and then there was 5?

We are almost finished with the 2nd round with only a game 7 left to play between the Celtics and Sixers. Boston should have taken care of business early but couldn’t blowing a huge lead in game 4 and then not showing up for game 6. Going in I thought they would have a great shot at the Finals if they could finish off Philly quickly, now even if they win they will be old and banged up bad. Peirce knee, Allen ankle and Bradley is done for year. The Heat will have an advantage getting 4 days rest before game one of the East Finals. Garnett has been the C’s best shooter and that is saying something. I expect the Celtics to win game 7 and move on but the fact they let Philly hang around will have really cost them in the long run.

 

Miami finished off Indy last night moving on, Indy had a great chance to pull off the upset but they got away from their game plan. In the first 3 games they pounded the ball into the post slowed the game down and produced 2 wins. In the last 3 games they stayed out on the perimeter and it cost them. Miami had no answer for Hibbert and West even last night Indy raced out to a big lead and their front court was 12-14 from the field. Then all the sudden we are seeing 3’s with 15 seconds left on the shot clock. The Pacers needed Hibbert to have at least 17 attempts instead he had 8, really? If they tried to slow it down and play in the post we might be talking about game 7 instead.

 

Miami is so dangerous in transition and the long rebounds produced by all the jumpers allowed Miami to run in the last 3 games and that’s what the Heat do best. I think all the trash talking and physical play really fired up Lebron and Wade they were absolutely terrific in the last 3 games averaging 65 points per game between them but if Miami wants to win a title they can’t continue down this path. Bosh needs to get healthy and they need more production out of other players.

 

If Boston beats Philly they provide several matchup problems for Miami, Rondo is too quick for Chalmers and if they slide wade over to that matchup they could expose him to foul troubles. If Bosh doesn’t come back Garnett will eat up the trio of Anthony, Turiaf and Haslem. The problem Boston has is their health, with Pierces knee problems he will have a tough time staying with James. It’s up to James to come up big something he has consistently failed to do thru out his career.

 

It’s hard to place blame on James especially when you look at what he has done in his career. The 25 straight points to beat the Pistons, The 41 pt 22 RB game 7 in Boston, or the way he dominated the Bulls last year, but I can’t get his failure to get involved in the 4Q in the finals last year out of my head. Until he actually wins something he will always be this generations Wilt. A freak of nature with all the ability in the world but someone who has come up short in his quest of what he covets most.

 

I think the Heat will win no matter which team they play but it won’t be easy if it’s Boston.

 

Moving West we have a great matchup. The Thunder and Spurs are talented deep teams probably the two best teams in the league this year. You have Duncan looking for his 5th Ring, and Durant looking for his 1st. The Spurs have the best record and are the model of consistency they have only 1 loss in like last 30 games. Tim Duncan is a Legend. Let me throw something out there, did you know in the Tim Duncan era the Spurs have a winning % of .703 That is the best for any team in any of the 4 major sports leagues!! He has 4 titles with little to no fanfare, the man is a BEAST!!! The rest POP gave him in the regular season is really showing right now he has been fantastic this postseason.

 

I had a debate with a friend earlier this year about whether or not Parker and Manu deserve HOF credit I think they do, they have won 3 titles and when healthy two of the most efficient players in the NBA. With Duncan now 38 and playing reduced minutes the Spurs are now Tony Parkers team and he needs to really play well for them to beat OKC. The bench will be productive and they will play great team D but Parker is the key. He runs the offense and affects the game on so many levels. He will need help keeping Westbrook out of the lane but the way the Spurs help his Offense will be a bigger indicator of who moves on.

 

For OKC the youth movement is over, they have been together for 3 years and this is their 2nd straight conference finals appearance. Durant can score from anywhere, Westbrook is a blur and gets to the rim with ease and Hardin is special as well. They get good D from Ibaka, Perkins and Collison and Coach Scott Brooks has instilled the right attitude for this team. If they stay together there is a possibility for the next NBA Dynasty. They are all under 24 and will continue to get better that’s a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.

 

I love about every guy on both of these teams (except Perkins) and I can’t wait to see it my heart wants one more for Timmy but my head tells me the run the Spurs are on is coming to an end and for the Thunder the time is now.

And the 2nd round begins

Ok so we have concluded the 1st round of the NBA playoffs, no real surprises, Philly got by a banged up Bulls squad but with all the injuries, that was the most likely scenario.

The Lakers got pushed but that was more due to lack of effort from Bynum and Gasol, Kobe calling them out was absolutely the right thing to do. L.A gets OKC next and they will be an underdog and cant afford to give away games due to lack of effort. If they go down 0-2 on the road thing could get ugly real quick. Bynum just has surly demeanor at time and still doesn’t seem to get it, make no mistake the man can play but I just don’t see a consistent passion for the game and that bothers me. I think OKC should have no trouble advancing but I think Kobe and co can get at least 2 games. The Metta World Peace- James Hardin aspect of this series will be fun.

San Antonio gets the most rest and then a banged up Clippers team that was pushed to the brink by Memphis, I thought going in that Memphis had an advantage with their size but it was the Clippers quickness and Memphis lack of 3 point shooting that was the difference. Spurs are a different story, they are deep and rested and have 3 HOF’s along with a HOF coach all ready to go. It would shock me if this series goes deep, I think Chris Paul and Toney Parker is a great matchup but the Spurs are too good defensively and have too many options in the half court game for the Clippers to stop.

The Heat won the 1st game of their series with Indiana, but I think the Pacers showed why they are for real, not a lot of people are familiar with these Pacers, but I like them a lot. I said in previous post that they will be a tough out, they are long and athletic and get good production from the bench. Lebron won his 3rd MVP then dominated the 4th Q in game one, Bosh is out for now so the Heat will need James and Wade to play the way they can to control this series, the Pacers are not gona continue to get 1-11 from their stud Danny Granger so I can see them winning at least 2 games and possibly pushing the Heat to 7, The Heat are good but they will struggle to rebound in this series and will need more production from Miller, Battier, Haslem and Turiaf.

The Celtics get the good fortune of the D Rose injury and take on Philly and as game 1 showed this will probably be a real ugly series. Pierce has a bulky knee and Allen is still working into shape and while the C’s should handle Philly relatively easy they will need to find ways to keep KG off the floor. If Garnett continues to play 35+ minutes every game and this series has any length, he might be spent when it comes time to play the Heat. Then again the way the big men on the boston bench have played I don’t see how you could rest KG unless they build some big leads we will see.