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NBA Playoff Action Open Thread - Sunday, April 24. Taking Shape.


The Celtics and Heat can wrap up their series today, up 3-0 on the Knicks and 76ers, while the Hawks and Lakers can take charge of their series with wins, each up 2-1. There isn't much suspense here, save for the Hawks/Magic series. Jason Richardson and Zaza Pachulia are suspended for game 4 after their altercation Friday night, so Orlando will need someone else from among Dwight Howard's supporting cast to deliver as their season is in danger of becoming a huge disappointment.

Notes:

Carmelo Anthony will try to carry the load for the Knicks, as Amare Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups are doubtful for today's game. Had the Suns signed Amare to the max guaranteed deal the Knicks did, we'd all be troubled that Stoudemire's back can now be added to his knee and eye on the list of causes for health concern. Letting him walk was a calculated risk, just as signing him was for the Knicks. It's still too soon to say who got the best of the deal. Update: ABC's Mike Tirico reported that Amare will play today.

Jason Collins has started all three games for the Hawks so far, played around 18 minutes in each, and produced a grand total of 4 points and 4 rebounds while his team has won 2 of 3 games. Remind you of any former Sun also named J. Collins?

The Hornets need Chris Paul to be their savior on this Easter Sunday. He's averaging 25 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds per game so far in the series, and the Hornets will need all of that and more to ward off the evil Lakers. This series has an air of inevitability about it, no?

Today's games:

Miami at Philadelphia, 10AM PDT, ABC. Heat lead series 3-0

Boston at New York, 12:30PM PDT, ABC. Celtics lead series 3-0

Orlando at Atlanta, 4PM PDT, TNT. Hawks lead series 2-1

Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans, 6:30PM PDT, TNT. Lakers lead series 2-1.

GO!

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