The news today wasn’t so much about the Thunder looked dominating or how NY is now a lost cause, but rather two teams that were playing tonight without their star point guard, respectively. By choice, Rajon Rondo did a selfish act (see Amare Stoudemire), while Derrick Rose didn’t have a choice. Tonight, the Bulls will be Rose-lee (they were a good 32-7 without him during the season) and the Celtics look for a Game 2 victory without their engine. While the Bulls have an easier path than the Celtics, their team is just better, deeper and the 76ers are just a young buck that has exceeded expectations. Tune in to see two different games or really just playoff basketball. Is there any other reason not to?
Below is a recap of last night’s game.
Miami Heat (104) vs New York Knicks (94)
Heat leads series 2-0
The good news is that the Knicks didn’t lose by a dismal number like Game 1. The bad news is, well there is so much, so where do you want to start. They figured out how to get Carmelo Anthony in the flow, a good start for the Knicks. Melo had 30 points, while Stoudemire had 18 points and seven boards. Tyson Chandler, who has been battling the flu, looked pretty good and had a nice night with 13 points and seven boards. And the Knicks out- rebounded the Heat and kept their fast break under control. But it wasn’t enough. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 68 points while James looked more and more the runaway MVP of this season. Then to top it off, at the very end, Stoudemire walked through the tunnel, punched a case that had a fire extinguisher in it. Paramedics ran down the hallway, treated his hand, but he left with his hand bandaged up and in a sling. There is no good news coming out of that camp and it looks more and more like he will miss Game 3. He later apologized for his irrational behavior, but the damage was already done. If the series wasn’t over before that, it is certainly over now. Not because Stoudemire is a the player for the Knicks, but he is essential enough to do damage against the Heat. Chandler is not the main guy, but his defense alters the other team’s shot, so he is essential as well. Everyone has a role and when you don’t do you role or there is a lack of accountability, it leaves gaping holes for others to fill. Stoudemire would be the third starting Knick to miss some time in the playoffs this season. Melo better bring out his safe the world mentality, because right now, the Knicks are falling and falling fast. Next game is on Thursday, 5/3 at 7:00pm EST.
Indiana Pacers (93) vs Orlando Magic (78)
Series Tied 1-1
Could Orlando really win a series without Dwight Howard? I don’t think so. Was Game 1 a fluke for the Magic? Maybe. They used their magic (all pun intended) for Game 1. The Pacers, facing going back to Orlando down 2 games to none, refused to let that happen. Second half, they just outworked the Magic and got all the loose balls. Ultimately, it was the difference. David West, who spurned an older Celtic team for the young and up and coming team Pacers, lead the way with 18 points and 11 boards. All-Star Danny Granger only had 18 points and shot a 7 for 21. Glen Davis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 boards. Basically, when the third quarter started, the Pacers hijacked the game and took control of the game. They out scored the Magic 30-13 in the third and never looked back. Next game is Wednesday night in Orlando, at 7:30pm EST.
Oklahoma City Thunder (102) vs Dallas Mavericks (99)
Thunder leads the series 2-0
Where are the defending champs? I haven’t seen them since last year. Even with a shorten season, their season was in a disarray. They barely made the playoffs and now they are staring into a 2-0 deficit. Like the Knicks, they get to go home to try to fix something. And can someone play some defense? Russell Westbrook is just running clinics. Game 1, he had 28 points. It all got lost when Kevin Durant made the game winner, but it was the plays before that gave Durant a chance to knock down the game winner. Game 2, Westbrook picked up where he left off in Game 1 and poured in 29 points, while Durant added 26 points. James Harden, who is only eight days removed from that vicious elbow from World Metta Peace, had 15 points, but no bigger were the four free throws he hit near the end of the game to seal the deal. Again, the Mavs were led by Dirk. But I think that it is showing that having only one Dirk out there is not enough to win games. Dirk had 31 points but didn’t get the friendly bounce that Durant got in Game 1, and the Mavs are now going home to Texas down 2-0. They say everything is bigger in Texas. Hopefully, the rims are bigger for the Mavs so that whatever they throw up, it can go in. Next game is slated for Thursday, 5/3 at 9:30pm EST.