Conference finals, the Clippers are having their hands full against the Dallas Mavericks led by the Slovenian wonder boy Luca Doncic. With reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard at the helm though, the Clippers are currently in control, three games to two.

Over in the East, the defending champion Toronto Raptors swept the New Jersey Nets in the first round, the first time they were able to do so. Although Leonard is no longer with Toronto, his winning attitude has brushed off the rest of the team. Pascal Siakam is sensational, while floor leader Kyle Lowry is remarkable on both ends of the court. That not to mention the sweet-shooting guard Fred VanVleet, whose tandem with Lowry is one of the strongest combo guards in the league. Down low, Marc Gasol gives the Raptors the much needed inside presence. The Spaniard may not be flashy but he gets the job done both in offense and defense. Up next for the Raptors are the Boston Celtics in the East semis. In the other match-up, the Miami Heat swept the Indiana Pacers. My crystal ball predicts a rematch between the Raptors and Bucks for the East Finals. Perhaps a Los Angeles vs Toronto NBA Finals is in the offing.

With the boycott now over, let the road to the NBA Finals be a bigger platform for the NBA players to voice out their concerns and raise whatever agenda they have in mind so that the whole world will better understand their cause. I firmly hope that all the NBA contenders will put their acts together and focus on the game we all love as the league heads to a comeback restart. This is NBA, that is why we love this game!



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with