Hey there. I am a huge basketball fan and I have been waiting for this for almost a year. THE NBA PLAYOFFS ARE FINALLY HERE!!! I'm a huge Lakers fan. I've been following them since the days of Byron Scott, AC Green, Magic and Pat Riley. I pledge loyalty to no other team but the Lakers. If you follow basketball, then you would know that the Lakers were humiliated by the Celtics in last year's championship round. Do or die time for the Lakers, and what did they do? Lay a turd the size of the L.A. river... The bastards pretty much just rolled over. How embarrassing. This year will be different. It better be different. I caught the Lakers put a beat down on the Jazz this weekend and the team looked strong. The final score does not tell the tale of the game since the Lakers were in control early (up by 22 at the half) and pretty much was on cruise control the rest of the game. We're a bunch of focused individuals and this season will be a failure without a title. Being a fan, I didn't just watch the Laker game, the weekend was full of surprises in what is turning out to be a pretty interesting first round.
First game of the playoffs, Chicago @ Boston. The Celtics are the reigning champs and should be able to dispel an upcoming Chicago team. Well, the C's were without Kevin Garnett and the Bulls refused to go down without a fight. Soon to be rookie of the year (in my opinion, at least) Derrick Rose scored 36 points in his playoff debut. A huge deal since it's something that Michael Jordan nor Magic Johnson accomplished in their debut. The guy was on fire. He kept his team in the game by calmly hitting 2 clutch freethrows to put the Bulls up 1 near the end of the game. While Paul Pierce hit 1 or 2 moments later to tie the game instead of putting his team up by 1 near the end of regulation. The Bulls continued the momentum into OT and managed to edge out the Celtics for a surprising win. Rajon Rondo is having difficulties staying in front of Derrick Rose. Unless they contain Rose in the coming games, this could be a long series that can go either way.
Game 2 featured the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It's highly anticipated that the Lakers will meet the Cavs in the finals so I keep a close eye on this game. The Cavs look strong in their win. I don't see them losing to Pistons. The Pistons looked like a team that is worn out. GM Joe Dumars has done a great piecing together a great team there but that team may need to start the rebuilding process soon. The Cavs are too strong and too good to lose to an old team.
Game 3 featured the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. I only caught glimpses of this game, since I spent most of the afternoon doing come yard work and heavy duty cleaning. What I did see was the Spurs up big in the second qtr, which, quite frankly, I expected. When I looked at the highlights later in the evening, shocker #2 came to light when it showed that Dallas pulled out the win. San Antonio needs the injured Manu Ginobli if they wish to get far. This is a toss up for me since the Spurs have championship experience and a great coach in Greg "Poppa", but it may not be enough this time.
Game 4 was the Rockets and the Trailblazers. I should have watched this game, but payed no attention to it all. Was still outside working... I will say this however. Portland was looking very formidable near the end of the regular season. It's a huge disappointment for them to come out flat and lose to Houston home. Portland is the only team in the West that I see posing a problem to the Lakers. Their big guys can definitely match up to our bigs and the battle won at the post will determine the winner of the game.
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Game 1 was Lakers at Jazz. Already spoke of this game and I'll be extremely disappointed if we dont' take care of the Jazz in 4 or 5 games. They are not strong enough or big enough to contend with our length. No excuses Lakers! Handle your business.
Game 2 featured the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic was in control of this game from the start. Up by 18 or so by the end of the 3rd quarter, the Magic had this game in the bag. Then, they collapsed. The Sixers were the aggressors, constantly in the lane, hitting layups. Now, if you have a monster like Dwight Howard on your team, NO ONE SHOULD BE GETTING LAYUPS! The guys is a beast, and he's only 22! He's only going to get better from here. Chalk it up to inexperience if you want, the Magic gave this game to the Sixers in that 4th quarter.
I didn't see the next two games, but considering that they were beat downs, I don't think I missed much. The Hawks gave a huge hurt to the Heat. Surprisingly, they handed them a 26 point beatdown. I didn't see the game, so I don't know the facts, but where was Dwayne Wade? He's a killer talent to have on a team and he tends to shine in the playoffs. His leadership may need to be questioned if he allowed his team to be on the receiving end of a beating like this.
The other game was the New Orleans Hornets at Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have the second seed in the West and considering how tight seeds 2-8 were, it speaks volumes that they were the ones to claim that spot. This was another one where Chris Paul should not have let his team lose by so much. He's the leader of that team and should have lit a fire under his team. Also, I was not impressed by his press conference explaination. It seemed to me that he was making excuses than taking measures to rectify the team. It's a chess match during the playoffs. Adjustments, and then readjustments are made and the team that can do it better tends to win.
If you keep track, you'll notice that the road team won in four of the contests, stealing home court advantage. I don't believe in home court advantange. You either have the skills to win, or you don't. It shouldn't matter whether the game is in different cities. The 4 teams that won on road displayed their skill. With the exception of the Rockets, the road team fought back after being down to take the win. It was an exciting slate of games this weekend and the playoffs are looking to be extrememly entertaining. Later!
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