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Friday, April 29th, 2011 at 9:13 am  |  125 responses

Post Up: Clap For ‘Em

Lakers, Mavs and Hawks all celebrate first round success.

Atlanta 84, Orlando 81

The Hawks made all the hustle plays in a low scoring, grind-it-out game to defeat the Magic 4-2 and advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

After shootaround, Jamal Crawford was asked the significance of being able to close out the series at Philips Arena. “I want the confetti to fall tonight,” he said. “I want to do it in front of our home crowd. They’ve been great the first two games, and like I said, I expect them to be even better tonight.”

The Hawks played a resilient game, responding to every Magic run and showing a lot of confidence by putting everyone on the floor in the position to make shots or make plays. Five Hawks finished in double-figures, including Marvin Williams, who had a strong showing off the bench with 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting.

Joe Johnson played an all-around fantastic game. He scored 23 points with 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Johnson played a team-high 46 minutes in which he stayed aggressive on offense and made it tough for both Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson to find their rhythm on the other end.

Johnson’s biggest play in the game was an offensive rebound with 10.9 seconds remaining. After the Magic cut the deficit to one, Marvin Williams missed a three-point field goal and Johnson tapped the ball out to Crawford. The Magic were forced to foul, and Crawford sank both free throws to put the Hawks up three.

The cloud over the Hawks’ thrilling victory was a strained hamstring suffered by Kirk Hinrich late in the fourth quarter. He will undergo an MRI on Friday.

Game 1 against the Bulls is Monday and Chicago won the season series 2-1. —Tracy Weissenberg

L.A. Lakers 98, New Orleans 80

Well, the little guy went as far as he could. No one else making a shot, his own shot fairly cold, the other guys controlling the glass. A brief postseason flash that ends in a fizzle.

This was the game most expected of the series, with Kobe doing enough and the Laker bigs making it seem at times like they had ball magnets in their palms. Their bench still underproduces, but they occasionally have a certain scrappiness (Barnes, Brown, Blake) that mixes in well with the offensive prowess in the top six. Bynum played another strong game and LO was on his game. Kobe really didn’t have to do much, and as others have said, that might be a good thing. The less he overdoes it, the more those bigs can dominate. One guesses that OKC looms as the challenger, and that will be a very, very good matchup.

Hard to separate the Hornets’ on-court performance from the off-court questions. Tonight they missed David West, with no one trustworthy on the other end of CP3′s passes. Ariza was OK, but not quite as assertive. Carl Landry is a nice player, would be a great first guy off the Hornets bench, but he’s not the scorer he replaced. In the end, Okafor can’t handle rebounding duties in a heavy game like this, and Belinelli/Jack/Green don’t deserve to share a backcourt with the owner of the newly reclaimed PG crown.

Still, as a run, as a last reminder to the city before this uncertain break, you can’t take anything away from the Hornets. They didn’t bring their A game, but continued to fight hard in the first half. The height and skill advantage wore through in the second half and Chris couldn’t carry the load quite that far.

This is an interesting postseason, with no contender looking unbeatable. Kobe still holds the key, but who comes to take it, and how firm is his grasp, those are the questions that remain at the outset of Round 2. Same as the first. —Toney Blare

Dallas 103, Portland 96

No one wants to hear an “I told ya so” if they’re the ones being told so. But here it is: I told you that the Mavs would win this series in six games. Outside of predictions, it was imperative for the Mavs to win this series to elevate themselves out of their playoff doldrums. It was just a matter of digging deep, finally finding the grit to hold on in the fourth quarter and close, close, close that got them out of the first round and back into the Playoff conversation.

But the Portland Trail Blazers were no slouch. After their key acquisition of Gerald Wallace, Nate McMillan’s bunch entered the postseason looking scary good, so much so, that every analyst with a platform picked the Blazers to prevail in this matchup. Brandon Roy’s comeback game gave all of us inspiration, Crash’s play was textbook determination and LaMarcus Aldridge displayed low block and mid-range domination, but as scrappy as Portland was, Dallas was just better when it mattered.

Dirk Nowitzki continued to drain jumpers while impersonating the Leaning Tower of Pisa last night, finishing with a game-high 33 points and 11 rebounds. Jason Terry continued to dole out daggers off the pick and pop, netting 22 points to help defeat the Blazers 103-96 in Game 6. Wallace, who literally played out of his mind, tallied a team-high 32 points and 12 rebounds and Aldridge added 24 points and 10 boards.

Next up for the Mavs are the Lakers, who also closed out their first round series last night in six games with the Hornets.  The battle begins on Monday night and for the first time ever, fans will be treated to a Dallas/L.A. Playoff series. Whoa, Nelly, this should be good. —Maurice Bobb

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  • Ken

    Props to the Hornets for even making it a series.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Lets get this torture over with.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    Respect to the Hornets, they made the Lakers work for this series.Hopefully Chris Paul stays, but I doubt it.

  • vtrobot

    DAL/LAL should be great. DAL was not messing around after the first quarter. That German is cold-blooded. Lakers look really strong now too. Can’t wait for that series.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    10,11,8 with 5 turn overs and only 9 shots is not enough in an elimination game. On the other side, he lead his team in boards, but he couldn’t coax enough out of his weak supporting cast to keep the game close, so he could take over down the stretch.

  • robb

    Jameer to DRose: see you in the next round… from my couch!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    While I wish for a different result….Kobe and Phil have the Mavs number and I think they do away with the Mavs in no more than 6. If Tuff Juice was playing and the Mavs had that extra weapon, it may be different….but alas, I think we see a Thunder/Lakers WCF….which is how it should be.

  • J-MAC

    I would like to see the Thunder Grizz in the semis. Two young up and coming teams with a lot to prove. Much rather see that then OKC SA. Oh yeah did anyone really think NO would beat the Lakers…come on now

  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    Dallas once again advanced with a strong performance by Dirk and Portland once again lost in the first round.

    Yet, the Mavs and Dirk will still be regarded as chokers in the playoffs and the Blazers will still be considered the dark horse next year and people will be shocked that they got eliminated so soon.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I did.

  • Ali

    THUNDER!…THUNDER!…THUNDERCATS! HOOOOEEEE! Everybody in luv wit OKC and forsee them in the WCF with L.A., but San Anton’ ain’t goin’ lay down tonight or in Game 7, trust me. It’s time for Dallas to get bounced, like they always do about this time.

  • Bruno

    cosign eboy and lol at robb

  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    I think they do away with the Mavs in no more than 7.

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    Great win for LA! It’s gonna be a crazy second round. It’ll be interesting to see if they can stick with what they did well to win their four games. Overall they are going to need the same out of Andrew and more out of Pau and Kobe if they want to three-peat.

  • ripslam

    @pablasso: Thank god, I was was worried they would go to a Game 8.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Somebody in the ATL crowd hold a sing saying: ‘Hey Jameer, we’ll tell Derrick you said ‘Hello”.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    Dwight Howard needs a change of scenery…

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Major props to the Hawks, because I (like many others) was wrong about that series versus the Magic. The 2nd round is going to be special.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    ripslam with the zinger!
    im not so convinced LA is gonna beat dallas, i mean i know mavs will probably get pounded inside but i think chandler and haywood stand a fighting chance against pau and bynum.
    besides that, i think the mavs actually kind of match up well.
    and nobody on that team is going to stop dirk.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    dwight’s GONE.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Jeanie’s boy toy better not sleep on the Mavs. lol

  • HAMMER

    Much props 2 Aldridge and Wallaca last night, especially Wallace. Almost made another comeback. But damn it feel like the 90′s again when for 7 straight seasons we couldn’t get out of the 1st round. Future looks good tho. Gotta re-sign coach McMillan for sure. Sucks to say but we gon fishin

  • fruizm

    @robb and @ripslam HAHAHAHA.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Ugh we all have to deal with Mark Cubans HILARIOUS jokes about Phil and Jeanie and other HILARIOUS things for a couple weeks now. Durrk vs Pau, Bynum vs Chandler, should be some banging down low and i expect this series to get very chippy. (Deshawn Stevenson has been realitively quiet up till now also.)

  • T-Money

    Bulls in 3. / Lakers-Mavs is intriguing. Mavs have three legit defenders to throw at Kobe in Deshawn, Brewer and Matrix. What I would personally like to see from Dallas in spot minutes is a Dirk-TC-Haywood frontcourt to match up with L.A. Ron Artest can’t really take advantage of Dirk at the 3.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Nobody can ever call the MAVS SOFT again if they bounce the two-time defending champion Lakers in the 2nd round. I’m not saying it’s going to happen. I’m just sayin.

  • Ali

    I hear your T-Money, but Kobe has killed all three of those guys with their previous team over the YEARS!, don’t think things are gonna change in that aspect. That is alot of foul to hand out though.

  • Bruno

    Deshawn is a legit defender now??

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    Yes, Bruno. Blow the whistle!

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    YESSSSSSSSSSS! Mavs sind weiter, Mavs sind weiter, sie werden Meister…….
    Wait, Mavs didn’t win the title?
    They get who next? Yellow/purple gang?
    *sigh*
    Never mind.

  • QQQQQ!

    CP3 has been the best player of the playoffs so far but his team was just way too overmatched. Even if they had a healthy West they wouldn’t have had a chance haha.

    I’m still not sold on ATL. The Bulls gonna run through em!

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    Dont worry, Allball, cp3 is still the man.
    just wish he’d shoot more when his team needed him to.

  • http://wwe.fiba.com Darksaber

    When Carlisle subbed in Peja in the 4th and Stojakovic bricked 2 shots then ended up guarding Roy, i nearly choked on my lunch.
    But lo and behold: “coach” Carlisle brought Marion back in the nick of time.
    clever subbing at last by Mr. Bad Rotations. Keep it up, man.
    Now about Brewer & Mahinmi not getting any PT…

  • T-Money

    Dark: Haven’t watched the Mavs lately. Who’s the backup 4? Matrix? That’s not going to cut it against LA. Also, who defends Kobe when they go to the Kidd-JET backcourt?

  • Bruno

    as the experts said, neither kidd or terry are gonnda defend Kobe … I can see brewer doin a gret job against him but deshawn or marion no way

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Co-sign T-Money, Bulls in 3, LOL. As a Bulls fan the team I was least worried about in the whole playoffs were (and still are) the Hawks.

  • JTaylor21

    The Big German is a beast. I was watching last night thinking where dude ranks in terms of all-time great PFs. Here’s what I came up with;
    1.TD
    2.KMalone
    3.KG
    4.CB34
    5.BPettit
    6.EHayes
    7.McHale
    8.Dirk
    9.JLucas
    10.DCowens

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Me too airs. With that team no one would think bad of him if he put up 20+ shots a game.
    I agree that the Hawks are the least scary play-off team, although it will be interesting to see whether they really have turned the corner or if the Magic sans Howard just suck.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I’ll say this, I was worried all day yesterday whether Paul would be aggressive from the jump. Last night was one of those games where he needed to play with a Rose like attack level. I mean, they lost by 18 anyway, so why not put shots up? CP creating on EVERY SINGLE POSSESSION would be the best for the NO.

  • bashmo

    LOL CP3 averaged 22 on 55 percent shooting from the field on 13 shots a game. Also had 11.6 assists and 7 boards! HE BEASTED this Laker squad by himself. Truly the best PG playing.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Top five power forwards in the League right now.
    Dirk
    KG
    Pau
    Zbo
    Bosh/Blake

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Lakers doing what they’re supposed to do…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I would imagine Hinrich tore something in his knee
    the Hawks were going to lose anyway, not it’s definite.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    i heard hinrich did something to his hamstring, he would’ve been some trouble for rose, just a tad.

  • Red Star

    Kobe! Lakers 4 Life!!!

  • tRay

    Yea losing Hinrich is bad cuz he does a decent job guarding Rose and I emphasize decent lol

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    Yeah Hinrich strained his hamstring. Judging by the way he went down and that he couldn’t walk after, I’m assuming its a grade 3 strain, which at the very least takes 2 months to recover from. He’s out for sure.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    LAL-Mavs indeed looks very intriguing. It will go to 7 I believe. LA still should be the favorite but Dirk is beating right now, Marion is playing his best since his Suns’ days, Mavs have the size down low to fight against LAL’s bigs and as someone mentioned the defenders to throw at 24, Kidd has been shooting well, Peja is that veteran gunner that every team needs, even the Jet looks to be rounding into form. On LA’s side Kobe and Pau are playing sub-par, LAL’s bench has been silent, Odom has been his old inconsistent self, Artest and Bynum has been the only Lakers playing good. This will get chippy and I personally look forward to seeing the ‘soft’ Dirk vs. the ‘crunch’ Kobe in the 4th quarter of this series.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    well, at least it’s only a hammy. I thought he tore an ACL the way he looked. He won’t play, but his career won’t be impacted that much.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_enigmatic1 Enigmatic

    I think the Hawks are HYPED right now.
    I say Bulls in 6, but it won’t be as easy as some people make it out to be.
    And Boozer better step the hell up.
    For real, for real.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    at this point, im kinda hoping boozer gets in foul trouble to taj can get minutes.
    but i hope boozer can step up, who knows.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nah, it will be fairly easy Enigmatic.
    Mainly because the Bulls play great defense and the Hawks play predictable and horrible offense. They will get snuffed quickly.

  • J Dilla

    Consign airs: Something about those Duke players, can we please get an all around player coming out Duke beside Hill. Boozer no D, Deng can’t dribble between his legs, and not mention all the injuries. Tobacco road has to have some kind of curse, n we thought the Cubs were cursed…BULLS!

  • http://de Thawindy

    Man Im really ready for the next round of games to start. Hopefully the Spurs focus more on vacation than trying to force a game 7.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Allen, on paper that would seem to be the case.
    I just think between Johnson, Crawford, Horford and even Jeff Teague, the Hawks have several players that can go OFF so it should be interesting.
    If Taj develops a back-to-the basket game, would Boozer be expendable?
    And if he was, what could we get back for him?
    Sorry y’all…just daydreaming over here…

  • Thawindy

    Just don’t think the Hawks will play D well enough to get the wins.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    if taj has a better post up game boozer is DEFINITELY expendable. taj is younger and already has a great J.
    and i STILL haven’t seen boozer have a good post up game, like all season.
    seriously am i making this up in my head? i swear all i see him do is post up initially and then face up and shoot or dive to the rim. he was supposed to beast on inferior bigs but it didn’t happen against indy.
    maybe we can get a decent 2 guard or a couple draft picks for him.

  • J Dilla

    Maybe Taj can pattern his game after Horace Grant. Then yes boozer would b expendable, hopefully he has better series against the Hawks. I still not ready to throw in the towel yet.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Josh Smith is not physical enough to bother Boozer that much. The Rose v Hinrich/Teague/Crawford matchup will decide the series IMO.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Who’d want to trade for an injury-prone, no-defense playing 29-year old power forward who just signed a 5 year, $75 mil contract last summer?
    I think we’re stuck with him.
    Some of my dudes were salty when I said I wasn’t terribly thrilled with the Bulls signing him, but my brother-in-law’s a Jazz fan so I had heard enough negatives about his game over the years to believe he’d somehow change his ways in the Chi.
    But when he’s on, he is a beast though, both as a scorer and as a rebounder.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    hinrich probably won’t play, Soop.

  • J Dilla

    I was pretty excited when the Bulls signed him as well. This is not Utah, the fans here are different, we don’t sugar coat anything, if he continue to play effortless basketball the city will let him know what we think of him. N won’t b nice, Jay Culter can consign that.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    well, if bulls were okay to sign him for that much, i think someone else might want him too.
    but yeah we’re probably stuck with him.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Popcorn muscles.
    Word to E.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    The part that really gets me though, is this is the time of year they really signed him for.
    They wanted a low-post scoring presence most especially for the playoffs.
    Dude’s averaging 10 points on 35% shooting.
    UGH

  • J Dilla

    Maybe we can package Boozer n Noah for Howard, now I’m daydreaming…

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    BC doesn’t endorse that trade.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    he had 2 points during that blowout against indy.
    TWO. are you kidding me?!

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    since we’re daydreaming, bulls probably wouldn’t have to give up Noah for dwight.
    the magic won’t wanna lose dwight for nothing in free agency, so why not get a few pieces back. that said, bulls won’t trade noah. maybe taj + boozer. and if the trade doesn’t go thru, i don’t think the bulls would be kicking themselves anyway.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I’d rather trade him for a 2.
    Again though, only if Taj can become a good back-to-the-basket player.

  • J Dilla

    I agree totally, now all of sudden his toe is injured. This dude should have fresh legs going into the playoffs considering all the games he missed. But yet u still get outplayed by Hansbrough…SERIOUSLY!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Could either Noah or Howard slide over to the 4 if, in this daydream scenario, we got Howard without giving up Noah?
    Both are 6’11″, it’s not like we’re talking about making a 7’2″ guy play the 4, and Noah WAS projected as a future NBA PF in college.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    i think it’d work with noah at the 4.
    i mean even if it wasn’t a true fit: rose, deng, noah, howard and a 2 guard to be named later looks ridic.

  • J Dilla

    U don’t think the Bulls would make that trade for Howard, they would b crazy not to.

  • T-Money

    all i’m saying about booz is if te bulls do make it to the finals and play vs the lakers, he’ll make bulls fans cry of rage. i’ve seen enough of him vs the lake show’s trees when he was with the jazz. arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh word matic I totally forgot about that injury. Did they ever say the extent? I’ve been hella busy at work haven’t really had a chance to do all my customary reading.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    He’s having an MRI today.
    Besides Bulls fans and adidas reps salivating at the thought, I don’t think anyone really thinks Howard will go to Chicago though.
    I think he either stays in ORL, joins forces with Williams in Brooklyn, joins up with CP somewhere, or forces a sign and trade to ATL to go back home and ball with his AAU homie.
    But, still another season left so we’ll see…

  • J Dilla

    Rose/SG/Deng/Tag/Howard

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Dwight for Andrew Bynum and Shannon Brown feels like an actual realistic trade, or Dwight for Brook Lopez – Anthony Morrow and other pieces… No way Orlando doesn’t demand back a center from whoever they make a trade with. Unless they try and force whoever they are dealing with to take back one of those ridiculous contracts.. that is, if you guys are actually really thinking about this.

  • J Dilla

    I meant Taj

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    i don’t expect dwight to wind up in chicago, however awesome that would be. but i don’t expect him to stay in ORL either.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Something more immediate though – where will Greg Oden (not?) play next year?

  • J Dilla

    I can see Howard going to LA and NJ, i agree they r going want a center in return. U really think they would take Bynum with his bad knees. I can definitely c the Lopez deal going thru. Bulls r a long shot to land Howard, i can still daydream about it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think it depends on the CBA — I read around December that Portland would be willing to resign Oden, and possibly for above market value just out of loyalty. I think with the regression of Roy that has changed, but I wouldn’t rule it out. If a team doesn’t overpay for him, I can see him going to a team like Miami for the mid-level exception as crazy as that sounds. Unless Portland does a sign and trade with the Clippers for Chris Kaman, that also is something I can see happening. what you thinkin?

  • J Dilla

    I can c Oden playing with the Celtics, he would fit right in.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I think Orlando will have to have someone to show to their fans like hey, “we still got top tier talent at center, also picked up a piece or two, and some draft picks even though they are late rounders” – I think that would be the defense, Otis Smith is also clearly not afraid of injuries, if he was, his buddy Gilbert Arenas would still be a Wizard. — I would actually suspect Orlando asks for Odom, Bynum, Brown, Picks, for Howard and Arenas or Howard and Turkoglu. (( I think it’s more likely Chris Paul gets moved next season then Dwight Howard ))

  • J Dilla

    I can see that scenario as well, or the Magic may make a push for CP3 to keep Howard happy.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    To get Chris Paul you have to give up a superstar or a combination of players and picks that give a very good shot at a superstar. Orlando has neither to give up.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Won’t Howard be an unrestricted FA?
    Couldn’t he just tell the Magic to go to hell and sign with a team with enough cap space to sign him outright without the need for a sign and trade?
    If Orlando loses him for nothing…lottery land.
    Oh well, in a little over two decades they’ve been lucky enough to land 3 overall #1 picks and two outstanding centers so with their luck, they’ll be aight.
    They can snatch up Andre Drummond or Isaiah Austin in the 2013 draft.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well yeah if they keep him through next season. I think its going to be a matter of how competitive they are. But yeah, in 2012 him and chris paul are unrestricted FA’s. — I doubt they want to be the next Cleveland though, especially with what Denver showed this year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The reason I say New Orleans is more likely to trade Paul is because of their ownership situation, and the lack of willingness to pay a luxury tax for a community owned team within the NBA owners. — I personally don’t think they will occupy the NOLA for more then 5 more years.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Which team will AllBall root for in 2012? Hmmm…

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Hmmm, I hope the NO Hornets. If not, I hope the team formerly known as the NO Hornets.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Surprised it’s not the team Chris Paul will sign with.

  • permaculture james

    Sad to see the Blazers eliminated: what a cinderella mess of a season yet inspiring and fun. Just a little more regular line up (stop with the injuries! but the Wallace trade worked well) some more poise in shooting, add a dash of low presence and the future is bright. (admittedly, I said as much last year :)

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Man, Wade better guard Rondo this Sunday. I’m going to be pissed if he doesn’t do that this series.

  • CP3NOLA

    The Hornets bow down in grace.
    No matter what anyone says you can’t take anything from them. It was one hell of a ride

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I agree 100% Allen. 100%

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I think should wait things out in New Orleans.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK
    If they don’t make that move, I don’t see them winning the series. Wade is not a good enough defender to stay with Ray Allen all game. And Chalmers is good, but gets too frustrated guarding Rondo.
    The Heat can win this series, but they cannot win it doing stupid stuff. We shall see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    *CP3 should wait things out

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Seriously, Wade was atrocious trying to chase Ray Allen around during the regular season, especially with how much he gambles (the reason I said he was overrated as a defender all year last season) – On Rondo he gets to do everything he loves, except chasing around a PG but its only from baseline to baseline, not in a spiral pattern from corner to corner lol

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Wonder if watching whoever guards Ray Allen trying to chase him around is gonna give Tyronne Lue flashbacks of the Lakers/Sixers finals.
    If Ray Allen were to step over a dude like AI did to Lue in that series, that would be straight up BAWSE.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t however think Ray Allen decides the series as much as Chris Bosh and Wade do on offense. If Wade plays like he did during the regular season (highly highly unlikely) then Miami doesn’t have a shot, it’ll go 5 games and be over. But if he is playing like he should, and Bosh can put up 16+ PPG on over 50% shooting I think Boston’s is in a heap of trouble, no matter how bad Wade defends Allen if at all. — The other issue I see for Boston is when Rondo does his 1-man fast break with 4 trailers stuff, if you don’t convert those possessions your letting LeBron and Wade get a head of steam against 4 guys over 33. — This series really can go either way IMO — if i HAD to pick a winner I’d say Heat, but I wouldn’t put a nickel on it.

  • JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, if Howard manages to get traded to the bulls, does his minutes go down to make way for the development of the Turkish Hakeem?
    NBK, if Wade checks Rondo that must mean that you want Chalmers in there to chase around Ray, right?
    I’m hoping Chalmers takes over the starting spot because I really really dislike Bibby and his supposed shooting touch isn’t really needed.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Shoooot, Howard would back up Asik.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Bibby’s shooting touch, especially in a playoff series against a championship team is definitely needed. And yes, I’d have Chalmers or Bibby (though not for long stretches ofcourse) chasing around Ray Allen. — Are you under the impression that Ray Allen is going to win this playoff series? IMO Rondo is more important then Allen for Boston in this series — PG’s have been the guys that have given the Heat the most trouble all year.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And I atleast hope that Erik Spoelstra has noticed that, if not then I don’t at all understand his gameplan.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    The Turkish Hakeem would be schooling Howard like the real Hakeem did.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Actually against Boston I would run my lineups like this, keep the starting 5, then use James Jones and Mike Miller with Wade and James, one of them can chase around Ray Allen and use their length to try and alter his shots, while having Wade on Rondo floating around wreaking havoc, and LeBron doing his usual lock-up of Paul Pierce. It would then come down to Shaq’s health or KG’s legs v. Bosh’s crotch cat.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If Wade lets Ray get a good rhythm, and nobody prevents Rondo from rolling, it’s a problem. If Wade slows down Rondo and plays the passing lanes, and Chalmers pesters Ray, then I’m convinced that LeBron and Bosh can do their parts.
    It can go either way and I can’t wait for Sunday.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    The Hawks unleashed the secret weapon known as Jason Collins on the Magic in Round 1. If they are smart, they will unleash the secret weapon known as Jeff Teague in Round 2. I don’t think the Hawks will beat the Bulls, but they can definitely take it to six or seven games if they want to.

  • T-Money

    Pierce better have packed for two cause his lunch is about to be swiped by LeBron.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Enigmatic, bulls fans are really high on the Turkish Hakeem, huh? I like dude’s game but he’s nothing more than a career back-up.
    NBK, it’s been proven that if a team stops Ray, their chances of beating BOS goes up immensely but if they allow Ray to show out from the 3pt line, there’s no chance at beating BOS even if Bron or Wade go off.

  • JTaylor21

    Sheeeeit, Slam. Where is all the money going from all those magazine sales? I know it’s damn sure not to fixing this sh*tty a** site. 6:09pm was me.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    JTaylor, I was obviously joking.
    Howard would eat up Asik’s minutes like Eddy Curry eats up…everything, edible or not.

  • T-Money

    not me at 6:06. SLAM, fix your comments box!

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    Lakeshow you made that up. Don’t say it’s been proven, it hasn’t. Unless you need someone to tell you that most teams lose when their second best scorer shoots bad — it’s a universal rule. The wade and Kenton part of your corny was 100% speculation

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    LeBron*. Autocorrect from the phone is more annoying then bull22

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

    Zach > Pau

  • JTaylor21

    I never thought I would say this but ZBO has been the best player so far in the playoffs.
    Also I wouldn’t really call them beating the Spurs a huge upset.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Naah, 8th seeds beat 1st ranked teams handily every season in this league.

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

    Dallas has never played Los Angeles in the playoffs??

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

    It was a great run for all teams involved these series’–this was possibly the best first round of the playoffs ever… At least in the new 7-game format. What an electrifying first round. Much respect to the Spurs for hanging in there and the Grizzlies for pulling out the upset–I always like watching the ends of series’ to see players congratulating each other, like Timmy giving Zach dap. Very cool.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    No doubt I will be supporting which ever team CP signs with. I just hope it is the Hornets.

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