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Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 9:06 am  |  41 responses

Post Up: All Even

Each round two matchup is now tied at one apiece.

Heat 115, Bulls 78 (Series tied 1-1)

By beating the Heat in their own building in Game 1, the Chicago Bulls had the Heat’s attention. What they didn’t have, was their respect.

The Heat didn’t bother to say they would win Game 2 on Wednesday night. They made their statement on the court, handing the Bulls their worst Playoff loss in franchise history.

The game was close for the first 20 minutes, but the Heat did not back down to Chicago’s rough play. Miami pushed the tempo and noticeably turned up their level of basketball as the game wore on. The Heat finished the half on a 13-3 run, fueled by two dead-eye triples from Norris Cole (18 points) and back-to-back flushes by Dwyane Wade (15 points, 5 assists).

After being held to just two first-half points in Game 1, LeBron James, who wore a t-shirt that said “Up To Me” before the game, went 6-6 in the first quarter. LeMVP (19 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds) didn’t score in the second half, but continued to control every aspect of the game. He dropped 5 dimes in the third quarter alone, as the Heat extended their lead to 31. The game quickly turned into an embarrassment for the Bulls, who missed all but four of its shots in the third.

With the game already out of reach, the Bulls did not try to hide their disdain for their opponent.

Joakim Noah (12 and 6) and Taj Gibson (8 points) were ejected in the fourth quarter. Gibson could be facing a suspension for arguing with the official, and the Bulls’ six technicals were the most by any team since 2005. The Heat were T’d up a season-high three times.

Miami kept a close eye on the explosive Nate Robinson from the jump, holding Chicago’s Game 1 hero to just 11 points on the night.

From points in the paint to the transition game to smothering defense, the Heat thoroughly dominated en route to setting a franchise record for largest Playoff margin of victory. Revenge may not always be pretty, but it sure is sweet.—Ryne Nelson /@slaman10

Warriors 100, Spurs 91 (Series tied 1-1)

When Klay Thompson channeled Eric “Sleepy” Floyd’s soul for a half performance of the ages with 29 points (including 7 threes) in the first half, I just wondered when he’d officially have his heat check moment. I mean, the man was shooting absurd threes. Letting loose early in the shot clock, letting loose with a defender in his face, letting loose whatever he damn well pleased, and they were falling for Thompson. Head coach Mark Jackson said later that Thompson’s performance was one of the best first-half performances in playoff history, and it seemed that the Golden State Warriors would be able to coast into an easy Game 2 victory as the Dubs were up 19 points on the San Antonio Spurs. Oh, and Stephen Curry hit a one-legged three-pointer. Why? Because Stephen Curry.

Then the Spurs went all Spurs-y on Golden State…again.

Here came the Spurs, with wave after wave of increased offensive efficiency and defensive intensity, the lead kept getting smaller and smaller. With every Tim Duncan jumper or Tony Parker lay-in, Manu Ginobili three or Kawhi Leonard finish at the rim, the comeback seemed inevitable, the wheels were going to fall off again, and Golden State was going to have to picked themselves off the canvas and find another way to recover yet again.

Then Klay Thompson went all Klay Thompson-y..again.

Klay’s pull-up three at the end of the third quarter secured an 11-point lead to go into the last period of the game. Yes, the Spurs did more Spurs-like things and kept getting closer and closer, but then the Warriors would find their way. Thompson finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds and Curry backed up his fellow fair-skinned brother with a 22 point performance, including a clutch jumper late to put the game out of reach.

If the Spurs don’t go into NBA Jam “Computer Assistance” mode late in the fourth quarter in Game 1, then San Antonio could be facing an 0-2 deficit heading into Oakland instead of the series being even. Its a fortunate situation to be in, but the reality is that with Curry and Thompson proving that they’re capable of getting off at any moment, Parker and Ginobili must crank up their production to keep up the scoring pace. The Warriors backcourt was relentless, even with a relatively quiet night from their sixth man Jarrett Jack putting up just 8 points.

So the Spurs leave their precious Alamo and will take their talents to the East Bay for Game 3. Its the Warriors turn to defend, the Oracle, that is. Because the Oracle Arena is undefeated thus far in the NBA playoffs, and the Spurs will need all hands on deck to pull out a victory (or two) in Oakland in these next two games. Maybe Gregg Popovich will put in Tracy McGr….okay, maybe not.–Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan

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  • RayJr

    It was gonna be ugly for the Bulls from the get-go. Those refs were terrible. Just hope Noah and Gibson aren’t suspended.

    GSW dominates again(minus a collapse). Spurs will definately not win in GS with their college atmosphere type crowd. GSW should be up 2-0 but I think they can pull off a 4-1 upset now because SA really doesn’t have any answers for Steph, Klay, or Harrison. Also, the way the Warriors shoot, the Spurs would have to shoot 60%+ to have a chance.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Golden State ceases to stop surprising me. Shout out to everyone who thought the Warriors were going to win last night. I was dead wrong about them.

  • AlbertBarr

    The Warriors look to be legit but I am not counting out the Spurs just yet. Mainly because they are the Spurs. Although this feels a lot like their series against the Thunder last year minus the dominant games 1 and 2. Not a good sign.

  • thorninyoureside

    Definitely not the first time and won’t be the last. Yes, despite you allen and caboose being insufferable know-it-alls, you can be wrong.

  • Caboose

    Do you really expect either Curry or Klay to score at least 20 points above their average every game?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Well thanks for that. Really needed you to let me know I can be wrong after I just admitted I was wrong. Anything else you would like to tell me? Perhaps that we are speaking English?

  • robb

    I didn’t expect GS to win yesterday I thought the way they lost the first one would crush them, glad it didn’t happen. Go Warriors!

  • Caboose

    Holy sh!t, I can be wrong? Woah. Thanks for telling me.

  • Caboose

    The Warriors played stunningly last night. Idk what they’re doing, but Tony is rattled and Manu looks god awful. I still like the Spurs in the series (Klay and Curry can’t score 20 above their average for the whole series), but man, Warriors are tougher than I thought. Props to Mark Jackson especially.

  • davidR

    something about these dubs man. logic and reasoning just doesn’t work on them.

    but then again, all bay area sports teams are like that

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i love it man. i haven’t had this much fun watching a basketball team since 2007 (the Warriors lol).
    .
    and the Spurs look much more mortal than i thought they were. Manu looks awful, Tony looks like he left his aggressive nature at game 1, and the team as a whole looked like it was on Tracy McGrady’s 24 hour nap schedule.

  • davidR

    draymond and harrison have been HUGE for the dubs throughout the playoffs. their contributions (offense and defense) are a big reason they’re so competitive.

    crazy to think the dubs play 3 rookies, are a young team, and look so poised out there

  • davidR

    + before the series started, i thought tony was gonna carve the dubs up considering what ty lawson did. and it’s weird the spurs look tired. they had so much rest going into the series.

    + kinda interesting to see pop with a non chalant attitude during and after the games. his team is down 15+, and he’s cracking jokes and smikes during those in game coach interviews. maybe he’s also enjoying the shooting spree.

    + draymon and barnes are finally realizing their potential. barnes showed flashes during the season, but was always shaky on offense. draymon was a terrible shooter. now, both are rock solid. love that they’re stepping up.

    + has there ever been another team that has been on fire like this in multiple games? gotdamn. i know it’s early, but are curry and klay really the best shooting backcourt of all time?

  • RayJr

    I never said that. Along with Harrison Barnes, they do make timely shots when they need em. Another thing is the Spurs are playing a healthy team now(minus David Lee) who are quick and can rotate and close out on defense to give contested looks. Duncan and Parker will get their numbers but if the rest of the Spurs can’t make shots, especially from 3, they are going to have a tough time keeping up with the Warriors.

  • davidR

    i’ll also admit klay’s defense has stepped up big time. his consistency still needs work, but man he’s becoming a defensive stopper. and if he can get his dribble drives down, he’s gonna be a huge problem for years to come

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah are you finally in the, “thank god they traded Monta” camp yet? Cuz I’m getting lonely sitting by this fire.

  • davidR

    i’ll always be a fan of monta, but when klay plays like last night….

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I’ve been worried about fatigue these Spurs for MONTHS. So I can’t say I’m particularly surprised they seem so gassed. .
    I still think SAS wins this series. I assume Pop does too.
    .
    I wouldn’t put to much faith in Green and Barnes not falling back into inconsistency. They are too young .
    I don’t think so. And This probably is, with the volume of shots they put up.

  • Caboose

    Mark is great in that regard. Definitely not an X’s and O’s guy (just let Curry make his own decisions), but dude is an expert motivator, mentor, and leader. That’s what the Warriors have always needed.

  • Caboose

    I agree with you that the Warriors, timeliness (I guess) is much better than expected. Manu and Tony need to step up because they have been AWFUL the past 2 games. Tony needs to take an extra step in his drives and Manu needs to stop forcing contact. If they can’t correct, the Warriors will win. I believe Pop will have them right soon enough.

  • LakeShow

    Love me some Warriors right now.
    I love their style, but can’t wait for Bogut to get fully incorporated.

  • LakeShow

    Klay, man…
    I know he has ‘no shows’ too, but believe me, his upside is worth it all. GREAT shooter.

  • davidR

    no doubt! his consistency and decision making still irks me, but he’s young. he’ll get it eventually.

    loving that he’s finally putting it on the floor and attacking the basket. turning into a decent finisher too. on the other side, his defense (already good) keeps improving. definitely realizing his potential

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you can be a fan of Monta and still know the team is better without him.

  • davidR

    ;)

    the dubs are doing great right now, not much else to say

  • davidR

    im with you about the fatigue, although i thought cruising past the lakers and getting that extra rest would be enough for the spurs. kawhai and danny green are gonna have to step it up if manu keeps playing like isht.

    i keep expecting green and barnes to revert back to normal, but they keep on surprising. loving the way they’re playing, and am wondering how much longer can they sustain this level. hopefully through the rest of this series and into the next round.

    friday can’t come soon enough

  • spit hot fiyah

    in the words of bill simmons: (actually paraphrasing) manu and paul pierce are in the same stages in their careers. some nights you look at them and feel like yeah that is the manu/pierce that i have been watching for the past ten years, and then the next game it looks like they have close to nothing left.

  • spit hot fiyah

    lonely? i would think most people are on your side in that trade

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    pretty much huh

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    each guy on the team is conditioned to play less than 30 minutes in the regular season except Tony Parker. Now it’s playoffs….against the Warriors.
    .
    Being in 40 minute regular season shape is kind of what they need to be in order to not look gassed against this squad.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    haha i was kidding pimp

  • Noompsi

    Props for manning up on that. Ignore the idiot.

  • Noompsi

    Really?? Ya still think? SAS aren’t built for a team like GS. IMO it’s GS’s to win, or lose.

  • Mike From Spain

    I really loved what Mark Jackson said in the press conference after game 2: ‘I say, I’ve got the best shooting back-court to ever play the game… call my bluff’

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    appreciate it

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    GS is playing out of their minds. I don’t expect that to be sustainable. (but i wouldn’t be shocked if they did).
    .
    And when they do come back down to earth, the Spurs are the better team.

  • what?

    “ceases to stop surprising me” is the most confusing grammar i’ve heard in a while.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it’s not wrong. just awkward.

  • rnths

    “Curry and Thompson proving that they’re capable of getting off at any moment”

    Going off. They’re capable of going off. This paints a weirder picture :(

  • https://twitter.com/jasontichenor Mr. Wet

    What’s scary is, Klay might be the 4th or 5th best 2-guard in the league right now.

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