Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
Hit the jump for the liveblog…
Alright all, I’m done for the night. Mark, thanks for the invite, and Nick, thanks for also coming on. Everyone else, thanks for checking us out, we appreciate the love. Good night.
Agreed Ian. RW deserves a lot of the credit for this win, as does Harden. More than Durant.
That was fun, but that comeback was mainly engineered by Harden and Westbrook. KD made the final shot, and had a couple nice passes, but overall he had a pretty bad game shooting wise. 25 points on 27 shots is not going to win the series.
That was amazing. Valiant effort by Dirk and Jet, but KD is just too good.
ISO KD works!
Oh my Gawd. Kevin Durant. Nice play. Got that homecourt bounce, but wow, what a job to get that off.
OH MY KD
I hope they dont iso Durant. Send him off some screens, please.
You can’t not give it to Durant here.
Dirk is going to get arrested for abusing Ibaka all game.
Dirk or Jet here?
James Harden, you guys…
I simply cannot rave enough about Harden for causing that scrum. Great job by Dallas for recovering, getting the shot off, and then getting to the line.
Of course James Harden causes that fastbreak and makes the right play. I don’t know if he’s made any bad decisions up to this point. Playing like the great shooting guard we all want him to be.
I praise KD for not forcing that shot like a lot of players would. Great dish, and nice patience by Serge to draw the and-1
Ibaka’ mid range jumpshot is underrated. He has a good one.
Harden has dominated this game for OKC. And Dirk is putting on a show. This is fun. Have I said how much I like Playoff basketball?
Chasedown block by Ibaka…looked kind of like a cheetah waiting to pounce. But good on Dirk for getting to the line yet again.
The chase down block by Ibaka!!!
Dirk is probably the worst matchup at PF for Ibaka.
Dirk is exposing Ibaka as the “average at best” defender that he really is. Set him up perfectly for the spin move on that back down. Guarantee that he does a counter move to the other side next time he gets it on the block.
Harden is being aggressive. This is good for the Thunder.
Savvy move by Papa Kidd there. Get to the line for 3 free ones. Only got 2, but still effective.
Westbrook and Harden are being very Westbrook and Harden-ish.
Russell Westbrook only shoots 43% from 16-23 feet. Seems like he shoots a better %.
This is Dirk and Jet takeover time.
Durant wow. Great use of his length.
Duran forced that one up. Should have tried to make a play there instead of jacking up a 3.
James Harden is taking over now. He was relatively quiet in the first three quarter, but is trying to go off now. Good for him after taking that bad concussion against LA
Harden is so good at creating contact. It’s fun watching him go one on one and figure out how he’s going to score like he’s attempting a math word problem on the SAT’s.
Nick Collison is the ultimate hustle guy.
Derek Fisher is out there veteran leadershipping it up.
I applaud both of you right now. Well done.
Agree 100%, Mark. Also, I just pump-faked at my keyboard and Ibaka jumped.
Durant’s endorsement of Ibaka as Defensive Player of the Year is nice but totally off base. Ibaka’s an elite shot blocker but his metrics in all on-ball situations are average to bad.
Harden has 11 points on 3 shots. That is so incredibly efficient.
Yeah, he shoots a bit too much, but he’s better at creating his own shot than Durant is, so that makes sense.
/pats Mark on the back for a smart prediction
Westbrook playing amazing basketball tonight. Best player on the Thunder in this game. As I said in my series preview, Westbrook’s much improved mid-range jumper is huge in this series. He’s killing the Mavs with it tonight.
Westbrook is 10/17 from the field thus far. Durant is 6/17. See, Westbrook is crusial to the Thunder success. And a terriffic drive and dish by Westbrook. Kid can play. Don’t understand the doubters.
Durant just had his pocket picked. Hate it when that happens, gotta be secure with that dribble.
Someone needs to remind Marion that it’s not Throwback Thursday.
Westbrook finding his groove again…just like the 1st quarter.
I love it when Westbrook jumps the lane, gets a steal, then pads his assist numbers by feeding the trailer. So entertaining. Also, I just love that there’s always a trailer. That’s good discipline.
If Durant can get free off those screens…even though he didn’t make that one, watch out.
“The Thunder with a Serge of adrenaline!” +1, Mike Breen.
Random fact of the day: According to 82games.com, Nick Young gives up an 11.9 PER to opposing SGs. Very surprisingly low.
Dirk’s game is just…wow. To any tall, slow, awkward kids out there, learn from Dirk.
I like MEM better than LAL, actually. They’re just so good defensively. I mean, Gay, Allen, and Gasol? All great defenders.
I mean, both of those teams came into the Playoffs hot, so it makes sense that they were chosen a lot. But the Thunder are still a great team. Really, there’s about 4 teams in the West that it wouldn’t surprise me if they won: OKC, SA, LAL, and MEM. And Miami just lost the main contender in Chicago, but Boston could come in and steal their thunder in the East.
VC is still a serviceable player, believe it or not. Good shooter still.
I had, and still have, Thunder-Heat with Thunder winning in 6. But the Spurs and Heat are getting 95% of the championship predictions.
When Westbrook goes full-throttle in the half-court, it’s really fun to watch.
Eh, it’s just a prediction. No one is really right or wrong now because all teams have flaws. I’ve got the Spurs (extreme homer pick) and the Heat in the Finals. I had the Bulls originally, but then today happened.
My pick of the Thunder to win the title seems to be unpopular.
JET is having himself a game.
Used to. He’s been horrible for a long time now. He can be a leader, but he can’t contribute literally anything on the court.
He used to have a pretty serviceable 3 pointer. Not one of the greats, but got the job done. Besides, his role has always been team leader and get the offense into gear.
Fisher shouldn’t shoot ever.
OK, I want Delonte West to go right at Fisher. West is a capable scorer anyways, but against an older, slower Fisher he should look for himself.
Fisher in. Another horrible PG.
Durant is so long and spry. One dribble is all he needs with all that open space in the middle of the floor. Goo spacing by the rest of the team also.
Not sure! I think as the term gets more mentions the more people will google it which will lead to more traffic.
Westbrook off to a quick start. Then again, so are the Mavs.
Harden back! Glad he’s ok.
Kevin Durant with a nice chasedown block. Mark, is there any way we can get some sort of sponsorship?
Oh, Mo Cheeks is an assistant with OKC. Didn’t know that. Cool.
When this OKC offense is clicking, it’s better than any other one in the league. Yes, even Miami.
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks
OKC in 7.
The Mavs got back to their winning ways after starting out the season slow. I think they can gie OKC a good run behind Dirk and Jason Terry, who both seem to get hotter as the season gets longer. Obviously, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are also tremendous talents, who can both score with the best of them. And even though Westbrook has a lot of doubters, I believe in his ability to run a team. I think this series comes down to momentum. And how will said momentum be created? By both of these teams feeding off their home crowds. The atmosphere in both of their home arenas is downright scary in the Playoffs. Unfortunately for Dallas though, OKC has the advantage, and OKC will win a hard-fought seven game series at their own house.
Even if West guards Westbrook, Russ still has a huge advantage.
Thunder-Mavericks time. I think, even if Marion can guard Durant successfully, how the heck will Jason Kidd contain Russell Westbrook? Not to mention James Harden, and Durant will still get his buckets no matter who’s guarding him. The Mavs’ only hope is Dirk vs. Ibaka, which is a very good matchup for them.
My pick: Thunder in 6
Watched that whole game fully expecting the Pacers to take control at some point but alas, they don’t have a go to player to do that. Granger was awful (17 points on 20 shots, five turnovers), the Magic prevented Hibbert from getting good post position and Orlando played great defense down the stretch. This will be a series if Jason Richardson can be effective. Would be funny if the Bulls and Magic both advanced without their stars.
Straight thievery by Orlando, but good on them for executing when necessar.
I suggested Dragic earlier. I don’t think Nash is coming.
Vogel with a terrible job in the clutch in this game. Pacers were gift wrapped a second shot and Granger couldn’t deliver. At least he had Hill in for Collison, there. Pacers need Nash in the worst way.
That was really anti-climactic. Get him a bus ticket.
That was poorly executed.
Who gets this? Granger? Just please don’t isolate here.
Well, that wasn’t executed well. They tried to screen with Granger to free him up through help on Collison, but Orlando stood pat. Surprised they didn’t try to re-screen with David West or something.
Huge rebound by Big Baby.
Goodness Jason. He’s on fire.
Jameer is having himself an excellent game.
Hedo has the ability, he’s done it before. They’re going to keep running PnR with a combo of either those two guys and Davis. Davis will roll, then if the ball isnt given to him, he’ll go short corner. Then the ball handler will have a choice to hit Davis, hit another shooter that just rotated to an open spot, or take the shot himself. They’ve done it the whole game.
Just like that.
Jameer can do that, I think. But Duhon and Hedo have no chance.
It’s hard to do that because they’re both primarily set shooters, and it’s tough to get those kinds of guys open without a low post threat or a driver to kick out. To do that, either Hedo or Jameer is going to have to get aggressive and force the action a bit.
They need to get it to Anderson and Redick. Best offensive plaeyers they have.
Davis isn’t afraid to take a shot. Like, ever. Even more so, he tends to force a lot.
It’s odd that Glen Davis has 18 shos while Ryan Anderson has only 6.
Hansbrough is getting into his groove via the pick and roll. Got the jumper first, then on the roll got a good layup with excellent body control.
Magic still leading after three. Very remarkable. Their effort and that offense will not allow this to be an easy series even if it’s a sweep. Much like how the Pacers gave the Bulls a very tough five games last year.
I really like how Hansbrough fills his role. I always love the role players that do their job quietly, and do it well. It’s not very flashy, but the grit and hustle always intrigues me.
He should be abusing Davis and Anderson on the block, but he isn’t.
Yeah, he’s struggled there, but he doesn’t need to go off there. Granger and West are both more than capable.
Expected Hibbert to go off…but I meant offensively, where he isn’t doing too well. Still having a good game.
Jameer Nelson splitting the defense well there, then a high arching shot over Hibbert. He’s got to get going. Time to take the reigns and create for himself and others.
Hibbert’s going crazy with blocks.
And another one. His impact this game is so valuable.
Hibbert with a monstrous block on Big Baby.
Dang. Not Shump too…
Official reports say that Shump has a torn ACL in his left knee. Dangit.
Wow. Hibbert could get the rare points-rebounds-blocks triple double.
I can’t see him going anywhere else.
Deron Williams isn’t a free agent. He’s a Dallas Maverick. That’s a guarantee.
I’d much rather have Deron Williams than Stan Van Gundy.
Should the team cut ties with him, I don’t think there will be a bigger free agent on the market this season than Stan Van Gundy. He has a team with one above average offensive player scoring at will against a top 10 defense. His offensive coaching is the best in the league. He could take the Clippers to the title if they decide to fire Vinny Del Negro.
Not to mention Gordon is very injury-prone.
Glen Davis coming out party?….Nah.
Tony Allen tweeting a prayer not to get hurt:
Given the events of today, I can’t really say I blame him.
Eric Gordon’s eFG% last year when he played 56 games: .506 Paul George’s this year: .510 Marcus Thornton’s this year: .505. I get the no history thing but he’s almost as efficient as those two.
It is NOT ok that Hibbert only has 5 shots. Need to feed it into him more.
Thorton has no history with USA Basketball and he’s an inefficient scorer. Not sure how he fits with the National Team. Harden hasn’t been to any camps, either, though he has the benefit of Durant and Westbrook there to make a case for him. Afflalo is a bit too one dimensional to get an Olympic invite.
Gordon is a perfect international fit and George has tremendous versatility on both ends of the floor. Remember, next Olympics is in four years. George could be the best shooting guard in the league by then.
Indy was complaining about a possible walk by Hedo. Got beat low by Davis. Can’t get caught talking to refs.
I think Harden and Gordon (IF he’s healthy) are the two best candidates.
@Ian Oh yeah, George is huge for a guard.
Afflalo would get beat out by Harden. Can’t forget him.
Also Arron Afflalo.
I can also see George running some 3 or maybe even some 4 in Euro-ball.
Jason Richardson with a quick 6 points. “He’s heating up.”
@Mark I could see Marcus Thornton in there as well. He’s not on Gordon’s level but he is on George’s.
Once Kobe and Wade stop playing for Team USA (this will be their final year, I’d imagine) I think Eric Gordon and Paul George will be the future at the SG spot. Roy Hibbert may get some burn at center this year with Howard out.
Great wall up by Hibbert there on Big Baby. Just like you’re taught. And then a great hit by Jameer.
I miss Reggie Miller.
@Mark: I’m not denying that it’s a bummer that Rose is out, because I love seeing him play. I just feel like it’s not guaranteed that the Bulls would have gone on a run (no matter how far) if he was healthy. So you can’t blame whoever wins the title because they didn’t go through them.
I am thoroughly enjoying this game.
@Mark: I just feel like when things happen, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t be certain that any team is better than another. More likely? Sure. But it was not definite that the Bulls would beat the Sixers with Rose. It’s not certain that they win/lose without him. I just feel like you can’t forecast one way or another, so why take away from another team’s accomplishment?
Earl Clark. Roy Hibbert. Block championship. Who will get more?
@Ian But how significant is a team that wins the title if they don’t go through the best teams or their competitors aren’t at full strength?
Earl Clark had the look of Lamar Odom at Louisville. Hasn’t panned out in the NBA. Thought Phoenix should have held onto him. Let’s see if he makes a name for himself with a couple of good games.
I love Louis Amundson’s activity on the boards. Jumping 2 or 3 times and tipping it to a teammate. Not going to get stats, but it’s extremely beneficial to his team. Reminds me of Fabricio Oberto.
Chris Duhon’s in! Let’s expand our bad PGs getting PT in the playoffs list to include him, Cole, and Bibby. Toney Douglas and Steve Blake are just waiting.
Danny Granger just wants to get this over with.
I mean, I get that the season would be remembered for other things. That’s cool. I just think that an asterisk takes away from the significance of the team that won the title.
Pretty sure Hibbert is the tallest relevant (read: not Hasheem Thabeet) player in the NBA.
I don’t like the asterisk thing either, Ian.
I don’t really like the “asterisk” phrasing. But, I’m too lazy to think of another way to put it, and I can see where you are coming from on that.
Agree with Simmons, here. Not sure whoever wins this year’s title will get 100% credit.
I really like these Pacers. I think they have a chance against the Heat, even though it’s probably not going to happen. That series will be close, I think it goes 6 or 7.
Imagine how dangerous these Pacers would be if they got Nash…not going to happen, though. Maybe they could sign Dragic.
I feel like David West is going to go on a run this postseason. There’s just something about him. Not to mention the fact that he legitamitely scares me.
Just feed it into Hibbert. You aren’t going to beat the Magic in a 3-point contest.
I’m also sad. Rose is gone, not to mention Shump.
I’m sad you guys. Today has been the worst start to the Playoffs ever. Hopefully George Hill can cheer me up.
Ryan Anderson! It’s 1995 again!
OK, more predictions.
(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Orlando Magic
Prediction: Indiana in 5.
This might have been different if Dwight was playing, but like poker, we’re playing with the cards we were dealt here. The Dwight Howard is out, and the Magic are finished. The offense is run through him, and the defense is built around him, but he won’t be there. As good of a coach as Stan Van Gundy is, there is no way he’s coaching Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, and Nick Anderson to a first round victory. Indy is going to fill it up against Orlando with the likes of Danny Granger and the wonderful Paul George. Hibbert is going to dominate the paint and the Pacers will cruise to a first round victory. The only reason I’m giving Orlando a game is because of the Ewing Theory. Maybe the crowd can energize J.J. Redick to pop off for 30 again or something, I don’t know. The point is that the Pacers are going to roll, and that’s that.
I could see the Magic winning one just if Anderson and Redick get hot, however.
Pacers-Magic is the next game up. The Magic are without Dwight Howard, the engine that drives them. I think Roy Hibbert will destroy the Magic, because he will be guarded by Glen Davis (6 inch height differential) and Daniel “Raw” Orton.
My pick: Pacers in 4
We’re back. My preview for this series is up. I have the Pacers sweeping this one easily.
Aaaaaaand the Bulls just revealed he has a torn ACL and is done for the year. This sucks.
Just to update the status on Derrick Rose, it looks like his status is unknown, but torn ACL and MCL is still a very real possibility.
Ok. I’ll be back at the start of ORL-IND.
We’ll be taking a bit of a break as this game finishes. Will be back for Pacers-Magic.
Oh my God. That is so bad. Damn.
The Heat have gone Flying Death Machine on the Knicks.
Wow. So, I guess the Celtics just got an easier route to the ECF.
LeBron has 23 points on seven shots. 14 free throw attempts. Nine more than the Knicks (5) have as a team. And all of those belong to Carmelo.
Wow, Heat have gone 21-28 from the line, while the Heat have only gone 5-5. Huge discrepancy.
The Heat have a 28-5 FT advantage. LeBron has 23 points on 7 shots. These two things are related.
Wait, how many FT’s have the Heat had?
I haven’t hearsd this many whistles in a while, but LeBron is getting his. He’s dominating right now…And another unbelievable finish. Good God.
Refs have ruined this one. Every major Knick player is in foul trouble and they just gifted the Heat about eight points with a series of bad calls. A bad showing for the league in this one. Not good basketball.
That’s huge for the Heat. If Chandler’s in foul trouble it’s gonna get bad.
Oh my. That was a nice shot.
Chandler has 4 fouls? WOW.
Whoa, looks like LeBron flopped a bit after initial contact. Don’t like that as a flagrant. LeBron did the exact same thing to John Lucas III not too long ago. No difference.
It’s a foul. Just not flagrant.
These are terrible calls. League is becoming soft. James acting to make it look worse.
This is crazy.
Agreed Mark. A little heavy on the whistle.
Wade and James are getting their Jordan and Pippen on defensively right now. Fun to watch. But fouls limiting the aggressiveness of nearly every Knick player.
Miami’s defense has been tremendous this quarter. Playing aggressively, drawing charges, and forcing turnovers. They are playing what people in basketball call “The Right Way.”
These offensive fouls on Amare and Chandler are questionable.
The refs have been involved a little bit too much in this game for my taste.
Could Shane Battier be a poorer man’s Robert Horry? At least in terms of only showing up in the playoffs and making all the right plays?
Shane Battier has gone supernova, folks.
Oh, look, Jeremy Lin.
Jeremy Lin would make a huge difference for this Knicks team.
Actually, “abandon” is a bad word. “Rely less on” is a better way of phrasing it.
Anthony is getting fronted hard in the post, going to be hard for him to get going when you have LeBron working his tail off to get position, and Bosh playing Free Safety behind. NY may have to abandon posting Carmelo like they have been for the last few weeks.
Carmelo is one of the two small forwards in the league with more raw strength than James (Artest being the other). Will be interesting to see how he deals with him fronting him throughout the series.
Bosh just had a beautiful play, just needed to finish it. Set a great pick, hustled down to the block, then had a beautiful seal on the defender, then missed the shot. Reminded me of a freshman high school player I helped coach this year.
Knicks hanging in their despite an awful start from Carmelo. Big for their confidence.
Steve Novak continues to do Steve Novak things.
Yeah, but for the Heat at least you can have Wade or LeBron bring the ball up…and now Bibby has cramps because it’s been so long since he’s played. Great.
Chandler was never anything but a fifth option for the Mavericks and was extremely effective. Still extremely effective this year but he’s the third best offensive player on the floor for New York right now.
Norris Cole and Mike Bibby have both gotten PT so far. These teams are not exactly strong at point guard.
Great ball movement and a pretty floater by Mario Chalmers to start the quarter.
Knicks only down 6 despite Melo being 0-7.
Before today, if you would have told me that Baron Davis would lead the Knicks in scoring after the first quarter of a Playoff game, I might have seriously considered punching you in the face for trying to insult my intelligence.
It’s Baron Davis vs. LeBron James!
Of course he doesn’t give it back to Stoudemire for the easy dunk.
Why is Norris Cole playing?
Baron Davis is making plays and it feels weird.
That Battier 3 brings back bad memories of the MEM-SAS series last year. Battier crushed the hearts of many Spurs faithful multiple times in that series.
If Battier can keep making 3s like that one, it would really help the Heat.
Haslem and STAT jawing it up. I don’t agree with the double tech call at all. Let ‘em play. It’s Playoff basketball. Things get chippy. That’s not out of control at all.
I could easily be wrong, if Miami decides to become The Flying Death Machine that we saw early on in the year.
My prediction: Heat in 5.
Wade’s world! Yeah-huh!
Alrighty then, since this Bulls-Sixers game is pretty out of hand, I’m going to talk Heat-Knicks.
(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) New York Knicks
Prediction: Heat in 7
The Knicks have caught fire as of late, and are somewhat of a trendy pick here, with Carmelo finally (shameless plug alert) taking over Madison Square Garden and becoming the player everyone has wanted him to be. They also have a solid team around him with Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, Steve Novak, and the enigma that is J.R. Smith. All this is without mentioning Amar’e Stoudemire, who may in fact hop in Tim Duncan’s time machine and go off for a game. Also, you can definitely count on the Garden crowd guaranteeing a win or two at home for the Knicks. All this being said, Miami has the best player in basketball in LeBron James, who has stepped up his play also as of late. They also have Dwyane Wade, who is still Dwyane Wade after all. Chris Bosh will need to play well to balance out the floor, and someone else (ether Mike Miller or James Jones, probably) will need to step up and hit some threes. This will most likely be a close series, and despite the narrative against them, I believe the Heat will pull it out when they need to.
Amare starts the game out with a poster dunk on Chris Bosh.
With Rose goes Chicago’s title hopes.
Oh no…Please get up Derrick. Please get up. Dang.
Miami-New York about to tip off. Udonis Haslem starting the four for the Heat. Bosh at the five.
I know they were 5th in defensive efficiency. Shump can guard Wade, but he’s not infallible. If Amar’e ends up on Bosh, he’ll get torched, and even if LeBron and Melo cancel each other out in terms of scoring, LeBron still has the advantage due to everything else he does. And their weakness at defending the 3-point line is why I think the Knicks can win 2 games in this series.
Despite their poor reputation, the Knicks posted great numbers on defense this year and they match-up well with Miami’s big three. Shumpert can guard Wade, Chandler has proven he can protect the paint against them and though Carmelo isn’t a stopper, he’s one of the few players that can match LeBron’s offensive contributions. Not to mention Miami’s weakness defensively is guarding spot-up shooters, which is where the Knicks can thrive. It’ll be a tight series and I think the Knicks can win it. I say that fulling expecting them to get blown out today.
@Ian: Sure, but I don’t think they have a real chance to win the series.
@Nick, I guarantee it’ll happen at least once at MSG. Both of those guys feed off the crowd so much.
For the Knicks to win this series, they have to space the floor and Novak and Smith need to catch fire, even then, not a sure thing
Although, unlike Bonner and Novak, Korver has some decent ability to put the ball on the floor and pull up.
Kyle Korver’s rebirth this year has been so fun to watch. It’s always fun to watch guys like him, Novak, and Matt Bonner of the Spurs. You know exactly what’s going to happen with them on the floor, but because of other guys and spacing, it’s just so hard to stop the eventual barrage of three pointers.
What a shot by Rose.
I’m all in favor of a Korver-Novak shootout if New York can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Good point, I’m really excited about that series. Crossing my fingers that it doesn’t let me down.
I’m fine with a blowout so we can switch to Miami-New York at tip.
I feel like I want Philly to make a run just to make this exciting.
In defense of Hawes, he had a back injury early on which hampered him throughout the year.
The only players playing well for the Sixers are Turner and Brand, and maybe Thad Young.
Jrue Holiday is NOT playing well. 6-17 with 3 TOs and only 2 assists. However, he does have 6 rebounds.
Hey, does anyone else remember when Spencer Hawes started out the season amazingly, leading some to think that he finally”got it?” That was fun.
I wonder what Pippen thinks when watching Iguodala play. Closest thing we have to him in the league besides LeBron.
I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. You absolutely cannot let Korver get his feet set. He will kill you if that happens.
Chandler starting definitely bodes well for the Knicks.
Tyson Chandler will start today with the flu.
Well, basketball is most certainly a game of runs. Sixers seem to be making one here. Turner needs to keep playing well. Philly needs a catalyst on offense, as a former number 2 overall pick, it might as well be him.
Philly getting back in this with active defense. Time for the Bulls bench to come back in.
Derrick Rose has more rebounds than any member of the Sixers.
Hey, Scottie Pippen is sitting by the Sixers bench. Nice to see him in Chicago supporting the team.
Ball don’t lie? Ball don’t lie.
Joakim Noah has been out of his mind today. Tipping in shots on offense, affecting everything near the rim on defense, drawing fouls, and even creating for others on the team. He is putting in work like none other.
This small ball line-up has distinct advantages offensively but it’s hard to survive with a small forward on Joakim Noah on the boards.
Elton Brand is keeping the Sixers in this.
Joakim Noah running the ball down court at full speed might be the most hilarious thing I’ve seen all year.
Rip Hamilton is putting on a clinic on decision making after coming off of down screens. Even Ray Allen is impressed right now.
Derrick Rose doing what he tends to do in The Playoffs. I cannot stress how much I love this time of the year, or how much I love Rose’s ability to take over.
That was a beautiful off-ball cut to the rim by Holiday.
Seeing Carlos Boozer play basketball is so entertaining to me. Not because I like him, but because of the ridiculousness that is his game. His high-arching jumper is one of the ugliest in the game, and he seems to be perpetually falling down. Heck, if it weren’t for his “tough” attitude and yelling “AND ONE!” or “GRAB THAT!” on every single play, he might actually be likable. But, even though he’s not my favorite, he’s effective enough and has to come up big for the Bulls to go far in The Playoffs.
Noah only has 6 rebounds. Feels like more.
My preview of the Thunder-Mavericks series is up for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
The advantage of playing Chandler on Anthony is that he gets to focus on protecting the rim, which he did very well against the Heat in the Finals last year. I wonder if Chandler and Woodson had any meetings about running out a zone on the Heat to help mask Amare a bit. I’ve advocated the Knicks starting Jeffries to side step this problem for a few minutes and using Amare as the sixth man. We’ll see how the Knicks play it soon.
Chandler will most likely have to guard Bosh if he plays, because I think they’ll try to put Amar’e on Anthony or Turiaf.
Just a note for the Heat-Knicks matchup later today: I really hope Tyson Chandler plays like the reports are speculating. He does so much on defense and cleans up everything on offense. Sort of like what we’re seeing from Joakim Noah in this game, just without the crazy factor, and the long hair. He’s the glue for this Knicks team, so for them to give Miami any kind of run, he has to play.
Who could’ve predicted that Brand and Rip would be the leading scorers at halftime?
Rose has missed both of his end of the quarter shots today. Unusual for him but he’s still a little bit rusty. Very encouraging that the Bulls are up 11 with him out of rhythm.
Note to Joakim Noah: Don’t try to back anyone down, just be the janitor down low and clean up everyone else’s misses.
Reports out of OKC are that Delonte West is sick and might miss tonight’s game. If that’s the case Dallas has no shot. He’s their only creator at the guard spot and the only one with a shot at checking Westbrook.
Derrick Rose may be taking over control. Going hard in the paint and getting buckets. Love it when he’s being aggressive. As soon as he gets into the flow, then he can take a jumper or two. But I’d still rather he drive the lane most times.
If Gibson, Asik, and Noah can control the boards, Philly really has no chance.
To Ian’s point about Rip, his game has always been timeless. So long as his legs are working he can make an impact. Cerebral player with a fluid shot.
Rip Hamilton must think this is 2004, and he’s back in Detroit. He’s running the floor great and making a tremendous impact on this game.
Can Elton Brand be the steady scorer that Philly needs in the post? So far, the answer is yes. I’d like to see Philly try to get him more touches in the post as he goes against the always suspect defense of the one, the only, Carlos Boozer.
Noah has been great this year. Elite center.
Nice little transition bucket from Philly. Let’s see if that big dunk by Iggy can get some of their mojo back.
Call me crazy, but Rose’s injury problems may have been a blessing in disguise. Their first team, which is led is great by Rose is phenomenal. But I love how when Rose comes out, and C.J. Watson comes in, they become a faster paced team, throwing the Sixers a curveball as the Bulls switch from a more half-court style of attack with Rose.
C.J. Watson has been so incredible this season. Such a big part of the Bulls winning without Rose. And when he’s on the floor with Deng he adds a good amount of value as a spot-up shooter, too. This team is so well put together.
76ers do very well with their screen heavy offense inside the three-point arc. Hitting their mid-range shots right now. If they do that, they can win, but we all know that’s the worse strategy in basketball.
Rose clearly not 100%. But encouraging to see the Bulls score by moving the ball without him having to dominate every possession. Those who belief Chicago’s offense is all Rose dribbling in a LeBron-Cleveland sort of way are mistaken.
11 points in 8 minutes for Rip Hamilton. That’s really impressive.
Rose is so great at getting to the hole. And even if he misses, the big men will clean it up because their matchups are too busy trying to guard Rose to box them out. Noah, Boozer, Gibson, and Asik are going to continue to make a living on the boards and putting back missed shots at the bucket. And again, it all starts with Rose being aggressive.
Lou Williams will be the key to winning a game or two for the Sixers, in my opinion. If he goes off, they could steal a couple games.
Bulls are looking terrific right now. And their best line-up isn’t even on the floor. That’s what so good about this Chicago team. This unit can beat just about anybody and then they have the best bench in the league. Seriously, Taj Gibson and Omer Asik should both be top 10 finishers in defensive player of the year voting. They are masterful on that end of the floor.
Rip Hamilton seems to want to go off today. They’re going to him early and often, and he’s been effective thus far. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep it going throughout the game. He’s cutting hard and getting the ball in good spots, and then either nailing the mid-range jumper or getting to the line…also, that dunk by Noah was….WOW. Welcome to The Playoffs everybody.
Noah is such a valuable asset down low. And especially with Taj Gibson helping him out down low, pay attention as he will have a huge impact against a Sixer team that keeps on trying to cut to the rim.
Carlos Boozer has been extremely underrated this year. Out of the three major power forwards signed in the summer of 2010, he was the best one this year. The mid-range jumper he was bricking last year has been automatic this year. Per HoopData, he made 45% of his 16-23 foot twos this year and Synergy has him at 50% on post-up shots this year.
Hello all. I’m here to discuss the playoffs in this wonderful, exciting, live blog format. It’s my first time using this and so far it looks pretty darn cool. I’m very excited to get this year’s NBA Playoffs underway, as I’m sure everyone else is. And to start off things, I’ll make a prediction before the start of each series today, then provide my thoughts on the game. This is gonna be fun. Get excited. Yes, that’s an order.
(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Philidelphia 76ers
Prediction: Bulls in 4
I really think the Bulls might sweep this one. They just haven’t been too good all around all year long to lose to a Sixers squad that started out hot, but has since cooled off dramatically, and came within the danger zone of not even making the playoffs at all. I like the Sixers well enough, what with Iggy, Lou Williams, and Elton Brand being fun for me to watch; but Derrick Rose will find his groove this series and step up his game in the playoffs, as he seems to do all the time.
That was such a nicely run semi-transition set from the Bulls. Swing it from one side to the other, find Noah in the pinch post and Hamilton cuts into the paint for an easy 10 footer. Bulls really moving the ball early. Iguodala starts the game off with a couple of misses.
Via @Jose3030, here is TNT’s playoff into for this year.
Here is my preview for this Chicago-Philly series. Didn’t mention him in that post but Rip Hamilton’s production level will be something to watch for. He missed a ton of time just like Rose and hasn’t had much time on the floor with him to build chemistry. Rose can make it work on simple drive and kicks but when the Bulls start running Hamilton through some of Korver’s sets with Rose on the floor is when I think we’ll know those two are comfortable working together.
Hey everybody! I’ll be here all day discussing everything that goes on in the league today. Feel free to drop your comments to join in on the discussion.