Play-off Pondering: April 23, 2011

LAL over NOH, 100-86 (LAL up 2-1)
Pau's back!
(image by Chris Graythen of Getty Images)
Pau Gasol was Gasoft in the first half, and then he went all gassed-up in the 2nd half. He finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds to support KB24 in demolishing the New Orleans Hornets in Game 3. This could signal the Lakers finally getting into the postseason groove, and don’t be surprised if they sweep the next two games. Chris Paul and Carl Landry combined for 45 points, but it was hardly enough to put up a challenge since the Hornets bench, which was the primary reason for their Game 1 shocker, only managed 9 points in all. Don’t expect this to go any further than the fifth match.

BOS over NYK, 113-96 (BOS up 3-0)

NY has no answers
(image by Nick Laham of Getty Images)
So I thought the Knicks would put up a fight at home. They’re from New York after all. But that didn’t stop Game 3 from being a yawner. The reason? Melo’s hot hands cooled down at home (4-16 shooting), Amar’e was a shell of his real self and nobody stepped up in the absence of Chauncey Billups. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo just zapped the shorthanded Knickerbockers and sent them into the dreaded 0-3 hole, from which no team has ever climbed back to win the series. Don’t put your money on the Knicks making history. They might not even make it back to Boston for Game 5.

ATL over ORL, 88-84 (ATL up 2-1)

(image byKevin C. Cox of Getty Images)
Jamal Crawford banking in the winning basket was not the most interesting story in this one. Instead, his teammate, Zaza Pachulia, arguably made the strongest hits, right on Jason Richardson’s head! They were both thrown out, and, consequently, will miss Game 4, which the Hawks could use to build a commanding 3-1 series lead. Howard, once again, anchored the Magic’s play on both ends, and, once again, didn’t get a lot of help. I still believe this series will go the distance, but unless Superman is helped by his less-than-super friends, then Atlanta might not even need a Game 7.

What REALLY happened between Zaza and J-Rich? Watch for yourself:

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