The NBA: 2013 Playoffs: Heat, Grizz Advance!

The Battle of Marquette alumni Butler and Wade ended in Game 5 with
D-Wade having his best game in the series
(Image from: USA Today)
#OntotheNext #WoW
The Heat had a big 18-point lead in the 1st quarter and appeared headed for an easy win and a laugher. The Bulls had other ideas and never quit. Miami took their foot of the gas pedal and went on cruise control. Chicago made them pay with a 24-point turnaround that gave the Bulls a 6-point lead at the half. The Bulls were in control during the 4th quarter until D-Wade (Way of Wade) and the Heat decided to turn up the intensity and effort. Wade has been a non-factor for the first 4 games and could have rested for Game 5 due to a bad knee. Good thing Wade decided to play because he helped the Heat overcome the Bulls. Wade had 6 points, a couple of rebounds and a bigtime putback dunk to propel Miami to the win. He also played great defense down the stretch on Butler and Hamilton. Credit to the Bulls for giving the Heat a big scare and this was a tough series. If the Bulls were healthy, then maybe this could have been 7 games.

#Heart #InjuriesSuck
The Bulls battled hard without 3 starters (Deng, Hinrich, Rose) and they almost stretched the series to another game. They played with sheer determination and all heart. You could never count them out and their effort was palpable. Miami had more talent and more players. Chicago could not keep pace with all their missing players and fatigue caught up with them. The Bulls only played 6 deep and that included Hamilton playing major minutes, the same guy who did not play the first 3 games of the series. Critics and fans will lament the fact the Derrick Rose did not play even once. Personally, I thought that Rose should only play if he was ready mentally and emotionally. It does not matter that team doctors declared him physically ready. The decision should be up to Rose and if he felt he was not ready, then dont play at all. The Bulls were not going to beat the Heat even if Rose played during the series. It was safer to save himself for next season and go through training camp and preseason games. Maybe the Bulls have a better chance vs the Heat next year.

#GritnGrind #Z-Bo
The Grizzlies are going to the West Finals and they avenged their 2011 loss to the Thunder. Randolph led Memphis with 28 and 14 as he dominated the Thunder in the paint. OKC played small ball for most of the game which allowed Z-Bo and Marc Gasol to run rampant in the post. There were defensive possessions that had Durant guarding Gasol. It almost worked for the Thunder as they managed to cut a 14-point deficit down to 2 points during the final seconds. Kevin Durant tried to do it all but he was fatigued and shot poorly for the whole game and series. KD had a shot for the tie but he missed an open jumper. The Grizzlies escaped with a win due to their great defense and advantage on talent. Mike Conley has emerged as a Top 10 point guard in the NBA while Tony Allen and Marc Gasol continue to play awesome defense. The Grizzlies are definitely an elite team in the West and they have a realistic shot of making the NBA Finals regardless of who their next opponent will be.

#Harden #Westbrook #Ibaka #Perkins
The Thunder failed to advance to the next round without Russell Westbrook. They were not deep enough to compensate for his injury. Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin did not elevate their games to another level while Durant struggled with the extra defensive attention that the Grizzlies threw at him. Durant was not ready to carry the team by himself and his teammates failed to offer enough support. Now, the Thunder has to wonder if they did the right thing in trading Harden. I thought it was a BIG mistake to trade Harden at the start of last season. I felt that OKC should have at least tried one more year with their Big 3. That opportunity has vanished and next year could even be tougher. It was also a regretful decision to pick Ibaka (signed to a long contract) over Harden. The Thunder should have amnestied Kendrick Perkins last season which would allow them to have more flexibility with the salary cap. That extra money could have swayed Harden to stay and re-sign with the Thunder during the off-season.

#Stats #News
  • Wade was averaging 11 points in the first 4 games of the series
  • Butler played 48 minutes in 3 of the 5 games
  • Nate Robinson finished the series shooting 33% after going 0-12 in Game 4
  • Durant struggled shooting vs the Grizzlies, 42% from the field, 78% FTs
  • Randolph averaged 19 and 11 vs the Thunder
  • Sacramento will keep the Kings
#Player of the Night
Zach Randolph (Grizzlies) - 28 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists

#Highlights of the Night
Cole-Blooded Lefty Dunk
Prince over the Thunder

#Tweets of the Night

This tweet is going to be short for me, I have a game to get to in Oklahoma City. Anyway, congrats to Thibs + the Bulls for a great season.

Caught Russell Westbrook leaving arena. "It's a little emotional right now, " he said. "but Ill be back. I'll be back"

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