Happy May, Wildlings. Chalky White. Sarah Chalke. Chalk Full o'Nuts. These are people and incorrectly spelled coffee brands that would have enjoyed Monday's slate of playoff basketball. Each home team won, pulling two series to a tough 2-0 hole and evened one up. At least nobody tore any ACL's, to my knowledge. There was, however, something both troubling and hilarious that happened in the annals of AAA involving Amar'e Stoudemire's left hand and a fire extinguisher.
Miami Heat 104, New York Knicks 94 - MIA LEADS 2-0
The Knicks managed to keep this one closer, but Miami's too good to play OK against and expect to win. Especially these days, in playoff time. Carmelo Anthony even had a semi-efficient 30 points on 26 shots. Not enough, as Miami's offense is just too good. 35 points between Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, and Mike Miller should be illegal.
From the cryogenically frozen Seth Rosenthal at Posting & Toasting:
It didn't go very well for our Knicks, as I recall. It wasn't a blazing nosedive like the previous loss, but a solid, thorough squashing by a Miami team that just appears to be way better at basketball than the Knicks are. To my eye, it never really felt like the Knicks were in this one, even as they repeatedly clawed back from deficits. The Heat have just been operating on a different plane in Miami.
Oh, and also this:
I am an avid puncher in moments of despair, so I can relate, but...Amar'e, come on. Soft things. Don't they have soft chairs in the locker room? Duffel bags and stuff?
I'm so glad we're not the Knicks right now guys. Melo seems like the chill one. I'm almost pining for Linsanity. Almost.
Indiana Pacers 93, Orlando Magic 78 - SERIES TIED 1-1
Indy overcame a 2-20 3-point-shooting night and used a typical Orlando 3rd Quarter Collapse to right the ship at home. Paul George was positively delectable on the night (17 points on 10 shots :0) while playing great defense in turn on Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu. Somebody get that man a milkshake. The game could've used more Ryan Anderson, but he fouled out for not being Paul George enough. Advantage still Magic as the series travels south to Orlando.
Exhale and soak it in for a moment. The Indiana Pacers won. There was a time tonight when it didn't look likely, but in the end, the scoreboard rewards the Pacers a Game 2 victory to knot the best of seven series at 1-1. [...]
Unfortunately, Game 2 mirrored Game 1 far too much, because when the bench came in for the starters, the same problem arose: no leadership, no focus, no offense, no defense, and not a single rebound as the Magic used it to their advantage, taking an 18-6 run to claim the lead early in the second quarter. The Pacers had absolutely no rhythm in the second quarter even when the starters and it came through full force as Orlando outplayed and outhustled Indiana to every rebound.
Oklahoma City Thunder 102, Dallas Mavericks 99 - OKC LEADS 2-0
Friendly rims, indeed. It seemed like every bounce was going down for the home Thunder and out for the road Mavs. Dirk Nowitzki had his Dirkish 31 points on 19 shots (11-11 from the line, no big) but couldn't get a corner three or a jerky-legged fadeaway to go down in the final minute and Dallas had to jack three's for the tie. Jason Terry made not one, but two attempts at the rim only to have them clank off. It's tough to be down 0-2 in a series when you've only lost by a total of 4 points, but that's the flukey nature of the Playoffs. They'll have a chance to turn the beat around in Dallas in a couple days.
On another note, OKC and Dallas only had 13 assists each, on a combined 63 made field goals. Even for the 30th and 17th ranked teams in the league in assists, that's still really low. Quite a day for Iso Ball. Where's the Boss when you need him?
I have to think that's it for the Mavericks. They'll get a game at home, but it's hard to see them recover from two emotionally draining losses like that, decided by a combined total of four points. I'm not counting them out just yet, because if any team can overcome adversity like this, it's a veteran team who still are the defending champions. These games certainly have shown that the Mavericks CAN beat the Thunder. But I don't have too much hope.
Tonight's slate o' games kicks off with Boston and Atlanta before the Sixers interrupt them at 8:00 EST. Then the LAKERNUGGETS battle for us westcoasters. I'm going to be Zumoffing this game. Not sure if I can handle any amount of Reggie Miller or anyone who is friendly with Reggie Miller. Yurgh.