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NBA Playoff Nightcap: April 30th Edition

OK Blazer fans, we had our fun -- some of us were mean to each other and some of us were respectful.  We had hate threads, criticism of clothing, and general dislike between what I've always thought were two pretty likable fan bases.  Now that our series is over (the Suns won in 6), let's be buddies. Eh?  Eh?

I'm sorry I missed the game thread last night but I was busy hanging out at a bar offending the patrons with a series of loud yells.  In fact, when Portland tied the game at 76-76 in the fourth quarter, our waitress came over to the table and told me that someone had purchased a beer for me.  Unfortunately for me and my ego, this was not a beer offered to me because someone thought I was incredibly handsome.  Make no mistake about it, this was a "Please shut up, Scott Howard" beer.  Oh, how I love the playoffs.

Thursday April 29th Playoff Results:

San Antonio Spurs 97 Dallas Mavericks 87 (Recap): San Antonio is headed on to Round 2 while the Mavs have experienced another playoff failure despite hefty expectations.  Dallas trailed 22-8 (yes, eight) after the first quarter and were behind by as many as 21 in the second, but rallied in the second half to make this a competitive contest.  Unfortunately for Dallas they didn't have quite enough.  Manu Ginobili recovered from his brief slump to lead the Spurs with 26, while George Hill scored 21 (17 in the second half) and Tim Duncan posted a double-double (17/10).  Dallas was led by 33 from Dirk Nowitzki and now heads into another uncertain summer.  Will Cuban blow the team up?  Who the hell knows?  As for the Spurs, they are headed to Phoenix for the Western Conference Semifinals.

Phoenix Suns 99 Portland Trail Blazers 90 (Recap): Wow.  This is awkward.  I totally didn't even catch a second of this game. Oh wait, no's the opposite.  In spite of an awful game from a Steve Nash (7 turnovers on 2/7 shooting) impersonator, the Suns won on the road and will be headed to the second round for the first time since 2007.  The Suns led by 12 at the half and nine at the end of the third but had to hold off a fourth quarter Blazers rally for the win.  Jason Richardson led the Suns with 28 -- yes, at this point everyone knows: Suns = good when J-Rich is good -- while super thug Amar'e Stoudemire scored 22 in spite of trying to murder Nic Batum's shoulder with his laser vision (I might be exaggerating here, but I'm not sure....I mean why else would he wear the goggles?).  Martell Webster led Portland with 19, including 3 wide ass open threes, but it wasn't enough to avoid a summer full of fishing trips and hopes that Greg Oden will finally begin to scratch the surface of his potential before his body fails him.


Series Standings:

(1) Lakers v. (8) Thunder: 3-2 Lakers

(2) Mavericks v. (7) Spurs4-2 Spurs win series

(3) Suns v. (6) Trail Blazers: 4-2 Suns win series

(4) Nuggets v. (5) Jazz:  3-2 Jazz

(1) Cavaliers v. (8) Bulls4-1 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) Heat4-1 Celtics win series

Friday April 30th Playoff Games:

Game 6 - Hawks @ Bucks: Outside of anything Suns-related this is the series I'm most passionate about.  Do your thing, Bucks...finish this one off now or you're probably going home in Game 7.  FEAR THE DEER!

Game 6 - Lakers @ Thunder:  OKC has a pretty awesome home court advantage -- hopefully that will be enough to carry them to a Game 7.  Strong likelihood is that the Lakers pull just enough out to win.

Game 6 - Nuggets @ Jazz:  I don't even have a whole lot to say about this one.  The Jazz are going to win going away and I cannot be convinced otherwise.  Feel free to set forth any argument you have to the contrary in the space below. 

A final note -- Blazer fans....let's have peace between our two fan bases.  I like you guys and whether or not you like me, let's take a page from another unlikely pair of folks that ended up being great friends...even though they started out as perfect strangers.

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