Archive for May 2013

NBA Western Conference Round 2: San Antonio vs Golden State

Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs continues tonight as the San Antonio Spurs host the Golden State Warriors.

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San Antonio comes into Round 2 after a sweep of the Lakers in Round 1. Tony Parker has been outstanding coming off a late-season injury. Parker leads the Spurs in scoring with 22.7 points per game. Tim Duncan is in great form, as well, averaging 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The Spurs unit is resembling the teams that won 4 NBA titles from 1999 to 2007.

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The Warriors come into the second round after a fast-paced 6-game series against Denver. They boast the top-scoring offense in the playoffs at 107.2 ppg. They will face a Spurs defense that is tied for 2nd in scoring defense (85.3 ppg). The Golden State offense has 5 players averaging double-figure scoring, led by Stephen Curry at 24.3 ppg. In addition, center Andrew Bogut had a nice first-round, contributing 8.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

Golden State faces much the same delimma as Chicago does facing the Miami Heat: can they outscore an efficient Spurs offense for 4 games in 7 tries. The Warriors’ young players will have to remain composed against the veteran San Antonio squad.

Game7Dads predicts: San Antonio in 5.

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NBA Eastern Conference Round 2: Miami vs Chicago

Round 2 of the NBA playoffs gets under way Monday night as the defending champion Miami Heat (66-16) host the Chicago Bulls (45-37) on TNT.

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The Heat come into Round 2 after a 4-game sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round. League MVP LeBron James is averaging 24.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game in the postseason. And he’s had plenty of help. With Dwyane Wade injured and missing Game 4 vs. the Bucks, Ray Allen is second in scoring for the postseason with 16.5 ppg.

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The Bulls will roll into Miami after a 4-2 series win over the Brooklyn Nets. Already missing former league MVP Derrick Rose for the season, forward Loul Deng (illness) and Rose’s backup Kirk Hinrich (calf) also missed time against Brooklyn. Deng is ruled out for Game 1.

Key for the Bulls is capitalizing on their advantage in the post from players like Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, while keeping the Heat’s role players at bay. Chicago has seen players step up in the postseason. Currently, seven Bulls are averaging double-figure scoring in the playoffs, including Nate Robinson (17.0 ppg), Jimmy Butler (11.7), and Marco Belinelli (11.7)

The bottom line is, can a banged-up Bulls squad win 4 games against the Heat in 7 tries?

Game7Dads predicts: Heat in 5.

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NBA Eastern Conference Round 2: New York vs Indiana

Note: This article was written and published after the conclusion of Game 1.

Somebody must have put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1993.

It’s the Knicks and Pacers in the NBA playoffs!

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From 1993 to 2000, the Knicks and Pacers squared off in 6 playoff series, and forged one of the most exciting and intense rivalries in NBA playoff history. Gone in 2013 are Ewing, Starks, Miller, and the Pacers’ two Davises. Enter Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Paul George, and Roy Hibbert.

While the players are different, the intensity should match that of the mid-1990s series. At stake is a trip to the Eastern Conference finals, and perhaps the NBA Finals. A trip to the NBA Finals would be New York’s first since 2000 and Indiana’s first since 1999, the last two time, incidently, the two teams faced each other in the played.

knicksThe Knicks come into the series after a tough-fought series win over Boston. The Knicks grabbed a quick 3-0 series lead before Boston regrouped to force Game 6, and New York took the series 4-2. New York will continue to depend on volume scoring from Anthony and stout post defense from Tyson Chandler. Good dribble penetration and outside shooting from Raymond Felton and NBA 6th Man of the Year winner J.R. Smith will help the Knicks’ cause tremendously.

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The Pacers also come off a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Hawks, the only road victory in the series earned by the Pacers in Atlanta in Game 6. The Pacers match up well with the Knicks up front, with big bodies like Hibbert, David West, and Tyler Hansborogh matching up to a depleted Knick frontcourt whose top player (Chandler) is not an offensive threat.

The Knicks have a decided advantage in the backcourt, however. Anthony, Smith, and Felton average 61.6 of the team’s 87.7 points per game. George, P.J. Hill, and Lance Stephenson for average 41.8 of the Pacers’ 94.5 ppg.

The key to this series in perimeter shooting. If the Knicks struggle from the outside, the Pacer will win the series. If Anthony and Smith are making mid-range and 3-point shots, the Pacers will have to live up to their nickname and keep pace from the outside. Having already seen Game 1, I won’t take the easy way out on the prediction.

Game7Dads predicts: Knicks in 7.

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NBA Western Conference Round 2: Oklahoma City vs Memphis

Round 2 is here! After an exciting opening round of the NBA playoffs, Round 2 kicks off today (likely before this post is published) as the Memphis Grizzlies travel to Oklahoma City to take on the defending Western Conference champion Thunder.

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The Thunder welcome the Grizzlies after a tough opening round series win over Houston. OKC jumped to a 3-0 series lead, but needed a 6th game to send the Rockets home in a series highlight by a season-ending injury to Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

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Memphis comes into the second round having won 4 straight over the L.A. Clippers after trailing the series 0-2.

Kevin Durant has been remarkable in the 2013 postseason, averaging 32.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Durant will need to continue putting up big number against the league’s top defensive team.

Zach Randolph anchors a Memphis team that played well in games 2 through 6 of the Clippers series. Randolph led the Grizzlies in both points (20.8) and rebounds (8.0).

This series could go any of a number of ways depending on how well each team’s role players perform. If Durant has enough help from guys like Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, and veteran Derek Fisher, the Thunder should have no problem outscoring Grizzlies.

However, the Houston series may have shown just how much the Thunder team relies on Westbrook. And they will be facing a much tougher opponent in the 2nd round. If Randolph, Tony Allen, Mike Conley, and NBA Defensive POY Marc Gasol can all contribute, Memphis will make things very tough on OKC.

Game7Dads predicts: Memphis in 6.

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