Links: Day One Playoff Thoughts

by April 18, 2010

by Lang Whitaker

Morning! Or night! Or something.

It’s late Saturday night when I’m posting this, or early Sunday morning, or whatever. I’m posting this the same way I’ve done every year during the postseason, and the same way I’ll try to do throughout this postseason. It’s late, and if you want to talk about your team or a specific game, this is the place.

I watched the Chicago/Cleveland game off and on, and it was really all Cleveland. I know Chicago made a late run, but they have, and had, no chance of winning. This game was all Cleveland — or if you watched on ABC, all LeBron, who received the hagiography treatment on the alphabet network.

The game I watched closest was — surprise! — Hawks/Bucks. Look, if Milwaukee had a center, they’d be immeasurably better. But they don’t. Bogut was on the bench in a robo-brace on his right arm, and so the Hawks spend large parts of the game throwing the ball into the post, watching in disbelief as the Bucks didn’t double-team, and then attacking the rim. When the Bucks did double, the Hawks found the open guys. Milwaukee closed the gap in the second half, when the Hawks watched Brandon Jennings to get his (he finished with 34 points…and 3 assists), but Milwaukee didn’t do much defensively (Mike Bibby(!) had 19 points) and the Hawks hung on for the 102-92 win. Atlanta’s going to win this series, the question is just whether it’ll be 4 games or 5 games.

After the Hawks game I went out to dinner, so I missed the entire Celts/Heat game. I do know Boston won 85-76, which is like a score from the women’s NCAA Tournament or something. (The men didn’t even score that much.) Wade had 26, 8 and 6, and Q-Rich had 15, but nobody else on Miami had more than 8 points. Seriously. The Celts are playing with damaged goods, but I think they’ve got enough firepower to outlast this Miami team over 7 games.

Finally, Denver looked like the Denver from last year’s Playoffs, all hustle and fire. They were sharing the ball, and JR Smith turned into JR Swish briefly, but Melo was crazy good throughout, finishing with a career Playoff high 42 points. With AK47 out, and Okur playing just 11 minutes before he went out, Utah basically played a seven man rotation, and they just looked wiped out by the end of the game.

What did we learn? Well, all the home teams won. And it didn’t seem like any of them were in much danger of not winning.

I’m sure we’ll still see some surprises before the Playoffs are over.

I’m just not sure we’ll see many in Round One.