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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Republic of Texas
    Mavs fan here. Don't expect them to win more than 1 game in this series. Durant is flat out clutch. Struggled all game, no fear when they had to have it. Gets it done. Props to him and OKC

  2. #22
    I am pretty surprised orlando won... The pacers' lack of precision shooters helped the upset cause

  3. #23
    Wow. Just devastating news for the Bulls and for Rose. This was a team that had a very legitimate shot at the title. They were finally getting healthy and had the depth, defensive chops, and toughness to beat the Heat. Rose and Watson could torch the Miami PG, and the Bulls bench could expose what is a very subpar Miami supporting cast. Without Rose, they're still one of the best teams in the league. But I don't think they can beat the Heat, and I'm not sure they can beat the Celtics either.

    It stinks for Rose as a player, too. He's a guy who succeeded because he was so superior athletically. He's not the greatest passer in the world and not a great shooter. He's sort of like a Jay Williams minus the perimeter shot and some strength, but plus a bit more hops. It was always going to be interesting to see how he aged as a player and his athleticism faded. Now, there's a legitimate concern that he won't be the same explosive player he was pre-injury.

    Uggh. Tough news for a Bulls fan. If they're going to win it, it's going to be up to Deng, Boozer, Noah, Watson, and the reserves to step it up a notch. But I think that injury signals the death knell of the Bulls as a title contender this year.

  4. #24
    Personally, I don't think the Bulls would have beaten the Heat even with Rose. They won the most games in the league last year too, then lost in five games to Miami, and little has changed with these two teams (except that the Heat have Battier and Norris Cole).

    But I would have liked to find out. The playoffs took a huge hit with the Rose injury.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    Personally, I don't think the Bulls would have beaten the Heat even with Rose. They won the most games in the league last year too, then lost in five games to Miami, and little has changed with these two teams (except that the Heat have Battier and Norris Cole).

    But I would have liked to find out. The playoffs took a huge hit with the Rose injury.
    I think you're underselling the Bulls' changes. First, they replaced Bogans with Hamilton (an upgrade at both ends of the floor at the position for which they were weakest last year). Second, they have a healthier Boozer. Third, all of their young guys (Rose, Watson, Asik, Noah, and Gibson) have another year's worth of playoff experience and savvy under their belts.

    The Bulls managed the best record in the East this year despite having Rose miss 1/3 of the regular season. If that had happened last year, the Bulls could have easily been a lower-half seed. They were far better this year than last. But losing Rose changes everything.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I think you're underselling the Bulls' changes. First, they replaced Bogans with Hamilton (an upgrade at both ends of the floor at the position for which they were weakest last year). Second, they have a healthier Boozer. Third, all of their young guys (Rose, Watson, Asik, Noah, and Gibson) have another year's worth of playoff experience and savvy under their belts.

    The Bulls managed the best record in the East this year despite having Rose miss 1/3 of the regular season. If that had happened last year, the Bulls could have easily been a lower-half seed. They were far better this year than last. But losing Rose changes everything.
    I hear you, though with all due respect, I personally don't have the feeling that I'm underselling the Bulls' changes at all. If I recall, Boozer was perfectly healthy for the playoffs last year and performed well. Noah was basically the same guy as always this year. And I don't recall any of the rest of those guys making major strides at all, though you can correct me if I'm wrong. (I might be.) If the only real personnel switch was Bogans for Hamilton, who at his age isn't exactly a world-beater, I still fail to see how they would have made up enough ground on the Heat, who returned the same team that walloped them last year but added Battier. It's cliched, but you can't judge Battier's impact solely on his numbers, probably more so than any other player in the league. Mario Chalmers, for one, was a visibly improved player this year from last. And besides, regular-season records don't mean a lot to me, and it's not like Wade didn't miss his fair share of games as well. Maybe it would have been Heat in six, up from five?

    But again... I guess we'll never know for sure.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Nashville
    Bynum is so huge. He's just standing straight up with his hands in the air and absolutely dominating on both ends of the court.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    Bynum is so huge. He's just standing straight up with his hands in the air and absolutely dominating on both ends of the court.
    It still kills me that the Knicks took Channing Frye over Bynum. I was begging them to pick Bynum. I had no idea he'd be this good, but I had some idea he'd be this huge. Thanks Isiah.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    I hear you, though with all due respect, I personally don't have the feeling that I'm underselling the Bulls' changes at all. If I recall, Boozer was perfectly healthy for the playoffs last year and performed well. Noah was basically the same guy as always this year. And I don't recall any of the rest of those guys making major strides at all, though you can correct me if I'm wrong. (I might be.) If the only real personnel switch was Bogans for Hamilton, who at his age isn't exactly a world-beater, I still fail to see how they would have made up enough ground on the Heat, who returned the same team that walloped them last year but added Battier. It's cliched, but you can't judge Battier's impact solely on his numbers, probably more so than any other player in the league. Mario Chalmers, for one, was a visibly improved player this year from last. And besides, regular-season records don't mean a lot to me, and it's not like Wade didn't miss his fair share of games as well. Maybe it would have been Heat in six, up from five?

    But again... I guess we'll never know for sure.
    Boozer was dealing with foot and toe injuries throughout the playoffs last year. Those injuries made him much less mobile and robbed him of any lift at all. As such, he really struggled in the playoffs.

    As for the other guys, it doesn't show up in the count stats (because they play limited minutes), but Asik and Gibson made a big jump in effectiveness, to the point that Thibadeau doesn't mind playing those two for the 4th quarter in place of Noah and Boozer. They have become really terrific defensively. Deng has also continued to improve defensively and with his perimeter shot. Noah has improved his decisionmaking, delivering more assists, fewer turnovers, and fewer fouls. And the aforementioned Hamilton is a HUGE upgrade from Bogans. Hamilton is by no means a star, but he's so much better than Bogans it isn't funny. His ability to run relentlessly off screens and hit midrange shots means teams can't be quite as focused on Rose, which helps a lot. And it allows the offense to run similarly when Korver comes in.

    As for the Heat. Battier is a nice role player. But the Heat are perhaps the team that benefits least from adding him. He just doesn't fit as well with what the Heat do. On a team like the Lakers or Spurs, he's a stud role player. And while Wade missed time, he missed 10 fewer games than Rose did. And while the Heat won in 5, most of those games were very tight with the Heat coming out on top. It wouldn't take a dramatic improvement for the Bulls to reverse the result. And I think the Bulls supporting cast has improved a LOT more than the Heat's supporting cast. Obviously we'll never know unless the Bulls somehow beat the Heat without Rose (which seems extremely unlikely). Such a disappointment.

    The sad thing is that it may affect next year as well. We're talking about at least 6-9 months of recovery time for Rose, which means he won't be ready until around the all star break. And who knows if he'll ever be the same player, considering how much he relied on freakish athleticism.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_Newton View Post
    Bynum is so huge. He's just standing straight up with his hands in the air and absolutely dominating on both ends of the court.
    Yeah, dude was a beast today, and Kobe had a very surgeon like 31. The Lakers will be a tough out. The thing with Bynum, is how good would he be were he fully healthy and in great shape? He is only 24, but he looks 34 out there at times. You have to wonder how many years he can sustain.

    "[T]he tarnished Tar Heels that bear little resemblance to the revered program built by Dean Smith."- Ashville Times
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  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Nashville
    Bynum's supposedly a legit 7'3+ in shoes at this point, and his wingspan was already over 7'6 before he grew the last couple of inches. I hadn't quite realized how huge he'd become.

    Supposedly he's doing some innovative procedure this summer in Europe for his knees, whatever Kobe did last summer. Doesn't necessarily seem like the most likable guy in the world, but always hate to see a career cut short by injuries.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Boozer was dealing with foot and toe injuries throughout the playoffs last year. Those injuries made him much less mobile and robbed him of any lift at all. As such, he really struggled in the playoffs.

    As for the other guys, it doesn't show up in the count stats (because they play limited minutes), but Asik and Gibson made a big jump in effectiveness, to the point that Thibadeau doesn't mind playing those two for the 4th quarter in place of Noah and Boozer. They have become really terrific defensively. Deng has also continued to improve defensively and with his perimeter shot. Noah has improved his decisionmaking, delivering more assists, fewer turnovers, and fewer fouls. And the aforementioned Hamilton is a HUGE upgrade from Bogans. Hamilton is by no means a star, but he's so much better than Bogans it isn't funny. His ability to run relentlessly off screens and hit midrange shots means teams can't be quite as focused on Rose, which helps a lot. And it allows the offense to run similarly when Korver comes in.

    As for the Heat. Battier is a nice role player. But the Heat are perhaps the team that benefits least from adding him. He just doesn't fit as well with what the Heat do. On a team like the Lakers or Spurs, he's a stud role player. And while Wade missed time, he missed 10 fewer games than Rose did. And while the Heat won in 5, most of those games were very tight with the Heat coming out on top. It wouldn't take a dramatic improvement for the Bulls to reverse the result. And I think the Bulls supporting cast has improved a LOT more than the Heat's supporting cast. Obviously we'll never know unless the Bulls somehow beat the Heat without Rose (which seems extremely unlikely). Such a disappointment.

    The sad thing is that it may affect next year as well. We're talking about at least 6-9 months of recovery time for Rose, which means he won't be ready until around the all star break. And who knows if he'll ever be the same player, considering how much he relied on freakish athleticism.
    Definitely some things that we agree on, and others we don't. I looked back and you're right, Boozer messed up his toe in the first round. I kind of have gotten desensitized to it at this point since he's literally always hurt, and he didn't miss any games. But it's to his credit that he still put up 26-17 and 20-11 games against the Heat despite not having anybody to credibly match up with when they'd go small. Dude has talent, it's just that I'd assume given his liabilities, Chicago has some buyer's remorse by this point.

    My feeling actually is that Battier is exactly what the Heat needed: a veteran presence who can take some of the dirty work so that LeBron doesn't have to do it all the time. He was instrumental in Spoelstra's game plan to completely obliterate Carmelo Anthony yesterday. If they play the Thunder or Lakers in the Finals, Shane will be instrumental in messing with their stars, and they could have used him against Nowitzki last year. I think Miami was the perfect landing spot for Shane to seamlessly blend in with championship level players, and they were the perfect team to benefit from the subtle brilliance he offers. It's no coincidence that one of the best defensive teams last year, a slight notch below Chicago, got even better this season.

    The biggest reason the Heat would have beaten the Bulls at full strength again, that we haven't touched on yet? LeBron James has somehow reached another level this season. He takes it in the post more than ever, shot by far the highest percentage of his career, he might be the best defensive player in the league. The Heat went 13-1 without Wade. He's hands-down the MVP of the league, a force to be reckoned with, and I'm eager to see whether he can finally quiet his skeptics by taking over down the stretch in the Finals. (He did that against Chicago, not against Dallas.) I wouldn't bet against him.
    Last edited by Starter; 04-29-2012 at 11:07 PM.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    I'm sure most of the east coast had turned off the game, but the amazing 28-3 finish by the Clippers to perform absolute highway robbery in Memphis was quite a sight to behold. Memphis was up 95-71 with 8 minutes to play. And lost. Scoring just 3 points the rest of the way. It was still a 12 point lead with under 3 minutes to play before Nick Young caught fire from deep, nailing three triples in 60 seconds, cutting the lead to 3, at which point Memphis just wilted. That was just about as crazy as our comeback at the dump on the hump this year - one of those games where you have no idea how it happened but then all of a sudden you've won. Impressive fight from the Clippers.
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

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  14. #34
    Officiaing in the Knicks-Heat series is a joke. Heat are +34 in FT attempts mid 3rd Q of game 2 and it's not like the Knicks haven't tried to drive. For every foul called when Carmelo tries he's hacked multiple trips without a call. James, Wade, and Bosh get sent to the line anytime they get touched or flop.

  15. #35
    Amare Amare....

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by muzikfrk75 View Post
    Amare Amare....
    Wow. What a moron. The Knicks would not have won this season, but Amare let his teammates down in a big way. Very selfish.

    Battier played great D on Melo last night. I did not know Shane could still move his feet like that. Battier was a +2 on the night while Melo was -11. Lebron played on Melo the rest of the time I was watching.

  17. #37
    As I predicted, the Knicks now have nobody to guard Wade since Shump went down. I think he scored 19 of his 25 points in the paint last night.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    raleigh
    stupid is as stupid does.....
    "Either we're going down, or they are....... Kirk out!"

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Wow. What a moron. The Knicks would not have won this season, but Amare let his teammates down in a big way. Very selfish.

    Battier played great D on Melo last night. I did not know Shane could still move his feet like that. Battier was a +2 on the night while Melo was -11. Lebron played on Melo the rest of the time I was watching.
    Well, I'm not sure I'd say Battier did a great job on Anthony, as he went for 30, shot better than his season average, and could have had a few more from the line.

    The Knicks lost the game on the other end of the floor. They couldn't defend Wade or Bosh, and Battier and Miller stepped up and hit some 3s off the bench. The Knicks shot 49% from the field, but you aren't likely to win if you allow the opponent to shoot 52% from the field.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Well, I'm not sure I'd say Battier did a great job on Anthony, as he went for 30, shot better than his season average, and could have had a few more from the line.

    The Knicks lost the game on the other end of the floor. They couldn't defend Wade or Bosh, and Battier and Miller stepped up and hit some 3s off the bench. The Knicks shot 49% from the field, but you aren't likely to win if you allow the opponent to shoot 52% from the field.
    Carmelo definitely had a better personal experience than Game 1. He's one of the best scorers in the game; he's on, he's going to get buckets and look good doing it. But the Heat tightened up on him big time down the stretch. He shot 3-for-8 in the second half and didn't connect on a shot for like 20 straight minutes of game time. That said, he wasn't getting much help.

    Agreed on the Knicks' defense. Two things are killing them: Shumpert's knee injury took away their only credible defender on Wade, and Chandler hasn't been himself playing with the flu. The Knicks were actually a pretty good defensive team most of the season, even before D'Antoni left. Of course, I'm not making excuses -- the Heat can make a lot of teams look bad, and I thought the Knicks would win a game at most before the series began.

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