The Chicago Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets to go up 3-1 to win 142-134 and then Brooklyn beat Chicago in Game 5 110-91 to cut the series lead to 3-2. The Memphis Grizzlies beat the L.A. Clippers 104-83 to tie the series and 2-2 and goes back to Los Angeles for Game 5. Atlanta beat the Indiana Pacers 90-69 to cut the Pacers’ series lead to a 2-1 deficit and in the next game Atlanta beats Indiana 102-91 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 104-101 to go up 3-0. Later on, Houston survives by beating the Thunder 105-103 in Game 4. Boston beat New York in an elimination game to win 97-90 and Miami finished Milwaukee in four games straight 88-77. The San Antonio Spurs beat the LA. Lakers 103-82 to win their playoff series, 4-0. Golden State beat the Denver Nuggets 115-101 to go up 3-1 in their best of seven series. These are all worthy games that each team should be winning, although I am surprised the Chicago Bulls didn’t go for the knockout punch against Brooklyn in an elimination game. The Warriors are handling the Nuggets, because of Golden State point guard Stephen Curry’s scoring performances. No surprise from the Spurs ousting the Lakers. Or Miami finishing the Bucks in four games straight.
The New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics in Game 3, 90-76. They really put the hammer down on the Boston Celtics by playing spectacular defense and spreading the ball around on offense and sharing the rock. The Knicks go up 3 games to none and make the Celtics face an elimination game. Also, the San Antonio Spurs beat the L.A. Lakers to go up 3-0 by winning it 120-89. The Spurs also put the Lakers in a bad position by having them face an elimination game too. The Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets by a score of 110-108. The Warriors really got this game. Stephen Curry had 29 points to lead the Warriors. Both the Warriors and the Nuggets are evenly matched.
The Chicago Bulls survived Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets. It was ugly, but they won behind Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng 79-76. Also, the Memphis Grizzlies earned their first win of their playoff series against the L.A. Clippers 94-82. The Miami Heat are up 3-0 on the Milwaukee Bucks winning Game 3 104-91. Lebron James was dominant and so was Dwyane Wade.
Oklahoma City ran by the Houston Rockets again in Game 2, winning 105-102. It was close until the final minute when Houston threatened to take again the lead. Indiana beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-98 to take a 2-0 series lead and are looking to take at least 2 more games to win their first round playoff series. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers to take a 2-0 series lead with a score of 102-91. The Spurs play fundamentally sound basketball and they do it so well, its effective and well, it’s plodding and methodically and boring. I think Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows that he runs a boring basketball team. Sorry, Gregg.
The Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets on timely shots and suffocating defense. They win Game 2 90-82. Balanced scoring from Chicago earned them the win. The Clippers win Game 2 in Los Angeles, because of Chris Paul. CP3 makes the team run. He makes his teammates better. If the Memphis Grizzlies can contain Chris Paul’s running of the Clippers offense, they will win Game 3. I guarantee it. Everything depends on Chris Paul’s decision making and the Grizzlies must try and limit Paul’s scoring and passing. If the Boston Celtics can contain Carmelo Anthony and make life difficult for him, make him catch passes to the basket difficult and make him make tough shots, Anthony will feel the heat coming to him.
The Indiana Pacers crushed the Atlanta Hawks 107-90 in their Game 1 behind balanced scoring from their players. The Pacers’ strong suit is having their guys play solid defense and have the ball passed around to the open person so the open guy can shoot. They did that well and that’s why the Pacers win Game 1. Manu Ginobli and the San Antonio Spurs saw to it that they play better basketball than the Los Angeles Lakers did and that resulted in a Spurs Game 1 win. The Miami Heat played outstanding basketball, because of Chris Andersen and Ray Allen. The play of Allen and Andersen helped Miami win 110-87 against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Oklahoma City Thunder crushed the visiting Houston Rockets at home in OKC 120-91 behind scoring efforts from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and Kevin Martin.
The Chicago Bulls lost to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1. Plenty of action in that series and for the Bulls to react to the loss so they can get back into the series. The Nets played better basketball than Chicago did. Plain and simple. They made the extra pass. They shot better. They played better defense and gave more effort than Chicago did. The Golden State Warriors lost to the Denver Nuggets on a last second shot. The Warriors hung around until they finally lost on a game-winning layup belonging to Andre Miller. The Warriors did everything right in the game against the Nuggets. They played stifling defense and didn’t allow the Nuggets to run their fast-paced fast break game. They just let a game go to Denver. The team to watch out for in the NBA playoffs are the L.A. Clippers. Why? They have a lot of players on the bench that can contribute in a hurry, get rebounds, play defense, and score points. They surprised the Memphis Grizzlies in their Game 1. Look for the Clippers to run and gun especially when you have Chris Paul on the wings and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin running beside him.
The 2013 NBA Playoffs start today and boy am I psyched! I watched the ending of the Knicks-Celtics Game 1 today and the Knicks emerged victorious 85-78. Carmelo Anthony had a big game and I’m looking forward to see if the Golden State Warriors can handle the fast-break up-and-down Denver Nuggets on ESPN. The Warriors are an offensive juggernaut, but can they handle these fast Nuggets players? Stay tuned.
Highlights from around the NBA.
Last night was a huge win for the Chicago Bulls and a resounding victory for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bulls beat the Knicks 118-111 behind Nate Robinson’s 35 points. The Bulls beat the Knicks on sound defense and sharp playing and decision making behind Robinson. The Knicks hung around in regulation and in overtime, the Bulls just had the better effort. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors on hustle, overall team effort, and great performances by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Warriors had no answer for the Thunder, who had every answer to solving this game and breaking it wide open.