Playoff Observations: Part One
I’ve been done with school for about a week now and I’m in a transition period between academics and summer jobs. In other words: I’ve been doing nothing, except watching the playoffs for this past week and it’s been glorious. I’ve been tricked into some illusions, wonderfully entertained, and amazed. Here’s just a few observations.
1.) Steph Curry: Playoff superstar…or not?
After scoring 44 points in a game one loss to the Spurs, the internet exploded in awe of Steph. He got snubbed from the All-Star Game this year and is showing us all that we made a mistake. However, in the past two games, when the Spurs’ Danny Green has guarded him, Curry has shot 1-15 from the field. In the past two games in general, Curry has shot 12-37 and 5-15 from beyond the arc. That’s hardly what wowed us all in his first seven playoff games of the year where he shot 48 percent from the field. Golden State took a game in San Antonio to steal home court in game two, but let the Spurs do the same in Cali yesterday. I have no idea what will happen in this series from now on. Last night’s game, along with the fact that Golden State struggled to maintain leads in both home games, leads me to believe that the Spurs will win the series. Curry hurt his ankle at the end of last night’s game, and it looked pretty bad. But, knowing his competitive spirit, I assume he’ll try to play. But with Green on him, will it really matter?
2.) The Bulls are fun two watch, but will lose 4-1
In the two other times that Miami has gone down 1-0 in a series during the Big Three era, the Heat went on to win the series 4-1. I think it will happen again, however, this isn’t your typical 4-1 series. Every game is a must-watch, you never know what’s going to happen. I was dumbfounded at Nazr Mohammaed’s blatant foul on LeBron at mid-court, only to have my jaw drop to the floor when he pushed LeBron to the floor afterwards. It was fun to see, the Bulls don’t care what anyone thinks. Nate Robinson accused LeBron of flopping on the foul by commenting on his “acting” ability. I can’t turn away from the screen when Nate Rob is on the court. He’s like a tiny, rabid bull in a china shop, no pun intended. He does things that look impossible: he pinned LeBron, who is almost a full foot taller than him, on a layup attempt for God’s sake. The Bulls are going down swinging behind Noah, Belinelli, Robinson, and Boozer. They’ve fought the good fight with Deng, D Rose, and Hinrich out. But sadly for lovers of physical basketball, Chicago doesn’t have a chance.
3.) It seems like the Pacers are going to win the series
Why? I don’t know, honestly. Melo has been off, JR hasn’t been the same since he got suspended for elbowing Jason Terry in the face, and Tyson Chandler is a shell of himself. Chandler has been getting dominated by Roy Hibbert, who has finally decided to play up to his contract. The Pacers took away home court advantage from the Knicks, and now have two home games that they need to win. David West knows how to lead this team and his scrappy play seems to be inspiring. I don’t see the Pacers losing at home, and that gives them a strong chance to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s all on Melo now, and as history has proven, that’s not a very good thing.
4.) The Grizzlies are legit, thanks to Russell Westbrook
Mike Conley dominated game two in Oklahoma City. That wouldn’t have happened if Westbrook didn’t get hurt, the Grizzlies caught a huge break. While you can never count a team with Kevin Durant out, I think the Grizzlies will win this series. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol have been forces in the paint and Serge Ibaka hasn’t shown up at all for OKC. The Thunder’s other big man, Kendrick Perkins, has close to zero offensive ability. Durant can go for 50 at any moment, but as long as the Grizz can shut down OKC’s surrounding players, Memphis will walk away victorious. Kevin Martin is the lone hope left for the Thunder, he has shown promise in the playoffs. He needs to go for at least 25 in the remaining games for the Thunder to have a chance. Another good thing for Memphis is the emergence of Tayshaun Prince as a legitimate threat, because for a while there after the Rudy Gay trade, he looked useless.
So, in summation, I think we’re looking at a Heat-Pacers ECF and a Grizzlies-Spurs WCF. If I had to pick the Finals right now, I’d say Grizzlies vs. Heat, with the Heat winning. But, as these playoffs have proven, what does anyone really know? Every series is one injury away from swaying in the opposite direction.