Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gone Fishing

Surveying the damage at the end of the First Round of the NBA Playoffs...

San Antonio Spurs

Regular season record: 61-21 (1st place in the West)

1st round downfall: Bowed to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-2

What happened?: Zach Randolph aka Z-Bo happened. And not enough miracle shots to spare.

Philadelphia 76ers
Regular season record: 41-41 (7th in the East)

1st round downfall: Lost to the Miami Heat 4-1

What happened?: Lebron James wolfed them down like a breakfast burrito.

Portland Trail Blazers
Regular season record: 48-34 (6th in the West)

1st round downfall: Succumbed to the Dallas Mavericks 4-2

What happened?: despite the media hype and Brandon Roy's "this is your life" moment in game 5, the Blazers were clearly overmatched in this series.

Indiana Pacers

Regular season record: 37-45 (8th in the East)

1st round downfall: Falling to the Chicago Bulls 4-1

What happened?: nothing much, aside from the fact that they made the series more interesting than what was expected... and, perhaps, the fact that they (almost) got Derrick Rose mad heated for a second in game 4.

Denver Nuggets
Reg. season record: 50-32 (5th in the West)

1st rd. downfall: Took the L against the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1

What happened?: Kenyon Martin took too many jumpshots. JR Smith took too many jumpshots. TY Lawson wanted to be Carmelo Anthony. Danilo Gallinari wanted to be Carmelo Anthony... they just didn't have a superstar like 'Melo to save 'em no more!

New York Knicks
Reg. season record: 42-40 (6th in the East)

1st rd. downfall: Swept by the Boston Celtics in 4 games

What happened?: Unlike the Nuggets, they did have Carmelo Anthony in their lineup, but unfortunately, they lost point man Chauncey Billups and star forward Amare Stoudemire due to injuries in the series' crucial moments. Plus, giving the ball to Jarred Jeffries in a game-winning situation is NEVER a good idea.

New Orleans Hornets

Reg. season record: 46-36 (7th in the West)

1st. rd. downfall: Bamboozled by the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2

What happened?: NO did cause a scare for the Lakeshow in this series by taking an early 2-1 lead thanks to the heroics of Chris Paul. The Lakers, however, are known to push the right buttons at the right time. And Kobe Bryant really took it back to the old KB8 days with a dunk-show in game 5.

Orlando Magic
Reg season record: 52-30 (4th in the East)

1st. rd. downfall: Stunned by the Atlanta Hawks 4-2

What happened?: Great coaching strategy by the otherwise maligned Larry Drew: give Dwight Howard all the offense that he could get, and then let his teammates go cold. And, boy, the Magic went ice-cold in this series.

Been an interesting Playoffs so far. Now that the remaining teams have narrowed down to eight, I hope everyone's expecting more tightly-contested duels from hereon out.

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