BDCi’s NBA playoffs week 4
(BDCi) – Playoff basketball never is dull. There are always exciting moments from a big time shot to technical fouls to physical play. The games are heightened as every team does what it can to win it. Last Friday, there were four Game six’s and all of those series ended without a seventh game. The one game seven that did happened was between the Bulls and the Nets. Joakim Noah guaranteed his team would win and he backed up his talk. Now, this week has been the second round which has been just as exciting as the first.
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS MATCHUPS
(1) Miami Heat vs. (5) Chicago Bulls SERIES TIED 1-1
The Bulls got lucky by stealing game one and showing that they are a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, that momentum went out the window when they were blown out in game two and received a number of technical fouls and ejections. The Bulls were embarrassed to say the least but nothing cures that like going back home and trying to regroup in front of your fans. The Bulls however will be without Luol Deng still weak from the flu and complications from a spinal tap, Kirk Hinrich still out with the calf injury and Derrick Rose will not be making his debut in game three. The Bulls are going to feel the loss of not having Hinrich and Deng as they need more scoring and just another ball handler to take the pressure off the little guy Nate Robinson. The Heat are just too dangerous and they are healthier as they can hurt you in so many ways. Game three is Friday at the United Center and the Heat should win again.
(2) New York Knicks vs. (3) Indiana Pacers SERIES TIED 1-1
This has been a very interesting series so far. Indiana got a huge lift by winning game one with what they do best which is defense. Indiana’s center Roy Hibbert was able to stay out of foul trouble which allowed him to really protect the rim. That was the difference when Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith tried to drive to the hoop. The Knicks came back strong in game two as Carmelo started finding his shot as well as getting support from Pablo Prigioni and Iman Shumpert along with Kenyon Martin and Raymond Felton. The big question heading into game three for the Knicks is the return of Amar’e Stoudemire. He has not played since March and it remains to be seen whether he will hurt or help the Knicks. For the Pacers, they need to get back to playing great defense because that is what sparks their offense. They are not a flashy team but they get the job done with their fundamentals. Game three is Saturday in Indiana and it really could go either way.
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS MATCHUPS
(1) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies SERIES TIED 1-1
Oklahoma City had their hands full in their last series with Houston and it did not get any easier playing a tough and physical Memphis team. Oklahoma City was able to squeak out a game one win thanks to a late jumper by Kevin Durant. Memphis came back strong in game two as the big men of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph wreaked havoc with their physicality and Mike Conley found his shot. Now, the series shifts to Memphis where the Thunder big men are going to have to do something to contend with Gasol and Randolph. The Thunder were killed on the boards by bigger and stronger big men as the Grizzlies got many opportunities on the offensive glass and just bullied Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. Also, there is too much pressure on Kevin Durant. He needs help in the scoring department and Memphis has done a good job of double-teaming as soon as he gets the ball. Kevin Martin, and company are going to have to knock down shots if they want to win this series. This series could easily go the full seven games. Game three will be Saturday in Memphis.
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (6) Golden State Warriors SERIES TIED 1-1
The San Antonio Spurs look like an old veteran team against the young and dangerous Golden State Warriors. First, Stephen Curry lit them up in game one with 44 points and the Spurs were lucky to win in double overtime thanks to Manu Ginobili. It was not the same in game two as they focused on Curry but his backcourt mate Klay Thompson lit up the Spurs for 34 points including eight 3s. The Spurs have a major problem as they don’t have the defenders to keep up with this amazing backcourt nor do they have enough firepower on the offensive end. Game three is going to be a dilemma for the Spurs as they try to figure out an answer for this powerful and talented back court. The Spurs need more scoring than just Duncan. Parker really struggled in game two being defended by Thompson and Danny Green could not find his shot. Green and Leonard are going to have to step up in game three if they are going to have a chance to win. Game three is Friday in Oakland and the younger, inexperienced Warriors have a really good shot against the aging veteran San Antonio Spurs.