The Atlanta Hawks beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6, 104-92 and advance to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East semi-finals. In the West, the San Antonio Spurs along with two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard will meet Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. I think that the Warriors, despite losing Stephen Curry to injury, might be able to handle winning more games in the playoffs, because they play together as a team and also as a cohesive unit bonding together for a purpose. Shaun Livingston has been able to fill in for Curry as the point guard, contributing points, defense, passing, and complimentary fill in for a two-time Most Valuable Player. The Clippers in Los Angeles has suffered injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Much has surpassed the times if the Clippers are able to get by the Portland Trail Blazers now. It looks like now Portland might get by the Clippers and meet the defending NBA champs Golden State Warriors in the second round of the Western Conference.
The Chicago Bulls took care of business with Cleveland in Game 1, winning it 99-92. Derrick Rose led the way and Pau Gasol was behind him. Cleveland is without Kevin Love and J.R. Smith. It hurt them. That’s why the Cavaliers lost the game. The L.A. Clippers beat the Houston Rockets 117-101 and they were fresh off their Game 7 victory over San Antonio plus they did win Game 1 with Houston without their star point guard Chris Paul. The Atlanta Hawks bounced back from their Game 1 loss with a Game 2 victory with the Washington Wizards. If the Hawks can withstand a Wizards half-court offense with Marcin Gortat and Nene and play up-tempo basketball, they will have a chance to win the series. Otherwise, a low-post presence will hurt these smaller Hawks players. In Game 1 between the Wizards and the Hawks, the Wizards dominated because they had size and height over Atlanta. The Memphis Grizzlies also bounced back to beat the Golden State Warriors and will go to Memphis with the series tied at one game apiece. In Game 1, the Warriors were playing perfect basketball and in Game 2, the emergence of Mike Conley came back and helped Memphis regain control of the basketball game and the series.
The Eastern Conference reserve stars consists of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague. This is Butler’s first time being here and also Teague’s. Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, and LaMarcus Aldridge headline the Western Conference reserves. This is Klay Thompson’s and DeMarcus Cousin’s first All-Star game. I expect this all-star game to be full of dunks and thrills.
The Washington Wizards starve off elimination convincingly and I mean convincingly, they came out to play. Marcin Gortat and John Wall teamed up for the Wizards and win Game 5, 102-79. The Indiana Pacers don’t seem stunned, but they do know they needed to play with a passion, and the Wizards had more of it than Indiana did. Oklahoma City wins Game 5 in OKC, 105-104, down by seven points in the final seconds, and coming back to win it, boy, what a game! The Thunder overcome points by Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford to win this game.
The Clippers win ugly 101-99 and tie the series 2-2. Chris Paul wasn’t expecting a pretty victory, considering he had to defend Kevin Durant in the final minutes of the game. The Pacers win Game 4, going up 3 games to 1, 95-92 and they will think of the memories that brought them here as they end their series with Washington. Paul George is looking like the former self that is leading these Pacers. A lot of these kids from the Wizards, Bradley Beal and John Wall are growing up and Paul George is commenting on how they remind him of himself when he was entering the league. Now a veteran, George is showing Beal and Wall how to play basketball in these playoff games.
The Indiana Pacers travel to Washington D.C. to play the Wizards. It was a low-scoring game, as Indiana brought their defensive plays that Frank Vogel designed for them. The Washington Wizards score 63 points and the Pacers a whooping 85 points. In the West, another Game 3 coming up, the Oklahoma City Thunder made 118 and the L.A. Clippers 112 and there were words between Chris Paul and Kevin Durant as they bumped into each other. Anyway, the Thunder win Game 3 and they lead the series 2 games to 1.
The Washington Wizards, fresh from their playoff series with the Chicago Bulls, win Game 1 against the Indiana Pacers 102-96. This is because Washington forward Trevor Ariza didn’t miss a beat after arriving in Indianapolis. He was on fire, hitting jumpshot after jumpshot. In the West, the Clippers score 122 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder score 105 and Los Angeles takes a 1-0 lead. Clippers point guard Chris Paul hits 8 three-pointers in a row for 31 points. Looking forward to seeing exciting basketball between the Clippers and the Thunder.