It’s the 15th and you know what that means. Time to pay bills and take your girlfriend out to dinner. Don’t be cheap guys, let her value size it. You’ll thank me later.
Clippers 82 Grizzlies 72
The Grizzlies didn’t lose this game, everyone who tuned in on TV did. If you’re like me, you were lucky enough to have not watched this game. If you did, then I really feel sorry for you. I was driving home and listening to this game on the radio and that was bad enough. Both teams played horribly, just the Clippers a little less so.
Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol were the only two Grizzlies in double figures with 19 points a piece. Zach Randolph grabbed 12 rebounds and played solid defense, but couldn’t find his shot going 3-12 from the floor. As a team, Memphis shot 33% for the game. Like I said, it was an ugly game even listening on the radio.
The Clippers played poorly as well, going just 38% from the floor. That combined with the injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin should have been the end to LA’s season. Fortunately, the Grizzlies didn’t show up and the Clippers bench picked up the slack left by the ailing starting lineup. In the 4th quarter, the Clips bench scored 25 of the team’s 27 points.
I suppose a win is a win, but that’s what crappy college teams tell themselves. This is the NBA playoffs. We all expected more from these two teams after a great first six games. The Clippers now get to face powerhouse San Antonio on very short rest.
Pacers 86 Heat 95
Look. Indiana is pretty good team. They have a ton of young talent that doesn’t recognize when they’re over-matched. Their the scrappy underdogs that have cause many in major media to proclaim that this will be a good series. There might be some exciting games, but this thing isn’t going more than 5 games. That’s even with Chris Bosh possibly missing the entire series after straining an abdominal muscle in the first half. Sorry Indiana fans. Your team is a cute story, but spare me your visions of grandeur. If you start to get your hopes up again, just remember the 16 points Lebron James put up in the 4th quarter of game 1.
Lakers 90 Thunder 119
Nine days off prior to playing any other team and the Thunder may have come out a little slow. However, thanks to Metta World Peace’s elbows and absurd flop accusations Oklahoma City came out with something to prove. The Thunder were on fire most of the game. They were hitting shots, driving to the lane at will, swarming on defense and frustrating the tired Lakers.
Early in the game Andrew Bynum played very well. OKC was late with their double team and Bynum took advantage. Pau Gasol on the other hand, was clearly bothered by the physical approach the Thunder took with him. Kobe Bryant had a quiet 20 points on 7/18 shooting. In the regular season he only averaged 24 pts against the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant played well with 25 and 27 points respectively, but this beating was a total team effort. Everyone was knocking down shots and playing great defense forcing 15 LA turnovers.
It was just the first game and the Lakers were coming off a 7 game series against Denver, but that’s just the thing: The Lakers are coming off a 7 game series against Denver. Good teams don’t do that, no offense Denver. Oklahoma City is better than the Nuggets at every position. Westbrook and Durant can get shots anytime they want, they have the size to hold their own with Bynum and Gasol, and James Harden is a complete mismatch. I don’t think every game will be this ugly, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they did. Kobe might even stop shooting by game 3 in this series.
Clippers at Spurs (9:30 TNT):If Chris Paul is close to 100%, his matchup with Tony Parker should be a lot of fun to watch. They were arguably the two best point guards in the league this year and both always step their games up in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Clippers other superstar is questionable to even play in game 1. Blake Griffin only played a few minutes in Sunday’s 7th game against the Grizzlies and coach Vinny Del Negro is unsure if the 2nd year power forward will be ready tonight. Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin have been great off the bench, but they are incapable of replacing Griffin’s scoring/big play potential. LA will need a big series from their guards in order to even have a chance against the top overall seed.
Don’t expect the Spurs legs to be tired either. Gregg Popovich has done a great job all year resting his core players. Tim Duncan isn’t what he used to be, but he’s still someone you have to plan against. San Antonio is so deep and talented, that opposing teams never get a break against them. The Clippers certainly have their hands full.
Devils at Rangers (8:00 NBCSN, Rangers lead 1-0): The Rangers are coming off a 3-0 win in game 1 and will look to keep their foot on the gas. After two straight 7 game series, New York would love to put the hated Devils away quickly. Henrik Lundqvist was fantastic again and is leading his team towards a Stanley Cup.
The Devils will hope for a better performance from Martin Brodeur in game 2 after allowing 3 goals on 21 shots in the opening. Unfortunately the Devils don’t have the luxury of benching him for Roberto Luongo like the Canadian team did two years ago. Guess you’re stuck with him guys.
See you guys Thursday. Babe, if you’re reading this put on something nice because we’re going to Sizzler!