Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NBA Winners & Riley Resigns

On Monday, Hedo Turkoglu won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award for his 2007-08 season with the Orlando Magic. To help celebrate the award, Hedo's Magic team and he defeated the Toronto Raptors 102-92 and made them the 1st team eliminated from the playoffs. Dwight Howard had a monstrous stat line of 21 points along with a matching 21 rebounds. Turkoglu had 12 points, 8 boards and 9 assists. This is the first time Orlando has advanced to Round 2 in 12 years. Chris Bosh had 16 points and 9 rebounds for Toronto who has never won a best of 7 series.

Elsewhere, Atlanta impressed yet again with a 2nd consecutive win over the NBA "heavyweight" Boston Celtics. That series is now tied at 2-2 and raising questions about just how much of a powerhouse this Boston team really is. Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce all found themselves in foul trouble early on. Joe Johnson scored 20 points in the 4th quarter and the Hawks pulled it out 97-92. Ray Allen had 20 and KG 21 points in the losing effort. Read more about the game at Associated Press.

Kobe Bryant recorded 31 points in a Game 4 victory to sweep the Denver Nuggets out of the playoffs. The Nuggets may be the most disappointing of first rounders, as they are the only team to be swept and seemed to not even show up. A 107-101 loss booted them from contention. Anthony and Iverson each had over 20 points in the losing effort.

In coaching news, Pat Riley has resigned as coach of the Miami Heat after this year's extremely disappointing season. The Heat failed to make the NBA playoffs despite continued attempts by Riley to call out his team in the media. Riley will remain as team president for Miami. On the flipside, New Orleans Hornets coach Byron Scott is rumored to be the winner of this year's NBA Coach of the Year award. It may make more sense than Doc Rivers winning it, since Doc had a lot more All-star talent to work with. If Scott wins Coach of the Year, his young point guard Chris Paul may soon follow it up with the NBA MVP award.

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