The NBA Playoffs: Day 24: The West Finals is Set

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fans shout for joy as they beat the
Lakers in 5 and will face the best team in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs.
(Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

#WinOrGoHome #beatLA
Two years later, the OKC Thunder are moving on to the West Finals to face the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder had their revenge on the Lakers who beat them two years ago. The Thunder eliminated the Lakers in 5 games with their athleticism, fast break points and clutch shooting. The younger and fresher team (Thunder) brought their running attack into full gear scoring 30 points to the 6 by the Lakers. The Thunder Big 3 combined for 70 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists as they outplayed the Lakers Big 3 (66 points, 25 rebounds and 2 assists). The Lakers got nothing from their bench (5 points) which allowed Kobe to launch a bunch of shots and settle for isolation plays and contested shots. The Thunder played with more energy and hustle as they won the rebound battle, 51 to 35 even if the Lakers have a bigger front line. At the end, the Lakers simply lost steam while Westbrook, Harden and Durant got stronger in the 4th quarter to close the deal. Next up, the Spurs which starts on Sunday.
#GoingDownFiring #BlameGame
There is no doubt that Kobe Bryant is an excellent scorer, one of the best. But that's where his greatness ends at this point of his career. Kobe is not a good defensive player anymore and he is not a playmaker who can involve and make his teammates better. He carried the Lakers offensively with 42 points but that was not enough. Kobe is a volume scorer as he took 33 shots while Bynum had 10 shots and Gasol 14. The Lakers strength is their inside game but that disappears when Kobe takes so many shots. Kobe finished with zero assists as the Lakers had 12 as a team. There's no need to blame or call anybody out because the Thunder are a better team and the Lakers just dont have the firepower. If blame should be given, look no further at Kobe since he had miserable fourth quarters in Game 2 and Game 4 which ended in losses for the Lakers. Or the Lakers can blame the younger and better tean dynamic of the Thunder.

#BigBass #pickNpop
The Sixers had a small lead at the start of the third period. Then the Celtics caught fire, more specifically Brandon Bass who scored 18 points in the quarter to outscore the Sixers who had 16. Bass mixed jumpers with dunks to finish with a career playoff-high 27 points. He shot the ball efficiently going 9-13 and 9-10 in free throws. Bass was big tonight as he more than doubled his scoring average (12 ppg) in this series to give the Celtics a 3-2 lead. The Celtics had a complete effort on offense with Garnett pouring 20 points and Rondo getting his double-double 13 and 14. The Celtics use a lot of pick and pops with Pierce and Garnett and tonight, Bass excelled the most on that as he completely threw off the Sixers in their defensive rotations and their handling of pick and pops.

#bench #WheresIggy
The bench is a strength for the Sixers but on Game 5 they did not do enough to help the starters as Lou Williams and Thad Young combined for only 15 points. The starters did a great job by having 4 of the 5 players score in double digits but Iguodala had only 8 points. After having a starring role in the clutch from Game 4, Iggy was bad offensively and defensively. The Sixers out-rebounded the Celtics but those extra opportunities were wasted on turnovers. The Celtics were also more active at attacking the hoop and initiating contact as the referees rewarded the Celtics with 33 freethrows to the 16 of the Sixers. Lastly, the Sixers had more fast break points than the Celtics, 7-6 but they obviously need to score a lot more in transition to give themselves the best chance of winning. The series aint over yet but the Sixers need to come out aggressive in Game 6 in Philly and they need to push the ball and run at every opportunity.

#Tweet/Quote of the Night
"OKC is gonna be our rival for the Western Conference Finals. They beat LAL 4-1. Can't wait! #gospursgo" -Manu Ginobili @manuginobili

"I’m not fading into the shadows. I’m not going anywhere. We’re not going anywhere...I’m not going for that shit!" -Kobe Bryant

#Stats #News
  • Kobe had his 13th 40-point playoff game (4th all-time, MJ, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor)
  • Kobe shot 42.6% in this series and average 26 shots per game
  • Artest and Kobe got technical fouls for arguing a flagrant 1 call
  • The winner of Game 5 in a 2-2 series, wins the series 80% of the time
  • No one has won consecutive games in the Celtics-Sixers series
  • Orlando Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith
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