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Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 1:45 am  |  25 responses

Links: Day Two Playoff Thoughts

Dre Day

by Lang Whitaker

OK, so there’s eight series currently underway, and eight games have been played so far. Of those eight games, the home team won seven of them. The only surprise winner came at 1:30 AM on the East Coast, so I’m sure it wasn’t watched by that many people. But the fourth quarter of the Suns/Blazers game was probably the most exciting quarter of the Playoffs so far.

Some random thoughts…

• Phoenix and Portland were pretty even for most of the night, but Portland got hot down the stretch, banged in a couple of threes, outhustled Phoenix and got the win. Amare finished with 18 and 8 but he fouled out with about 90 seconds left and was 8-19 from the floor. Amare finished with a -16 plus/minus rating.

• Andre Miller finished with 31 points and 8 assists, and Phoenix had no answer for him. I don’t what they do in Game Two — maybe put J-Rich on him and let Nash chase Rudy Fernandez around — but it was Dre Day in Phoenix.

• You’ve got to admire Phoenix’s obstinacy, as they repeatedly shot threes down the stretch when they were down 5 or 6, Portland kept missing free throws and Phoenix really just needed points. Higher-percentage shots were there, but Phoenix just kept firing away. That’s what they do, I guess, for better or worse.

• The Lakers basically just out-veteran’ed Oklahoma City. The Thunder have a lot of young talent, but L.A. could get points and stops whenever they needed them. Kevin Durant just seemed to be trying too hard, forcing shots, not passing to open guys on the wings. The Thunder stayed close, but they just couldn’t get over the hump at the end.

• Charlotte’s fun to watch if only because it’s such a crazy group of players. Going into this season, who would have guessed that a Playoff team would be relying on Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, Larry Hughes and Theo Ratliff? Orlando had a huge lead early, but the BETcats would not die, and they kept pushing and pushing and I wasn’t convinced Orlando was going to be able to hang on. Until they did. Still, this looks like it’s going to be one of the better series.

• “I wear no pants! I wear no pants! I wear…no…pants!”

• The most unanticipated news of the day was the suspension of Kevin Garnett for Boston’s Game Two. Actually, I guess it’s not that unanticipated because the NBA always seems to overreact during the postseason, and overreact quickly, at that.

The thing about KG is this: When the Hawks played the Celtics a couple of years ago, and KG was doing all his KG stuff (headbutting basket supports, goaltending shots taken after foul calls, etc.) there wasn’t a lot you could say about it because KG was the best defensive player in the League. He may have been behaving boorishly, but at least on some level he was backing it up. It was exactly the sort of conduct that made KG so much fun to root for and, at the same time, so much fun to root against.

Now that KG is so obviously injured, he can’t back up the behavior with actions. Now when he’s throwing ‘bows and woofing or whatever, he just seems out of place and, frankly, a little sad.

Now Boston has to play Miami without KG, and the Heat are going to be ticked about the way that Game One ended. Looking forward to that one.

• Tomorrow night we got Chicago/Cleveland and then Utah/Denver. Let’s gooooo!

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  • Isaac

    ANDRE MILLER IS THE MAN! GO BLAZERS!

  • http://Twitter.com/pdxgaybball Dma

    He went to Jerryd. Great game blazers. Uprise!

  • Mr.

    Can you even call them the BETcats anymore?

  • Ken

    Ugh…being a Suns fan can drive you nuts. How can it be that were the only home team to lose…and against a team missing it’s best player! Argh! Come on Suns! I still think we’ll win the series, it’s just aggravating.

  • 7ate6

    McMillan. Thats all.

  • max

    no mention of the mavs vs. spurs series?

  • larrylegend

    GO MAVS!!!

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    DIRK motherloving NOWITZKI!! 12-14 FG’s, 12-12 FT’s, 36 points, most in the flow of the offense. Dallas is nasty, at one point in the 4th they had 2 PG’s (Kidd, Barea) one SF as their 4 (Matrix) and only Haywood inside, and still grabbed offensive boards!! Come on Mavs, mismatch nightmare. Only sour note was JT mimicking his nervous playoff run from last season, just hope he’s got rid of it after those blanks he shot.
    Ps: Timmy Duncan is one baaad man, i’ll give him that. Basically playing on one leg à la Garnett, but still highly effective.

  • http://www.behindtheb.blogspot.com Sam Raphael Chadwick

    For the Mavs this season JT’s nervousness isnt as worrying becasue Caron Butler can fill the gap so I think Mavs can meet LA in the WCF and maybe beat LA and play the Cavs in the Finals. :) you never know. I say right here Mavs win.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    spurs/mavs and suns/blazers are going to be two exciting matchups. i kinda want the suns to win cause i love nash, but i wouldn’t mind seeing the underdog, beat up blazers win either. oh, and as mad as miami might be about game 1′s incident, TD garden is going to be even madder and KG’s suspension. that’s gonna be a tough place to play tomorrow night.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    madder about* KG’s suspension.

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    Come on Suns… it’s the playoffs now. lets see it.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Yeah, didn’t mention Dallas/San Antonio because I didn’t watch all that much of it — had to spend a little time with the Wife. Besides, I figure if you’re on SLAMonline you already know what’s up with all those games. But feel free to discuss whatever you want in the comments.

  • TyMo

    The Suns made Andre Miller and Jerryd Bayless look like All-Stars. Also, I don’t see STAT averaging 26 in this playoff series. Camby shut him down while only committing two fouls. Portland’s looking a lot better than we thought they would.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqSwZgpOad8 SMK

    re: BETcats, should probably be the AIRcats. Maybe for next season.
    And the Celtics, they’ll go as far as Rondo will take them. He’s the one guy who’s got the physical capacity to elevate his game; the Big 3 don’t have it in their old legs anymore. Because I don’t think you can expect Tony Allen to give you a +17 in plus/minus again.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dark

    You should be repping for your boy, he was nasty. And Dirk was even trying to punk Matt Bonner! That was hilarious. Spurs don’t have it this year. Dirk and Caron are too much. Hell, Dallas has a good shot to get to the WCF.

  • The D Train

    Portland has a very real chance to beat Phoenix. They are used to playing slow, playoff-style basketball. Camby matches up as well as you can against Amare. Miller and Bayless can exploit Nasty at the offensive end. To me, Bayless is the key. He has got to make up for some of the points Roy usually brings. If he can put up about 15 a night, Portland has a chance…and oh yeah, NBA fans, let us introduce you to Nicolas Batum…get to know him well, cuz he’s going to be pretty damn good.

  • The D Train

    a quick tidbit: Player 1 %’s – 51% FG, 43% 3pt, 94% FT. Player 2 %’s – 52% FG, 41% 3pt, 84% FT. Player 1 is Nash (obviously with ridiculous percentages like that). Player 2 is Nic Batum. For a 6’8 SF with 7’2 wingspan, who was guarding Nash at the end of the game by the way, those are some pretty nice shooting percentages. I’ve ranted on this before, and I should probably quit, but I really think Batman has a chance to be pretty special.

  • The D Train

    As for my lovely Mavs: loved last night. Caron and Haywood completely changed this team, at least by making them an even more difficult match-up. Dirk was out-freakin’-standing…my Dirk-love knows no bounds (My friend does photo shoots for Nike and got me a pair of his sweaty gym socks). I still do not understand Ravishing Rick Carlisle’s love affair with Dampier, though. Haywood was beasting it up something fierce. I may be way off base, but he always looks better than Dampier to me.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Mavs be crusin to the WCF, there’s no way they lose to either Suns or Blazers. Unless Baron Davis sits courtside.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    D Train: u are not off base, Erick is Damp got a l’ill taste of hack-a-Damp yesterday and was solid, solid a’int good enough. Haywood was beasting. Pop is losing it a bit, Instead of putting Blair next to Timmah, Bonner gets extended minutes, and missed a few gimmes. Blair is their best 4 right now. Oh well, if he wants a quick exit, good luck..

  • Ronald

    @Darksaber: Blair doesn’t work very well with Timmy unfortunately. He seems a perfect complement (and possible a Dirk stopper)
    @D Train: Was it Batum that blew the game sealing dunk?

  • The D Train

    Nah, Ronald, that was Camby. Big Man apparently is not used to running that wide open on the break. That was probably the first bad thing that’s happened to him since he got to Portland, though, and with the W, I’m sure Blazer fans will forgive him.

  • e

    If only Kg could get his hands on some youth juice

  • TheFro

    What’s that KG? You don’t like people talking smack and trying to bully you?

    Pot, meet kettle.

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