The NBA: 2013 Playoffs: On to the Next Round

Chris Paul and the Clippers lost 4 straight vs the Grizzlies to fall in the 1st round.
Paul will be a free agent this summer. Could this be CP3's last game as a Clipper?
(Image from: Joe Robbins/Getty Images) 

#SteelCageMatch #GritNGrind
Too bad there will be no Game 7 between the Grizzlies and Clippers this season. Memphis won 4 straight, all by double digits and they will face OKC in the next round. This was a very physical game (almost looked like wrestling) that included a couple of flagrant fouls, multiple technical fouls plus ejections from Chris Paul, Zach Randolph and Matt Barnes. One incident involved Griffin and Z-Bo where both players wrestled to the ground. The Grizzlies had more scoring balance (7 players in double figures) and they simply played better defense. The Clippers missed Griffin who only played 14 minutes due to his injury. Coach Vinny tried everything in his roster including playing Grant Hill 20 minutes while Jamal Crawford got stuck on the bench. Overall, the Grizzlies knew their identity and had a game plan. As for the Clippers, they relied too much on Chris Paul and their defensive rotations were erratic.

#thunderup #k-mart
The Thunder survived the 1st round without Westbrook. It took them 6 games to dispatch the Rockets with Kevin Durant leading the way and doing everything for the Thunder. KD finally had some help from Kevin Martin who burned his former team with 25 points on 7-13 shooting. K-Mart only had 19 points combined in their previous 2 losses. The Thunder bench was instrumental in closing out the series with guys like Fisher and Nick Collison stepping up and contributing offensively. They outscored the Rockets' bench 46-11. Yikes! It was a rough series for Jeremy Lin who has a chest contusion that prevented him from playing Games 4 and 5 which the Rockets both won. Lin played 13 minutes and had 3 points while the Rockets lost. James Harden struggled shooting again (7-22) and he shot below 40% for the series. Harden mostly settled for isolation plays that centered on step-back long jumpers.

#knickerbockers #finally
No luck of the Irish for the Celtics in Game 6 as the Knicks thwarted their final push. The Celtics trailed by as much as 26 points before making a furious rally that allowed them to cut the deficit to 4 points with around 3 minutes to play. Carmelo Anthony was on a massive shooting slump from beyond the arc (missed his previous 19) but he made his last attempt and that propelled the Knicks to hold on for the series win. The Knicks finally won a playoff series since 1999 thanks to a good game by Iman Shumpert (my X-Factor for the series) who scored 17 points and harassed Paul Pierce to go 4-18. Boston trusted and played only 7 guys which lacked enough scoring punch to hang with the Knicks. The Celtics will go to another summer with questions about Garnett and Pierce. Is it finally time to move on from KG and PP?

#brickfest #UglyGame
The Hawks only scored 9 points in the 2nd quarter to finish with 29 at halftime. At one point, they missed 17 straight shots. Part of that was due to the Pacers' defense and the other part was their ineptitude on offense. The Hawks relied on isolations and tough shots and they miserably failed on both. The Pacers happily took advantage of that and they built a lead of 17 points before holding on for the series win. Paul George had a bad game with just 4 points but his teammates picked up the slack. David West, Roy Hibbert and George Hill combined for 59 points. Nobody stepped up for the Hawks as they only had average games from Horford and Josh Smith. Jeff Teague had horrible shooting (33%) for series while Kyle Korver went 0-7 from downtown in their most important game of the season. Josh Smith might have played his last game as a Hawk.

#Stats #News
  • Tony Allen had 19 points, a playoff career-high
  • Grant Hill played only in Game 6. He had 4 points in 20 minutes
  • Jeremy Lin played 4 games in the playoffs. He averaged 4 points in 21 minutes
  • Reggie Jackson is averaging 17 points without Westbrook
  • Paul Pierce shot 37% during their series vs the Knicks
  • Melo shot 27% from three in their series
#Player of the Night
Tony Allen (Grizzlies) - 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. Plus great defense!

#Highlights of the Night
Wresting Match! 
Jumpin' Iman
KD and1

#Tweets of the Night

Congrats and the Grizzlies for the big win tonight and moving on to the next round.

Vinny's already played 12 players and tried 235 combinations tonight. This might be his bad coaching opus.
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