Grizzlies beat Spurs (4-2): A Series in Review

The youthful Grizzlies beat an aged Spurs team in a 6 game series where the Grizzlies never trailed in games for the entire series.

Zach Randolph shined in this series putting up amazing numbers. In the wins Randolph averaged 23 PPG and 9.75 RPG. Randolph seemed unstoppable on the offensive end and has found a home in Memphis. In the Game 4 win, which was the greatest winning margin, Zach Randolph had a +/- of +12 and in the series clincher Randolph put up 31 points, 11 rebounds, and had a +/- of +14.

Marc Gasol put up 15.5 PPG, 10 RPG, and a +/- of +9.75 in the wins. The Grizzly big men showed their brawn all series long.

This series brings up the concern about the Spurs aged stars. Their big three (Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli) have an average age of 32 and Duncan is 35. The Spurs just seemed slower out on the court. This aged line up looked like they should have been checking in to an assisted living facility instead of the game.

It starts to conjure thoughts of Duncan retiring. He is 35 and has been in the league for 14 years. In this season he had career lows in points, rebounds, defensive rebounds, made field goals, free throws made and attempted. He has been on a steady decline in PPG for the past 4 seasons until this season where it dropped 24.6% from a previous career low last year. His rebounds dipped below 10 a game for the first time in his career after barely staying over at 10.1 RPG the previous season.

Ginobli had a solid series and had an amazing shot to bring the Spurs closer in their Game 5 overtime win. However, he is 33 and is not ageless.

It seems like the Spurs will need to do some major rebuilding because their better days are behind them.

Mavericks beat Trail Blazers (4-2): A Series in Review

The Mavericks finally got past the first round beating the Trail Blazers in 6 games.

Dirk Nowitzki dominated the series putting up 29.75 PPG, 9 RPG, and a +/- of +12.5 in the wins. In this series, his offensive prowess showed why he is almost impossible to guard.

Jason Kidd provided a major jolt of energy at the point guard position. As a good point guard should, Kidd facilitated putting up 13.25 PPG, 8 APG, and had a +/- of +9.25 in the wins.

Jason Terry was huge off the bench putting up over 20 points in 2 separate games and he put up 22 points and 8 assists in the series clinching Game 6. In the wins, Terry put up 15.5 PPG, 3.25 APG, and had a +/- of +12. His +/- was the 2nd highest, in the wins, behind Nowitzki.

Shawn Marion also provided a solid effort at small forward putting up 10.5 PPG and 4.5 RPG, in the wins.

The trade for Gerald Wallace by the Blazers proved prosperous averaging 15.17 PPG and 9.17 RPG during the course of the series and put up 32 points and 12 rebounds in Game 6.

In the wins, the biggest contributor on the Blazers was Brandon Roy with 20 PPG, 4.5 APG, and had a +/- of +11.5. In Game 3, Wesley Matthews had a breakout performance with 25 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals. In Game 4, LaMarcus Aldridge put up 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Both Game 3 and Game 4 were wins for the Blazers.

The Blazers look to have a promising outlook for the upcoming years with the young players stepping up.

Lakers beat Hornets (4-2): A Series in Review

The Lakers played traditional Laker basketball keeping the 6 Game series win stressful, yet pulling it out decisively.

The Lakers struggled through their series as they always do dropping not only Game 1 but the jaws of everyone watching.

The Lakers proved why they have the most well balanced team in the NBA. In the 4 wins they had at least 4 players in double digits.

Kobe had true Kobe form in this series. Among the starters he was the leading scorer, however, he was 4th in APG, the only player with less was Andrew Bynum. As for rebounds, he was also 4th amongst starters, the only player having less rebounds was Derek Fisher.

In the New Orleans wins, Chris Paul avergaed 30 PPG, 10 RPG, 14.5 APG, 3 SPG, and a +/- of +8. He showed why he is still one of the most dominant point guards in the game.

The Lakers look like they are on a collision course for the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. For the Lakers to win they need to be lightning and show up before the Thunder. They can’t afford to lose a home game against a Thunder team who last year gave them a run for their money and are now greatly improved with the addition of Kendrick Perkins.

Hawks beat Magic (4-2): A Series in Review

The Hawks beat the Magic in 6 games in a series marked with great coaching.

The Hawks let Dwight Howard do whatever he wanted. The Magic’s offensive scheme is designed around teams collapsing around Howard and him kicking it out to the outside for 3-pointers.

The Hawks passed their basic math classes and realized that to get to 100 points, which is an average score for an NBA team, you need to score 50 2 point shots but only 33 (rounded) 3 point shots. That is an extra 17 possessions the Magic would need to get to 100 points. If any NBA team gets 17 extra possessions to score they will win. This almost acted as a turnover without actually turning the ball over.

In the loses, Dwight Howard averaged 30.25 PPG and 16.5 RPG. In the decisive Game 5 victory he only had 8 points and 8 rebounds. Dwight Howard showed that despite being one of the most dominant players in the NBA he is better used when he is not being used.

On the Atlanta end of the series Jamaal Crawford and Joe Johnson were the most influential on the outcome for the Hawks.

In the wins Joe Johnson put up 22.25 PPG, 7.25 RPG, and 3.75 APG. Jamaal Crawford put up 22.5 PPG, 2 RPG, 3.75 APG in the wins.

The Hawks are looking good and match up well against the Bulls.

Thunder beat Nuggets (4-1): A Seires in Review

With a defensive Serge and a Durantula bite the Thunder clinched a spot in the Western Conference semi-finals.

In Game 5 Serge Ibaka exploded on the defensive end putting up 8 rebounds (4 defensive), 9 blocks, and even 2 steals. Serge Ibaka has never been an offensive powerhouse, in fact he only put up 1 point in the entire game, however, during the game the Nuggets were stifled if they tried to drive the ball into the paint.

Also, Kevin “The Durantula” Durant exploded in the fourth quarter finishing with 41 points (also did that in Game 1), 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and shot 92 percent from the free throw line. Kevin Durant rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter after TNT’s announcers were denouncing Durant saying he was having an off game, but then the Durantula poison set in and he took a Thunderous responsibility on his shoulders and powered through.

Durant averaged 32.75 PPG and had a  +/- of +8.5 over the 4 wins. Westbrook averaged 22 PPG and had a +/- of +8.75.

The Thunder showed why they have a serious chance to take the West even though they are a 4 seed. The next match up will be either the Spurs or Grizzlies and it seems likely the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have a horrible road record and do not match up well at all against the Thunder. If the Spurs manage to win the series through some peculiar providence those old legs will be tired going up against a young Thunder team. A grueling 7 game series does not look good for a Spurs team that is already showing their age.

The Thunder look to have a promising series ahead of them and might be the favorite right now to make it to the finals out of the West.

Heat beat 76ers (4-1): A Series in Review

The Heat shined in their series, showing the most dominance of any Eastern Conference team in route to a 4-1 series win.

Despite uninspired starts against a team the Heat were head and shoulders above, the heat dominated. From the 2nd quarter on in the 5 game series the Heat outscored the 76ers 368-309. In the first 3 games of the series the Heat outscored the 76ers by 49 points. In every game the Heat outscored the 76ers with the lowest being 2 points in game 5.

The Big Three average 66.4 PPG, 29 RPG, and 12.2 APG over the course of the series. LeBron James average 24.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 6.2 APG. Chris Bosh averaged 19.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and .8 APG. Dwyane Wade averaged 22.4 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and 5.2 APG.

The Heat showed in this series that when they show up they are nearly unstoppable. Even though they sleep walked through the first quarter they still won 4 games showing dominance for 3 quarters.

Every team has had their struggles. The Celtics could barely win at home against the Knicks and had a hard time closing them out in the fourth game. The Celtics were also playing a depleted Knicks roster, whose injury troubles greatly affected the series (https://journalisticjustice.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/celtics-sweep-knicks-a-series-in-review/). The Bulls showed their futility against the Pacers winning 3 of their 4 games by 6 points or less even though the Pacers were 8 games under.500 in the regular season (https://journalisticjustice.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/bulls-beat-pacers-4-1-a-series-in-review/).

The Heat showed subtle glimpses of dominance in their way to a 4-1 series win against the 76ers. If they can continue this dominance into the later play off series they can make a deep run and possibly live up to the massive ring promises LeBron made.

Bulls beat Pacers (4-1): A Series in Review

The Chicago Bulls, the team with the best record in the NBA, barely beat the Indiana Pacers, a 8 games under .500.  This series shows why the regular season is designed for players and the play offs is designed for teams.

Derrick Rose the single most dominant player in the NBA this year which is why they pulled out the best record. However, when you look past Rose and Boozer there isn’t much depth on their roster.

Joakim Noah would be considered the third best player on the Bulls and Noah is a scrapper and not a superstar. He gets all his points off of offensive rebounds. Noah is not a reliable threat on the court.

Then there is Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, Luol Deng who are again solid role players. However, if you move past them who’s their seventh best player? Keith Bogans? He’s their starting shooting guard. How does Bogans match up against the star shooting guards in the East? It seems like they’re going to play the Hawks in the second round. There is no way Keith Bogans can match up with Joe Johnson. Will the Bulls move Rose over to guard Johnson and have Rose use up energy guarding a bigger, more athletic player. Even if they do move Rose over will Bogans be able to handle Kirk Hinrich and Jamaal Crawford at point guard? The Bulls were lucky enough to face a team who’s best shooting guard is Dahntay Jones.

The Bulls better be apprehensive because they might be facing Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade, or even Kobe Bryant later on in the play offs. They better be aware of their weaknesses and not get cocky after this lackluster 5 game series win.