Russell Westbrook is NBA All-Star MVP because he scored 41 points, but he didn’t break the NBA All-star record for points scored. Wilt Chamberlain scored 42 points in the 1962 All-Star game. Nobody is taking the Atlanta Hawks for real. The Hawks are shooting the lights out of the gym and they are doing it with no real budding NBA superstar, thanks to former Spurs assistant and current Atlanta coach, Mike Budenholzer. The Knicks bought out Amare Stoudemire’s contract. They will not bring him back and it seems that the Dallas Mavericks may want to sign Stoudemire after acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics. The Mavericks will indeed be a fun team to watch this year coming the playoffs.
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.
East 2013 NBA Playoffs
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.
Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals
East semifinals May 11
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.