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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 01 May 2013 at 11:59pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Celtics survive to fight another day as JR Smith failed to save the day.  Instead, he went 3 for 14, missing his first ten shots.  Can they take back the Sixth Man Award from him?

The Houston/OKC game was another nailbiter.  OKC resorted to repeatedly fouling Omer Asik and forcing him to make free throws.  Forunately, it failed.  The Rockets strategy of keeping the ball out of Durant's hands is paying off.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 May 2013 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

A ton of surprisingly compeitive first round series.  #8 Houston can  beat #1 Westbrookless OKC if they win at home on Friday.   #6 GS can beat #3 Denver if they win at home tonight.  Memphis can do the same at home vs. the Griffin-gimped Clips.  Rondo-less #7 Boston has won two straight and can tie also depleted #2 NY tomorrow at home and force a nervous game 7 (no NBA team has ever come back from being down 3-0).   The #6 Hawks can tie the Pacers by winning at home and force their own game 7 showdown with #3 Indiana.  No upsets yet, but injuries and intangibles are showing how quickly the playing field can be leveled.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 02 May 2013 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I love it when teams claw back.  All the Knicks wearing black for Boston's funeral made for good bulletin board fodder but the truth is, Melo and Smith just had bad shooting nights and Boston hit their threes and d'ed up.  NY only has to win once to close out the Celtics but a strange pressure emerges when a team you thought was dead suddenly finds signs of life.  It messes you up and makes you question things. Some people call that "character building," and the Knicks are acting blase, but I can't imagine their sleep patterns are serene and peaceful right now.

I still feel NY is likely to win if for no other reason than Boston has a recent history of showing a lot of guts early but not being able to extend their old bodies into the late games of series.  They somehow shockingly got ahead 3-2 vs. Miami last year but were just too tired (and LeBron too amazing) to close it out.  They were ahead 3-2 vs. the Lakers in the finals before that but couldn't close that out, either.  Their age hasn't diminished their pride but it has made them human.  Garnett going for sixteen pts and eighteen rebounds is awe-inspiring, even against the big depleted Knicks, but without Rondo they're pretty vulnerable.  NY needs to find an answer for Jeff Green, but it seems unlikely Terry will hit five three-pointers again.  

Boston appears likely to finally get broken up this year after a great run.  I think they have virtually no chance to even compete with Miami if they somehow beat the Knicks.  But what a cool parting shot for the legacy of Garnett and Pierce if they somehow went out with the first and only series comeback victory after being down 3-0.  That would be kind of like winning the championship for this modest, beaten down Celtics team.
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 4:45am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Prediction: Rockets are going to shock the NBA tonight.  Celtics (galls me to say this) are on the verge of doing the same to the NY Knicks.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 2:19pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think it will be easier for the Knicks to close out the Celtics than it will be for OKC to finish the Rockets.

OKC do not have enough offense to beat Houston with Westbrook out and Durant being double and triple teamed.  The rest of the Thunder will have to step up big time for that to happen.

Re the Knicks, it is hard to imagine both Melo and Smith having an off night again given how important this game is.

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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

So far, who should get the Coach of the Year award?

Maybe PJ Carlesimo for getting the Nets back on track after Avery Johnson left or Kevin McHale of the Rockets for getting the youngest team in the NBA to the Playoffs?

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 03 May 2013 at 4:54pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Might be Mark Jackson for making Golden State relevant...but then again, I've heard George Karl's name too.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 May 2013 at 10:39pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

No idea on coach of the year... seems like a hard award to hand out as what coaches do is such an intangible, varied thing from team to team.  I wish they'd vote coach of the year including the playoffs because whereas I understand the distinction between regular season MVP and playoffs MVP, a team's performance in the playoffs certainly seems relevant to how well they were coached.  For instance, the Lakers went 28-12 in their last 40 reg. season games, which was big improvement, but got swept in the first round, arguably because D'Antoni overplayed the starters, which may have helped cause Kobe's injury and exhaust the remaining players.  The coach should be rewarded for strategic decisions that ultimately helped the team go as far as they possibly could.  I'm not saying the award should automatically go to the coach of the world champs, but I do think an underdog that way exceeds expectations in the most contested time of year probably deserves some extra consideration versus some team that wins 60 games but loses in the first round.

Gutty comeback win for OKC today.  Durant's 35 pts, 15 reb and 6 assists says it all... the guy wants it and hit a big shot at the end.  Almost blew it with the stupid three point shot foul, though, but lucked out.  Memphis is going to give OKC all they can handle in this series.

New York's loss to Indiana seemed as much a result of their banged up state and quick turnaround after the tough friday night game in Boston as anything.  Carmelo tried hard and 27 and 11 isn't bad, but 10 for 28 suggests the shoulder he reaggravated in game 6 is a problem.  Smith's 4 for 15 also doesn't bode well... those two had been leading the charge but didn't play their best late vs. Boston.  The Knicks are in trouble if they can't produce.

I loved the heart of Boston, coming back from 26 down with 9 minutes to play all the way back to only down 4 near the end, but they just don't have what it takes anymore to consistently compete with the elite.  Time to bulldoze the team and I have a feeling they will.
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 06 May 2013 at 2:16am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The fact that you even hear discussion about buying out Paul Pierce is indicative that it's a new day in the NBA...a changing of the guard, no pun intended.  It happens.  Kobe, Pierce, Garnett, Ray Allen, Steve Nash...that generation is over, it's Lebron, Carmelo and KD's time now.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 06 May 2013 at 8:48pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Holy crap!

Bulls, who are down 2 starters in Hinrich and Deng, take the Heat in game 1.  Shocked is an understatement, but I am damn happy regardless!

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 06 May 2013 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

It'll be a long series...I'm guessing Heat in six.  But Chicago will be in the games pressing them the whole way.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 07 May 2013 at 5:43am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The Heat definitely showed some rust.

If Derrick Rose plays in the series, will it hurt or help the Bulls?
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