May 25, 2008

First times in Motown

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball, Ice Hockey

It defies all logic and the NHL’s behalf — which makes perfect sense why they’d do it — to schedule the first game of the Stanley Cup finals when the NBA playoffs were in the same town on the same night at the same time. As if hockey could possibly outdraw basketball, especially with the Celtics playing, in America — no matter which market they were in.

Well, this occurrence happens to be the first time in history that the Stanley Cups finals and NBA conference finals have taken place in the same city on the same day. We might never know if the NBA put the game in Detroit on that date on purpose, knowing the NHL’s love of Saturday night games. Or maybe the NHL didn’t pick up a newspaper or realized exactly what was going on. Bettman and Co. should really pull his head out of his ass and see what just happened. Sure, the game sold out, but I’m sure the TV numbers were very slanted to the NBA’s side.

And two other firsts:

The Red Wings took the first game of the series and shutout the Penguins for the first time in the playoffs. They might have an easier time with the kids than anybody could have expected.

The Celtics won their first road game of the playoffs two days after losing their first home game. Detroit made a tiny run at the end but the game had been decided long before it. Chauncey Billups’ poor performance hurt the Pistons something fierce.

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