Big Game Recaps and Previews: May 3rd

I’m starting a new job next week, so my ability to write these things during the day will be going away. I guess I’ll have to plan ahead and write at night again. Or I’ll just abandon you all. Just kidding, you guys are the best!

RECAPS

TUESDAY

Lakers 104 – Nuggets 100

I was right about Kobe, he shot a lot Tuesday night. But he also was on fire, so it was absolutely the right thing to do. He was 15/29 from the floor en route to 38 points in a vintage Kobe game. He was sticking his jumper and blowing by defenders off the dribble. Aaron Afflalo is Denver’s best perimeter defender, but they need to get someone else to guard Bryant. He’s expending a ton of energy guarding Bryant and it’s affecting him on the offensive side. 

Andrew Bynum had another great game, scoring a career playoff high 27 points. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill grabbed 10 rebounds each. 

With all of the Laker’s stars playing well, how was this then still a close game? That’s a good question. Early on, the Nuggets were able to stay close thanks to a ton of offensive rebounds. However, late in the game they were able to find their one advantage in this series: The Lakers cannot stop Ty Lawson. Lawson had 25 points on 11/17 shooting, while also dishing out 7 assists. He was able to get into lane with ease, opening up perimeter shots and ran the pick and roll well. I’m not worried about the Lakers losing this series, though I could see Denver holding serve at home the next two games. The thing that should concern Lakers fans is that the opposing point guards are only going to get more dangerous in the later rounds. If you can’t stop Ty Lawson, how do you expect to defend Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker?

WEDNESDAY

Rangers 2 – Capitols 1 (3 OT)

Yes, triple overtime. I didn’t watch this game, but a lot of my twitter feed did and it sounded really exciting. Amazingly, the Capitols are now 0-4 in triple overtime games in their history. Talk about disheartening. The Rangers now lead the series 2-1, but as we all know nothing is over in the Stanley Cup Playoffs until guys start shaving their beards.

Clippers 98 – Grizzlies 105

After their game one collapse I was interested to see how the Grizzlies would respond last night. They came out like the veteran team they are and handled business. It was close again in the 4th quarter, but this time Memphis was prepared. Instead of settling for jump shots like in game 1, they got the ball inside and drove the lane well. OJ Mayo scored 10 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter and the Grizzlies never let the Clippers get too close for comfort.

Getty Images

Memphis was once again balanced on offense, with six players scoring in double figures. Mike Conley has turned into a legitimate point guard, and Rudy Gay approaching star status. Zach Randolph has yet to make his presence felt in this series, so you have to think that’s coming soon.

One thing to watch as this series goes on, is Blake Griffin vs. Zach Randolph. The two power forwards were getting clearly frustrated with each other last night and bad blood appears to be brewing. Someone should probably let Griffin know who he’s messing with…

PREVIEWS

THURSDAY

Thunder at Mavericks (9:30 TNT)

After two close losses on the road, Dallas is back home looking to even up this series. Oklahoma City closed out games 1 and 2 well, but haven’t looked especially dominant yet. The Mavericks are a proud team with a lot of dangerous weapons, so hopefully the Thunder aren’t taking them lightly.

FRIDAY

Hawks at Celtics (7:30 ESPN)

Atlanta let a great opportunity get away in game 2 while Rajon Rondo was out. Now, the series is tied heading to Boston and the All-star point guard will be back. Paul Pierce carried the Celtics to a road victory in game 2 with 36 points and 14 rebounds and will need to continue that level of play if the Hawks decide to show up and play to their potential like they did in game 1.

SATURDAY

The 138th Kentucky Derby (Coverage beings at 11am on NBCSportsNetwork, NBC will pick it up at 4:00)

Jonny will be by tomorrow with a fantastic preview, so I’ll just say this: I love the Derby. My family is from Kentucky, so this race is always a big deal to me. I will be spending my Saturday drinking mint juleps and wearing seersucker. I’ll probably even tear up when they play “My Old Kentucky Home.”

 

Have a great weekend guys. Enjoy Derby Day and Cinco De Mayo responsibly, someone has to!

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