Category Archives: Trivia
From 2008 to 2010, the NBA playoffs clearly had a “ruling class” that consisted of Boston, Orlando, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Combined, those three teams played 26 playoff series, and just once did one of them lose to a team outside of their own small clique:
Over that 3-year span, the Lakers-Celtics-Magic triad went 20-1 in series against non-ruling class teams, and as a result the road to the NBA title always went through one of the three teams. The rest of the league was largely irrelevant when it came to determining the championship.
Until this year, that is. For the first time since 2007, a ruling-class team failed to register at least 1 series win in a playoff season, as the Magic fell to the Atlanta Hawks in a 1st-round upset. Yesterday, the Lakers saw their season end against a non-ruling class team for the first time since 2007, losing in embarrassing fashion against the Dallas Mavericks. And the Celtics, for all of Kevin Garnett & Rajon Rondo‘s heroics in Game 3, still trail Miami’s superteam 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
It’s tough to make any sweeping statements on the basis of a few week’s worth of games, but the 2011 playoffs seem to indicate a major changing of the NBA guard. After having their way with the league’s proletariat for three seasons, the once-mighty ruling class now finds itself on the wrong end of a radical upheaval.
At first glance, former Rockets forward Matt Bullard appears to be an unlikely hero. Despite standing 6’10”, Bullard weighed just 215 lbs. and seldom mixed it up inside at either end of the floor, instead opting to hang around the 3-point arc and spot up for catch-and-shoot opportunities. He hardly ever drew fouls because he didn’t attack the basket, and if you saw him dribble the ball more than twice before either passing or shooting, it was a rare event. In other words, Bullard was the kind of player about whom my high school coach would have derisively said, “He plays smaller than his height.”