Sunday, April 18th, 2010 at 1:16 am  |  20 responses

Links: Day One Playoff Thoughts

Um, maybe Utah should guard Melo?

by Lang Whitaker

Morning! Or night! Or something.

It’s late Saturday night when I’m posting this, or early Sunday morning, or whatever. I’m posting this the same way I’ve done every year during the postseason, and the same way I’ll try to do throughout this postseason. It’s late, and if you want to talk about your team or a specific game, this is the place.

I watched the Chicago/Cleveland game off and on, and it was really all Cleveland. I know Chicago made a late run, but they have, and had, no chance of winning. This game was all Cleveland — or if you watched on ABC, all LeBron, who received the hagiography treatment on the alphabet network.

The game I watched closest was — surprise! — Hawks/Bucks. Look, if Milwaukee had a center, they’d be immeasurably better. But they don’t. Bogut was on the bench in a robo-brace on his right arm, and so the Hawks spend large parts of the game throwing the ball into the post, watching in disbelief as the Bucks didn’t double-team, and then attacking the rim. When the Bucks did double, the Hawks found the open guys. Milwaukee closed the gap in the second half, when the Hawks watched Brandon Jennings to get his (he finished with 34 points…and 3 assists), but Milwaukee didn’t do much defensively (Mike Bibby(!) had 19 points) and the Hawks hung on for the 102-92 win. Atlanta’s going to win this series, the question is just whether it’ll be 4 games or 5 games.

After the Hawks game I went out to dinner, so I missed the entire Celts/Heat game. I do know Boston won 85-76, which is like a score from the women’s NCAA Tournament or something. (The men didn’t even score that much.) Wade had 26, 8 and 6, and Q-Rich had 15, but nobody else on Miami had more than 8 points. Seriously. The Celts are playing with damaged goods, but I think they’ve got enough firepower to outlast this Miami team over 7 games.

Finally, Denver looked like the Denver from last year’s Playoffs, all hustle and fire. They were sharing the ball, and JR Smith turned into JR Swish briefly, but Melo was crazy good throughout, finishing with a career Playoff high 42 points. With AK47 out, and Okur playing just 11 minutes before he went out, Utah basically played a seven man rotation, and they just looked wiped out by the end of the game.

What did we learn? Well, all the home teams won. And it didn’t seem like any of them were in much danger of not winning.

I’m sure we’ll still see some surprises before the Playoffs are over.

I’m just not sure we’ll see many in Round One.

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  • Nigel


  • Ken

    Props to Melo for the new career playoff high. While the home teams won, I thought the Jazz and Bucks had some good moments, so I’m not counting those series as wraps.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    i watched the end of celtics/heat game and missed the come back, but saw that little scuffle between the two teams. i’m a big KG fan but he’s totally lost his mind. if that second elbow had connected with Qrich’s face, he’s gonna have to sit out for a while. as of now, he’ll probably still get a game off.
    nuggets and jazz was a tight game, until JR caught fire early in the 4th and that was it. Melo shot 72%(!!) from the field and if jazz can’t find a way to shut down one of these two big guns, it’ll be a wrap in 5 games max. deron looked exhausted by the end of the game, bricking two free throws in a row which i’ve never seen him done before.
    looking forward to the lakers/thunder and spurs/mavs tomorrow, and we’ll see how the BETCATS do (sidenote: are they still the BETCATS since bob johnson is no longer the majority owner?)

  • itaigruss

    KG was swinging elbows, you missed a drama filled night

  • http://www.twitter.com/NotebookNick NotebookNick

    Yeah, I was impressed with Miami’s first half. Their second, not so much. I think Boston’s going to need 7 to finish that series, especially if KG sits a game. I think that Atlanta and Cleveland should sweep without much difficulty.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Miami was up something like 61-47 and still freaking lost.

  • Charles B

    I really thnk Chicago will surprise everyone and win the next game. And Melo was crazy!

  • Atrain

    I used to at least respect KG. Now he acts like a little brat out there, all jawing to try and make up for a rapidly declining skill set

  • Atrain

    Also agree w/ Bucher that Pierce has passed VC on the fake injury scale

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    KG gets ejected/ no rebuttle or further adendum?

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    Suns are going to have a FIELD DAY up in here!

  • MikeC.

    I’m not sure what I prefer to bet on: Ron-Ron’s physical defense being so good that he rattles Durant and makes him less effective, or Durant’s offense being so good that Ron gets frustrated and bites Durant’s shooting hand.

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    i hate how Jr decides to completely stink it up until the 4th. Has me all woried and stuff

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I felt so bad for Rose, he couldn’t BUY a call. The refs were so bad in the Cle/Chi game it was crazy.

  • MikeC.

    What ever happened to Slamonline’s “separated at birth” bit? I submit the JJ Redick – Creed Bratton separated at birth. http://images.buddytv.com/articles/Image/the-office/creed.jpg


    This post probably won’t get past the moderators for a few hours since it has links in it, but hopefully someone enjoys it and we can bring back a good run of “separated at birth” The Playoff Edition.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LMAO @ MikeC. Nice one!

  • MikeC.

    At least Redick knows that once his NBA career is done, he’ll have a position as a quality control inspector at a mid-level paper company.
    @Teddy – I appreciate the appreciation.

  • MikeC.

    Teddy – I followed your ‘name link’ and it led me to one of the greatest downloads of all time. I’ve been looking for the unreleased version of Geto Boys Gangster of Love, off and on, for years. That song is ridiculous and awesome on so many levels. I love when karma rolls my way.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @MikeC: I can’t co-sign that lookalike only because Creed doesn’t normally look like that — that must’ve been a special episode or something.

  • MikeC.

    @Lang – That episode was from season 4(?) when Ryan the temp was running things after Jan’s meltdown. He issues a proclamation that Dunder-Miflin was getting younger and faster. Creed was concerned that his status as an old-timer would get him fired, so he dyed his hair and rocked the scruffy look for an episode. I remember seeing that show and thinking “Creed really looks like somebody I know….” and forgetting that thought until I saw Redick actually getting some serious PT the other night. My fiance made a comment along the lines of “that really white guy looks like somebody I know from somewhere…”. I had my lightbulb moment, and here we are. I should have pointed this out a couple years ago when Creed’s dark hair cameo got about as much camera time as Redick got court time. Then it would have worked. Both short-term cameo appearances.