Playoff Pondering: April 24, 2011

IND over CHI, 89-84 (CHI up 3-1)

D-Rose is denied
(image by the AP)
No. The Indiana Pacers will not be swept. They won’t be content as a footnote to a noteworthy season for the Bulls. They’ll eventually fail to climb back from a 0-3 hole, but they don’t care. These Pacers know they can compete with the East’s top seed, and they finally showed the world they could do it end-to-end for 48 minutes. Indiana coach Frank Vogel even had this to say postgame, ““I’m still upset that it’s 1-3. We should be up in the series.” I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that these Pacers won’t go away softly. Reggie Miller would be proud.

POR over DAL, 84-82 (Series tied 2-2)

Royal touch
(image by the AP)
As some of my friends say, “Well, well, well, look do we have here!” Yes, that’s bad grammar, but who cares? Brandon Roy doesn’t. He doesn’t care that he has a new role to play for what once was his team. He doesn’t care about the dip in his season numbers. He doesn’t care about the cuts in his playing time. He no longer cares about those things because he knows his Blazers can pull the rug from under the 3rd seed Mavs. Even after being down 23 in the 3rd quarter. Even after scoring only 6 points before the 4th quarter. Roy hit the game winner and propelled the Blazers to a series tie with Dallas. Mark Cuban’s probable fuming. His Mavs might just squander another 2-0 lead. But Roy doesn’t care. He’ll just win.

 MEM over SAS, 91-88 (MEM up 2-1)
Grizzled Zebo
(image by the AP)

 All of a sudden, the Spurs are in trouble. They’ve made history of course, being the team to hand the Memphis franchise their first two postseason wins. Ever. Now San Antonio finds itself down going into Game 4 in the same building, against a squad that’s bursting at the seams with confidence. The dynasty that dominated in the previous decade is showing its age, and their odd-numbered-year-potency seems to be waning too. Add to that the fact that Zebo can now can those 3s, and, boy, these Spurs are in seriously hot water. Pop’s grizzled vets have the experience to still carry them through, but Lionel Hollins’s Grizzlies might be too pumped let this slip through their fingers.

OKC over DEN, 97-94 (OKC up 3-0)

JR Smith, you were not enough
(image by Doug Pensinger of Getty Images)
JR Smith is the key for Denver. He bounced back with 15 points and almost conjured Reggie Miller’s comeback spirit in the endgame, but no way was OKC letting him steal the show. Instead, it was Congan soph Serge Ibaka who stole the show with 22 big ones and 16 caroms. Nene who? And no, there was NO foul at the end. No contest. JR Smith made a big impression in crunch time, but he’ll need to make a bigger one if Denver wants to avoid the broom in Game 4, which might be Smith’s last in Nugget colors. 

Brandon Roy is back:

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