Three former Erie BayHawks – PF Ivan Johnson (Atlanta Hawks), PG Blake Ahearn (Utah Jazz) and PG Mike James (Chicago Bulls) – are still flying in the NBA Playoffs.
How long will their teams stay in postseason flight is the question.
The Hawks are tied 1-1 in their best-of-7 series against the Boston Celtics. Had they won Game 2 at home with Boston not having Rajon Rondo, the Hawks would be in good shape to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston already the edge in experience and resolve. Now they have home court advantage and Rondo is back from his one-game suspension for bumping a referee. This isn’t looking too good for the Hawks.
As for Johnson he’s averaging five points, five rebounds and a steal in this series, but is shooting just 36.4 percent from the field. Johnson shot 51.3 percent during the regular season.
Game 3 is today at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
The Jazz are down 0-2 to the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs heading into Saturday’s Game 3 (10 p.m., TNT) in Utah. The Jazz should play better at home, but have lost the first two games of this series by a combined 46 points.
San Antonio crushed them, 114-83, in Game 2, but Ahearn had five points and two assists in mop up duty. He didn’t score in Game 1.
If Utah is going to win a game in this series, it better come Saturday. If the Jazz fall in Game 3, break out the brooms.
James has yet to see any playoff action for the Bulls, who are tied 1-1 with Philadelphia heading into today’s Game 3 in Philadelphia (8 p.m., ESPN2).
With Derrick Rose being out for the remainder of the playoffs with a knee injury suffered in Game 1, I’m a little surprised James didn’t play in Game 2 (Sixers won 109-92).
C.J. Watson started in place of Rose and John Lucas saw action as well. Watson scored 12 points, but shot just 4-of-11 from the field while Lucas had 15 off the bench on 7-of-12 shooting.
So the production was there, but James could provide some on-floor leadership. The Bulls should still get past Philadelphia, but without Rose, they could easily fall to either Atlanta or Boston in the conference semifinals.