Sunday, April 22, 2007
That Just Happened! : Weekend Wrap-up
Gonna try and wrap up the opening weekend of the playoffs with some observations, some numbers and some superlatives. If Stephen Jackson has the best line of the night, everyone in attendance will receive a box of ammo.
New Jersey Nets 96, Toronto Raptors 91.
This one wasn't quite this close. The Nets had the game pretty well in hand by the fourth and just had to hold off a late surge by Toronto's feisty Euros (I include Anthony Parker under the Euro blanket) to get the win. Vince Carter's over-hyped playoff debut in Toronto was dud; he scored just 16, shooting 5-19. Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 22 but was largely a non-factor, even having his rebound total DOUBLED by Jason Kidd. Kidd had a classic game, getting 10 boards to go with his 15 assists and involving the team enough that they barely noticed Carters no-show. Kidd was all hustle, getting probably half those rebounds in his normally pesky manner by slapping the ball out of the hands of the Raps big man who grabbed it. Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 28.
Chicago Bulls 96, Miami Heat 91
The Heat should have known they were in trouble when the Diesel has 17 and 5 in the first half and they were still down by three. O'Neal scored just two in the second half and tried to blame the drop off on unfair treatment by the officials. I'm not exactly buying it (and I'm not the only one), I would guess he gassed himself in the first and that attributed to sloppier play in the second. Luol Deng had a big game (32 & 8, .636 from the field) and it seems like hes going to thrive in a series against the only NBA front line to have two forwards suspended for over-eating.
Detroit Pistons 100, Orlando Magic 92
I was just thinking this thing was getting too long and that I should start skipping some games. If you can't beat the Pistons in the first game of the first round, you don't deserve to be written about.
Houston Rockets 84, Utah Jazz 75
McGrady and Yao score 23 and 28 respectively and, much like the Nuggets, the Rockets seem to be finding their stride at the right time. The worst way to counter a team like this? Have one of your starters completely forget how to play basketball. Andrei Kirilenko ended up getting benched, playing only 16 terrible minutes. Carlos Boozer didn't pick up the slack(11 points on 4-17) and a team with two superstars playing their best ball will beat a team with no superstars playing like garbage every time.
The Cannon: Luol Deng - 33pts, 8reb, .636. Staking his claim as the Bull's superstar.
The Silencer: Jason Kidd - 8pts, 10reb, 15ast. All hustle and vision, keeps it moving.
The Slingshot: AK-47 (how ironic) - 16 min, 2pts, 1 foul. Good time to shit the bed.
Chuck's Quote of the Night: "Carlos Boozer played?!?!" (made on Sunday, but relevant)
Early morning update. Sunday's Games will be up by noon. Thanks to everyone who checked us out this weekend and a special thanks to Will at Deadspin for the link Friday afternoon. Tell your friends and use the comments, we'll be here for the next two months.