Does anyone else who has attended the playoff games at US Airways Center agree that it has been just really, really hot in the arena? Maybe I'm off here but as fun as the games are (especially when the Suns kick ass), I'm not one to enjoy back and foot sweat. I believe I just re-defined over-sharing on Bright Side of the Sun.
Well Game 5 of Suns/Blazers was super fun -- you know, unless you're a Blazers fan. As for the other two games, we have an actual functioning Eastern Conference series on our hands and our first team that has gone fishin' for the summer. Only 15 NBA teams remain.
Monday April 26th Playoff Results:
Orlando Magicians 99 Charlotte Bobcats 90 (Recap): Well thanks for showing up, Bobcats, your first playoff appearance was real but you're gonna have to wait until next year to get that first playoff win. Dwight Howard was basically in foul trouble for this entire series -- Game 4 was no different, as he fouled out in 23 minutes -- but it didn't matter in the Orlando sweep. The Magicians were led by 21 from Vince Carter but got balanced scoring (a theme of the series) with 18 from Jameer Nelson, 17 from Rashard Lewis, 14 from former Sun Matt Barnes, and 13 from Air France. Charlotte hung around behind 21/9 from Tyrus Thomas, but in the end it wasn't enough. Orlando shot just 41.8% from the field in this one and still won. Later, Bobcats.
Phoenix Suns 107 Portland Trail Blazers 88 (Recap): I'll definitely admit I'm one of the guys who "pooped my pants" when the Blazers took an early 9-0 lead, and then extended such lead to 21-7. Fortunately for panic button fanatics such as myself, Jared Dudley (19 points on 5/9 from three) and Channing Frye (20 points) remembered there was some sort of playoff series they should show up to. Yada yada yada...the Suns blitzed Portland in the second and third quarters and came away with a 19 point victory. Obviously the pressure now shifts back to Portland for Game 6 and if this series has taught us anything, it's that the team facing adversity finds a way to step up. Thus with that line of thinking, expect an incredible effort from Portland in Game 6. Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if our Portland friends are around into the weekend. Sigh.
Milwaukee Bucks 111 Atlanta Hawks 104 (Recap): Here it is! The one real live series in the Eastern Conference! If you follow this column at all you know I'm just tickled that it's the Bucks, as I've adopted them as my defacto EC team -- I think it's my love of John Salmons' beard and the fact that Jerry Stackhouse played with George Mikan. Milwaukee evened the series -- again despite a real post scoring presence -- behind 20+ point games from Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, and Carlos Delfino. Salmons and Jennings are nearly expected by this point, but if the Bucks are actually going to pull the upset in this series, they are going to need more of what they got tonight from Carlos Delfino, who hit 6 of his 8 three point attempts. If Milwaukee can get a consistent third scoring threat, they might actually have a chance in this one. Delfino also did this:
(1) Lakers v. (8) Thunder: 2-2 tie
(2) Mavericks v. (7) Spurs: 3-1 Spurs
(3) Suns v. (6) Trail Blazers: 3-2 Suns
(4) Nuggets v. (5) Jazz: 3-1 Jazz
(1) Cavaliers v. (8) Bulls: 3-1 Cavs
(2) Magic v. (7) Bobcats: 4-0 Magic win series
(3) Hawks v. (6) Bucks: 2-2 tie
(4) Celtics v. (5) Heat: 3-1 Celtics
Tuesday April 27th Playoff Games:
Game 5 - Heat @ Celtics: Unless Dwyane Wade plans on putting up 50 (and you know he might), it's pretty likely that the Celtics will put this series to bed. If Miami doesn't get some help for Wade this summer this may be his last game in a Heat uniform.
Game 5 - Bulls @ Cavaliers: I put the "unless Wade puts up 50" condition in the above series to keep Miami alive -- Chicago shouldn't harbor such hopes. The execution is coming and it will be swift. Have a fun summer, D-Rose.
Game 5 - Spurs @ Mavericks: How much pride does Dallas have? San Antonio has sprinted out to a 3-1 series lead and has a chance to be the first Western Conference team to advance to the second round. Considering the Mavs are at home -- and still the 2 seed -- I like their shot to send this one back to SA for a Game 6.
Game 5 - Thunder @ Lakers: This one will have my full attention and should probably have yours, too. OKC managed to get both games on their home court and will now have to steal a game in LA to win the series. Go get 'em Thunder...every non-Laker fan will be rooting for you.