Breakdowns of each first round matchup
MIAMI HEAT lead the PHILADELPHIA 76ers 3-1.
Miami is looking like a contender right now. Aside from a game 4 loss in Philly, the Heat should have no problem with game 5 on their home court. Chris Bosh has had a pretty good postseason and LeBron James is obviously phenomenal. 76ers are getting good experience though with a young team.
BOSTON CELTICS defeat the NEW YORK KNICKS 4-0
This could have been a great series between two storied franchises. Unfortunately, the Knicks were unable to pull off a win in either of the first two games. They had chances to win both games on the road and were unable to stop the reigning Eastern Conference champions from winning. Carmelo Anthony was stellar but injuries to forward Amare Stoudemire (back spasms) and Chauncey Billups (knee) put the nail in the coffin. Boston will advance but they will face the dangerous Miami Heat.
ATLANTA HAWKS lead the ORLANDO MAGIC 3-2
Dwight Howard is putting on an epic show for the Magic. The man is an absolute beast in the paint and there is not one player in the NBA right now who can defend Howard. Unfortunately, the Magic are unable to find a consistent shooter on the perimeter. Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu are inconsistent. The Hawks are getting a lot of scoring out of their big 3 (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford). The series heads back to Atlanta for game 6.
CHICAGO BULLS defeat INDIANA PACERS in 5 games. (4-1)
Derrick Rose is putting on a “jordanesque” performance. The likely league MVP has shown the ability to carry the load when the team needs him most. Indiana is a feisty team that can get under your skin. Rose was able to overcome a lot of adversity and score. The Bulls will face either Atlanta or Orlando in round 2. Either way, both teams face a tough gameplan trying to defend Derrick Rose.
Western Conference: as expected the Western Conference is a pure battle.
LA LAKERS lead the NEW ORLEANS HORNETS 3-2
If game 5 was any indication of how good the Lakers are, look out. Kobe Bryant started slow but put quite a stamp on this game. He shutup any talk about a possible injury while he drove to the basket on two memorable occasions to lay the dunks down on a pesky Hornets squad. Andrew Bynum finally showed up and the the Lakers looked like a scary team to face in the near future. They can take care of the Hornets 4/28 in New Orleans.
DALLAS MAVERICKS lead the PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 3-2
A true dog fight in the west. Neither team will likely advance past round 2. Inconsistent both offensively and defensively–both teams are finding it difficult to win on the road. This series will likely go a full 7 games. Game 6 is in Portland tomorrow night. Brandon Roy has been inconsistent offensively (knee) and is not the threat he once was.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER LEAD the DENVER NUGGETS 3-1
The Nuggets are fully capable of steering this back their way if they can stay in the game mentally for all 4 quarters. Mental lapses nearly cost them game 4 at home. The Nuggets have talent offensively with JR Smith, Gallinari, and Ty Lawson. They just struggle to finish their plays on the defensive side of the ball. The Thunder meanwhile need to feed Kevin Durant the basketball. He is a premier player in the NBA and should get the ball when the game is on the line. Russell Westbrook is a great point guard but there is no reason for him to shoot the ball 30x–especially when the game is on the line.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES lead SAN ANTONIO SPURS 3-1
Memphis is just wearing out an old Spurs team. Not sure how San Antonio won so many regular season games. They look old. Tim Duncan thought he’d be making one of his final title chases with the Spurs. Now he’s in danger of going out in the first round. Memphis is by no means a contender but they match up well against a slow team like San Antonio.