Round 2-NBA Playoffs-Western Conference

NBA-Western-Conference

Two epic matchups in the Western Conference featuring the San Antonio Spurs versus the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

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  • Game 1- May 5 Memphis @ Oklahoma City 93-91
  • Game 2-May 7 Memphis @ Oklahoma City 9:30 p.m. (EST) TNT
  • Game 3-May 11 Oklahoma City @ Memphis 5 p.m. (EST) ESPN
  • Game 4-May 13 Oklahoma City @ Memphis 9:30 p.m. (EST) TNT
  • Game 5- May 15 Memphis @ Oklahoma City TBA TNT
  • Game 6- May 17 Oklahoma City @ Memphis TBA ESPN
  • Game 7- May 19 Memphis @ Oklahoma City TBA 

2013 Regular Season Match-up

  • November 14 Memphis @ Oklahoma City 107-97
  • January 3 Memphis @ Oklahoma City 89-106
  • March 20 Oklahoma City @ Memphis 89-90 OT

Memphis Grizzlies’ Locker Room

This Memphis team seemed to have overcome the departure of ex-star Rudy Gay, but with the arrival of Ed Davis and Tayshaun Prince they have improved their defensive mentality. They lost by a mere two points in Oklahoma City where the Thunder have thrived all season.  Kevin Martin is a good sixth man but he doesn’t have the takeover mentality that James Harden has and the Thunder are missing it big time. The Grizzlies are first in points allowed at 89.3 points per game during the regular season and having beat the LA Clippers in six has given them great momentum coming into this series. They ran into a bit of emotion in game one against the Thunder. But look for the Grizzlies to lock in their defense and maybe surprise the Thunder.

Oklahoma City Thunder Locker Room

Take one game at a time, this Thunder team just isn’t dominating as they use to be anymore. Losing James Harden to Houston and now losing Russell Westbrook to injury, they miss a potential 50 points and 15 assists per game. The Thunder ESCAPED Sunday by a mere two points against the Grizzlies. Without Westbrook to pressure Mike Conley, Conley is able to distribute the ball equally and create plays off the ball.  This Thunder team averages 105.7 points per game this season and are 34-7 at home. To make this series in their favor, they need to win all their home games. If the Grizzlies manage to steal one in OKC, Kevin Durant will have an early exit this season.

Final Predictions

I think this Memphis Grizzlies defense is better than people give them credit for. Defense wins playoff games in the NBA

Memphis Grizzlies in 6

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Golden State Warriors Vs San Antonio Spurs

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  • Game 1- May 6 Golden State @ San Antonio 129-127 OT
  • Game 2- May 8 Golden State @ San Antonio 9.30PM (ET) TNT
  • Game 3- May 10 San Antonio @ Golden State 10.30PM (ET) ESPN
  • Game 4- May 12 San Antonio @ Golden State 3.30PM (ET) ABC
  • Game 5- May 14 Golden State @ San Antonio 9.30PM (ET) TNT
  • Game 6- May 16 San Antonio @ Golden State TBA ESPN
  • Game 7- May 19 Golden State @ San Antonio TBA

2013 Regular Season Match-up

  • January 18 Golden State @ San Antonio88-95
  • February 22  San Antonio @ Golden State 101-107OT
  • March 20 Golden State @ San Antonio 93-104
  • April 15  San Antonio @ Golden State 106-116

Golden State Warriors’ Locker Room

Epic game in the opener as the Warriors blew a huge lead in the final four minutes when the Spurs went on 18-2 run and took the Spurs to double overtime. Manu Ginobili hit a trey to seal the game with 1.4 seconds left. The Warriors rank third in the NBA with 45 rebounds per game during the regular season and without David Lee they still out-rebounded the front court of Matt Bonner, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw. But during the final moments in game one, experience showed to be the difference when the Spurs locked down on defense and shut down the Warriors, causing them to turn the ball over. If the Warriors want to have a shot in winning, they need to play defense because the Spurs are not going to come out in game two like they did in game one.

San Antonio Spurs’ Locker Room

GINOBILI!!!!!! The  former sixth man of the year hit a game winning 3 with 1.4 seconds left allowing the Spurs to take game one at home. Averaging 25.1 assists per game ranking, which topped the NBA during the regular season, the Spurs showed why experience and teamwork plays a great part in winning playoff games. The big three in Ginobili, Duncan and Parker all showed up to play. Don’t expect any more game one come-from-behind wins from the Spurs, they were helped by Warriors inexperience.  The Spurs are 35-6 at home this season and so far are undefeated in the playoffs, they are going to have to shut down the dynamic backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who combined for 63 points. Defense is the key.

Final Predictions

I see the Warriors stealing a game or two in San Antonio but the Spurs are just as good enough to steal a couple on the road.  Look for every game to be exciting, and it’s going to be a great series.

Spurs in 7

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Chin Tan
Guest Sports Activist for The Cover 4
http://www.facebook.com/thecover4
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Round 2-NBA Playoffs-Eastern Conference

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Two matchups are left in each conference to determine the two finalists going to the NBA Finals.

Chicago Bulls Vs Miami Heat

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  • Game 1- May 6 Chicago @ Miami 93-86
  • Game 2-May 8Chicago @ Miami 7 p.m. (EST) TNT
  • Game 3-May 10 Miami @ Chicago 8 p.m. (EST) ESPN
  • Game 4-May 13 Miami @ Chicago 7 p.m. (EST) TNT
  • Game 5-May 15 Chicago @ Miami TBA TNT
  • Game 6-May 17 Miami @ Chicago TBA ESPN
  • Game 7-May 19 Chicago @ Miami TBA TNT

2013 Regular Season Matchups

  • January 2 Chicago @ Miami 96-89
  • February 21 Miami @ Chicago 86-67
  • March 27 Miami @ Chicago 97-101
  • April 14  Chicago @ Miami 93-105

Chicago Bulls’ Locker Room

Both teams have proven they can win at home and on the road. But what a shocker it was when the Bulls stunned the Heat Monday night on the road. While we still don’t have news on whether  Derrick Rose will play, the Bulls might have some other issues they might want to deal with. Sixth man Nate Robinson carried the Bulls to the second round despite being ill and throwing up courtside. Luol Deng has also been dealing with the flu and a spinal tap and missed the last two games in the series against the Brooklyn Nets. Veteran guard Kirk Hinrich is also dealing with a calf injury, and if he returns,  he won’t be at 100 percent.  The Bulls surprised many in knocking out the Nets on the road in seven games with their stingy, tough defense.

Miami Heat Locker Room

The defending champions swept the Milwaukee Bucks in Round 1 and have been off for 10 days. This will help them in the long run. The Heat have no serious injuries as Dwayne Wade has gotten better during this break and will be cleared to  play come game time. The Heat didn’t have a hard time moving past the Bucks, winning by an average of 14 points. The Heat is arguably toe-to-toe with the Bulls defensively, both coaches stress  sharing the ball and defensive pressure on the ball. With a solid supporting cast in Chris “The Bird-Man” Anderson, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mike Miller and  Norris Cole, this Heat bench can bring it when their starters are resting. And LeBron James just won his fourth MVP in the last five years. They were simply stunned by the intensity the Bulls brought to Miami in game 1. But the defending champions know how to bounce back. Just count on Lebron James.

Final Predictions

Chicago might steal a game or two, but when the dust settles Miami continues its quest for two in a row.

Heat in 6

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New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers

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Remember the “choke artist” in Reggie Miller scoring eight points in 8.9 seconds and later staring down at Spike Lee while using one hand to choke himself and the other holding down on his crotch? Yeah those were the great days of the Knicks/Pacers Series, and now it is finally BACK!

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  • Game 1- May 5 Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks 102-95
  • Game 2-May 7 Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks 7 p.m. (EST) TNT
  • Game 3- May 11 New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers 8 p.m. (EST) ABC
  • Game 4-May 15 New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers TBA (EST) TNT
  • Game 5-May 16 Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks 8 p.m. (EST) TNT
  • Game 6-May 18 New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers TBA (EST) ESPN
  • Game 7- May 20 Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks 8 p.m. (EST) TNT

2013 Regular Season Matchups

  • November 18  Indiana @ New York 76-88
  • January 10 New York @ Indiana 76-81
  • February 20 New York @ Indiana 91-125
  • April 14 Indiana  @ New York 80-90

Indian Pacers’ Locker Room

The Pacers did what neither team could do during the regular season, win on the road. After stealing game one, this Pacers team now really has the edge to move on to the Eastern Conference finals with its undefeated home playoff streak. The Pacers had their moments in round one against the Atlanta Hawks but they overcame it in game six to eliminate the Hawks. The Pacers led the league with 45.9 rebounds per game and they showed it in their first round match-up, dominating the boards and points in the paint which has caused a HUGE  problem for the Knicks. In game one the Pacers won the rebounding edge 44-30 and points in the paint 46-32.  The Pacers will have to continue to play this type of ball in hopes of knocking off the Knicks and moving on to possibly face the defending champion Miami Heat.

New York Knicks’ Locker Room 

Home court is what they need to focus on, now having only three home games left, the Knicks need to secure all 3 games at home and steal one at Indiana where the Pacers are 30-11 and currently undefeated in the playoffs. The Knicks will hope to get a low-post boost in Amare Stoudemire possibly returning in game three and hopefully Marcus Camby can be more productive as they will be outsized against David West, Roy Hibbert and Paul George. Quote from Charles Barkley on TNT, “You don’t live by the threes,  you die by it.” The Knicks have been this way all season, they average over 24 attempts but in game one the Pacers beat them in that category and if they want to have any chance of making this a series, they have to make it rain.

Final Predictions

New York didn’t come this far without some success and recognition. We’ll hope for a great seven-game series but when it’s all said and done  Reggie Miller will be smiling after game seven.

Pacers in 7

__________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Chin Tan
Guest Sports Activist for The Cover 4
http://www.facebook.com/thecover4
http://www.twitter.com/thecover4

                                                                           

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