The last time Boston and Philadelphia met in the playoffs, Paul Pierce and Tony Battie were starters for the Celtics, Elton Brand had just wrapped up his first season in a Clippers uniform, and Jrue Holiday was only 11-years-old. The matchup featured a duel of scoring prowess between Pierce and Allen Iverson, whereas now, both teams have intriguing matchups at every position. With Game One underway at the TD Garden, here are tonight's rumblings from around the league:
- Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld writes that the decisions made this summer with regards to coaching, the draft, and free agency will determine the face of the Mavericks franchise for the rest of Dirk Nowitzki's career.
- Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune writes that Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor is advocating patience as the team continues to build during the post-Deron Williams era. Although the Jazz are not at the same level of the elite teams Western Conference, the team is optimistic about their young core and has offseason flexibility in the form of cap space and a $10 MM trade exception.
- Pau Gasol is aware that the fallout of a loss tonight would include the pressure of a potential breakup of the team, but says that it's not something that should be on their minds, says Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- John N. Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer discusses the importance of Spencer Hawes' matchup with Kevin Garnett in the second round of this year's playoffs. Hawes will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so a productive performance against the Celtics could earn him a bigger price tag.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune believes that Luol Deng should pass on the Olympics this summer in order to have surgery on his wrist and allow it to properly heal before next season.