The NBA Playoffs: Day 12: Heat take talents to 2nd Round

Dwyane Wade dunks all over the Knicks and the Heat
will move on to play the Pacers on Sunday
(Photo by Getty Images)

#BringOnthePacers #GoneFishing
Carmelo Anthony is one heck of a scorer, one of the best in the NBA. Unfortunately, that is all he is right now. He is not an elite defender and definitely not a playmaker. He cannot make his teammates better and he cannot elevate his team by just shooting the ball (Melo took 31 shots and had 1 assist). On the other hand, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are playmakers and elite defenders (35 total shots, 10 total assists and 3 blocks). That's what separates them from Melo aside from the willingness to pass the ball. The Knicks fought their hardest but they simply dont have enough firepower and ball movement to counter the Heat's every attack. They also had so much bad luck in losing key players to nasty knee injuries. Jeremy Lin still did not play and Amare was still hampered by his hand injury. Amare was ineffective offensively (partly not his fault because he only took 7 shots) and he fouled out early. The Knicks only had Melo and JR Smith and they were clearly not enough to match the Heat's Big 2 and Bosh who combined for 67 points. The Heat are taking their talents to the next round. Bring on the Pacers!

#NotGoingHomeYet #injuriesSUCK
The Grizzlies must have dreaded being up by 24 with so much time left because of what happened in Game 1. On cue, the Clippers frantically made a comeback and got as close as 6 points. Mo Williams shot the Clippers back into the game and ironically, his missed shots killed the comeback chances as well. Every fan in the building was shocked and scared when the Clippers started to cut the deficit. Even the Grizzlies appeared jittery and nervous. Rudy Gay threw up an airball while Marc Gasol missed the entire hoop on a short jumper. Lucky for the Grizzlies, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were slowed down by injuries. Paul did not finish the game while Griffin labored up to the end. If Paul finished the game, then maybe a 2nd round match with the Spurs would be the trending topic. Hopefully, both guys will play in Game 6 and finish the series back in Staples Center. This has been the toughest and most physical series in the first round. There was a sequence where Gasol stepped on Griffin's shoe and destroyed it. Griffin had to get new shoes. Even the equipment could not handle the punishment dished by both sides.

#WaitingGame #RestOrRust
The Spurs and the Thunder (both swept their opponents) still dont know who they will be facing in the next round as their potential opponents are still slugging it out. Both teams could have at least a week of rest before playing their first games in the next round. Does the long layoff help or hurt the teams? In the Thunder's case, it should help their team recover from some injuries. Kendrick Perkins had a hip injury versus the Mavericks and the extra rest should allow him to play healthy in the next round especially if the Lakers advance. They need Perkins to battle Bynum and Gasol. The extra rest could work more wonders for James Harden who missed some games before the playoffs because of concussion symptoms. As for the Spurs, the rest should benefit them too. They have older players (Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Jackson, Diaw) who would never say no to additional rest. So, when does the "rust" factor come in? I think the rust only comes into play when you have a young and inexperienced team who have never been in the playoffs before.
Both teams have substantial playoff experience from the past two years so only the young portion can be applied as a description. If both or one of them loses Game 1 even with home court advantage, then maybe the "rust" factor deserves the credit.

#Tweet/Quote of the Night
"The last few games JR has been shooting like he's back in China trying to miss the playoffs again." -Brian Windhorst, ESPN @WindhorstESPN

#RandomStuff #stats
  • Wade won his personal scoring battle against Bibby, 19-10
  • James and Anthony both scored 138 points for the series
  • Clippers have been called for 12 technical fouls while Grizzlies have 7
  • Knicks are 31-40 with Amare and Melo plus 1-7 in the playoffs
  • Griffin recorded his first playoff double-double, 15 points and 11 rebounds
  • DeAndre Jordan (6'11") played 19 minutes but got zero rebounds 
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