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  • Jack Cinquegrana

The Playoff Season

Updated: May 4, 2023

Jack Cinquegrana – CINQBOYS Podcast

You may never have heard of us, but welcome to the CINQBOYS Podcast. We are a small, but growing enterprise obsessed with sports and live-and-die with our teams. We have been up and running on most podcast platforms for about 14 months, always trying to garner the attention of the masses. With that said, I want to discuss some playoff games and series going on at this very moment (this does not include football or baseball talk). The NBA and NHL playoffs are underway and the games and player performances have been nothing short of remarkable.

From April to June, nearly 60 straight days of pure best-on-best, NBA and NHL best-of-7 series’. Featuring LeBron in his twentieth season (last night he had 22 points and 20 rebounds in a comeback win to take a 3-1 series lead), players scoring 56 points (Jimmy Butler), 45 points (Ja Morant & Devin Booker), and several NHL overtime game-winners. This year has had everything so far, and I pray the rest of the playoffs lives up to the hype.

(Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald)

Injuries derailing title hopes

Every season, every sports league has injured players coming into the season, guys that get injured during the season, and guys that get injured in the playoffs. Notably, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, a likely MVP runner-up, suffered a back contusion in game one of the Bucks-Heat series. That injury knocking the one they call the “Greek Freak” out of two-and-a-half games and even in his return, the Heat lead the series three games to one.

Ja Morant, a young superstar that has spearheaded his Grizzlies team success this year, suffered a hand/wrist injury in game one of his series against the Lakers. His absence along with missing members of the front-court have hampered his teams’ ability to win.

(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Then there is the complicated situation the Los Angeles Clippers have found themselves in. When they landed Kawhi Leonard (just won an NBA Championship with the Toronto Raptors) and Paul George (5x All-NBA at the time) in 2019, they immediately became contenders for an NBA title. Since then, they have made it has far as the Western Conference but injuries have always brought them down.

Now, with seemingly their best chance to make in far in the playoffs, not only did they enter with their second star in Paul George on the mend from a knee injury on March 21, now Kawhi Leonard has a meniscus sprain and might be out for the rest of the series, a series they trail 3-1 with a potential of being eliminated tonight.

The NHL has had its fair share of injuries including names like Teuvo Terravainen, Joe Pavelski, and Patrice Bergeron, just to name a few.

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Poor officiating has become commonplace

The NHL is no stranger to poor officiating in big moments. Missed calls are a constant in this fast-paced, physical sport. Massive calls that have decided series’ like Benier and the Devils getting beaten in 2012 after a boarding call, Brett Hull’s “Skate in the Crease” in 1999, and even Noel Acciari trip-no call in 2019 that led to a Blues 3-2 series lead in the Cup Final.

This year, the madness continues. In a tight-checking game where goals were not frequent, Dallas was handed two powerplays on borderline-questionable tripping and interference infractions by Minnesota wild power-forward Marcus Foligno. Tyler Seguin capitalized on both chances and that ended up being the difference in the game. Dallas tied the series at 2 wins apiece.

There have been other incidents in the past, including the Tim Peel situation. Tim Peel, longtime NHL referee was caught on a “hot-mic” saying that he “wanted to get a penalty against Nashville early” in a Predators-Red Wings regular-season contest back in 2021. This remark by Peel insinuates that referees commonly make calls due to circumstances that either isn’t taking place on the ice, that he was trying to hinder the Predators chances of winning, or that he wanted to “even up the game” to give an advantage to the team that is struggling.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In these sports games of great team against great team, we do not need the officials to attempt to even the playing ground or do anything other than penalize players that commit infractions or fouls. The NBA has plenty of examples of this. For example, did you see game three of the Warriors versus Kings series? Did you think the Kings were getting calls going their way? Me neither.

For now, let’s enjoy the best time of year

De’Aaron Fox has been everything Kings fans could hope for, and then some. Just in the four games of this series against the Warriors, Fox is averaging 31.5 points-per-game, and has scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter three out of the four games.

(Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports)

The best part is that Fox is tied for fifth in points-per-game in the playoffs. He is tied with his opponent Stephen Curry, the greatest shooter of all-time. Only Anthony Edwards of Minnesota, Kawhi Leonard of Los Angeles, Devin Booker of Phoenix, and Jimmy Butler of Miami are averaging more points for their team.

The sheer chaos of playoff basketball or hockey; games that can be chalked up as the ball or the puck “didn’t bounce our way”, with scoring streaks and droughts, physical plays, poor officiating, it is our passion to watch and break down for our listeners, and give our hot takes about what hunches we have or what players are the ones you should be watching. It is playoff season, not NFL playoffs, but better.

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