The NBA is spreading out the playoff games. I actually like this because it’s easier to focus on the individual games.
The Miami Heat crush the Philadelphia 76ers 94-73
This game was over early. The Heat started to pull away in the second quarter and never looked back. Miami’s opportunistic defense took advantage of Philadelphia’s turnovers and missed shots. Playing against the Heat the Sixers looked small. Miami had an obvious size advantage, especially around the rim. The Sixers realized pretty early on that the only comfortable shot that they would have was 15 foot to 18 foot jump shot, and they made hardly any. The reason Miami pulled away was stingy defense and the fact the Sixers only shot 34% from the field. Philadelphia was never in this game. They never had a lead and they never pushed the Heat to change their style of play, which was fast and furious from the beginning.
Dwayne Wade had to overcome migraines and seemed fatigued. He shot 4 of 11 and scored 14 points. What I really like about this game is how Chris Bosh picked up the slack. Bosh whose numbers during the season trailed those of Lebron James and Wade. He was mocked for being the weakest and least important member of Miami’s “big three.” Bosh however has averaged 23 points per game over the two games played in this series so far. Bosh last night had 21 and 11 rebounds. Maybe he deserves more credit than he’s getting.
The Bulls survive the Pacers . . . again 96-90
This series has been fun so far though I think it would be great if the Pacers were able to break through and finally beat Chicago. I’m rooting for a longer series. A guy like Derrick Rose takes turnovers personally. Whenever I have seen him interviewed at halftime or postgame he absolutely ignores what is an otherwise brilliant performance and gets hung up on his mistakes. This is what makes him great. So I can imagine that Derrick Rose is not a happy man right now. His Bulls had 21 turnovers and most of them were his. This makes sense since the point guard handles the ball he has more opportunities to turn it over. Furthermore the Pacers went out of their way to double-team Rose. They wanted to make it more difficult for him and it worked in the first half. The Bulls were able to get better production out of Carlos Boozer in this game after Carlos had stinker of a game in game 1.
For the Pacers, point guard Darren Collison sprained his ankle in the second quarter. The Pacers were able to tough out the injury thanks to backup point guard A.J. Price. Price contributed 13 points off of the bench and coupled with 19 points poured in by Danny Granger the Pacers were able to stay in the game eventually having a lead as big as 9.
Despite everything Indiana did in the first half of the game to stop him, when the fourth quarter rolled around Derrick Rose would not be denied. He used the double-team to his advantage. He found open teammates and made big shots when he needed to. He would end the game with 36 points. The Pacers did everything they could and it would be awesome if the went back home to Indiana and were able to pull out a victory or two. They’ve worked hard and currently have nothing to show for it.