Since losing two of three games in late January, including an embarrassing meltdown against Washington, the Bruins have played with an intensity they had not shown this season, and fueled by the best play ever from Alfred Aboya and Nikola Dragovic, and the most consistent all-around play of the season from Darren Collison and Jrue Holiday, the Bruins are on a roll, winning the last four by an average margin of 22.7 points.
Since that awful second half in Seattle, the Bruins have played with more maturity than at anytime this season, not an easy thing from a team so young. Plus they have received solid play from a dozen different players, and as a result, they are playing like the team that so many experts picked to continue the run of the past three years, despite the critical personnel losses following last year’s tournament and resultant dependence on so many freshmen.
UCLA has basically played 40 minutes of solid defense in virtually every game this season, but in these last four games, their offensive play has matched the defense in both intensity and results, averaging 85 points per game in that stretch, leading to consistent and totally dominant results.
I never thought this young team could make it four straight final fours, like some believed, until watching them the past few games. Now it looks like they could do it.
With newfound life, due to the return from the injury list of so many key players, the Clippers also continue to play their best ball of the season, scoring over 120 points for the second straight game, producing consecutive 20+ point victories.
This is the team that looked so good for a brief period following the trade for Zach Randolph, and now again really looks like a legitimate, quality team. Too bad they could not have gotten it together earlier in the season, but like I alluded to yesterday, the future for the Clippers actually looks brighter than it has in a long, long time.