The eminently captionable OKC Thunder.
Despite the Derrick Rose frenzy that was going on in Chicago and Philadelphia, there were actually three other games that happened yesterday. And two of them were quite good! Let's check in with some playoff final scores as we go around the league, playoff style.
Iman Shumpert going down with his torn ACL was the saddest thing about this affair, which says something. LeBron James is the best, Carmelo Anthony is the worst, and Juwan Howard is still employed. Man, this one was close for about a minute and a half. I hope the series ends up being better.
From a dazed and confused Seth Rosenthal at Posting and Toasting:
Miami just kept getting calls and making shots, and the Knicks looked utterly, humiliatingly helpless against the aggressive defense. They had twelve turnovers in the second quarter alone and were behind by 23 at the break. I have seen some horrible stretches of New York basketball, but I'm not sure I've ever seen them get dominated quite like that. The whistles-- some weird early technicals and questionable fouls/non-fouls-- didn't help, but the Heat hardly needed assistance from the referees to dismantle the Knicks.
That's surprising. The Pacers aren't exactly an imposing force but a tanktastic Magic team without Dwight Howard? But Orlando stayed close all game and when Jason Richardson (finally) got hot down the stretch, they had enough of a cushion to withstand the late Indy push. Danny Granger's travel was really dumb. Superstar. Still expect the Pacers to come away with this one, but this series is a whole lot more interesting, not in the least bit because of the fallout from Derrick Rose's injury.
The Pacers may be favored, but they're in a real fight now, losing home court advantage and slipping to 0-1. The Magic still provide a clumsy matchup for the Pacers, and it was premature of people to write Orlando off. The contested game didn't seem out of the realm; it was certainly plausible the Magic could hang tough, but the Pacers would still ride a confident series win, but the inexplicable offensive inabilities and poor adjustments by Frank Vogel turned an ugly win series into what could become a truly ugly series.
The Pacers will find ways to game-plan for the Magic's varied pick-and-roll attack, and Indiana isn't likely to shoot 59.1 percent from the foul line again in this series, so the Magic certainly have their work cut out for them. They must find ways to keep the offense from stalling when Nelson exits, for example, and it's imperative that they involve Ryan Anderson (five points on 2-of-7 shooting in 36 minutes) more. The chess match between coaches Frank Vogel and Stan Van Gundy certainly bears watching going forward.
How good is Kevin Durant? That was a TERRIBLE shot. Shawn Marion was draped all over him, forcing KD to an awkward angle going the wrong direction and, just for good measure, Durant decided to shoot it with one hand. And it hit the front rim in the softest of bounces, allowing for shooter's roll to magnetically plop it into twine. Terrible shot, but it went in so Boss, I guess. Tough break for the reigning NBA champs. Also, while it's not quite as good as last season's THUNDERNUGGETS, THUNDERMAVS isn't a bad series name.
DURANT OVER TWO HANDS DRILLING IT LIKE A G WITH NO REMORSE
And now I shall read some Clash of Kings and be mad that I'm being ignored. Forget basketball for tonight. I wish drinking made me feel better.
Far from a boring day in basketball, all in all. Talk day one of the playoffs here and speculate on day two! WHO'S EXCITED TO SEE SOME PLAYOFF SPEEZY!?!