The Morning After: First Two Night of 2012 NBA Playoffs
Clippers @ Grizzlies: Game 1 – 99-98
I have to get this out the way first – the Grizzlies bullshit too much.
On April 15, the Grizzlies lost to the New Orleans Hornets (who finished the season with a record of 21-45) to the score of 88-75. Three days later, they beat the New Orleans Hornets 103-91. No team that is a true contender for the NBA title does stuff like this. The Grizzlies have a tendency not to finish their plate. It would be like shooting a zombie in all its limbs but never in the head.
I can’t talk about this game. Just stings too much. The Grizzlies are the better team and will win the series. I’m just glad they warned me to be disappointed in later rounds.
Series prediction: Grizzlies in 6.
Jazz @ Spurs: Game 1 91-106
The Jazz are going to be a good team and Ty Corbin deserves Coach of the Year votes. Unfortunately, they are playing a rested, uninjured Spurs team.
Series prediction: Spurs in 4
Nuggets @ Lakers: Game 88-103
Andrew Bynum is legitimate. The Lakers did not need World Peace. Kobe’s being Kobe was not necessary for the Lakers to win this game. I’m still not convinced this will be an easy series for the Lakers.
Unrelated to this game, but interesting take on Meta World Peace
The Nuggets did not turn the ball over much, were only out rebounded by six, but shot only 35.6 percent for the game. Ty Lawson had a horrendous game going 3 of 11 from the floor with 7 points, 2 assists and 2 turnovers.
In Game 2, the Nuggets need to get a better game for Lawson and pray that their open jumpers go down more often. One interesting advantage for the Nuggets that no one is mentioning is that Kobe had a really hard time defending Gallinari. Also, any game where Pau Gasol is hitting three pointers feels like a fluke.
Series prediction: Lakers in 6.
Mavericks @ Thunder: Game 1 98-99
Any objective observers will tell you the entire game was controlled by the Mavericks. The game should have been done when Nowitzki completed the three point play with 3:23 left to go in the game, but two factors lost the game for the Mavericks:
1) Touch fouls. Once the whistle is blown, players should just wrap guys up. The Thunder got two completed three point plays near the end of the game because Maverick players would foul and then pull back once they heard the whistle.
2) Nowitzki turnovers. Missing the shot is not so bad because Maverick defenders could run back to cover the fast break; however, turning the ball over lets the Thunder go wild.
The Thunder have the same problems as last year, but that’s something I will go into another day. They will win this series, but won’t make it to the NBA Finals.
Series prediction: Thunder in 7.
Celtics @ Hawks: Game 1 74-83
What an ugly game. The Celtics hit zero threes for the entire game, were out rebounded by nine, and still nearly won. That’s just silly. If Joe Johnson was worth half of his $120 million contract, Celtics would have lost Game 1 by 25 points.
Series prediction: Celtics in 6. (Assuming Rondo is not suspended)
Magic @ Pacers: Game 1 81-77
One of these teams in going to offer up one of the easiest second round sweeps in NBA history courtesy of the Heat.
Series prediction: Pacers in 6.
Knicks @ Heat: Game 1 67-100
The Knicks did not play well on either side of the ball and had some terrible luck with injuries. Anthony and Stoudemire played some of the worst basketball of their careers. Iman Shumpert tore his ACL in the middle of a behind the back dribble with no physical contact from another player.
LeBron James dominated the game. Wade looks physically incapable of playing up to Hall of Fame levels again. Bosh didn’t have to do hardly anything.
The series is not done, but there’s no evidence to suggest this will not conclude with a sweep.
Series prediction: Heat in 4.
76ers @ Bulls: Game 1 91-103
Derrick Rose tore his ACL near the end of the 4th quarter. I’ve been a Bulls fan for twenty years. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Rose as he goes through the rehabilitation process. The reigning MVP has stated many times his desire to bring another championship banner to the Windy City. That same desire and drive brought him out onto the court this season while he still needed rest. I hope he takes this time to relax a bit and recuperate his mind and spirit as well as his body.
The hard part of being a sports fan is the ebb and flow. Taking the victories along with the unexpected disappointments. It will be hard to watch basketball knowing that my favorite team suddenly has no shot at winning the title, but I will because I love this game.
Series prediction: Bulls in 6.