May 2, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard George Hill (3) shoots against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

Taking Control

Over the weekend, there were plenty of games. Some people were disappointed, while others rejoiced. But ultimately, many teams are now in the driver seat and looking to close out series, quickly and swiftly.

 

May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots over Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the second half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

New York Knicks (89) vs Miami Heat (87)

Heat leads the series 3-1

The Knicks staved off elimination for one night.  And while some people may question why Dwayne Wade ran back to the three for the game winner instead of floating up a floater for the tie, the win gave NY something they haven’t done in a long time. This is their first playoff win in 13 tries, since 2001, and it couldn’t come in a better fashion. Carmelo Anthony had a monster game finishing with 41 points, including a tie-braking three with about 51 seconds left in the game. Amare Stoudemire came back with a bandaged hand and had 20 points and 10 boards to contribute to the win. Lebron James had 27 points and didn’t touch the ball in the final possession but rather hung out near the three point line. Wade had 22 points but missed the final shot for the win. The Heat look to close out the series in Miami on Wednesday. But while the victory gave the Knicks something to celebrate about, their injury list keeps piling on. Baron Davis left with a dislocated knee and now the Knicks are down to using Bibby. Jeremy Lin is not ready to play and his status for Game 5 is unlikely. Game time on Wednesday is at 7:00pm PST.

 

Philadelphia 76ers (89) vs Chicago Bulls (82)

76ers leads the series 3-1

May 6, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala (9) celebrates with guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls during game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sixers defeated the Bulls 89-82. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Wow. Who would have thought the young Sixers would be taking control of this series? Definitely not me. But that is when the Bulls had Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. But then after game 1, the Bulls lost Rose and in game 3, Noah was out with a sprained ankle. And the Bulls can’t compete with the Sixers. The Sixers had all the motors going with Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala all contributing in double digit form. The young Sixers are learning to play more consistent and finish out games. As for the Bulls, there isn’t really much to examine with the Bulls. Their back court has yet to show up and without Noah, they are missing some energy both in the offensive and defensive end. Game 5 is set for Tuesday as the Bulls look to fight off elimination.

 

Indiana Pacers (101) vs Orlando Magic (99)

Pacers lead this series 3-1

This match up is boring even though they went to overtime last game (sorry Pacer and Magic fans). Pacers are clearly the better team since Dwight Howard took an early leave of absence. The Pacers were lucky to escape the game with a win as they squandered a 19 point lead. But with David West contributing 26 points, Danny Granger adding 21 points while George Hill hit two big free throws down the stretch to seal the deal for the Pacers. Glen Davis had a good look for a game tying shot, but it fell short. Davis finished the night with 24 points and 11 boards. Jason Richardson had 25 points. All Magic starters finished the night in double digits, but the team is now just 5-11 without Howard. Indiana look to wrap up the series on Tuesday in 7:00pm PST.

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