Pitchin' with Pritch: Most overtimes I’ve ever seen

For a guy who says he doesn’t really care for professional basketball, I seem to be watching more of it than ever. One reason is that college basketball is over and for me the NBA is about the only sporting event I find remotely interesting this time of year. When I watch NBA basketball, this is the time I have the most interest just because of the series of each round playoff, and you usually get to see the “better” teams in the NBA. When I use the word best, I sometimes stretch the meaning of that word a bunch. 

I grew up watching the Celtics in the days of Bob Cousy, Bill Russell and John Havlicek, etc. The Celtics were the team we got the most on Sunday TV so they were my favorite. 

The NBA, in my opinion, had more teams that played team basketball, and part of that was not all teams had outstanding players, or if they did, they might only have one on the roster. 

It is a little ironic for me to be talking about the Celtics and Havlicek because he just passed away a week or so ago. 

But anyway, last Friday night my brother-in-law, Dennis Kuskie, was visiting from Arizona and we were talking about the NBA finals and decided to watch the Nuggets and the Blazers in Game No. 4 of their series. 

In a game you had to see to believe, the Portland bunch defeated the Denver guys 140-137 in four overtimes. I had never ever watched in person, coached in, played in or seen on TV a game that lasted four overtimes.

 I think in each overtime one of the teams looked like they had the edge and would win it but screwed something up and it would end up tied again. 

The game was physical and you seldom had to stop action because I am not too sure the officials knew how their whistles worked. I know the players were exhausted by the time it ended. Some of them played a ton minutes. 

Nikola Jokic for Denver played 65 minutes, so he played 65 of a possible 68 minutes. He is a big guy and sometimes has trouble getting up and down the floor real quick, but he stuck it out in this game. Enes Kanter of the Trail Blazers played 56 minutes with a partially separated shoulder. 

We kept watching thinking maybe a half-court shot, or something like that would win the game but I think they the just got tired. Whatever the reason, when the final buzzer sounded at 12:15 a.m., I finally drug myself to bed.

So the only game I really wanted to watch this weekend was the Golden State and Houston game on Saturday. So that is what we did. 

Guess what, it was another overtime game, but it only went one extra over-time period. The score was 126-121 in favor of Houston and they only played 53 total minutes. 

These two teams play what I think has grown to what you would say today is the way the game is played. The teams shot 188 times from the field. Of those 188 shots, 68 came from three-point distance and deeper. 

Golden State is known for their three-point attempts, but Houston shot more times from behind the three-point line as they put up 43 and Golden State only got up 33. 

The game was pretty even in stats and the final score had Houston up by five, but they hit free-throws in the late stages of the fourth OT to make it look as if the win was easy. 

There were some great shooters in this game and Kevin Durant had 48 points for the Warriors and James Harden had 41 for Houston. Harden had help from the other starters, as Eric Gordon had 30 whereas the Warriors had all their starters in double figures but not enough help off the bench. 

Houston also out rebounded the Warriors 55 to 35 and that is a big stat in basketball.

I think that might peak enough of my interest in pro basketball for a while, especially if they keep playing overtimes. Wanted to watch two games and almost got three games for the price of two. 

I would imagine the both teams will have a little tired feeling left in them when they start their next game. I think the old days when they played the best two out three in the first rounds and only played four out of seven in the finals was a better plan, but if you like the NBA, you get to watch in June.

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