Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on January 26, breaking Kobe Bryant’s record of 61 points at Madison Square Garden. He hasn’t been much of a contributing factor against much basketball opponents because he hasn’t shown much performance in his game since the outburst. If you want to talk about basketball outbursts, look at Kevin Durant and his scoring binges. He has scored 30+ points in the last ten games, grabbed 7 rebounds, averaged 4 assists, shot 57% from the field, and has been nearly perfect from the free throw line. Lebron James has also played very good basketball games, but none outperforming Kevin Durant as of late. It will be interesting to consider who will be MVP of the league and of the NBA Finals, if the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder meet again. Lebron James outdueled Durant in the 2012 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant will rely on his supporting cast to help him out, as he leads the team in scoring. It will be hard for Durant to manage without Russell Westbrook, as he recovers from his injury.
The Knicks are clawing back against a balanced Indiana Pacers squad. New York is down 3-2 against Indiana and are forcing the Pacers to play a Game 6. What gives? Why are the New York Knicks giving the Indiana Pacers a fight in their playoff series? The Pacers haven’t exactly solved containing Carmelo Anthony’s scoring neither have they played solid defense against New York’s streaky perimeter shooters. Indiana has allowed New York to shoot as many jumpers and three pointers as much as they can.
I saw clearly that Scott Brooks’ Oklahoma City squad had a tough time trying to handle the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies. These aren’t the Houston Rockets that the Thunder faced in round one. This is a Memphis team that is willing to back you to the basket and make you play their style of basketball. Oklahoma City tried to look comfortable playing basketball against Memphis, but it didn’t really show. We didn’t really see Serge Ibaka’s shot-blocking brilliance or Kevin Durant finding his way to the hole with easy dunks and baskets and shooting open jumpers. The Grizzlies’ best perimeter defender, Tony Allen found a way to get inside Kevin Durant’s head and Durant let it show to the referees that he wasn’t getting calls when he was getting hit by Tony Allen.
San Antonio showed Golden State what playoff basketball is all about. The Spurs played their brand of basketball as Tim Duncan showed an array of post moves as Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Andris Biedrins, and Carl Landry all were trying to deny Duncan’s points. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker had their way around the paint as they got their points. The Warriors backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson couldn’t contain Ginobli and Parker.
In the Miami-Chicago series, I see that the Heat weren’t quite prepared for Game 1, despite the layoff they had between series against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and the Chicago Bulls in their semi finals. Despite losing Game 1, the Heat recovered and beat the Bulls four games straight. Miami beat Chicago on talent alone. Chicago doesn’t have anyone in Lebron James’ caliber star power or Dwyane Wade’s athleticism or Chris Bosh’s shooting. The Bulls are clearly missing Derrick Rose and they do not have anyone who can replace Rose with Carlos Boozer’s whose solid combination of perimeter shooting and rebounding are invaluable and Joakim Noah’s rebounding and defense are key to Chicago’s success.
I missed recapping the games for May 7. So here it is. New York wins Game 2 105-79 behind Carmelo Anthony and ties the series at 1 game apiece. New York was determined to win the game between the two teams, because they do not want to travel to Indiana, being down 2 games to none. It was a great win for the Knicks. Also, Memphis beats Oklahoma City 99-93 to tie their playoff series at 1-1. Mike Conley is the Grizzlies’ hero with 26 points and 10 assists. I didn’t watch these games, although I wish I did. Both games were exciting as Carmelo Anthony is trying to reach his first NBA championship and Kevin Durant is pursuing his first. How Memphis wins and the Knicks get the victory all depends on who controls the tempo of the game. Whoever plays to the other team’s pace wins the game.
The Indiana Pacers sent the Atlanta Hawks packing in Game 6, 81-73. George Hill and David West each scored 21 points to lead the Pacers in the win. Indiana wins the series 4 games to 2. Indiana has the better talented team than the Hawks do. New York beat Boston 88-80 to move on to the next round to face the Indiana Pacers. New York wins 4 games to 2. Carmelo Anthony is the hero with 21 points. Boston has the aging team while New York has the veteran presence of the series. That’s why the Knicks won. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 103-94 to advance as Kevin Durant had 27 points. The Thunder will face the Memphis Grizzlies, who beat the L.A. Clippers to move on to the next round, in Game 6, 118-105. In Game 7 today, Chicago held on to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 99-93 to face the Miami Heat and Lebron James. Chicago was undermanned and undersized against a tough and resurgent Brooklyn Nets team. The Bulls did it and they advance.
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 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.
I’ve said it all along. If the New York Knicks agree that there is only one leader and team captain, they will succeed. They will not get far ahead if Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are co-captains. If Carmelo Anthony is leading New York, then Stoudemire must be following Anthony. I’m not too surprised by what’s going on in the NBA. I like how the Memphis Grizzlies are grinding out victories. There’s nothing easy about victories and the Grizzlies are showing that with their tough-nosed defense and heart and desire. The Lakers are having a tough time and I know why. They need a coach who knows how to play Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard together at the same time. It could be Mike D’Antoni, but he’s not the right fit for them. The best coach is Phil Jackson, because he has coached the best basketball talent the NBA has to offer him.