An Interactive Sports Experience

NBA Semi-Finals (Eastern Conference)

Now that the NBA Playoffs have reached the second round, we should congratulate the 8 teams that have passed like Miami, Chicago, New York, Indiana, Oklahoma, Memphis, Golden State and San Antonio. Match-ups thus far are all great and have been fun to watch as we are nearing Game 4s of all of them (Game 3s end tonight).  Now that we caught up with the obvious let’s go ahead with each series and what we should expect.

EASTERN Conference

Miami vs. Chicago

The Summary: Since we’re anticipating for Game 4, we seen the previous three and we know that Chicago has won a game, barely scrapping for it and winning by 6 without Deng or Hinrich. However, we also know that Miami came out the next game, raging and destroying an unhealthy team by 37 points with LeBron staying quiet after the second half. Even when LeBron wasn’t in his aggressive scoring mode, he was helping other players with his assists (9), and Miami shot 60% from the field. On the other hand of the game, the Bulls only shot 35%.

Game 2 for the Bulls wasn’t pretty and Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were both thrown out, guess the Birdman’s goaltend wasn’t too pleasing to players down by 40. Game 3 happened yesterday and the game wasn’t a blow-out (a plus for Chicago) but they still lost and in the process. Nazr Mohammed got a one-up on LeBron with just a tiny shove, tiny.

We know that this series is physical and that’s how Chicago needs to play against Miami, maybe they could do that better if they had Deng back in the line-up and Butler taking a longer rest (three 48-minute games in a row for Jimmy [broke in Game3]). Deng is a good defensive player, I’m not saying he could break-down LeBron but he could probably slow him down more than an over-played and tired Butler. The series will honestly rely on their physicality and if they can get healthy enough by Game 5.

Key Player:  Nate Robinson and LeBron. Nate is obviously one of the main reasons for that Game 1 win. His explosiveness and sometimes boneheaded shots can really make Chicago better and if he doesn’t play well there’s really no solid back-ups because of Hinrich being out. If he can facilitate the offense, get hot and get in the lane, he should be a hard defend for Miami. Oh yeah, and LeBron, I guess…

(Also, for Miami, it’s a good series for Norris Cole right now, shooting 16-20 from the field [80%] and destroying the Bulls with his three ball)

Prediction:  Miami in 5. I cannot see the Bulls win anymore games and they just look beaten up from their roster.

New York vs. Indiana

The Summary: Well, this match-up was expected from the jump but we all want to know who’s going to face Miami in the ECF?

Let’s take a look at how Indiana took Game 1 at the Garden. You could say it was because New York was still accustomed to Boston’s lack-luster offensive performance and couldn’t keep up with an upgraded one and that could be a part of it. Although, really I think it was the interior defense that was present when Roy Hibbert was on the floor. Blocking five shots and leaving the Knicks to take ill-advised and contested shots from mid-range and beyond where it wasn’t as efficient as where the front-court of David West and Hibbert combined for 34 points on 14-24 shooting. Outrebounding was key with Lance Stephenson leading the 44 overall rebounds with 13, while New York only had 30. Tyson Chandler was not efficient at all, going for 4 points, 3 rebounds and then got fouled out in the final 2 minutes of regulation.

Game 2, I really don’t know what to say about this game except for it was a huge melt-down on the Pacers part. Knicks went on a 30-2 run at the end of the 3rd quarter and it ended at the 5 minute mark of the 4th. Really, I don’t even think Chicago could do that against Miami? We’ve seen inconsistency within the Pacers in the playoffs before with their huge loss to Atlanta, but you’d think they’d grow from that and never let it happen again. There’s no real reason for the loss except maybe that the Knicks got into a shooting groove (which they did) and the Pacers’ Paul George hasn’t played at a high level yet. Even though he shot 8-16, it’s not enough to beat a great Knicks team.

I just want Indiana to give their all through-out each game in a series, is that too much to ask for?

Key Players: Roy Hibbert and Carmelo. Roy needs to play with more defensive authority like he did in Game 1 but he also needs help from David West. However, if Roy can get into his groove, he might be double teamed for more open looks for David. For the Knicks, it’s Carmelo, if he just plays with his aggressive shooting game, then we can see the Knicks win, there’s no other player that will carry this team.

(Except Raymond Felton and his impeccable shooting right now)

Prediction:  Knicks in 7. I see the Knicks winning but I think Indiana will fight for their lives and Carmelo can’t continue to strive like this. Vogel has to have something planned to stop him.

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