The NBA 2014 Playoffs: Day 4 - Wizards Take 2 in Chicago

John Wall and the Washington Wizards are going back to DC with a 2-0 lead
(Image from: Associated Press) 

#OT #Beal #clutch #magical
The third OT game of the playoffs produced a 2-0 lead for the Wizards over the Bulls. Bradley Beal came out to play and he was spectacular. He had 26 points including 3 clutch baskets down the stretch to keep the Wizards close. The Bulls were leading comfortably by 10 in the 4th quarter but Washington kept trimming the lead and managed to send the game in overtime. In the extra frame, Nene took over with 6 points but Chicago still  had a chance to tie in the final seconds to go to a double OT. Kirk Hinrich was fouled with about 2 seconds to go. He missed his first FT, then intentionally missed the second one but the rebound was not recovered by anyone until time ran out for the Bulls. Joakim Noah finished with a double-double while their bench was fantastic with Taj Gibson and DJ Augustin combining for 47 points. The Bulls are in trouble of losing the series, maybe even getting swept. Odds are not in their favor but they can still recover starting with a victory on the road in Game 3.

#NorthernRising #JurassicSeries
DeMar DeRozan had a so-so debut in Game 1. He made sure Game 2 was better. How much better? DeRozan exploded for 30 points including 17 points in the crucial 4th quarter. DD outplayed the Truth who missed a couple of open threes in the clutch. This was the total opposite of what happened in Game 1 where Pierce dominated down the stretch while DeRozan struggled. The Raptors escaped with the win but they still committed a myriad of turnovers (21) which negated their monstrous rebounding advantage (+22) over the Nets. For the second straight game, Jonas Valanciunas posted a double-double. He has been their most consistent player. For the Nets, Joe Johnson gave them 18 points while Teletovic and Kirilenko gave them 18 total points off the bench. Toronto got improved performances from Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson. This has been an even series and the Nets are happy to go back to Brooklyn with a split. The Raps need to control their turnovers (20 per game) if they want to steal one in Brooklyn.

#PG24 #Pacers #1-1
The Pacers were amazing for at least one quarter, specifically the 3rd quarter of Game 2. Indy outscored Atlanta, 31-13 after halftime to turn a 4-point deficit to a 14-point lead that ballooned to as much as 25 points in the 4th. The Pacers were headed by Paul George who filled up the stat sheet and did everything for them. PG24 carried them offensively since Roy Hibbert, David West and Lance Stephenson combined for just 21 points. George Hill also contributed 15 points to make up for his subpar Game 1. Atlanta lost but they battled extremely well and should be happy to leave Indiana with a split. Jeff Teague only scored 14 points after Paul George defended him for most of the game. The Hawks need to run sets that frees up Teague a lot more, add a few more screens or decoy plays. Atlanta failed to get production from their other starters with Pero Antic, DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver combining for 13 points.

#COY #Pop #Spurs
Coach Gregg Popovich won his 3rd Coach of Year award after the Spurs finished with the best record including a franchise-best 19-game win streak. The impressive part is how Pop got the Spurs to embrace their failure last season and use it as motivation. In theory, Pop can (and should) win this award every year but since the Spurs are always in the playoffs, he is somewhat taken for granted as COY. That's simply okay with him because he only cares about his players and winning the whole thing in June. The Spurs are always among the top passers in the league because they are very unselfish and their system dictates continuous ball movement. The best part about Pop is how he keeps everyone accounted for. It doesn't matter that you're Timmy, Manu or Patty Mills. If you did something wrong (or good), you will hear about it. FYI, I ranked Dwane Casey (Raptors) and Jeff Hornacek (Suns) slightly ahead of Pop because their teams came out of nowhere to be competitive but I have no problems whatsoever with Gregg Popovich winning.

Stats #News
  • Hawks only had 13 assists again
  • Terrence Ross continues to struggle after 2 games (5 total points)
  • Paul Pierce finished with 7 points 
  • Luis Scola bounced back with 20 points after only 2 in Game 1
  • Bulls only played a 7-man rotation
#Player of the Night
Paul George (Pacers) - 27 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals

#Highlights of the Night
DeRozan Hammer!
And1 for Beal

#Tweets of the Night
DeMar DeRozan's 4th Q: 17 points on 4-for-5 shooting, 9-for-11 FTs (6-for-6 in final 20 seconds) in 8:35 minutes played.

"They're gonna sweep the Bulls. This series is over." -Chuck on the now during

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