Hornets' title window closing fast, Lakers too good, more observations
A handful of playoff thoughts on a night in which few leads were safe ... unless they were of the 50-point variety.
Wasn't it the Hornets who took the defending champion Spurs to seven games in the second round last season? Wasn't it the Hornets whose star point guard,
It's easy to overreact to a loss of this proportion, but the Hornets played with such little fire, it's fair to wonder if their title window is closing almost as soon as it opened. Consider the Hornets already tried to unload one of their few low-post presences at the trade deadline only to have the deal rescinded when
In the NFL, a quarterback will often treat his offensive linemen to a nice dinner or some expensive timepieces as thanks for protecting him through the long season. After saving the Hawks' season in an 81-71 win in Game 4 in Miami,
Late in the first half, Bibby helped fuel a furious Heat comeback from a 21-point deficit with a pair of foolish fouls, one handing Miami the ball back after
But midway through the third quarter, Pachulia went to work: a defensive rebound here, a steal there, a shooting foul drawn, a layup off a
Too much size. Too much flexibility. Too much firepower. The Lakers were simply too much for the Jazz, as evident in L.A.'s series-clinching 107-96 victory in Game 5. While the rest of the conference has been built in the traditional method -- guards on the perimeter, big men taking care of the paint -- the Lakers sport a hybrid template: multiple bigs with the ability to pass (
In every game against the Jazz, the Lakers suffered late-game lapses, some of it from poor bench play, more of it due to boredom, we suspect. That doesn't hurt against a team without the offensive weapons to capitalize on it, such as the Jazz. But a more dynamic team, a tougher defensive club, won't be so forgiving to the Lakers if they mail in another fourth quarter.
For the third consecutive game, O'Neal played a lot like the effective low-post presence the Heat hoped for when they acquired him from Toronto for
Rest up your thumbs, NBA fans, the "Previous Channel" button on your remotes is about to get a workout. Four intriguing Game 5s await.
In the East, the Bulls and Celtics resume the playoffs' highest-scoring series (bet you never saw that one coming with Boston involved). However, it won't be much of an exciting conclusion if
The nightcaps feature the Spurs and Trail Blazers both trying to stave off elimination at home. While their pride suggests the Spurs aren't ready for summer vacation yet,