I think I'm in love. No, it's not a women, or even a dude...it's a deer. A stunt-pulling, ACL-tearing, fist-punching deer. If you've not yet figured it out, I'm obviously referring to the Milwaukee Bucks mascot, Bango. I know the Suns are facing an off-season where the top priority has to be figuring out what to do with Amar'e Stoudemire -- but for my money, they could make real strides if Steve Kerr could figure out a package to put together for Bango. I'm willing to trade a second round pick and would gladly let them have Taylor Griffin and the Sol Patrol. Someone get one of the Brew Hoop guys over here so we can negotiate.
Last night in the playoffs brought us a relatively expected result (Nuggets staying alive) and one of the real upsets of the playoffs to this point, as Milwaukee took a game in Atlanta. Go, you plucky Bucks, go.
Wednesday April 28th Playoff Results:
Denver Nuggets 116 Utah Jazz 102 (Recap): Well at least the Nuggets didn't go out with a whimper yet. Maybe it was the back against the wall, season is ending thing but the Nuggets came back from a halftime deficit to roll the Jazz in the second half and win going away. Carmelo Anthony predictably led the Nuggets with 26, who also got 21 from Chauncey Billups and 18 from the corpse of Kenyon Martin. Deron Williams was again the guy for the Jazz, going for 34/10 and strengthening his case as the NBA's best point guard. With this win for Denver, all the Western Conference series are guaranteed to go a minimum of 6 games. I'm not big on guarantees or anything but I'm roughly 100% certain the Jazz will beat the hell out of Denver in Game 6 back in Salt Lake.
Milwaukee Bucks 91 Atlanta Hawks 87 (Recap): Following the first two games of this series, it appeared that the seemingly out-classed Bucks were headed the way of their other lower seeded Eastern Conference friends. Then something funny happened on the way to the beach -- they started winning games. Milwaukee begun by drawing the series even with 2 wins on their home court, but last night is when they really took a drastic step forward. Behind 25 from rookie Brandon Jennings and 19 from trade deadline pick-up John Salmons, the Bucks outscored the Hawks by 12 in the fourth quarter to take a 3-2 series lead. Hawks star Joe Johnson picked up a charging foul (drawn by Kurt Thomas) with 2:15 to go and Atlanta up 1. After that, the Bucks took over and grabbed the win and control of the series. Milwaukee will shockingly have a chance to go for the kill at home on Friday -- in front of the watchful eye of Bango.
(1) Lakers v. (8) Thunder: 3-2 Lakers
(2) Mavericks v. (7) Spurs: 3-2 Spurs
(3) Suns v. (6) Trail Blazers: 3-2 Suns
(4) Nuggets v. (5) Jazz: 3-2 Jazz
(1) Cavaliers v. (8) Bulls: 4-1 Cavs win series
(2) Magic v. (7) Bobcats: 4-0 Magic win series
(3) Hawks v. (6) Bucks: 3-2 Bucks
(4) Celtics v. (5) Heat: 4-1 Celtics win series
Thursday April 29th Playoff Games:
Game 6 - Mavericks @ Spurs: After a dominant performance in Game 5, Dallas goes back to San Antonio where they lost in their two tries there in Games 3 and 4. The sense of urgency to close this one out has to be very high for the Spurs as I cannot fathom they like the idea of returning to Dallas for a Game 7. San Antonio will need more than 18 combined points from Duncan/Ginobili if they are going to finish the series.
Game 6 - Suns @ Blazers: Suns....please end this, these Blazer fans are multiplying faster than Seth can ban them. And he's banning as fast as he can. Realistically I expect Portland to give Phoenix their absolute best punch. As banged up as Brandon Roy is, I have an odd feeling he'll produce a good performance. I expect a good game and won't hit the panic button if the Suns lose. Check back here later for the game preview.