For a recap of Saturday’s action, please click here.
Sunday tipped off with the first road victory of the playoffs as Memphis beat the top seeded Spurs, 101-98. Manu Ginobili sat out with an ankle injury but should be back for game 2. However, the inside duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph pounded the interior of the Spurs. Gasol had 24 and 9 and Randolph finished with 25 and 14. This was Memphis’ first playoff victory for the franchise. It should be a good series but I am going with the experience of the Spurs over the young Grizzlies. Spurs in 7.
For me and many others, the shocker of the weekend occurred at the Staples Center as the two time defending champs fell to the Hornets 109-100. CP3 carved up Derek Fisher and the Lakers defense to lead the Hornets. CP3 finished with 33 points, 14 dimes, and also managed to grab 7 boards (on a side note, if you are looking for a instructional video for youth camps on how to run the point guard, please cue up this video tape). The Lakers seemed very ordinary and uninterested. The only player who came out strong was of course Kobe who finished with 34 points. Prediction: Lakers will get their act together and take the series in 6, but Chris Paul will continue to carve up the Lakers D and point guards.
The Celtics and Knicks played an instant classic despite the fact that Boston struggled throughout out much of the game. They were able to pull out an 87-85 win at home. They grabbed 1/3 of the offensive rebounds to keep them in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire killed the Celtics with 28 points and 11 rebounds but he disappeared and didn’t get a touch on the Knicks final 7 possessions. The offense seemed to run through Carmelo Anthony who struggled mightily and his last second three to win the game was not the most ideal. A couple of dubious calls against the Knicks didn’t seem to help either as Ray Allen hit the game winning three with 12 seconds. Prediction: Celtics in 6.
Final game of the weekend was the Nuggets and the Thunder and the Thunder were led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as they won 107-103. Durant had 41 points and 9 boards and Westbrook had 31 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. The Thunder were aided by a missed call on offensive goaltending with about a minute remaining. It was a back and forth battle and should be a highly competitive series between these two Northwest Division rivals. Prediction: Thunder in 5.
Western Conference Finals Prediction: Thunder over Lakers in 7
Eastern Conference Finals Prediction: Celtics over Bulls in 6
NBA Finals: Thunder over Celtics in 6
Kevin Durant wins Finals MVP
Next week we will introduce the 42 Club and start the tracker for the 2011 playoffs. Until then, enjoy the hoops because I know I will.