Are we heading for a Cavaliers-Warriors matchup in the NBA Finals? It’s only the first round and yet, the Cavaliers have swept the Indiana Pacers four games to none and the Golden State Warriors have also swept the Portland Trail Blazers four to zip. There’s nothing like sweeping the competition in the first round.
The Bulls have collapsed in Games 3 and 4 in Chicago. The Celtics have ignited the fire and now it’s 2-2. The Celtics and the Bulls will retool for Game 5 in Boston. Can I hear an encore for a fantastic Game 5 between the Bulls and the Celtics.
The Atlanta Hawks have been swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-99 and marks the second time that these Hawks have been eliminated by a Lebron James-led basketball team for a second straight time. Atlanta is built for playing a certain pace in basketball, however they were not meant to play at a superstar’s pace like Lebron James. Toronto and Miami are tied at two games apiece and Kyle Lowry has to have big games against Dwyane Wade. Lowry in the clutch will overcome Wade’s shooting performances, I guarantee it. Wade does shoot clutch, but Lowry relies on his spacing to get off his shot. The Golden State Warriors welcome back Stephen Curry, as the Dubs beat the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime to take a 3 games to 1 series lead. As the NBA playoffs winds down to the final four, OKC wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead against San Antonio. I can see a Warriors-Cavs NBA Finals matchup shaping up.
We have two Game 7s between the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets. What is it with Toronto not being able to finish Game 6 and move on? This will definitely haunt Toronto and they might be able to survive round 1 of the NBA playoffs. Miami wins Game 6 97-90 because they wouldn’t give up. They know too much about being defeated. It’s veterans like Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem that will let opponents wear down, after seeing them down. We know that Golden State will play a full game with a whole team without Stephen Curry against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors probably won’t let an injury to them bother them, but it will sting playing against the San Antonio Spurs, who don’t have an injury. The Spurs will have their hands full handling Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder.
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 Atlanta Hawks have knocked off the Brooklyn Nets in six games, behind NBA Coach of the Year winner Mike Budenholzer who has effortlessly led these Hawks, who has heard of DeMarre Carroll and Mike Scott and Dennis Schroder, to a winning record. The Chicago Bulls have outlasted these feisty and long-armed Milwaukee Bucks with their size and half court offense with Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. The Bulls have gotten under the Bucks’ skin late in Game 6, and I would expect a rematch between these two teams in the future. The Golden State Warriors dispatch of the New Orleans Pelicans was no contest. The Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies who got rid of the Portland Trail Blazers in five games. The Clippers outlasted the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 as they win 111-109 and will face the Houston Rockets in the second round, Kevin McHale’s squad playing outstanding with the play of James Harden and Dwight Howard were too much for the older, aging Dirk Nowitzki and these Dallas Mavericks.
Lebron James rules as the Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets 96-94. The Heat were down and out, until a comeback run occurred by Miami. They were not finished and knew they weren’t finished by the time the game was over. In the West, the San Antonio Spurs blew out Portland 104-84 to advance and there’s bedlam for the Blazers. What happened to the Portland team that played better basketball than the Houston Rockets in the first round? There will be questions surrounding Portland’s off-season and of course, the Spurs are a better basketball team than the Portland Trail Blazers are.
The Miami Heat win Game 4, because of Lebron James’ 49 points. He was 16-of-24 from the field as he collected those three pointers and 2-pointers. The Portland Trail Blazers starved off elimination as they beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-92. Damien Lilliard was the reason and LaMarcus Aldridge helped out also. Is there any chance the Blazers can come back from a 3-1 series deficit? Rhetorically speaking.
The Brooklyn Nets are turning their series into a competition. They turned it up in Brooklyn, New York as Joe Johnson and Brooklyn took it to Miami 104-90 and the San Antonio Spurs had no problem handling the Portland Trail Blazers. The Spurs win 118-103 in Game 3 and send Portland to play an elimination game for Game 4. The Spurs flat out just played better basketball than Portland did. How the Spurs executed their basketball plays was the nail in the coffin. Portland had no answer for them.
The Miami Heat reign supreme. Behind Ray Allen’s 13 points on 3 of 5 three pointers, the Heat win Game 2, 94-82. Now it’s on to Brooklyn in New York where the Nets have a chance to win it on their home court for Games 3 and 4. The San Antonio Spurs don’t have it any harder because they won Game 2 114-97 on some fantastic basketball being played. This is vintage Spurs basketball. Tony Parker does his thing going for layups and Tim Duncan will score points near the basket.
The Miami Heat dominate the Brooklyn Nets in Miami. I emphasize. In Miami. Lebron James ran the show. No question about it. The Heat won 107-86. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Portland Trail Blazers 116-92 behind Tony Parker. The Trail Blazers came out flat in the first game. Hopefully they’ll shoot better in Game 2.