Roundtable Talk: NBA Playoffs Round 2
Here are our predictions for the second round of the NBA playoffs:
Johnathan:Oklahoma City vs. Memphis. Memphis in 7 San Antonio vs. Golden State. Spurs in 6 Miami vs. Chicago. Miami in 6 Indiana vs. New York. Indiana in 5
Jeff:Oklahoma City vs. Memphis. Oklahoma City in 7 San Antonio vs. Golden State. San Antonio in 7 Miami vs. Chicago. Miami in 6 Indiana vs. New York. Indiana in 6
1. What is the most intriguing 2nd round match-up?
Johnathan: The Westbrook-less Thunder vs. the Grizzlies is the best 2nd round series to me. If you watched Game 1 you saw that the Grizzlies have the tools to at time dominate this matchup. It took a heroic effort from Kevin Durant to pull that game out. Durant hasn’t really gotten the help he needs from his teammates (looking at you Serge Ibaka) so far so it will be interesting to see if the Grizzlies continue to play him 1-on-1 in the crunch time or send multiple bodies at him and force someone else to hit a shot.
Jeff: I think the Pacers-Knicks series will be an excellent series to pay attention to. These two teams have a history in the playoffs going back to the early 90’s up until the 2000 NBA playoffs. And I’m still pretty sure Reggie Miller and Spike Lee don’t like each other. I know Reggie Miller and Patrick Ewing don’t like each other. But then again, did anyone actually like Reggie when he was playing?
Overall, the Pacers lead 19-17 in post-season meeting with the Knicks. Now we have a whole new feud. What was Reggie Miller vs. Patrick Ewing now becomes Paul George vs. Carmelo Anthony. Melo almost won MVP this year but LeBron beat him by 120 votes. Out of a possible 121. But hey, Melo still got one vote. We all know what Carmelo brings to a team, a lot of scoring and a little defense. That is why I like Paul George. He can score, assist, rebound, and most importantly is already a great perimeter defender. He had his best statistical season with a stat line of 17/7/4. For a guy who just turned 23 this is really encouraging to Pacers fans moving forward. As much as this series will be the offense of the Knicks vs. the defense of the Pacers, I think it will ultimately come down to Paul George vs. Carmelo Anthony.
2. What player do you most look forward to watching?
Johnathan: It’s a tie between LeBron James and Steph Curry for me. LeBron for the obvious reasons and Curry because with James Harden he’s probably the most exciting player to watch. Watching him when he’s hot is super fun. As long as he is past half court any shot he throws up you feel like it’s going to go in.
Jeff: Stephen Curry. The kid is electric, finally healthy, and has a coach that will put him in a position to succeed. I have to be honest, I did not expect Golden State to get past Denver in the first round. But now that they have, I am rooting for them against the Spurs. Curry is the main reason why. If he stays healthy, he will go down as the greatest shooter in the history of the game. Sorry Reggie Miller, sorry Ray Allen, but Steph Curry is the future. And judging by these playoffs, the future is now for Curry and his Warriors. How was this guy not an all-star again?
3. Will Derrick Rose play this series?
Johnathan: I don’t think so. Although it would definitely be an interesting dynamic, I just don’t know even if he did come back how effective he could be. Especially against the Miami Heat’s defense. Plus, this Bulls team has a ton of chemistry with the guys that are available. The core of Robinson, Boozer, Noah, Butler, Deng (when healthy) and Hinrich (when healthy) has been playing great basketball.
Jeff: I have the luxury of writing this a day after the Bulls beat the Heat in game one. As shocked as everyone was about that, I still don’t think its enough for Derrick Rose’s return. The Bulls are playing the Heat physically, something most teams won’t do because of all the calls LeBron and Wade get (yeah I said it). I think the officials did a good job in last night’s game not swallowing their whistles and letting playoff basketball be playoff basketball. The Bulls are frustrating Miami’s stars and making it difficult for the Heat to find easy shots. With all of this momentum that the Bulls have earned, it seems futile to insert Rose back into the line-up and put a team on the floor that has not played together since last year. As much as I want to see Rose back, I have to stick with my gut feeling and assume he will sit the rest of the playoffs.