The NBA Playoffs : Day 8

James Harden getting the love from Durant and Westbrook
as they celebrate their sweep of the Mavericks
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) 

#NoLeadIsSafe #ThatsthePlayoffs
That was a long day of basketball and I loved it! The fans will be treated to another quadruple-header on Sunday. You better watch and enjoy it as much as you can because some of the matches will be ending soon. Three of the four games featured double digit leads (and collapses) that got erased. One went into overtime, the other was a thriller due to missed free throws while the last close game showcased a collapse by the reigning champions. Another day, another injured player. Kendrick Perkins of the Thunder suffered a hip injury and did not finish the game. On other news, Joakim Noah is most likely going to miss game 4 for the Bulls while Amare is listed as doubtful for the Knicks.

#missedFTs #GayMissedShot
The Clippers need to practice their free throws. They almost lost this game due to their ineptness at the line. The Clippers shot 13-30 from the line and they missed 3 fts in the last minute which allowed the Grizzlies to win the game at the end. Unfortunately for the Griz, Rudy Gay missed his jumper at the buzzer and the Clips escaped with a 2-1 series lead. For those counting, that was the second time Gay missed a shot at the end that resulted in a lose. The first time was during Game 1. Chris Paul is playing at an elite level (24 and 11) and he manages to elevate those around him. Just imagine this, Reggie Evans finished with 4 pts (8 free throw attemps) and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes, that was the Paul effect on Evans. CP3 finished the game strong and he took over in the final moments. If he took those free throws, the game would not have been close at the end.

#sweep #FeartheBeard
I am not surprised that the Mavericks lost the series but I am surprised that they got swept. I figured that the Mavs would win a game or two and that did not happen. The reigning champs were the first team to be eliminated in the playoffs. The Mavs were up by 13 in the fourth quarter and it appeared that they could force a Game 5. That's when James Harden found his shooting stroke and he was designated as the point guard and primary playmaker. That worked wonders for the Thunder as they managed to grab the lead and beat the Mavs. Dirk tried his best to avoid the sweep but James Harden was better. The Beard had 29 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assts and 3 steals plus he played PG at the end. I have always believed that Harden is the best facilitator and playmaker on the Thunder and he proved me right on this night.

#OT #AlmostChoked
The Pacers almost choked the game away. They were up by 19 at the fourth period but the Magic managed to come back and force overtime. The Pacers probably forgot that no lead was safe during the playoffs (unless you're the Spurs or Heat) and that Dwight Howard was not playing. The Pacers settled for jumpers and tough shots and neglected the post and drives to the hoop. In the overtime though, the Pacers remembered to attack the basket and the winning margin came from free throws. Glen Davis had a wonderful game (22 and 11) but he missed the tying jumper. He needs help from his front court mates but Ryan Anderson (the Most Improved Player) has struggled in the series and his averages are way below his season norm. He needs to improve those for the Magic to extend the series.

#perfect4th #TonyParkerMVP
Tony Parker is a ladies' man (plural). He is also the best player, leader and MVP of the Spurs. This is his team and he led the Spurs to a 3-0 lead over the Jazz. Parker dominated the fourth quarter going 5-5 for 16 points. His floaters and jumpers were going in early and he kept the Jazz defense on their heels with multiple variations of the pick and roll or shooting over screens. The Jazz played their best game of the series but it was not enough to deter the Spurs from winning big. Ginobili had a bad scoring game (6 pts) but this Spurs team is deep so Splitter and Jackson picked up the slack for Manu. Al Jefferson and Devin Harris had great games for the Jazz but they could have used a lot more scoring help from Millsap (9 pts) and Gordon Hayward (4 pts).

#Tweet/Quote of the Night
Skip Bayless, ESPN @RealSkipBayless: "Floyd STILL running scared for Pacquiao, hiding behind PED accusations, wanting 60% of revenue. KNOWS HE CAN'T BEAT HIM."

#RandomStuff #stats

  • Last year, the Mavs swept the Lakers (champs of 2010) and they won it all. The Thunder swept the defending champs this year. Could that be a sign that the Thunder will win it all?
  • The Heat (2007) was the last team to win a title then got swept the next season. The Mavs have now eclipsed them as the most recent dethroned champs via sweep
  • Second consecutive day where an overtime game has happened
  • Harden had 29 pts which is a playoff career-high (40 pts for the regular season)
  • JJ Redick (Duke) and Tyler Hansbrough (UNC) had a heated moment which resulted in a Redick tech. 

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