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Sunday, April 17th, 2011 at 8:40 am  |  61 responses

Post Up: Manual Of Style

Chicago comes through in crunchtime; Hawks shock Magic.

Chicago 104, Indiana 99

Danny Granger has been making memorable statements for the past week and a half.

It started when he said that he’d rather play the Chicago Bulls in the first round instead of the Boston Celtics.

Then prior to Game 1, Granger said, “The pressure, honestly, is really on [Chicago]. Everybody thinks we’re going to lose anyway. So we can just come out and play free and get a win.”

And that’s exactly what the Indiana Pacers did.

Granger was cooking, Tyler ‘Psycho T’ Hansbrough played out of his mind, and Darren Collison—in the first half anyway—played pretty well, too. The tension in the United Center was thick, and you could almost reach out and touch the pressure.

And that’s when Derrick Rose showed up and stole victory from the jaws of defeat. He led Chicago in closing out the Pacers on a 16-1 run, demoralizing Indiana. No matter what Granger and the Pacers did, the Bulls just wouldn’t go away. That led to this zinger from Granger when asked (by yours truly) if they ever felt that they’d had the game in hand.

“With Chicago, no. With Derrick Rose on the other team, no. You know, it’s like a crazy, stalker ex-girlfriend. Every time you tell her you don’t want to talk to her, she shows up at the door again.”

For 46 minutes and 33 seconds, the Pacers were in complete control of Game 1. Unfortunately for them, a regulation NBA contest lasts 48 minutes. —Bryan Crawford

Miami 97, Philadelphia 89

For 76ers’ coach Doug Collins, the goal was to hold the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” below 75 combined points. The Sixers achieved this goal, but they failed to complete the larger task at hand. In the end, 63 points between the Heat’s star trio, and 34 from the other guys, were enough to grab Game 1 from Philadelphia. Chris Bosh was the game’s high man in both points and rebounds, with 25 and 12.

Miami’s up-and-down performance in yesterday’s contest could be described as a snapshot of the Heat season. The Heat trailed by 12 at the end of the 1st, after allowing Philly to shoot 61 percent from the field. But Miami outscored Philadelphia 35-18 in the 2nd, and a strong third period widened the Heat’s lead to 16. Thaddeus Young’s 12 fourth quarter points and two huge three balls from Jrue Holiday cut the Heat lead down to as low as 1. But then Dwyane Wade fired back with a difficult lay-up make, and LeBron James had a key block inside of the final minute that preserved the Heat lead.

As predicted in the series preview, the Heat out-rebounded the Sixers, by a count of 52-39. The Sixers, one of the League’s worst at getting to the free throw line, only had 15 attempts compared to the Heat’s 39 tries from the line. The much maligned Heat bench scored a total of 18 points, and combined for 11 rebounds.

Although Andre Iguodala defended James and Bosh well, he only chipped in 4 points to go along with his 8 boards, and 9 dimes. It is unlikely that Philly will again hold Wade and James to 17 and 21 points, respectively, so yesterday seemed like a golden opportunity to win. Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni gave the Sixers virtually no contributions, while Mike Miller saw less than three minutes of game action for the Heat. —Cris Jones

Atlanta 103, Orlando 93

Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson could not do it alone. Howard scored a regular season and Playoff career-best 46 points and set a Magic record with 31 points in the first half. His 46 points tied the franchise record for points in a Playoff game. He shot 16/23 from the field and 14/22 from the line to go along with 19 rebounds in a game-high 46 minutes.

After scoring one point in the first half, Nelson turned it up in the third quarter, scoring 20 to break his own team Playoff record for points in a quarter. In that third quarter, Nelson accounted for 20 of Orlando’s 23 points. The rest of the lineup was completely absent offensively as Howard and Nelson totaled 73 of the Magic’s 93 points.

The Hawks, who had instituted a revamped offense to limit isolation plays this season, had five players in double figures and shot 51 percent from the field. They made 6 of their 14 three-point attempts compared to 6 of 22 for the Magic. Jason Collins started the game on Dwight Howard, and despite fouling out, gave the Hawks confidence in their ability to matchup vs the Magic using their big lineup.

Joe Johnson, who averaged 12.8 points against Orlando in the 2010 Conference Semifinals, led the Hawks with 25 points and Jamal Crawford added 23 off the bench. The Hawks have won four straight against the Magic dating back to the regular season. —Tracy Weissenberg

Dallas 89, Portland 81

The Blazers have the youth, athleticism, feistiness—all the stuff that’s supposed to help an underdog sneak by an unsuspecting group of veterans. But last night, a couple of old dudes gritted it out, hitting big shot after big shot to lead their squad to a Game 1 victory.

With the the contest neck-and-neck heading into the fourth, both Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd showed their opponent the importance of experience. Nowizki dropped 18 of his 28 in the final quarter, while Kidd, who’s stuck to his role as more facilitator and less scorer this season, surprised many by draining six treys—most of them during crucial moments, often when Portland was attempting a run.

The Blazers did keep things competitive, always fighting back to stay within reach, and occasionally taking small leads, but every time that happened, like clockwork, Kidd or Nowitzki would step up and drill a big bucket, or a couple of big buckets in a row. LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 27 points (and finished approximately 87 alley-oops), and Andre Miller did a solid job (on the offensive end, at least) putting in 18 and dishing 6. Though if they want a chance at an unlikely first-round upset, the Blazers are going to need to work on a few things—spreading the ball around, making timely stops, converting on three-point attempts—before Game 2.

But closing out the guy who’s hit the third most three-pointers in the history of the NBA would probably be a solid place to start. —Adam Figman

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  • ripslam

    Danny Granger, man.
    -
    Also, Joe Johnson looks about 7 years younger rocking a headband.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Psycho is killing the Bulls interior and it aint no fluke. Ha ha ha.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    How ’bout dem Sixers?! SMH

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    I fail to see how getting 4 rebounds and nailing mostly outside shots is “killing” the interior Orange. But troll on anyway.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Adam Figman

    apologies in advance for the nerdy-ass hed. ha.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Yeah, the “soft” blonde was suffering through his worst shooting game in weeks, then in crunchtime, it was Dirkules time. 12 in a row, clutch 3, freethrows. Baller.
    But my goodness did Kidd have to use his one good shooting game of the playoffs already? (he has one of those per series it seems).
    Luved how Coach Nate pulled a Phil Jax move by complaining about FT-discrepancy in the 2nd half at the postgame presser. Waaaahmbulance.
    Marion, Chandler and Terry, it’s the playoffs: wake the eff UP!

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    glad to see these lower seeds putting up a fight. philly especially i thought was very close to pulling out that game. they had a lot of shots rim out, and there was that three point play opportunity for wade (i think he missed the ft) that should’ve been called an offensive foul since wade kicked out like a damn ninja.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Psycho T (luv that nickname) was soooo close to being the hero in Gm 1, he missed an easy layup after driving on Booz with about 2 mins to play an Pacers up 6, then he was late getting back on the Noah dunk -And1.
    Then Rose just went MJ on ‘em: fantastic sequence by him.
    (tyler also messed up the defensive board that Kurt casually picked up with about 9 ticks left. Jumped wildly into his teammate who had position)

  • Bruno

    what about dem hawks

  • Drolfe

    I still can’t quite believe J-Kidd has hit the third most threes in NBA history.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    i apologize to everybody right now, and i probably will later too, for my bulls fandom. but HAHAH! eat it. it was a grind it out game but if thats the best the pacers got, and bulls beat them playing how badly they did, its a sweep. expect the bulls to come out firing game 2-4
    oh and BOOZER IS A F*CKING BUM.

  • CP3NOLA

    I’m starting to think Orlando’s role players are almost as useless as Miami’s… Howard feasted and the shooters still couldn’t get sh*t done

  • Adam

    Come on hawks! Im not sure if the magic are going to play bad defence/ hawks shoot well, for 3 more games. However, i’m happy to believe that JJ and Crawford can abuse J-rich and JJ (redick) on offense. If they keep scoring it will be tough for orlando. Should be a good series, can’t wait for game two. By the way, Howard was great last night, that first half was fantastic to watch.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Dwight has to be considering leaving Orlando…

  • ThaWindy

    (In Kobe voice)”Hey Danny Granger…f*cking phaggot”. LOL! Easier said than done DG. Pacers played a good game and should have won but couldnt stop Rose. DG, making excuses about Rose getting to the line 21 times after the game is not a good look. Pacers were hacking the shi* out of him. Trying that hard foul bs. You can get the charge on a player like Deng driving but Rose is too fast. How about you going ice cold that allowed the 16-1 run. Play 48 mins next time and maybe the Pacers can get the win.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Jrich and Redick need to crowd the Hawks’ shooters more. They weren’t able to get into the lane much but their 17-22 foot jumpers were falling. And Hedo, I can make open threes, I think you can too.

  • JTaylor21

    Hey Bulls fans, a couple of Jazz fans told me to tell y’all that the “Eyebrow” comes up shorter than Snookie in the playoffs. If Tyler F*cking Hansbrough abuses him that bad, just imagine what Bosh, KG, and PGasol will do to him.

  • winitall

    well that was a good start for the bulls they played bad bad defense and still one and rose put his mark up on the playoffs wright away good start besides the defense ohh and dh had a great game and yeah i couldn’t blame him for wanting out of Orlando lol.

  • winitall

    won*

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Best believe the Pacers are confident entering game 2. If Rose has an off game, the Pacers are going back to Indy with home court. Truth be told, Rose is going to know what Dirk felt like in 2007, collecting his MVP after getting bounced in the first round, IF the Eyebrow doesn’t find his game in this series asap. lol

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Dwight was magnificent. And the face he made while Jameer was talking at the PC was just as good. Looked like he was sucking on a lime peel; dude was angryyyy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Nice comeback by the Bulls and the Heat. There’s lots of talk about the calls that DRose got ( which I don’t dispute, he was going hard to the basket and getting fouled. Booz further solidifies what we all thought of him in the playoffs, at least Posh did pretty well in his first game. Anyone know of the NBA rule that expressly prohibits the NBA from directly fining a player more than $50,000. They can indirectly fine him more than that by missed salary for suspended games but cannot directly fine more than $50k.

  • thadoogal23

    so all of the first round favourites came through except the magic? Exit stage left dwight if that repeats itself:……

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Anybody who thinks Chicago is going to lose in the first round, their basketball opinions from here on out shall cease to matter.
    Yes, I’m talking to you, Orange. You would be better served worrying about how the Knicks are going to get past Boston in the first round.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @iamorange4ever, worry about them bum a** knicks thats really finna get bounced out the first round, them losers aint never winning nothing with melo because he has no leadership and aint a winner.
    @jtaylor shut yo hating a** up boy, always on here bi****** about Rose

  • ThaWindy

    ^^agrees Slick Ric.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    yo but rose better not have a bad game at any point though…and my man psycho t went ham! christ howard and nelson need some help…i mean come on…

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Matthews need to get his head in the game and stop acting like a Mo Williams.
    And I don’t want to hear complaints that Wade’s and-1 at the end of the game wasn’t legit, he clearly created contact with his shooting foot.

  • max

    chicagos only positional advantage is the PG spot… against Indiana. And lets face it, even if they win this series (which they probably will), the disadvantage/tie at 2-5 will basically stay throughout the rest of the playoffs. Rose would have to bring his A++++ game 16 times and will have to hope for no one on the other team to bring their A++++ game. No offense, but not even lebron managed to do that and the east didnt exactly get weaker since then.
    So even though Roses supporting cast is better than Lebrons was, I don’t see the Bulls making it out of the east.

  • ThaWindy

    Thats why they play the games. Still think Thibs shld go with Rose, Deng, Gibson, Noah at key points in the game. Boozer had a lot of fouls becuz he sucks on D. Deng needs to avg at least 23 pts. Bulls better clear this ship up. I think they will. Next series we’ll see who it is and take it one game at a time. Bulls dont want to score a lot of points anyway. We want games to be in the 90′s. D wins it and the offense can score.

  • http://slamonline.com The Ambassador

    If Derrick Rose’s 39-6-6 shooting 0-9 from downtown is considered indredible I cant wait what Lebron will do thats considerd spectacular. Props to Dwight Howard for keeping the Magic still in the game, 46-19 tell me why this guy isnt going to get the MVP?

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Damn, that’s some ignorance right there. You know who you are. Bottom line, Melo is a WINNER and a KILLER on the basketball court! Anyone who suggest Melo is not, “then their basketball opinions from here on out shall cease to matter.” As for the Bull/Pacers series, I never picked the Pacers to win this series. In fact I’ve already commented they might get a game or two, but after watching game 1, I would NOT consider it earth shattering if the Pacers made this a competitive series and it went LONGER than expected. Ish, until Rose breaks his first round cherry (lol), they’ll always be tension in Chi-Town. BTW, GO KNICKS!

  • Donatello

    Nice! JCollins & Co held Dwight to just 46 points. Good Job!

  • royallblue11

    as a nuggets fan i can honestly say that melo does not play D, too often did he let the nuggets down defensively, and we all know D wins championships!!!

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

    First of all, great games last night. However…
    I’ll say this again, the refs won that game for the Bulls. How does Rose get 39 points on only 10 field goal makes?! He shot four more free throws than the ENTIRE PACERS TEAM COMBINED. It’s obvious who the NBA wants to win this series…
    And don’t give me that “But he was aggressive” excuse. We’re talking 21 (!) free-throw attempts to Indiana’s 17.
    The refs gift-wrapped 19 free points to Derrick Rose and the Bulls. To be fair, they did something similar with the Mavs in the fourth quarter last night–only with the Bulls, they did it the ENTIRE GAME.

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

    Also, the Pacers were fouling Rose “hard”? Give me a break, the only real “hard foul” was when Jeff Foster wacked him on the shoulders and pulled him down from the air. That’s a good playoff foul, but I understand why Rose was mad there.
    But the refs called so much ticky-tack BS for the Bulls it was just sad. If Derrick Rose AVOIDS the contact in the first place (to prevent a charge), how the hell are you going to go back and call a shooting foul?
    Also, it was funny when Rose was fouled near the end of the game–nearly a clean block over-the-top, actually–and Deng got all angry and got T’ed up. It wasn’t even a hard foul… lol.
    Big ups to Rose but there is no doubt–even to the most delusional of fans–that the referees let the Bulls win that one. They played terribly yesterday.

  • JTaylor21

    To all those clowns and so-called experts that think someone other than CP is the best PG in the L, shame on y’all.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com airs

    @teddy, hell f*ckin no
    and this isn’t bias here, this is straight up observation. i already know you just looked at the stats and saw he had 21 attempts and assumed refs gave him that, cuz i dont remember hearing a peep from the pacers about not getting calls.
    on the contrary, they spoke of drose’s aggressiveness and great play, don’t give me that sh*t.
    and i hate to do this because i’ve never called anyone anything on here but,
    orange, you are a stone cold idiot. im sorry.
    happy playoffs guys!

  • Vongustedt

    @Jtaylor amen, C paul has been the best PG in the game for a couple years now.. the ball just seems glued to his hand he has so much control..

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Waoh is it true what I’m seeing on the boxcore???( MEM and NO just beat SA & LA!!!)
    Waoh, just W.A.O.H!
    Celtics please, I hope u are not next on this SUNDAY OF UPSETS!

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Chris Paul is a baaad mother-SHUT YO MOUTH.

  • winitall

    d rose is the better player thoe out of him and cp-3 only thing is i wish he was a sg he would really be able then to score take those 8 ast pg and make his numbers 30ppg and 6 reb and just 4 ast if he was a sg and yeah im talking of d rose he would be a d wade/kobe type sg.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    CP just picked apart that Lakers defense so beautifully. Running fast pick and rolls, slashing, finding the open man, hitting clutch shots etc. It was phenomenal. He may just be the best player not mentioned on that MVP ballot right now.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    cp3 is the best point guard in the NBA, no doubt

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

    Go Hawks!

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    I wouldn’t say that airs, I still believe Rose edges him but just barely. It’s real close between the two of them I think, but it’s so hard to compare cos each brings different things to their teams. Talent wise, speed and athleticism, no one can touch Rose right now. BUT when it comes to running a team, on both ends of the floor, the edge goes to Paul, although the gap may not be as wide as people think.

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

    @ airs: Nah I saw almost the entire game, airs (I missed like a few minutes from the first quarter). A tonne of ticky-tack crap was called. But still, Rose played a great game–the rest of the Bulls? Ehh, not really. There’s no way he should have had 21 FT attempts though, that killed the Pacers. Pacers should have had that game. The Bulls were very very lucky.

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

    Co-sign you on CP3 though.

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    Hmmm…Indiana, no chance huh? Be careful what you wish for Chi-Town. DHoward is no fluke. Can Russell Westbrook get some love? Portland, welcome to the NBA. Motown Philly back again, Heat still playing ya’ll. Shane Battier stand up. Celtics and Knicks making instant classics. Could we have it any better?

  • http://slamonline.com Mars

    Oh snd somebody tell CP3 to stop advertising. Boy selling himself, and Nicki Minaj aint helped none.

  • Hambone

    Bibby for hinrich now looks like a stroke of genius and I love love love Kansan crawford.slightly homo..

  • Hambone

    ^jamaal Crawford,damn iphone

  • Hambone

    Does hi or brown just make up players names Josh Howard,jamaal nelson,he keeps getting 2 guys names muddled up, would make more sense with Stephen Hawkins calling the game

  • Hambone

    ^ hubie brown might just be my fingers

  • block

    CP3 has one flashback game and now he’s back to being the games best point guard, not too long ago he put up a goose egg in the scoring column so lets stop and see how the series plays out. The Lakers make all the elite point guards look like first ballot hall of famers. CP3, Rose and Westbrook all dominated the Lakers this year and the Lake show has no clue on how to defend the pick and roll. Phil Jackson was completely outcoached by Monty Williams, I guess he needs to spend more time on developing a defensive gameplan rather than deciding which ring to wear to the game

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    block, you are an idiot. CP finished the season with 16/10/3/2.5, leading the L in stls, ast to turn, and finishing 4th in assists (2nd in assists overall).
    He had a great year, but he clearly has saved him self for the real season. Stop hating. You know that game where he scored no points, against the Griz, if he goes off in that game and they win, who would they end up playing in the play-offs? Thats right, the same Lakers they beat last night.

  • block

    yeah he strategically played average the whole season for this moment allball you’re a genius

  • block

    The Lakers did’nt show up at all, so lets not make it seem like he put in work against a great defensive effort. The lakers do this every year and chris paul absolutely took advantage of the opportunity. when Rose and Westbrook consistently outplay paul in head to head matchups its because paul is hurt or some other excuse, but when he has a great game its completely overblown. I want CP3 to shine but damn calm down a little……

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Westbrook out play Paul? Check the stats. That’s just false. I watched every OKC/NOH game this year. He did not out play Paul, his team won 3-1. They have significantly more talent.
    Played average? 16/10/4/2.5 is average?!?!
    Come on now.

  • Mike From Spain

    After watching the 1st game in the Bulls-Pacers series, I am now rooting for the Pacers. I think there were a few presposterous calls in the game, and the Bulls did not play all that great. Rose did some amazing things, but how long will his body withstand this kind of contact and agressive play?

  • roc

    Mike, all the favorites played bad. The bulls got the pacers best effort, played horribly and still came out on top. The bulls will adjust and dominate

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