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Friday, May 3rd, 2013 at 9:07 am  |  18 responses

Post Up: Warriors Advance

Golden State takes care of business against Denver.

Nets 95, Bulls 92 (Series tied 3-3)

Heading into Game 6, everyone on the Bulls’ bench was either sick or injured except Derrick Rose.

Luol Deng, Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson caught a flu bug. Deng, who had been down since Wednesday morning’s shootaround, sat out the game. Joakim Noah had been battling plantar fasciitis, and Kirk Hinrich was ruled out with a calf injury.

So despite going 0-4 at the United Center this season, the Nets were expected to win the game. But by a combination of Chicago’s gritty play and Brooklyn’s missing crucial free-throws and layups, the Nets nearly botched another game it should have easily closed out.

Andray Blatche (10 points, 7 boards) came up big with two huge free throws to give the Nets a three-point lead with 19.2 seconds to go.

Noted Net killer Marco Belinelli (22 points, 7 assists) missed a corner three that could have tied it and Noah, while trying to corral the board, stepped out of bounds with the 6.3 seconds to go. Noah was able to tie-up Deron Williams after the inbounds pass with 3.6 seconds remaining, but Joe Decoy killed Chicago’s hopes to tie the game by snaring the game-deciding jumpball.

Brooklyn’s big three each scored 17 points, but shot a combined 3-17 in the second half. The Nets hit just 13-23 from the stripe after starting the game 9-10.

Carlos Boozer (15 and 13) fouled out late in the game and Gibson fouled out with 5:24 left, after collecting just 3 points, 3 rebounds and 2 turnovers in nearly 18 minutes. Jimmy Butler played the entire fourth quarter against Williams, who fizzled out in the second half. Noah looked as bouncy as he’s been all series, collecting 9 offensive rebounds.

The last time the Nets walked out of the United Center—after a triple-OT heartbreaker—it looked like the series was a wrap. But after an ugly win Thursday night, the Nets were able to extend the series to a season-defining Game 7. Hello Brooklyn Saturday night!—Ryne Nelson / @slaman10

Warriors 92, Nuggets 88 (Warriors win series 4-2)

“God definitely has a sense of humor.” — Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson

What took place in Oracle Arena on Thursday night was indescribable. I mean, there are words I could try and use that might do Game 6 justice. Words like insanity, madness, lunacy, craziness and derangement all immediately pop into the brain, but they don’t quite get the job done. The best way I can describe what happened to the Golden State Warriors is this:

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the first half, and in the second half everything that could go right did go right. And yet, things still went terribly wrong repeatedly in the fourth quarter and yet everything went about as expected for a team that probably didn’t expect to be in this situation.

Or something like that. This is not the time to be trying to make sense of the nonsensical. Just accept the end result for what it is and move forward accordingly.

In the 92-88 victory over the higher-seeded Denver Nuggets, Mark Jackson’s tactical gambles versus George Karl kept paying out when he needed them most. From deciding to start Jarrett Jack for four straight games “just because.” To trumping Denver’s small lineup with an even smaller lineup. To steadily believing that inside Andrew Bogut there was the player that everyone believed he could be as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. To everything that happened in the Game 5 post-game press conference. To purposely putting a miraculously recovered David Lee in the game to run a play similar to Willis Reed circa the 1970 NBA Finals. To riding Draymond Green in Game 6 all the way to the big money. Everything just seemed to hit big when Jackson called for it, while everything that Karl did seemed to keep crapping out.

Yes, Denver will have plenty to question during this off-season. What would this series have been like if Danilo Gallinari was healthy? What if Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried could’ve started the series healthy? What is the future of this team with George Karl as the head coach? What do we do with JaVale McGee? The questions will be plentiful but the only answer for Denver is that they weren’t better than Golden State, and the Nuggets brass will have to find a way to get better with a blended core of talented youngsters and contributing veterans.

As for Golden State, the journey continues as they’re now bound for the second round with a battle looming with the San Antonio Spurs. We’ll begin to fantasize on how the warlock that is Gregg Poppovich will strategize on how to slow down Stephen Curry. Or how juicy the Harrison Barnes vs. Kawhi Leonard matchup could be. Duncan vs. Bogut. Or even how much more Mark Jackson could possibly give us in his future news conferences. All of this will make Game 1 in the Alamodome on Monday night must-see television, but all of that dreaming can wait another day or two.

Right now, Warriors fans will go to bed at night knowing that they’ve got one of the 12 best basketball players in the world, a head coach that knows how to float from the X’s and O’s to motivating the Klay’s and the Bo(gut)’s, a core group of four rookies that makes the future look just plain heavenly, and that they themselves, the fans, might provide the biggest advantage any team remaining in the NBA playoffs could count on. Oracle Arena is undefeated thus far in the NBA playoffs, and that can make any Warriors sleep pretty damn easy.Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan

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  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Epic first line!!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “Heading into Game 6, everyone on the Bulls’ bench was either sick or injured except Derrick Rose.”
    .
    You should not have written anymore. That’s ether.

  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    This series lifted Stephen Curry into superstardom.

  • Max

    Unbelievable that the GSW still held on for the victory with all those choking turnovers at the end.
    Andrew Bogut from Milwaukee showed up big time.
    Draymond Green is a winner!
    Another first round exit for George and the Nuggets..

  • Jacob Nelson

    My man Spice has been killing it in the playoffs! If Seth can be anything like his big brother the NBA is in trouble. Looking forward to this next series…

  • JessicaJ

    I guess it does help to have a go-to guy in the playoffs. At least it reduces doubt of who to initiate the offense.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    D-Rose did look bad looking like the healthiest man on the bench. At one point, Nate Robinson had a trash can in front of him. He said he doesn’t want to play having to think about what he’s going to do. So all that’s holding him back is his instincts aren’t there like they used to be. Time for him to get out there especially if the Bulls win Game 7. No physical holdups. If Chicago can defend Miami like they did to end their winning streak and D-Rose plays and is just 80% of himself, that would be a tough series. The more he plays, the better he will get and the faster his instincts will return. I agree with Steve Kerr. As a big fan of his, I’m tired of seeing him warm up before every game looking like he’s going to play. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s just a tease. Give it a go D-Rose. I don’t see how he can get past that mental hurdle without playing in games.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    The Bulls are like zombies. You keep shooting at them but they keep coming. Even with their team damn near dead they still only lost by 3 points to a fully healthy Nets team. If Kirk comes back for Game 7 I can see them advancing. Loved the “Joe Decoy” plug. Also, Oracle Arena is probably the most intimidating place to play in the playoffs.

  • Iggi Vasquez

    I would advice any team to stay away from Oracle Arena!!!!

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Any team except San Antonio. Doesn’t matter where they play.

  • Draak Grafula

    Ryne Nelson, I absolutely love your recap! That first line had me in stitches. I vote Nelson for next years Post-Up!

  • Draak Grafula

    I don’t know if the nuggets have any room salary-wise but how do you guy’s think Howard would fit on the Nuggets. They can’t seem to figure out who to start at center and have room for someone to be ‘the man’. I think Howard might do well in their up-tempo game and the Nuggets would really benefit from his defensive pressence. (He better not be messing with their chemistry though, I really like the team already.)

    What do you guys think?

  • Max

    Javale still has a large contract.
    if they trade him and someone else so they would have enough cap space but keep Ty, Miller, Gallo, Chandler and Faries they would be pretty good I think.

  • Drig

    *Reads the first line*

    *Checks who wrote the recap*

    ALL HAIL RYNE NELSON!!!

    *Goes back to read the rest of the recap*

  • davidR

    ryne and eduardo, you guys are writing great recaps

  • Draak Grafula

    Ah that’s right. I forgot Iggy is likely opting out. It would be a shame if they lose him. He’s great for that team. If they can keep Iggy and get Howard (and trade Gallo/Chandler + McGee for cap reasons) their defensive rating could skyrocket. (Again, my lack of knowledge on their salary situation might make my comments complete bs, but speculating is fun.)

  • Darksaber

    Ryne bringing the laughs, as usual. Luv it.

    Who knew Galinari was so important to Denver?

  • danpowers

    how i hate that warriors nuggets series. i wanted neither team to go fishing. really feel sorry for these nuggets n wouldve felt the same for the warriors, who really impressed me.

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