Tag Archives: nba playoffs
The Eastern Conference has truly had some outstanding match-ups throughout the post-season and it is quite evident that we may have one more left to play out. The Orlando Magic pulled off what many would consider an upset when they took down the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland 107-106 in dramatic fashion. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead in the game leading by 15 at the half and it appeared as they would cruise to another home victory. However, the Magic answered back throughout the 2nd half and Rashard Lewis nailed a 3 pointer to cap the comeback in the closing seconds to capture the surprising win. Cleveland now looks to rebound tonight when they host Orlando for the 2nd game of the series. If somehow the Magic could find a way to win again, then it would be just completely devastating to Cleveland considering how they have dominated all year at home. However, Orlando would take complete control if that scenario were to happen as they get the next two games at home as well.
The heavily favored team out west in the Los Angeles Lakers battled 7 games with the Houston Rockets before finally coming out victorious. The Lakers played fairly inconsistent throughout the series, but they will again be favorites to win the Western Conference when they meet the Denver Nuggets for Game1 inside the Staples Center this Tuesday night. Denver has also been one of the hottest teams in the conference especially through the latter part of the regular season. The Nuggets overpowered the Dallas Mavericks in 5 games to make their way to the Conference Finals. Denver has vastly improved as the season has progressed and Chauncey Billups has been a big factor to the newfound success. However, Denver has not faired extremely well against the Lakers this season losing 3 out of 4 meetings. Then again this is not the same Denver team from those earlier meetings as they will attempt to earn their first NBA Finals appearance.
The Boston Celtics were able to capitalize off the home court advantage and take down the Orlando Magic in a close 92-88 victory. The Celtics victory allowed them to take control in the series 3-2. Orlando now gets the opportunity to host the Celtics on their home floor this Thursday night in attempt to get the series back square and to force a Game 7. Boston has battled back to win the last two games after being down 1-2 to Orlando after Game 3. The Celtics have pulled off two straight very close defeats and will have the chance to win the series this Thursday night. The Magic are expected to put together their best effort at home which is why they will enter the contest as 7 point favorites. Orlando has struggled shooting the ball over the last two nights averaging 41% from the floor. Orlando must get a strong effort from all their shooters this Thursday and not allow Boston the opportunity to keep the game close.
The Houston Rockets upset the Los Angeles Lakers inside the Staples Center to open up the series in a strong defensive performance 100-92. However, the hot hand of Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers have responded strongly with two straight wins to grab the lead in the series. Bryant exploded in the victories dropping 73 combined points over those two games. The two teams have had some heated moments throughout the hard fought series. Derek Fisher was thrown out of Game 2 and suspended for Game 3 after throwing an intentional elbow to Rockets forward Louis Scola. Also, Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest have had their moments throughout the series as we move towards another expected physical Game 4 in Houston. For the Rockets, this has to be a must win scenario before they travel back to the Staples Centers where chances of winning diminish despite capturing a victory there in Game 1.
The Boston Celtics were apart of perhaps the greatest opening round series of all time when they overcame the Chicago Bulls in 7 games that had plenty of overtime sessions as well. The Celtics could be on the verge of another back and forth battle in the Conference Semi-Finals match-up with Orlando. The Magic came out looking strong beating the Celtics at TD Northbank Garden in Game 1 95-90. However, things were much different in Game 2 as Boston completely dominated all aspects of the game blowing the Magic out 112-94. However, the series will take another turn as these teams will battle the next two meetings in Orlando. The Magic have played very well all season at home and they will need to take advantage of the home court over the next two games. Orlando really needs to win both games to avoid having to rely on more wins in Boston. However, the Celtics won the only previous meeting earlier this season in Orlando and they will be looking for similar results this Friday night.
The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Detroit Pistons in 4 games putting just another notch on their impeccable resume this season. Cleveland remained extremely dominant at home winning the two games over the Pistons by a combined 30 points. The Cavaliers will put their home court advantage to the test once again this Tuesday night when they host the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the Conference Semi-Finals. Atlanta is fresh off a hard fought 7 games series with the Miami Heat. The opening round series was back and forth the entire way. Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 27 points in Game 7 to lift them to a strong 91-78 victory over the Heat and into a meeting with the heavy favored Cleveland Cavaliers. Atlanta has lost 3 out of 4 games to the Cavaliers already this season, but they did win one game in Atlanta and only lost by one point the 2nd meeting at home. The Hawks lost a 6 point battle in the most recent trip to Cleveland on back in late March and will be fairly sizeable underdogs when they take the floor on Tuesday night.
The Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics have put together possibly one of the best opening round playoff series in history. Tuesday night’s game was just another example of how exciting the last 5 games have been. The Celtics and the Bulls went into overtime for the 3rd time in 5 games and it was the 4th game that the margin of victory has been 3 points or less. The basketball slugfest has become the first series in postseason history to have 3 overtimes. Late in the 4th quarter in Tuesday night’s game the Bulls were faced with an inbounds play with less than 10 seconds remaining. Chicago Coach Vinny Del Negro drew up a perfect play which allowed Brad Miller to roll towards the basket wide open and seemed to have an easy two point lay-up. However, Miller was fouled rather hard by Boston guard Rajon Rondo. After review of the play, the foul could have easily been called intentional as Rondo’s hand came across Miller’s face leaving him with a mouth full of blood. Miller went on to miss both free throws even though the 2nd miss was on purpose and Boston got the rebound which gave them a 3-2 lead in the series. The Bulls now have their back against the wall, but judging how well they have played it would be surprising if this series does not see a Game 7.
The Eastern Conference side of the playoffs has definitely had their share of exciting games. One exciting series that is in full swing and on the verge of resulting with an unexpected victor is the Philadelphia and Orlando battle. The Magic were heavy favorites to win this series considering the amount of success the have endured all season long. However, Philadelphia came out the gates firing when they made the 18 point comeback in game 1 to capture the 2 point win. The 76ers opening win in Orlando was big momentum changes to kick start the series. Orlando responded in game 2 like most people thought they would by dominating most of the entire game and winning by 9 points in the end. The Magic appeared to be back on track to grab control of the series when they moved to Philadelphia in Game 3. However, the 76ers had more plans to be the spoiler once again pulling out yet another close victory 96-94. The win grabbed control of the series once again from the Orlando favorites who have played as good as anyone on the road this season. If Philadelphia could grab another exciting win this Sunday, they could put a firm grip on the series and make the first round upset much more of a reality.
The NBA Playoffs got off to a great start when the Chicago Bulls took down the defending World Champions the Boston Celtics in dramatic fashion in the opening game of the series. The Bulls were lifted by the play of rookie Derrick Rose who knocked down 36 points in the over-time victory. Rose 36 points tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record for the most points in a playoff debut. Game 1 was a big storyline because of the hard fought back and forth action. However, the following game last Monday was very similar and just as exciting as the first. The game was another back and forth slugfest, but this time the outcome was slightly different. Ray Allen for the Boston Celtics got the hot hand in the 2nd half scoring 28 points and delivering the nail in the coffin when he drained a 3 pointer with less than two seconds to play. The exciting win evened up the series as game 3 heads to Chicago as everyone anticipates another exciting contest as this series has the making to possibly make it to 7 games.
The Philadelphia 76ers overcame a 18 point deficit in the opening game of their postseason playoff appearance against the Orlando Magic to score a dramatic upset victory. The 76ers were 10 point underdogs heading into the event and it quickly looked like Orlando may have been a bit too powerful. However, Andre Iguodala and company led a fierce comeback in the 4th quarter with Iguodala draining the game winning bucket with just less than 3 seconds to play in the game. The victory was the first for the 76ers over the Magic this season considering Orlando won the previous 3 regular season match-ups. Orlando will look to rebound on Wednesday night as they get Game 2 at home as well as they seek to even up the series. Similar to the first game Orlando will be again 10 point favorites in the contest, but hopefully it will be another hard fought exciting grudge match.