The Washington Wizards are moving on to the next round, by eliminating the Chicago Bulls 75-69 in Chicago in Game 5. John Wall was unstoppable, because Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin were unmatched for him. There’s no one on the Bulls team that could contain Wall because of his athleticism and foot speed. The Grizzlies take Game 5 in overtime against the Thunder 100-99 and go up 3 games to 2. The combination of Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince was too much for Kevin Durant. There’s no one scoring, if Durant can’t score. The Clippers beat the Warriors 113-103 and are one game away from the second round. The Clippers play team ball, because Doc Rivers wants them to play that way.
The Miami Heat have done it, they’ve swept the Charlotte Bobcats behind Lebron James. The Heat win it in four games, 109-98. The competition is easy for the Heat, thus far, wait for the later rounds especially the East Conference finals. It’ll get harder. Not so fast for the Indiana Pacers, who’ve slipped and slid this time in the first round. The Atlanta Hawks beat the Pacers 107-97 behind a lot of three pointers and I mean, a lot of three pointers by the Hawks. The Hawks are showing the Pacers they’re for real. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 93-89 in Dallas Texas, which should have been another exciting game to watch. The Spurs bounce back after losing on a three pointer by Mavs guard Vince Carter in Game 3. Nothing beats these steady Spurs at their game, although the Mavericks are giving them sort of a tough time by closing out on perimeter shooters and slowing down Tim Duncan in the low post.
The Washington Wizards came to play and the Chicago Bulls were left behind. No one on the Bulls are blaming each other for this loss. Chicago can’t understand why they are down 3 games to 1. The Wizards have a commanding 3 games to 1 lead, because they win Game 4 98-89. The Warriors tie their first round series at 2 games apiece in Game 4, 118-97 while the Brooklyn Nets fall victim to the Toronto Raptors as the series is also tied 2-2 in which the Raps win 87-79. The Portland Trail Blazers win in overtime to take a 3 games to 1 lead, 123-120. LaMarcus Aldridge was the leading man for Portland, as the Blazers survive against the Houston Rockets. I really have to go with Portland on taking this series as I’ve said in my previous posts. They are too good to pass on, because of their coaching in Terry Stotts and talent on paper.
The Grizzlies hung on to beat Kevin Durant and his Thunder 98-95 to take the pivotal Game 3 and lead the series 2 games to 1. The L.A. Clippers held on to beat the Golden State Warriors 98-96 in their Game 3. Both were exciting games to watch. The Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 102-98 and they did it in style behind Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. The Bulls take Game 3 against Washington, 100-97 and so do the Houston Rockets against the Portland Trail Blazers 121-116. So the Pacers win Game 4, 91-88 behind Paul George and it wasn’t easy, because a determined Hawks squad wanted to dismantle a united Pacers team on that night only. The Miami Heat take a 3-0 commanding series lead with a 98-85 victory and they look confident in the first round, knowing that the later rounds will get difficult as time goes on. The Mavericks win Game 3 on Vince Carter’s improbable three-pointer at the buzzer as Dallas wins 109-108 to lead the series against the San Antonio Spurs, 2 games to 1. And, the Oklahoma City Thunder take Game 4 92-89 against a mentally tough Memphis Grizzlies team led by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Is there anyone in the league who can contain these two from getting their points? The San Antonio Spurs have shown that in the past playoffs. The Miami Heat are cruising here, because the first round competition is too easy to handle. The Raptors-Nets series, the Pacers-Hawks series, the Thunder-Grizzlies series, Mavericks-Spurs, and Bulls-Wizards are all very closely competitive contests. The Raptors and Nets are equally talented on paper, however the Nets are more experienced. The Hawks are giving Indiana all they can handle. The Grizzlies and Thunder face off in another showdown, while the Mavericks-Spurs and Bulls-Wizards are very closely played basketball games. Given from the start, the Wizards are showing us they are a very good ball club now against Chicago in these playoff games. The Atlanta Hawks are also showing the world they are a good basketball team against the Indiana Pacers.
This just in – the Atlanta Hawks played better basketball than the Indiana Pacers did. Do I sense Frank Vogel’s resignation at the end of Indiana’s season? There’s no reason why the Pacers can’t turn it up – they must be able to turn on the switch so that they can see their team executing team ball against a determined and confident Hawks team run by Mike Budenholzer, whose squad is reminiscent of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich who have guys who can shoot and a big man who can rebound and defend and put the ball in the hoop like Tim Duncan. The Hawks have a Tim Duncan-caliber like player in Paul Millsap. The Hawks lead the series 2 games to 1 and if I were the Pacers, I would want to play desperate because I don’t want my NBA season to end.
The Pacers take Game 2 from the Atlanta Hawks 101-85. They rumbled from the start, and didn’t let up. The Wizards win Game 2 and they have the Chicago Bulls reeling. This is Washington coach Randy Wittman’s first 2-0 series lead and these inexperienced Wizards have gotten Chicago’s number by playing better basketball. Toronto wins Game 2 against Brooklyn and the series is tied 1-1. The Miami Heat turned up the works against the Bobcats to win Game 2 in Miami 101-97 and a reason to add to Miami’s success, they won’t win the NBA Finals. San Antonio or Oklahoma City will win it. I see San Antonio or Oklahoma City winning it, because they don’t lack scoring options and also because the Heat rely on Lebron James and Dwyane Wade bailing them out. The Trail Blazers win Game 2 against Houston and that’s no fact: the Trail Blazers are more talented with Damien Lilliard and LaMarcus Aldridge on paper than with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Blazers head coach Terry Stotts manages a very good ball club, because he knows what to expect out of them. Rockets coach Kevin McHale doesn’t really know what to get out of his two good players in Harden and Howard, because both are young about leading a team. Harden was a role player when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Howard developed slowly about being a team captain with the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. Dallas wins Game 2 against San Antonio because they played harder than the Spurs did. It was a surprise, considering they limited Tim Duncan and contested the San Antonio sharpshooters.
No surprise for the San Antonio Spurs who did have a game plan, but managed to ride the coattails of Tim Duncan down the stretch as they win their Game 1 of their series against the Dallas Mavericks, 90-85. The Mavericks shut down the Spurs’ perimeter shooters, but did not contain Duncan. That was a crucial point. The Golden State Warriors stole Game 1 from the L.A. Clippers, but the Clips took back Game 2 in dramatic fashion. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were factors in the Clippers’ win over Golden State. The defending NBA champions Miami Heat win Game 1 of their first round series against the Charlotte Bobcats, 99-88. Or at least that’s what the score is. Dwyane Wade came back from his injury to contribute in the Heat win. The Washington Wizards won the first game of their playoff series against the Chicago Bulls 102-93 and boy, did Nene, the power forward for the Wizards come up big. Knowing Joakim Noah was going to have a huge game for the Bulls, Nene prepared to defend him with all he has got. Brooklyn won Game 1 against the Toronto Raptors, because Paul Pierce showed up to play. This is the primary reason why the Nets signed Pierce and Kevin Garnett. So they could hit their big shots and their veteran leadership was shown in light of that. Oklahoma City won Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies, but Tony Allen’s perimeter d on Kevin Durant keyed the Grizzlies’ Game 2 victory. The Atlanta Hawks stole Game 1 from Indiana in Indianapolis, which was a big shock. Portland wins in overtime against the Houston Rockets 122-120 which was an exciting game. LaMarcus Aldridge scored a playoff career high 46 points on 17-for-31 shooting in that game. I am surprised by the Bulls’ loss, because I expected Joakim Noah to have a big game and I also expected Indiana to bring their ‘A’ game as well. I expect both Chicago and Indiana to bounce back. Expect the scoring champ Kevin Durant to bring his ‘A’ game in Game 3 in Memphis.