Tag Archives: nba playoffs

Playoffs Getting Interesting…

It’s been a entertaining NBA playoffs thus far. Teams that we thought were favorites aren’t turning out to be the powerhouses that we originally thought they were. Like I said back on 4/20, there’s a changing of the eras in the NBA. I didn’t think it would be this year, but thought it was on the horizon. More and more it’s looking like this year is the year of change. Another good thing is I don’t think any of these series are rigged so far. Well done Stern, usually we can tell!

Mavs 2, Lakers 0 –  As they say once the home team loses the series really starts. I think someone forgot to tell the Lakers that the series started after game 1. Last night’s Lakers game was disturbing to the fans down here in LA, much to my enjoyment. It’s fitting that this is the first year I was somewhat rooting for them because I didn’t want any of the Eastern Conference teams to win it all. I can’t believe I admitted that, but yes, I was rooting for the Lakers a little. I am enjoying that some Lakers fans said they would win the series in 3 games against this soft Mavs team. Obviously, that can’t happen, but it was an indication of how they overlooked Mavs in general. Maybe the players were listening to the radio shows and got full of themselves or maybe this team is just plain dysfunctional. I won’t call this series done, because the Mavs have a long history of choking in the playoffs when the pressure is at it’s highest. The pressure of closing the Lakers out is going to be big, and close to the pressure of closing the Heat out in the Finals four years ago. That Mavs team was much different though, they have only two players from that finals roster, and were much softer without Chandler. This version of the Mavs feels a lot better, but I won’t believe it until they close out this series. Either way, the winner will lose next round to one of the young guns in the changing of the guards.

Memphis 1, Seattle 1 – Everyone thought the young team that would make an impact out West was going to be the Supersonics when it’s really been the Grizzlies who have shocked the world. I didn’t pick the Grizz to win that first series against the Spurs, especially without Gay in the lineup, but did think they were a good team all the way back in November when I regretted leaving them off my playoff predictions. Both franchises have figured out how to build a contender, and they have one glaring thing in common, size. Size matters in the NBA, just ask Steve Nash. It was always the Lakers biggest advantage for the last three years, and what do teams have to do to knock them off? Get bigger. Memphis did that through free agency and trades (Gasol, Z-Bo). Seattle did the same (Perkins, Ibaka), and now both teams look like they could beat anyone with solid role guys and their stars knowing exactly what is needed of them to be successful. I’m going to say whoever wins this series will be representing the west in the finals. I’m rooting for it to be Memphis, because I still have a hard time rooting for Sam Presti to succeed on any front.

Miami 2, Boston 0 – The team I picked to represent the East is looking about as good as it has all season. I thought that Boston was in trouble before this series started. Wade ALWAYS gives Boston fits, and that’s going back to when Wade was the only player worth anything in Miami. Last year I think he dropped close to 50 one playoff game in Boston to help the Heat avoid getting swept. Now that he has Lebron and Bosh who can also give Boston fits, he no longer has to put up 50 to will his team to a win. What’s even scarier about this Miami team is they look more comfortable playing together than they have all year. The Celtics on the other hand look a lot like the Lakers this postseason. They haven’t really looked good for more than one or two games the whole second season. They know it’s their last shot with their great coach, and might be pressing a little too hard or could just be old. Is it a lame duck coaching situation for Boston and LA that’s getting them down? Are they not playing as hard because they know there’s a new coach on the horizon after this season? Probably not, but I have to throw it out there. I guess this series hasn’t started yet since the home team hasn’t lost, but this video seems to sum up how high people are on the C’s right now…

Chicago 1, Atlanta 1 – Of the teams left in the playoffs, I’ve probably watched these two teams the least. I’m not sure why, but I was never totally sold on Chicago. Derrick Rose’s ankle is what this series hinges on, and personally I think getting the MVP is a jinx. No guard since Jordan has won a title the year they won the MVP. This day in age only big men that win the MVP get championships. Like I said before, I haven’t watched Chicago a lot, but is there anyway their defense is overrated a little? Indiana and Atlanta aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts ranking in the middle of the pack in the NBA, but are putting up over 90 in the playoffs where scoring is usually down against the unbreakable Thibodeau defense. Atlanta is the toughest team for me to figure out. They blow teams out, and get blown out just as much. You’re never really sure what you’re going to get from them. I can’t figure out why they went away from Jeff Teague, who was lighting Chicago up in game 2, but that happened, and they didn’t come close to winning. I actually like a lot of Atlanta’s players, but for some reason just can’t seem to talk myself into rooting for them. Don’t they feel like they are Mavs of the East? Good enough to be in the playoffs every year, but not good enough to go very far…

Advertisements

Sunday NBA Easter Eggs

The second I saw the lineup for today’s NBA playoff games, I could tell I’d be watching a good share of basketball today. I see myself taking a break somewhere centered around the Hawks-Magic game, since that’s the least appealing game to me, but here’s a few quick notes on each game – what I’m expecting to see…

Miami vs. Philadelphia – Philly came out of the gates strong, appearing poised to extend the series at least one more game. As I’m writing this though, the Heat have put down a 22-2 run to move in front and take a 1 point lead into the half. I expect the game to continue this theme until the Heat eventually are on top when the final buzzer sounds.

Boston vs. New York – The Knicks have a lot of new players, and they seem eager to get their first offseason in the Big Apple started. I’d love to see the Knicks rally back from 0-3, but I just don’t see it happening. They know this isn’t their year, so why keep working when you can go on summer vacation? Boston sweeps in Madison Square Garden…. tough return to the postseason for NY fans.

Orlando vs. Atlanta – This series has seven games written all over it. The Magic will probably win today, making it a best of three series. If they don’t, it only means they’ll win the next two to tie the series at 3, and force game seven. IN Orlando. All I’m sayin is…. 7 games.

Lakers vs. Hornets – This is the game where the Lakers make it clear that game one was a fluke – if they haven’t already. Today they’ll go up 3-1, and after they close it out in 5, will get to sit back and watch the Mavericks – Blazers, which suddenly looks destined for seven games as well.


What’s Gotten Into Webber?

This isn’t really a post; it’s more of a question. During tonight’s Bulls-Pacers game, I can’t help but feel like C-Webb is going a little over the top tonight with his color commentary. It’s almost like someone put a bug in his ear before the game to step his enthusiasm game up. Either that or Gus Johnson gave him a pep talk before tipoff. Whatever the case, he definitely sounds a couple octaves higher and even sounds like a video game at times. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s Derrick Rose. He had me more excited tonight for a single player than anyone else in a while. How would he top his 39 points in Game One’s improbable victory? Though he hasn’t really done anything too spectacular tonight, he still managed to put up 34pts, 8reb, 6ast – ho hum. Surely Webber’s just giddy at the sight of this season’s MVP.


Doin Eastern Conference Predictions

MCeezy:

#1 Boston Celtics – They’re still the best team overall in the East, there’s just too many variables with the Celtics. Of course age is always a question, but I think they’ll be driven this year…. enough to capture the top seed in the East again. They’ve got enough big bodies to let Garnett fade into the background (clearly it’s time), and as long as Rondo, Pierce, or Ray Allen is on the floor, they’ll be okay. They’ll come out on top in the regular season, but I don’t expect a similar result in the postseason.

#2 Atlanta Hawks – Quietly the second best regular season team in the East. The Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford core is good enough to contend with anybody, but they need to upgrade from Mike Bibby. Not saying he’s the weak link, but the aforementioned trio deserves a playmaker to run the floor with them. You know, someone that’ll rack up more than 4.5 assists per game. Do they even have a point guard on their roster? I guess Jeff Teague is the future. I bet they wish they still had Acie Law right about now!

Continue reading


Lakers – Celtics Inevitable

We’re only one game into each series. Technically, game one isn’t even over in Los Angeles, but watching Jason Richardson and Louis Amundson fight with each other for a rebound en route to a 26 point deficit five minutes into the fourth doesn’t really spark much optimism. The Lakers are headed to dominant defeat of the Suns in the opening game of the Western Conference Finals, and we all know what happened in the first game of the Boston-Orlando series. The Conference Finals look like nothing more than a formality at this point. Sure, a lot of people are convinced that the Magic made proper adjustments in the second half against the Celtics and appear poised to strike back in game two, but I’m not convinced. Granted, I didn’t catch game one due to my watching the Amgen Tour of California ride down the Auburn streets that I used to stomp on in my younger days, but it’s clear the Magic just can’t  match up with a more driven Celtics team. Everyone thinks the Magic will adjust their game plan, but what’s to say the Celtics won’t. The Big Three know that the window is closing; meanwhile, Rajon Rondo is busy establishing himself as one of the premier players in the league. I’ll be the first to admit I was a huge Rondo doubter coming out of Kentucky. I thought he’d be nothing more than a role player at best. But four years later, I’m ready to give the kid his due. I’m sorry, but 29, 18, and 13 in any game, let alone a pivotal postseason game, is enough to convince me that he’s for real. I was all but ready to post about Rondo last Sunday had it not been for Dallas Braden’s perfect game. As stacked as the Magic are, they simply won’t be able to outlast the Celtics this time.

Back to the West Coast, it seemed like Phoenix would at least be able to hang with the Lake Show. After watching this debacle tonight, I’m not so sure. The Suns have the same problem they seem to have every year. They’re talented, they can run, and they have plenty of firepower, but they just don’t have the drive and competitiveness. The Lakers are simply to big and even too fast. There’s no debating that Amare Stoudamire is a beast down low, but no combination of Suns can stop the trio of Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. It might be a different game in Phoenix, but they’ll likely be down 0-2, so they’ll be lucky to head back to Southern California with anything better than a 3-1 deficit. Thus, it seems pretty much inevitable that we’re going to see a Boston-LA rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals. Boston got the best of LA last time, but the Lakers are clearly better. Can we really say the same about the Celtics? I’m not so sure.


The NBA Playoffs, Where is the Drama?

I’ve really been trying to get into the NBA playoffs this year, and have enjoyed some of the games/series. This past round however should be called The NBA, Where Blowouts Happen. There’s been an amazing lack of drama that the NBA thrives on, which has had me hitting the snooze button on lots of games. And by snooze, I mean, change the channel for 10-15 minutes, and check back. Once I check back, and see its still a blowout, I’ll jump back to baseball or golf and not look back. It’s sad the playoffs have been losing out in the channel surfing rotation, because most years it doesn’t. It’s going to be tough, but Im going to try to pull together a few things that are intriguing me in the 2010 Playoffs. Continue reading


Four Game Fours, Four Series at 3-1

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sunday featured a full docket of NBA Playoff games to keep fans busy. I’m a little over 7/8 of the way through the quadruple header, and I’m going out on a limb to assume the Jazz will hold on to their 20 point lead at the time of posting. First, Miami was able to stay alive thanks to the heroic effort of Dwyane Wade. I got a sense of overexposure dating back to the Heat’s last Championship run – Wade was everywhere and got all the calls. But now that his team is a lower seed again, I’ve come to appreciate, once again, the will and ability of one of the game’s great players. D-Wade single-handedly took over the fourth quarter with a barrage of clutch baskets. He finished with 46 to make sure the Heat held on to this one to send the series back to Boston for at least one more game.

In Chicago, the Cavs ran away from the Bulls despite a monstrous effort from Joakim Noah. I had all the doubts in the world about this kid coming out of Florida. I didn’t see him ever becoming anything more than a role player, but today, he was the Bulls best player on the floor. Noah put up 21 points to go with 20 rebounds, and repeatedly came up with big buckets when other Bulls couldn’t. Problem is, too often were the times no one else could come through. On the other side of the ball, Lebron James was dominant once again, posting his fifth career postseason triple-double with 37 pts, 12 reb, and 11 ast. Mo Williams chipped in a couple huge three pointers and finished with 19.

In San Antonio, the 7th seed Spurs took a stronghold on their series with the Mavs, notching a 92-89 win to send the series back to Dallas with the home team in a 3-1 deficit. George Hill had a breakout game with 29 points to lead the way for the Spurs. The Mavs meanwhile looked like the same familiar disappointing team that continually fails to show up in the postseason. Jason Terry led a respectful comeback attempt, but the Spurs showed that they’re still the better team when the games mean something.

There’s still a lot of basketball left to be played in Utah, but barring a miraculous fourth quarter, the Jazz look poised to take a 3-1 lead back to Denver with three chances to close out the series. Deron Williams is building upon his legacy, further cementing his status as one of the top point guards in the league. Also, Carlos Boozer is showing that he can still be a dominating force in the post, something that teams with cap space will certainly be looking to add to their roster in the upcoming offseason.


Still Captain Jack

He may not be a Warrior anymore, and he may have left on bad terms, but I still have love for Stephen Jackson. The guy wears his emotions on his sleeve, and I can’t fault him for that – on the basketball court at least. During the decisive possession of last night’s Game 2, Jack drove into the lane and got slapped in the face by Matt Barnes, causing his headband to blind him in one eye. Instead of fixing it, Jack left the headband covering his face to show officials that a foul should’ve been called. I’ve done that before, so it’s always reassuring to see a pro baller do the same. No foul was called, but Jameer Nelson took the ball the other way and made a layup plus a foul, that put the game out of reach for Charlotte.  Calling ALL captains, here’s the clip….


Doubling Down on the NBA Playoffs

I really didn’t wanna write about this…. It dominated my NBA Playoff-filled Sunday though. So much so that I had to try it today. I was about to orate my observations from the opening round of the postseason, but then I saw it again. The second my fingers hit the keyboard, it came on. Like a rainstorm right after a carwash, I got hit with the KFC Double Down Sandwich commercial. If you watched just one quarter of NBA basketball this weekend, you saw it twice. You hear a couple guys with helium voices talking about chicken. All of a sudden, it’s unleashed. The heralded chicken sandwich that’s too big for a bun, and we’re not talking Tortadas. It takes three or four repetitions before a commercial gets across to me. By the ninth or tenth time, I’m annoyed to the point where I don’t want to try your product simply out of spite. By the 16th time, however, you’ve beaten this thing so deep into my brain, I’m not only gonna try your product, I’m gonna try it fully expecting it to be less than amazing. I know you know what I’m talking about now.

So today I did it. When lunchtime came calling, I doubled down on that ass. I hit up the local KFCizzle on Bradshaw (which for the record sucks) and was immediately hit with a sign announcing the Double Down Combo for $6.99! I knew the DD was going to be small, but with all the value menu fanfare that’s abuzz right now, I was disappointed to see it cost $5 for the “sandwich” by itself.Ultimately, the double down was just like I expected it would be. We know the end of the sandwich they show in the commercials looks good, but we also know chicken breasts are pointy on the other end. How’s that gonna work out? As you would expect, it doesn’t. The reality is you simply can’t make sandwich casings out of chicken. You’ve got cheese hanging out one side, three-quarters of it is chicken-on-chicken, and that one piece of bacon pulls out with your first bite. So predictable. I will concede that there were one or three bites that were heavenly, and for that it may very well have been worth $5 and one meal of my life. And if that other breast were a sandwich like I had expected I might have been okay. But the true glory of this endeavor was to be able to proceed hating the commercial, and the item it endorses, with reason. I can say I doubled down, but it just wasn’t worth it in the end. I’m better off just playing two hands.


Bored? Watch Some Vintage MJ!

We all remember this game, 92′ NBA Finals, Game 5 and Jordan’s unreal 1st half. After scorching Clyde the Glyde and company for 32 pts in the first 23 minutes of the first half, MJ nails another 3 pointer and can only turn and shrug to the NBC announcers. Easily the best half of basket ball I have ever seen from any player, hands down.

Sit back and enjoy for the next few minutes!