Alright, its damn near time to go back in the cave to resume the playoffs. But we gotta talk about the eastern conference. Both of these series have been so different from game to game. It’s rare that you see two games be so different in both series. The two western conference games have pretty much followed the same script, but these two games were night and day.
Heat (1) vs Bulls (5)
Talk about a two different games. The Heat had a long layoff after they mopped the floor with the Bucks. The “rest vs rust” theory was definitely in effect in game 1. The Heat were just out of sync, sloppy, and couldn’t hit a shot to save their lives. You’ve got to give the Bulls credit though. That team just doesn’t back down and you know they’re going to execute and defend. That’s why I picked them to beat the Nets.
They were trailing late in game 1 and Might Mouse Nate came to the rescue again. You can say Miami let it slip away but I think Chicago just took it from them. It was a great win for Chicago and they now have homecourt advantage. This is why the NCAA tourney is so exciting. In a one game scenario, anything can happen. Anyone can get beat. But this isn’t the NCAA’s, there’s more games to played.
Game 2 was a totally different story….
It was a beatdown of epic proportions. Miami came out in attack mode and stayed in it for 48 minutes. They were up by damn near 50 at one point! There really isn’t much analysis needed but I do want to point one thing. Say what you will about D-Rose having no personality, his calm demeanor is missed, just as much as his play on the court. Think about it, you have some of the most emotional players in the NBA on one team. Nate, Noah, and Gibson. All of these guys play on emotion and their emotion really got the best of them in game 2. Rose’s ho-hum attitude resonates on that team, he keeps everybody calm. Those guys would still play on emotion, that’s what they do. But Rose would help to balance all of that out.
The scene shifts to the Chi. They’re going to be really geeked and the fans are going to be as loud as they’ve ever been. But they just don’t have the firepower to hang with the Heat. You can try to be physical but the refs aren’t letting all of that extra curricular stuff after the whistle take place. I think the Heat are passed being bothered by that. I don’t believe Chicago gets mollywhopped like that again, but I think this series is going to be over in 5.
They’re all heart, like Nate says but you’ve got to put up points to beat Miami. Plus Rose is NOT coming back. You see how physical this series is? You really think he’s mentally ready to crash to the hoop and get hammered? I think not. Game 3 might be the best game of this series. Miami knows they need to get one and Chicago will do all it can to maintain the homecourt.
Lots of respect for the Bulls, but they don’t win another game.
Knicks (2) vs Pacers (3)
The Knicks got manhandled in game 1. Indiana played them perfectly, plus the outside shots weren’t falling. Knicks fans know, when them J’s aren’t falling its blowout city. The Heat showed last year that in order to beat the Pacers stout defense, you’ve got to do 2 things 1) put Hibbert in pick and roll and punish him with midrange J’s when he doesn’t step up 2) move the damn ball.
This iso ball that the Knicks play, falls right into what the Pacers want you to do. Go back and watch the tape from game 2. Melo shot a lot of contested shots. He missed them in game 1, they got bamboozled. He hits them in game 2, they win. But seriously, if you’re a Pacers fan those are the tough shots you want them taking.
Game 2 was a close game going into the 4th and then Melo went off. I want to see if Melo can keep the streak going. It was his 1st time shooting 50% or better through the entire playoffs. He’s a great scorer so he’s going to have games like that, but if he’s shooting contested shots. That’s all you can ask for.
If the Knicks want to win, they’ve got to move the ball. You make Indiana move, you can get whatever shot you want.
As for the Pacers, they need to pound the Knicks inside. Hibbert and West should get a lot of touches. Plus I’m waiting on Paul George to have that monster game. Hasn’t happen yet, but I feel like it’s coming. This is a tough series to call, but it really comes down to can NY make shots. I think they can. Indiana makes you take tough shots but NY has two of the best tough shot makers in the league with Melo and JR Starks…I mean Smith.
So I’m taking Knicks in 7.
Ok timeout is up. I’m going to go and kiss my family goodbye and head back to the cave for the rest of the playoffs…see you in a few days.
– N.D. Face