Monday night marked the beginning of the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs. Within the first 2 games, there were 2 emphatic statements made. One was better than good, while the other was ehhh for lack of another word, worse than bad. And Tuesday night, the other 2 games will get under way. Let’s start with The Good:
Chris Paul, and his Los Angeles Clippers, marched into Oklahoma City and sent a clear message to Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Chris Paul sent another message that I’m pretty sure his critics heard loud and clear as well. Paul put his Clippers on his back and led them to a decisive 122-105 victory to grab a 1 game to none lead in the series. Paul hit 8 three-pointers, that’s right, EIGHT three-pointers!! Yes, Paul went 8 of 9 from downtown and also added 10 assists to his stat line. He essentially contributed in half of his teams points Monday night. Paul, without a doubt will not continue to drain three’s at such a frenetic pace, however, he should be able to maintain his elite level of play throughout the entire 2nd round. This would get the monkey off his back and would land him in his first Conference Finals of his career. The MVP to be, Kevin Durant, may have something to say about that though, as I expect a bounce back performance in Game 2 from Durant and his trigger happy side-kick Russell Westbrook. By the way, imagine if Robin turned to Batman and said, “You know what Batman, I think we should change the name of this movie to Robin Returns.” Batman would have picked up Robin and put him back in his closet. Durant needs to man up and tell Westbrook to give him the damn ball and get out of his way! Anyone who knows basketball has been saying this for years, but I guess Durant doesn’t want to listen. Now, let’s move on to the bad….THE VERY BAD:
Roy Hibbert, oh poor Roy Roy. The stat line says it all: 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 5 fouls (in 18 Minutes). What in the blazing saddles is going on here?? Roy Hibbert is listed at 7’2″. 0 Rebounds?!?!?! You should get at least one rebound by accident….from the bench….when you’re 7’2″. I, along with the rest of the world do not understand what has happened to Roy Hibbert, but he better figure it out quick or else his Pacers will be watching the Heat steamroll the Wizards rather than having that dubious pleasure themselves. And last but not least, the unknown:
Only time will tell what will happen in the rest of the series’ that have yet to start, but the big conversation of the 2nd round thus far has been the Miami Heat vs. the Brooklyn Nets. A lot of people are jumping on the Brooklyn bandwagon because they swept the regular season series with the Heat this year (4-0). I for one am not buying into that. Yes, winning 4 straight games, no matter how close they were, against the two time defending champions is an outstanding feat, however, this is not the regular season anymore. The Miami Heat rest their players throughout the regular season, and from time to time honestly just don’t try sometimes. Come playoff time, Lebron, Wade, and company are all business, all the time. And frankly, they are just a better team than Brooklyn. The other question is, as a Knicks fan, if you had to root for one of these teams, who do you root for? This is not an easy question to answer, but I would have to root for the Heat. Despite what some delusional Knicks fans think, the Knicks and the Heat don’t have a rivalry anymore. The Knicks and Nets don’t have a rivalry yet either, but fuel will definitely be thrown on the fire if the Nets can somehow dethrone the Heat. Plus, Knicks fans can’t root for a team that employs Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (come on now!).
Stay tuned for my predictions going forward in these NBA Playoffs.
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