Tag Archives: Pacers

NBA Playoff Predictions

This is the first time in 5 years the Cavs haven’t been in the playoffs.  It’ll be ok Cleveland, we’ll be back.  In the meantime, we get to enjoy what could be a very dramatic NBA Playoffs season.  There are a lot of intriguing matchups and story lines that go beyond basketball.  Can the Heat do what they said they’d do, can the Celtics figure out what’s wrong, are the Lakers healthy enough to three-peat, are the Bulls ready to ascend the mountain to greatness?  We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more as the Playoffs kick off today.  Here are my quick predictions for round 1.

East:

#1 Chicago Bulls vs. #8 Indian Pacers:  The Bulls have a lot of talent.  The Pacers make up for their lack of talent by trying to out hustle everyone else.  I don’t think that’s going to matter.  The Bulls have the league’s likely MVP in Derek Rose.  There is no way he lets Indiana have any sense of hope or having a chance.  Derek Rose is going for the jugular.  The Bulls will get past the Pacers quickly.  Bulls in 5.

#2 Miami Heat vs. #7 Philadelphia 76ers:  The Heat have the three mojitos and the 76ers don’t have anyone that can begin to match up with them.  I think the 76ers are young and athletic enough to make this more interesting than it should be, but they won’t be able to stop LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.  Miami looks scary good in 4 wins, and scary bad in 2 losses.  Miami takes this in 6.

#3 Boston Celtics vs. #6 New York Knicks:  Everyone wants to pick the Knicks because the Celtics are broken.  I’m not that dumb.  The Celtics will turn it on again and look like the Celtics of old.  The Knicks don’t play enough defense to stop Boston and everyone jumps back on the band wagon.  Celtics take this in 6 and Carmelo Anthony faces another early playoff exit.

#4 Orlando Magic vs. #5 Atlanta Hawks:  The Hawks are in shambles and the Magic have Dwight Howard.  Ball game.  The Magic have too much and the Hawks are not the same team they’ve been in years passed.  In fact, they look like they’ve quit on yet another coach.  Magic take this one in 5.

West:

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #2 Memphis Grizzlies:  Memphis is young and athletic.  The Spurs are old and experienced with Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili.  I’ll take the latter, but it won’t be easy.  I’ll take the Spurs in 6 very close, highly contested games.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. #7 New Orleans Hornets:  Everyone thinks the Lakers will win this one quickly.  I’m not so sure.  Although David West is out for the season, Carl Landry has filled in nicely, and they still have Chris Paul.  I think the Lakers win this one, but not in the 4 or 5 games everyone thinks.  Lakers win this one in a very scary 7 games.

#3 Dallas Mavericks vs. #6 Portland Trailblazers:  I’m jumping on the upset bandwagon here.  The Blazers are too athletic and have a certified beast in the middle with LaMarcus Aldridge.  Dallas is a one man band at this point with Dirk Nowitzki.  I think Dallas will struggle and Portland will take advantage of it.  This is my lone upset pick of the first round.  Trailblazers win this series in 6.

#4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #5 Denver Nuggets:  I think this will be the most interesting series.  The Thunder are everyone’s pick to make a run to the finals over the Lakers.  The Nuggets have been amazing since losing Carmelo Anthony in the trade with the Knicks.  I think this will be a fun and fast paced series, but the Nuggets don’t have a legit crunch time guy.  The Thunder have two in Westbrook and Durant.  It’ll be fun, but the Thunder win this series in 6.

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The NBA’s Home Stretch… Part Deux!

This is Part Two of the NBA Home Stretch article.  For Part One click here

Side note… this is post #100 so congrats to me on that.  I expect cards, balloons, and money from all of you for such an accomplishment.  The fact that I’ve stuck with this and made it to 100 is truly amazing.  For those of you who have been reading and keeping up over all this time I say sincerely… Thank you!  Here’s to 100 more posts!

Anyways…

Part Two, The Playoff Teams.  At least if the playoffs started today. Continue reading

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The Aftermath: Cavaliers vs. Pacers

 

So… just when things weren’t thought to get any worse… they did.

I really thought the Cavs would show some grit and fight for a win tonight.  Unfortunately they did the complete opposite.

Josh McRoberts' dunk over Andy summed up the Cavaliers night

They showed no fight, no grit, they went through the motions.  In fact, this game was nowhere near a close as the 100-89 score would indicate.  The Cavaliers shooting percentage was abysmal and the defense nonexistent.  At one point they trailed by as much as 32 points.  Byron Scott became so frustrated by the lack of offensive efficiency that Byron Scott removed all five starters in a show of disgust early in the game.  I’m so frustrated at this point that I don’t feel like reliving the memory of this game any more than I already have.  When’s the next game?

Stars of the Game:

Pacers: Danny Granger 24 pts, 5 rbs, 3 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

Cavaliers: Ramon Sessions 15 pts, 6 rbs, 5 ast

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Preview: Cavaliers vs. Pacers

 

 

 

 

What: Cavaliers vs. Pacers

When: 7:00

Where: Conseco Field House

 Tonight the Cavaliers conclude a three game road trip as they travel to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers.

 The Pacers are playing the second night of a back to back.  Last night they kicked the living crap out of the Miami Heat.  The Cavs, meanwhile, come in sporting a two game losing streak having lost the first two games of the road trip to New Orleans and San Antonio.  Tonight’s game offers them the perfect chance to right the ship.

This will be no small feat by any means.  Although the Pacers are 6-6, they have looked very impressive in the early stages of this season.  Danny Granger is putting up solid all-star like numbers once again as the leader of the Pacers and the complimentary parts around him have been better than expected.  The new and improved Roy Hibbert has been a revelation at center.  Hibbert, who is listed at 7’2”, came into the season in the best shape of his life and as a result his game has improved all around.  Hibbert comes in averaging a solid 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.  Rounding out the rest of the Pacers’ rotation is Darren Collison, Mike Dunleavy, Brandon Rush and Josh McRoberts with a dash of Tyler Hansbrough and T.J. Ford for good measure.

 The Cavs have not performed well over the past few games.  With losses in four out of their last five games, Byron Scott is attempting to shake things up by starting Joey Graham at small forward and regulating Jamario Moon to the bench.  In all honesty I don’t see the benefit of this move.  The starters have struggled all year when it comes to scoring points.  This move doesn’t solve that problem.  From my vantage point, this move comes down to change for the sake of change and to put a player known for defense on the floor to guard Granger.  Is this a move that makes the Cavs better tonight?  I don’t necessarily think so.  Then again, I’m not the one making the decisions so maybe I’m missing something here.

 If the Cavs are going to win this game it will come down to how well they handle Indiana’s size in the post and how effectively they can contain Granger.  If the Cavaliers lose the rebounding battle it’s going to be a very long night.  Indiana is one of the best rebounding teams in the league.  They get after it.  They hustle for 48 minutes.  The last thing the Cavaliers can afford to do is provide a very good shooting team with extra opportunities from inside.  The Cavs have had two days off and the Pacers are playing for the second time in two nights.  There will be no excuse not to win the hustle plays.

 Potential Stars of the Game:

 Cavaliers: Boobie Gibson

Pacers: Danny Granger

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The Aftermath: Spurs vs. Cavaliers

So that went well, or you know… not at all.

The Cavs fell to the Spurs tonight, 116-92, in what could be called a very lopsided game.  The Cavs got off to a good start.  After the first quarter they led 29-28.  From that point forward they were outscored 98-63.  That was bad, man… real bad.

Mo Williams led the charge for the Cavs tonight.  In 30 minutes of action, Williams scored 21 points, handed out 6 assists and had 3 steals.  He wasn’t alone, however.  Boobie Gibson bounced back from a poor shooting night in New Orleans to score 17 points, and gong 3/4 from three-point range.  It wasn’t enough to overcome a loaded San Antonio team who shares the best record in the NBA with New Orleans.

The Spurs attacked the Cavs from virtually every angle imaginable.  Five different players scored in double digits and none of them was named Tim Duncan.  Tony Parker led all Spurs with 19 points and 9 assists and is obviously showing no signs of emotional trauma due to his recent split with Eva Longoria.

So far, this road trip has not gone how the Cavs expected.  This was going to be a good stretch of games against two of the leagues best teams that would help gauge where they stand in the NBA pecking order.  From what I can tell over the past two night, no one can be happy about what they’ve seen.  They fell behind by large amounts during both games.  Against New Orleans they were abl to bounce back and make the game close late.  Tonight it looked as if they ran out of steam, probably due in part to the effort put forth last night and the quick turn around on a back to back.

The Cavs will look to end this two game losing streak when they travel to Indiana on Tuesday night to take on the Pacers.  Last week they fell to the Pacers 99-85 in Cleveland.  Hopefully the few days off in between can help Byron Scott rally the troops and get them some much-needed rest.

Stars of the Game:

Cavaliers: Mo Williams

Spurs: Tony Parker

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