Last night’s game had all the makings of a Grizzlies rally to even the series. The Spurs looked tired by the end of the 4th quarter, missing easy shots and playing mediocre defense but Memphis simply couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities. Tony Parker led the way for the Spurs, who managed to hold off the Grizzlies in OT and take a big 2-0 lead in the western conference finals. Parker looked pretty beat by the end of the game and when a point guard managed to net 18 assists in any game, you know he’s going to be out of gas by the end of the game. Although he didn’t put up massive numbers like Parker, Tim Duncan had a really solid game on offense that included some really big shot in overtime. One the other side of things, it felt like this was the best opportunity that Memphis was going to have to get a win on the road. Z-Bo had a good bounce-back performance but despite that, he couldn’t get buckets to take the lead in overtime. No one on Memphis could for that matter. I expect a much better performance from the Grizzlies as the series goes back to their house but at the same time it’s hard for me to see the Spurs easing up at all. Now i’m not trying to say that the Spurs aren’t capable of close out a series after leading 2-0 but as it’s been pointed out, this game ended very similar to the second game of last year’s west finals. Stay tuned. Oh yeah, nice job selling (pictured abve) that flagrant foul last night Tony Allen.
Sports as a whole are probably my favorite things in the world (right there with pretty brunettes) but when disaster strikes, professional athletes and fans know that they take a back seat. It’s also an opportunity for these larger-than-life athletes to do even greater good by their off the court/field contributions. I’m giving a MASSIVE shout out to Kevin Durant who pledged $1 million to help the people of Moore, OK and surrounding areas. It’s just another reason to like KD, on top of all the other things that he does. Durant is biggest athlete in Oklahoma since Adrian Peterson’s days at OU so for him to step up in this situation shows the type of person that he is. Also, people need to calm down about Matt Kemp’s $1,000 per home-run pledge. Some athletes have pledged nothing and since then, Kemp has said that he’s also going to give an additional $250k.
I’m a big fan of the NBA’s YouTube channel (duh) but i’m also a big fan of the “floater” shot. I use it as part of the my personal game but i’m not anywhere near NBA-level. Anyways, here are the top 10 from the regular season.
The San Antonio Spurs were truly impressive yesterday. Most fans/analysts around the league had the Grizzlies with a real shot at taking down the top-seeded Spurs. Sure, it’s only one game and certainly too early to draw definitive conclusions but the way San Antonio played yesterday certainly had many thinking twice about their predictions for this series. I was most impressed with the way San Anotnio was able to defend Zach Randolph, throwing multiple defenders at him and nearly taking him out of the game completely. On the offensive side of the ball it was Tony Parker leading the individual performances (20 pts, 9 ast) but the Spurs’ three point shooting was their biggest weapon of the night. Memphis just couldn’t figure out how to defend the supporting cast for San Antonio, a very different change of pace from the series against the Thunder. The finals scor favored the Spurs 105-83 and it felt every bit like a 23 point loss for the Grizzlies. Tony Allen was surprisingly ineffective, one of the best perimeter defenders in the league but he was unable to stay with the Spurs players. What’s scary for the Grizzlies is that Tim Duncan didn’t even have a great game on offense, finishing with only 6 points. While it’s an impressive win for the Spurs, I don’t think anyone needs to remind them that they were up 2-0 and ended up losing last year’s west finals. So i’m willing to bet that they’re going to try and finish this series as quickly as possible.
It feels like the Heat haven’t played in over a week. It’s actually going to be exactly one week when the eastern conference finals get going in Miami on Wednesday. Just so people didn’t forget about the series, Indiana coach Frank Vogel was apparently quoted as saying that Miami was “just another team” or something of that context. His statement has changed since then, claiming that the media misquoted him and that has has “great respect for LBJ and the champs. Looking forward to a great series.” Vogel probabltydidn’t expect that much backlash for such a little comment but that’s how the media is these days. Anything and everything that can stir up some conversation. LeBron responded to the first comments, saying ”I don’t understand what he’s saying. But we’re not just another team. That’s not true. He said we’re just another team in their way. We’re a great team. If we’re just another team, you really don’t prepare for just another team. You have to prepare for us.” All true statements. Miami is a great team, best in the league as shown by their record in the regular season and performance so far in the postseason. If they continue their strong performances, this team will have the resume that can include them with the best teams of all time. Stay tuned, this will be a good series between Indiana and Miami.
Just reminding Moe of how bad Melo was stuffed at the rim by Roy Hibbert
while eating a Bastardly Certified lunch by Bowser0
Talk about an ugly win for the Knicks. I actually didn’t watch most of the game as it happened live (caught the Darvish-Verlander showdown in person) but I did see the replay on NBATV earlier this morning. The Knicks won’t label this win as a “finesse” type but they can certainly pride themselves in being the better team with more effort. The Knicks played with urgency this time around, forcing the Pacers into bad shots late in the game to take the victory and send the series back to Indiana for another game. Tyson Chandler’s performance won’t show up in the stat line but his presence in the middle was key to slowing down Roy Hibbert and slowing down the Pacers’ ability to get inside and get points in the paint. Melo led the way for the Knicks as usual (28 points) but he was smarter about his game, picking his shots more carefully. And when the Knicks needed a bucket late, Melo was able to deliver with some key buckets in the 4th quarter. On the contrary, the Pacers were opposite of clutch in the 4th quarter. With chances to get back in striking distance, it was either a bad shot or a turnover for Indiana. Add that to the laundry list of problems for the Pacers last night: they didn’t shoot well from the field or free throw line and their bench only managed 10 points. Indiana needs to turn it around fast or this series is going the full length.
This was the series that I thought would go all the way. I mean, can’t we have at least one series go 7? San Antonio had other plans and they weren’t afraid to put the nail in the coffin when the opportunity presented itself. The Spurs made big plays late, fending off a Warriors rally to close out the series in 6 games and move on to the west finals. If there was any doubt that Gregg Poppovich is the best coach in the league i’d say that argument was put to rest after last night’s game. The Spurs coach had some brilliant changes late in the game, benching Tim Duncan (who played great) and trusting the bench to make the big plays. The other “big guns’” for the Spurs didn’t play well so it was the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter that made the clutch plays. I can’t for Sunday’s game 1 against the Grizzlies. As for the Warriors, it just wasn’t enough. They seemed to be worn down by the Spurs and late in the game the shots that normally went in, didn’t. Those same shots would’ve gone in earlier in the series and it’s what made this Warriors team so fun to watch. It’s goodbye for Curry and his crew but they definitely deserve a standing ovation. They were the most entertaining team in the postseason and have a bright future.
Side note: Phil Jackson is back in the headlines but this time it’s not for another coaching rumor. News broke that in Phil’s new book (“Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success“) he does in fact compare Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, with Jackson siding in the Jordan camp. I wonder how Bryan, biggest Kobe fan on this site, feels about it. There are also some other interesting points in the book that have been released.
Halfway to the ultimate prize. That’s what the Heat and Grizzlies are thinking this morning after they took care of business and eliminated their opponents in 5 games. For Miami it’s just a step in the process, repeating as the champions was the clear goal from the beginning. Last night the Heat used a big 4th quarter to come from behind and eliminate the Bulls from the playoffs 4 games to 1. LeBron James, as usual, was the best player on the court last night (23pts, 7 reb, 8 ast) but it was Dwyane Wade’s spark in the 4th quarter that really fueled the Heat’s comeback. The Bulls actually played very well, leading for the entire 3rd quarter and at one point they had a double digit lead. For a a few minutes there, the Boozer and Robinson-led Bulls actually looked like they were going to send the series back to Chicago. But as the rest of the series showed, it was too big of a mountain for Chicago to climb. The effort wasn’t a problem. This Bulls team was too depleted but hats off to Chicago for making this such a great series to watch. For Miami it’s on to the eastern conference finals where they’ll be awaiting their next opponent. I have a feeling that Indiana takes care of business tonight and sets up a nice series against the Heat.
It’s been a hard past for this Grizzlies franchise. I remember when the Mavs used to always eliminate them in the first round back in the mid-2000s No more because for the first time in franchise history, the Grizzlies are in the western conference finals. The Grizzlies withstood a late rally by the Thunder to win on the road and takes the series 4-1 to move on to the west finals. Things got a bit shaky for Memphis there at the end of the game but the Thunder didn’t make the shots at the end (thought Durant’s last shot was in) to make the comeback complete. Kevin Durant did not play well, especially in the 4th quarter and when the chance to come up big for his team came around it was evident he didn’t have it. It’s really hard to carry your team for several games and the pressure increases exponentially during the postseason; Durant feeling the effects as the series went on. Z-Bo led the way for the Grizzlies with his “old man” basketball (24 pts, 14 reb) and despite some missed free throws late, he was the power behind the Memphis offense. Marc Gasol played great defense as always and what do you know, another big clutch shot by the best big man in the league. That’s what makes this team so scary for whoever their opponent in the west finals is.
I don’t know what it was about last night but there were a ton of dunks. Big shout out to Tayshuan Prince for this dunk. Dunking on three Thunder players at once. I know i’m not the only one who hit rewind on their remote just to watch it again.
Things are looking well for both the Pacers and Spurs, both teams looks lik they’re playing to their strengths. The Pacers are obviously in a better position with a 3-1 lead over the Knicks and as the series goes on, it’s pretty clear that the Pacers are a really bad match up for the Knicks. Last night it further cemented the Pacers’ dominance on defense and their ability to make the Knicks frustrated on both ends of the floor. Watching this series I can’t help but wonder: did game 2 of this series actually happen? After that game, I would’ve picked the series to go to the Knicks but ever since that game, the Pacers have shown that they are the superior team. The Knicks never led in last night’s game and a lot of that is because the supporting cast (Shumpert, Kidd, Martin) was nowhere to be found. Not to mention JR Smith’s complete disappearance. But that’s also credit to the Pacers’ defense and them forcing bad shots by the Knicks. Paul George played really well, helping his team out in all aspects of the game and frustrating Melo. Once again Melo had 0 points in the 4th (second straight game) and once again the Pacers out rebounded the Knicks by a large margin. The Knicks need to turn things around or this series will be over as it heads back to NYC for Thursday night’s game.
The Spurs looked like the hungrier team last night. Tony Parker led the way (25 pts, 10 reb) but it was clearly an all-around team effort to defeat the Warriors and win a crucial game 5. The ball movement looked good and the energy/hustle was clearly too much for the Warriors to handle. Fatigue was evident on Golden State’s side because everytime they tried to get back in the game, the Spurs made a play on either offense or defense to stop the comeback. The Warriors high-scoring back court (Curry and Thompson) was held in check all night, combining for only 13 points. The forwards for the Spurs (Duncan and Leonard) were great, combining for 31 ponts and 18 rebounds. I don’t feel energy will be a problem for the Warriors when they head back home but if they plan on sending the series back to San Antonio, their big shooting guard combo must come through. This is how most people think the Spurs can play, it’s the reason they had the best record in the western conference. More of that great team play from San Antonio and the series ends in 6.
while thinking about eating a Bastardly Certified lunch by Bowser0
Both Miami and Memphis won deciding games last night but they both won their respective games in different manners. Miami completely dominated the Bulls while the Grizzlies mounted a comeback to edge out the Thunder in overtime. Am I the only one who has the slight feeling that these two teams will be meeting in the Finals? I’m getting ahead of myself. The Miami Heat have officially rounded back into their championship form. The Heat dominated pretty much every facet of the game against a depleted Bulls team that could no longer compete. Miami ended up winning the game 88-65 but the deciding quarter was clearly the 3rd as Chicago could only manage to score 9 points, a franchise playoff low. It’s simply too big of a task for this Bulls team to compete with the favorites to win it all, no matter how much effort is put into it. Nate Robinson was terrible (0-12 from the field) after starting the series with plenty of swagger and confidence. LeBron James on the other hand (27 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast) was great as he continued to play at MVP-level and looks like he’s completely in the zone. This series looks to be all but over as it heads back down to Miami for Wednesday night’s game.
It was surprising to see how well the Thunder started out in last night’s game, dominating the offensive side of the ball but it was coming from the supporting cast around Kevin Durant. The Thunder looked solid, leading the Grizzlies by as many as 17 points during the 2nd quarter. It was Memphis who played the better second half and overtime, frustrating Durant late in the game and forcing the Thunder into some costly turnovers to help the Grizzlies take a commanding lead in the series. The Thunder can certainly extend this series. They showed it last night during the first half how they can do so. Durant had a nice stat line (27 pts, 7 ast, 7 reb) with a clutch basket but it’s not that great considering what he’s done in other games since the Westbrook injury and the Grizzlies will certainly live with that. The Grizzlies will definitely live with Marc Gasol playing the way he did last night (23 pts, 11 reb, 6 blk) as he might have been angry with the fact that despite winning DPOY, Gasol wasn’t named part of the NBA’s All-Defensive first team. It’ll be interesting to see how the Thunder respond at home tomorrow night as their season is on the line while the Grizzlies look to strike the final blow and secure a spot in the conference finals.
If there’s a show worth staying up for, Inside the NBA is definitely one of them. It’s a shame that this show can’t be the main one covering the Finals. Anyways, here’s a video of them making fun of Wade’s choice of clothes:
Pretty good weekend in the NBA. The league has potential for all four series to go all the way to game 7. Out of all the series, the most likely to end before a deciding 7th game would be the Heat and Bulls. I get the feeling that Miami has taken Chicago’s best punches (almost literally) and despite being a bit bruised, the Heat are still in position to end the series rather quickly. The Bulls might have another mighty performance in them but i’d be surprised if the series gets to 6, let alone 7 games. Surprisingly enough, it was Chris Bosh who came out as the top performer of the last game, nearly netting a 20-20 game but coming up just one rebound shy. That kind of performance from a non-LeBron/Wade player is what makes this Heat team nearly unstoppable. Bulls’ coach Thibodeau (fined 35k) came out saying that LeBron flopped during this altercation. Did LeBron try to sell the foul just a bit? Yes but it was far from a flop considering how much actual flopping we see from game to game. Tonight’s game is massive.
The Grizzlies were in this exact situation last year, up 2-1 on the Thunder going into game 4 at home. Everyone remembers that game. The Grizzlies blew a 20+ lead and the game went into triple OT. I still remember Russell Westbrook somehow at full speed during in the 3rd OT, making key plays to help the Thunder win that game. This time it’s different, the Grizzlies are more experienced and I feel they’re more balanced to win this game and the series. Of course it helps them Westbrook won’t be playing in this game, the main focus is stopping Kevin Durant and as the series plays out, the Grizzlies are doing a much better job of defending Durant. It’s going to take a pretty big performance from KD for the Thunder to shift the momentum their way. Speaking of momentum, the Pacers have all the momentum in their series. I thought it was a great performance by Indiana, holding New York away from the fast breaks and the 3 point line, the areas that Knicks do their best work in. Amar’e Stoudemire had a nice return for the Knicks but it wasn’t enough. Too much Roy Hibbert and too much Paul George for Indiana to lead the way. I can’t wait to see how the Knicks respond with their backs pretty much on the ropes.
The series most likely to go to game 7 is the Spurs-Warriors series, another flip from the game on Friday night, where the Spurs looked like they were back to old form. The momentum shifted back to Golden State’s favor, riding clutch performance in OT to seal the win. With Stephen Curry hobbled, Jarret Jack stepped up for the Warriors in OT as the team scored the first 9 points. On the contrary, the Spurs simply went cold from the field in overtime, missing put back lay ups and open shots from the beyond the arc. Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes had a breakout performance (26 pts, 10 reb) and helped the Warrios late. Tony Parker had a good scoring performance (32 pts) but he didn’t look right, never really getting free and maybe his calf was bothering more than people thought. The Spurs just didn’t capitalize on their opportunities to close out the game in the final minutes. Back to Texas for a massive game 5 tomorrow night.
Here’s a watch party for the Knicks game on Saturday night in New York. I’m wondering if anyone can spot Moe. Chances are they didn’t want to feature him because he was wearing his LeBron Heat jersey.
Talk about a difference of games in a span of just 48 hours. The Bulls and Heat went at it last night, playing a physical game that resulted in multiple ejections from the Chicago side of the battle. But the more physical the game got, the more depleted Chicago’s team was. Miami dominated the second half, leading by as many as 45 points in the 4th quarter to even the series with a 115-78 win over the Bulls. Maybe it was because Alonzo Mourning was sitting courtside that both teams decided to play with a lot more edge. Nah, the Heat just needed to respond in a big way and they did. LeBron was great, going a perfect 6 for 6 from the field in the first quarter and played a great game all around. James’ 9 assists led the way for Miami and they included some pretty great passes like this one to ray Allen, who led the Heat scoring with 21 points. So have the Miami Heat returned to their title-favorite form? Looks like it but things are still in Chicago’s favor because they only need to win their home games to win the series. I’m looking forward to the Chicago crowd as the series heads up there for game 3 on Friday night.
Speaking of great crowds, Oracle Arena should be pretty ridiculous when Friday rolls around and the Warriors are back in town. Another great shooting night for Golden State but the difference this time was that the Warriors made smart plays down the stretch to hold off any Spurs rally. Led by Klay Thompson’s monster shooting night (8 of 9 from 3s) the Warriors bounced back to take game 2 over San Antonio and even the series at 1 game a piece. Does it just seem like bad luck for San Antonio? First they have to deal with Stephen Curry’s barrage just a couple of night’s ago but then Thompson decides to join the shooting party. Curry was relatively quiet last night but he did have a couple of highlights and some clutch baskets to seal the deal for Golden State. If there’s a team that won’t be rattled by a raucous home crowd, it’s this experienced Spurs team. Popovich is the best coach in the game and i’m sure he’ll make the right adjustments so that the Spurs can take back their home court advantage. It’s going to be a good one Friday night.
Unfortunately there are no games tonight (feels weird) but here are the best plays of the first round