Go vote today North Carolina. I’m not here to persuade you in any direction, just go vote. It’s important and stuff.
Heat 87 – Knicks 89
The drought is finally over. New York won it’s first playoff game since 2001 behind Carmelo Anthony’s 41 point performance. Amar’e Stoudemire added 20 points and 10 rebounds after returning from his fight with a Garden fire extinguisher. New York also played fantastic defense, holding Miami to 41% shooting.
The story of this game though was the final possession by the Heat. Lebron James was fantastic in the final two minutes, keeping his team in the game, but didn’t not touch the ball on the final possession. Coming out of a timeout Dwayne Wade took a terrible shot while Lebron was apparently used as a decoy in the corner. This team has to figure out who’s going to take the shots in these situations, or we’re in store for another underachieving year from these guys. Coach Spolstra looks clueless as to his late game plan, since neither player is used as the exclusive “closer”. In game 3 James was hot and finished off the Knicks himself. That makes sense. But Sunday night he was hot again yet Wade got the call this time. Unless they’re flipping a coin in the huddle I have no explanation as to how they decide who is going to take the final shot.
Grizzlies 97 – Clippers 101 (OT)
The Clippers blew a ten point lead in the 4th and Blake Griffin missed the extra period after fouling out, but that didn’t stop Chris Paul from leading his team to a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Blake vs. Z-Bo finally had some fireworks as Randolph got T’d up for bumping the Kia spokesman after a play. Griffin however, won the matchup again scoring 30 points to Randolph’s 12. We didn’t see the same player for the Grizzlies we saw in last season’s playoffs, and it’s one of the reasons his team finds themselves in this hole.
Game 5’s (various): There’s a bunch of them. Four in the NBA and one of the NHL. In every one a team leads 3-1. Not a ton of excitement tomorrow night, but if I had to chose one it would probably be the Devils/Flyers game. None of the NBA teams are blowing 3-1 leads, but you never know in hockey. Plus both teams play pretty dirty, so there will probably be something to keep you entertained.
Rangers at Capitals (7:30 NBCSB): New York is coming off a thrilling win on Monday night where they scored with 6 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. From there Marc Staal would blast the game winner past Braden Holtby early in the extra frame.
The Capitals have done a great job of playing tough, physical hockey so far in these playoffs and I don’t expect them to lay down. Hopefully we’ll see yet another game 7.
Check back Thursday for more and follow me on twitter. (@DLAGPrez)