^ Missed the game because my internet feed wasn't working. I followed the game on yahoo but lost interest as it looked like the Grizz had it in the bag up 25ish in the 3rd. Then checked back late in the 4th and the Clippers were within 3! Awesome win for the Clips. Dayum.
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The Mavs matchup scared me a lot as a Thunder fan, but I'm now I'm feeling okay about the series :). Anyway, Mavs really really miss Tyson Chandler. Dirk misses Tyson Chandler.
Also I'm not sure that I've ever heard a coach cry as much about officiating as Carlisle.
I do think Chandler was the piece that got the Mavs over the hump. I do think that in the lockout seasons young teams like OKC have an advantage over older teams like Dallas.
Lebron had such a passionate, in-your-face fourth. He kept waving teammates off from making a pick or calling for the ball, and proceeded to dominate, and in some cases he made some of the hardest most contested shots possible just to show everyone he could.
It seems he wants people to know he's not shying away from the fourth this postseason. (He also had some third quarter rest from foul trouble and seemed very hyped up the whole game.) Wade of course saved the Heat in the third. What amazed me was the speed Miami closed out in rotation. There were a few possessions where New York swung the ball around rapidly as a designed play to get Novak an open short corner 3 but wade closed out so quick that Novak ended up turning it over. NYK played great defense for about 2.5 quarters, holding Miami scoreless for two long stretches in the game. But Miami played great defense the whole game.
The Clippers had a great victory the other night, and have an opportunity tonight to take a commanding lead in that series. But I wouldn't be surprised if the Grizzlies even it up, it's been the best series so far. Lakers, Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, and Grizzlies, they could all go to the show. IMO there's no clear favorite but that's my ranking.
In the East it's a done deal, I hate to say it because I've become a closet Knicks fan since Linsanity but the Heat are as good as in with the injuries to Chicago and NY.
Scrappy victory last night though by the Knicks, with a third-string PG no less. And from what I understand there's an outside chance that Lin could play on Wednesday, so improbable as it sounds they could actually make a run at this series. Bummer about Baron Davis, he hasn't been himself for years and this could be it for him. I really enjoyed watching him when he was with the Warriors. The Knicks future looks bright for next year if they can keep the right players, and either Woodson or the Zenmeister leading them from the sidelines.
Edited by grokit - 5/7/12 at 6:22pm
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Good picks from last year.
And gimme OKC in six for the '12 finals. The Heat have the best player on Earth. However, the Thunder have the best team. Role players and coaching will be the difference.
I'd say OKC as well. I see them doing it in 6 but I could also see Miami making it a competitive 7.
Offensively, I see Durant-James as a push, Wade-Westbrook as a push, Bosh better than Ibaka but Harden does more than Chalmers.
Defensively, Miami is better overall (and has three of the best wing defenders in James/Wade/Battier) but OKC has better interior defense with Ibaka/Perkins blocking/rebounding and Collison taking charges. This is important because Wade scores in the paint more than any other guard, Lebron was 1-11 from outside the paint in game 7, with all 32 points coming in the paint or off free throws. Both have had great shooting nights as well but making the lane a "no fly zone" can accomplish a lot towards curtailing 23/3's offensive output.
A lot of this will come down to efficiency. If Westbrook or Wade has one of those nights where they end up 1-13, they'll lose in a landslide. If all the key players on both sides play with high efficiency (1.0 points per attempt or higher) than this can be anybody's series.
Another thing to consider is the matchups. Lebron got tired these past two series guarding Garnett and David West. Durant was matched up periodically with Lakers bigs and it took a lot out of him on the other end. OKC doesn't have enough offensive big man threats for Lebron to play up (plus Bosh is back) so he'll be free to play Durant (and vice versa.) Both these guys can make the other's job much harder - Durant with his wingspan and Lebron with his athleticism. Assuming wade matches up with Westbrook, he'll play him about as well as anyone can, but as tony parker and Nowitzki both said, no one can stay in front of him. He's his own worst enemy - when he plays smart and is knocking down the elbow J there's not much anyone can do to stop him. Harden and Bosh are both wild cards in my book that can make or break games and can have wildly varying performances. This should make quite the interesting series.
^^ Nice analysis. I agree that this should be a great series, the one that everyone was expecting especially after Rose went down. I was rooting for the Spurs and the Celtics to make it for old-times sake lol.
As a Laker fan I'm just hoping for a great series. Durant vs. Bosch, Perkins with help vs. James and Wade vs. Westbrook would be my guesses match up-wise.
Edited by grokit - 6/11/12 at 12:15pm
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This one's gonna go 7. I'd put my money on OKC, but it really is up in the air.
As Radio_head mentioned, the backcourt match ups are relatively even. I think that KD will be the best player on the court, but he's got to get some help from his team (in other words, he can't "Lebron" it). The real difference lies in the front court. Ibaka is an excellent player and Perkins is a mean son-of-a-bitch on defense. Perkins has to stay out of foul trouble and the rest of OKC need to guard well. Points will come easy for them if they do so.
If this series gets to a seventh game my $ would be on the Heat, as they seem to be at their best this year when they are most desperate. And I like the fact that Spolestra has been harping about "character issues" lately, which is needed with this bunch. I really like Durant, but I am starting to become a LeBron fan again as he seems to finally be able to figure out when it's appropriate to dominate a game. Game seven with the Celtics was the first time I've seen this since he won the Eastern Conference damn near single-handedly during his time in Cleveland.
The Thunder learned quite a bit from the Spurs last series, as the Heat did from the Celtics
Edited by grokit - 6/11/12 at 2:15pm