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From Durant to Lebron, NBA Conference Finals Wrap-Up (Bonus Podcast)Posted by JR the Writer on 06/01/12 | Filed under Features, Opinion, Podcasts, Sports, NBA
If you would of told me that Rondo would score more than 40 points and the Heat missed 16 free throws in one game, I would of told you there was NO way that the Heat won that game. I also would have been wrong, somehow. Boston now down 0-2 has proven that age does matter and it’s hard to imagine it getting any better for them. Starting a new series just 2 days after going a tiring seven with the 76ers was the worst thing that could of happened to Boston. Game 1 they looked sluggish and vets like Peirce, Allen, and Garnett were a non-factor when it was needed down the stretch in game 2. Had Boston took the route of the Spurs and swept the Sixers, this would be a completely different series. However, like OKC, the Celtics HAVE to win their next 2 at home in order to make this a series. I have a feeling the Celtics will take game 3, but they have to get Garnett and Bass back into the offense. Say what you want about coach Erick, but his small ball line up has really stretched the Boston line up, making Bass and Garnett play defense at the perimeter against the faster and more versatile Heat Forwards. Also, Mario Chalmers is hitting jumpers, and when Lebron and Wade stretch the floor with Chalmers, Miller, or Battier hitting jumpers….well let’s just say they made it this far for a reason.
While I do think Boston will win game 3, game 4 will be a different story and the turning point of the series. Boston is too tired and showed that when they gave up transition baskets to the likes of Haslem. Look for the Heat to win Game 4 and then finish it off back at home for Game 5.
Can you believe that OKC beat the Spurs…..WITH DEFENSE??! Lets get one thing straight; OKC has not played bad during this series. Hell, any team that drops over 100 so effortlessly would win against any other team in the league. However, when the Spurs are dropping 120, a new game plan is needed. Coach Brooks showed that in Game 3, and if the score line didn’t prove it, how about the TWENTY-ONE turnovers! That’s the most turnovers in a playoff game the Spurs have had since 2007! However, the biggest difference for OKC was the bench play, which for the first time this series stepped up to the challenge against San Antonio’s depth. Sefalosha went off last night and showed that he could step up both defensively and offensively when called upon. Another person who stepped up was Perkins, who may not have had an impressive stat line but really stepped it up defensively including one on one. Although OKC may have found a new way to get back in this series, they still MUST win game 4 at home. Westbrook has to continue facilitating the team and dishing out to an open Durant, Harden in the corner to drain the three. Westbrook has to play more like a Kidd and less like an Iverson, simple as that. Also, OKC must continue to shut down the San Antonio guards! When Parker and Ginobli are not getting open shots or good looks, the team has to rely on Duncan and post play, and while Duncan may be one of the best power forwards to have ever played, he can’t put this team on his back anymore.
If OKC wins game 4, this series is going 7…and boy oh boy will that be an amazing game! I’m not even going to predict a winner, but just know that OKC is not going out lying down, and the Spurs are going to need to show a lot more nasty.
BONUS: Enjoy the 1st episode of what I hope will be the weekly “Off The Bench” podcast! This week CBS Sports Writer Ben Golliver joins me to give us a real expert’s opinion on the NBA Playoffs and U.S. Soccer.
As always, if you want to complain, ask questions, or speak your own piece, make sure to email me at Jrthewriter@gmail.com or hit me on twitter @JRtheWriter.