NBA Playoff Recap 5/25: LA-Phoenix Series Gets More Interesting; All tied at 2

GAME FOUR

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(106-115)

Both teams started off sluggish. Like Game 2, Alvin Gentry’s zone defense was seen early in the game. And as always, the Lakers would try to make it look futile. The Lakers went to the paint mercilessly using their height to their advantage. They were also hoisting jumpers. Ron Artest leads the Lakers with 6 points in the 1st. Kobe Bryant played facilitator, with some 3 assists. The Suns defense was a bit useless, but their offense was perfect. Grant Hill had 6 points, followed by Jason Richardson with 5 points. Channing Frye still continued his icy-slump in the 1st. We’ll talk more about him later. Both teams were locked at 23 apiece after the 1st Quarter.

The 2nd Quarter was like a bonanza for the Suns. Their explosive bench, went out fiery. And when I say bench, I mean the likes of Jared Dudley, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Goran Dragic and Channing Frye. Jared Dudley starts the 2nd, with a three at 11:43. Leandro Barbosa comes next, Louis Amundson follows and then Goran Dragic. Finally, the main story is all about Channing Frye. He broke out from his icy-slump. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant fried some of his Kobe Beef on the court. He scored 15 points in the Quarter alone. The Suns dominated the 2nd Quarter with 41 points. Mostly coming from the 5 bench producers mentioned above. The Lakers would trail after 2 Quarters with a 64-55 Suns lead.

As always, Kobe Bryant will deliver anytime for the Lakers. He scored 16 3rd Quarter points. Only 2 players from the Suns’ team had field goals.Namely, Robin Lopez and Amar’e Stoudemire. Robin Lopez made 2 tip shots. And Amar’e pretty much was everywhere. He was shooting on different angles on the court. Steve Nash and Goran Dragic also contributed in the free throw line. The Lakers would make the game alot more interesting after 3.

The Suns’ bench was inevitable for the Lakers, both on defense and on offense. Their defense was quite great, and their production went to another level. They scored a combine 54 points throughout the game. The Suns would later orchestrate an 18-6 run. Behind, Jared Dudley’s and Leandro Barbosa’s back-to-back threes. At the end of the game, the Lakers would lose all hope. The Suns tie the series with a 115-106 victory.

Kobe Bryant garnered some attention with his 38 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists performance. For some reason, he has been dishing out the ball more often now. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom followed Kobe’s performance with 15 points apiece. As mentioned earlier, the Second Five or the Phoenix Suns’ bench combined for a 54-point performance. Amar’e Stoudemire, who had a 42 point, 11 rebound performance during Game 3, finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash had 15 points and 8 assists.

The series now heads back to the City of the Angelic. Game 5 is set on Thursday. Don’t miss it!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

2) Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo

HHC Talks to NBA Players: Ronny Turiaf

First of all, we would like to announce that, one of our favorite players, Ronny Turiaf, is now on Twitter. So, anyone who applauds his energetic play on the court, follow him. This guy loves to entertain his followers. A month ago, he kindly followed me and we even made a little chit-chat about the recent happenings in the NBA.

As of March 25, he’s already come up with 907 tweets. Way back then, he asked some of his followers about getting verified in Twitter, and he also made a contest, in which the winner, who gives him the most followers will win a signed jersey by Ronny, himself. I, who also is a fan, also joined, but I have struggled to the other competitors. I might not win that jersey, but I call it already a milestone of having Ronny Turiaf as one of my followers. It appears that for every mention he gets, he always replies. Now, that’s a 100% reply rating. Hoops Head Central is glad to give him a shoutout. Keep doing what you do, Ronny, because we love it.

——————————————————————————————————————-

Here was our conversation about a month ago on Twitter:

Mark Locsin: Spurs win Game 3! Oh yeah, we have the lead in the series.

Ronny Turiaf: great series right there!!!!!!!

Mark Locsin: I see! Great pick, Ronny. Where do you think will the Spurs end their season? Semi’s? Conference Finals? NBA Finals?

Ronny Turiaf: tough to say….. conference finals… at least

Mark Locsin: Good pick there, so you’re saying they can’t get past the Lakers?

Ronny Turiaf: not at all. i just dont know this playoffs are so intense and crazy anything can happen. you know.. but lakers are so tough

Mark Locsin: Since you’re saying Lakers are tough, do you even miss being a Laker?

Ronny Turiaf: of course. but more so the friendship with my old teammates those guys were like my brothers. but business is business

——————————————————————————————————————-

Click the links down low:

Follow Ronny Turiaf on Twitter: @MadininaRonny21

Follow Mark Locsin on Twitter: @InOutNBAMacGelo

Don’t forget to comment down low.

NBA Playoff Recap 5/24: Magic Avoid Broom Service.

GAME FOUR

2nd-seed Orlando Magic vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics

(96-92)

The Magic and the Celtics started off hot, and I mean scorching hot. Both teams made shots back-and-forth. The Magic were pretty balanced in scoring with Matt Barnes leading the way. He made 2 threes in the 1st Quarter alone, plus 1 deuce, ending with 8 points. Jameer Nelson had 7 points and 3 assists. Dwight Howard with 6 points. The Truth, Paul Pierce scored 12 1st Quarter points. I have nothing to say about the 2nd Quarter, since most of the happenings happened in the other half. Magic lead 51-47 after 2 Quarters.

3rd Quarter starts Matt Barnes makes the 1st bucket of the 2nd half with 11:20 ticks in the clock. A scuffle between Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard ensued. Only KG was given a technical. Celtics’ fans didn’t like it one bit. But, they were fired up. The crowd shouted chants of ‘Defense!’. The Celtics put it in their mindsets. Results were Defense turning into Offense. Kevin Garnett had his game-face on and he looked motivated. Sadly, he went 0/7 until the end of the game. Ray Allen scored 7 points in the 3rd Quarter alone. Dwight Howard also scored 6 , with some 3 rebounds.

The 4th Quarter was one hell of a quarter in the last few minutes, Glen Davis contributed alot and the Celtics thought they could win the game. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard worked together, and they seem to know what the other was doing. They take an 85-78 lead after the combined effort. Paul Pierce would rally the crowd for one last time, with a strong flush to the basket. It followed with a Ray Allen three, and an And-1 from the Truth. Game was again tied. Rajon Rondo, who was pretty quiet in the game, stealed the orange away from Jameer Nelson. And Celtics’ fans knew the game-winning shot would go to the hands of Paul Pierce. Ray Allen found an open shot. Sadly, Paul Pierce wanted an isolation play. Magic doubles him, he loses the handle and we head to Overtime–the 1st Overtime of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

Overtime, no one scores after 2:18 minutes. Until, Jameer Nelson made back-to-back threes. Ray Allen would release his skills from his arsenal, shooting 2 threes too. In the end, Dwight Howard was too much. He would ice the game at 96-92 with an And-1. Paul Pierce also was nothing in that OT. In the end, the Magic celebrate a well-deserved win. Game 5 is on Wednesday.

PHOTO CREDITS

1) Elsa/Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo

NBA Playoff Recap 5/23: Suns avoid 0-3 series — Lakers lose.

GAME THREE

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(109-118)

Both teams started fiery. The Suns looked for Amar’e to score easy points. And he used Andrew Bynum’s fouls to his advantage. STAT finished with 9 points and 3 rebounds in the 1st Quarter alone. Kobe Bryant pretty much did his work, scoring 15 points in the 1st alone. The Lakers and the Suns were playing ball like it was UNO, a back-and-forth battle. Alvin Gentry adjusted the Suns’ defense, making them execute zone defense more often. And it was successful. The Suns end the 1st half with a 15-2 run, with a 54-47 lead.

The 3rd Quarter starts, Derek Fisher becomes unstoppable. He scores 11 points in the 3rd alone. Ironically, the Suns’ players were just willingly driving down the basket, with Bynum in foul trouble. The other Laker bigs were not playing like they used to, particularly Lamar Odom. Pau Gasol only made 1 block. Kobe still was doing business, Ron Artest was helping out. The Lakers trimmed the lead down to two after three quarters.

Amar’e Stoudemire went on a tear the whole game, scoring 42 points and hauling 11 rebounds. He was too much for the Lakers to handle. He went inside willingly, and he converted he’s oppurtunities. The Suns’ 42 FT’s compared to the Lakers’ 20 FT’s helped the Suns’ causes as well. The Lakers lead the turnover ratio, having 17:7 turnovers against the Suns. The Phoenix Suns might’ve been blessed by the Basketball Gods to win this.

Amar’e Stoudemire, who scored 42 points and had 11 rebounds, lead the Suns in scoring and in rebounding. Meanwhile, Steve Nash, who averaged 14.0 assists/game coming to the game, had 15 assists and 17 points. Kobe Bryant had 36 points. And yes, he played facilitator again with 11 assists. Pau Gasol added 23 points and 9 rebounds. Oops! I almost forgot, Robin Lopez scored 20 points and had a block. Adam Morrison, DND-CD — why’d I even say this? Nevermind!

Lakers lead series 2-1. Planet Orange hosts Game 4 on Tuesday. And they need to win it so badly. Stay tuned for updates, here in HHC.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo

The Big O’ Transactions: Doug Collins Gets Philly’s Coaching Nod

After 7 years of broadcasting for TNT, Doug Collins will be seen once again on the sidelines, this time with the Philadelphia 76ers. This move forces him to vacate broadcasting duties at TNT. Some sources say that the contract will be likely a 4-year deal. Team President Ed Stefanski interviewed 2 more coaches with experience, specifically former Dallas head coach Avery Johnson and former Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell, and some NBA assistant coaches too, but the 58-year old emerged as the victor. He is the 1st offseason move of the Sixers, if I might add.

Yes, that’s Michael Jordan

It was a man named Paul Douglas Collins, who played a vital role for MJ during his young years as a professional. So, if the Sixers pick either John Wall or Evan Turner, they know they’re in good hands. Finally, let’s pray for Doug’s succes in the Sixer’s bench. I hope he brings basketball back to the City of Brotherly Love. After all, the Sixers haven’t tasted NBA Playoff success since 2001. If the players mesh with his system, we’ll see them back at the Playoffs. But hey, it’s too early to predict. In the meantime GOOD LUCK, Doug. You’re gonna need it.

The 76ers’ organization will hold a conference on Friday discussing Doug Collin’s employment. The newly-crowned coach will answer some questions himself too.

Paul Douglas Collins, famously known as Doug Collins had an 8-year NBA career in which he averaged 17.9 points and 3.3 assists.He also garnered a Silver Medal in the 1972 Olympics. Yes, a silver medal. Now, he has had coaching stints with the Chicago Bulls, the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards. He’s overall coaching record is 332-278.

Don’t forget to comment down low.

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo

NBA Playoff Recap 5/19: Lakers seize 2-0 lead over Suns.

GAME TWO

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers

(112-124)

After losing Game 1 to the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns had their minds set to win Game 2. A win could boost their momentum plus they could head home more light-headed. The Lakers on the other hand are trying to win their 8th-straight playoff win and grab a commanding 2-0 series lead. Let’s see what happened during the course of the game.

The 1st Quarter saw the Suns turn the ball over alot. And when I say alot, I mean 7 times in the 1st Quarter alone. The Lakers were pretty much using it to their advantage. Ron Artest always had open-looks throughout the 1st. Ron Artest scored 10 of his 18 points in the 1st Quarter, which includes a three at the buzzer. Kobe Bryant scored 9 in that Quarter with 6 assists. The Suns looked for Amar’e throughout the 1st; he ended with 8 points.The Lakers won the starting quarter with a 34-22 lead.

The 2nd Quarter featured the Suns’ bench. Their bench was scorching hot. Everyone made it a priority to contribute. The Suns’ Jared Dudley was pretty much the main catalyst for his team’s bench; scoring 15 points, shooting a perfect 5/5 behind-the-arc and snatching 3 steals. Anyways, this bench made an unexpected 11-0 run. The Lakers would then put their starters back. The effect would quickly come in as the Laker starters would stretch the lead to 11 after 2 Quarters.

The Suns’ Jason Richardson scored 12 points in the 3rd alone, finishing with 27 points. Meanwhile Grant Hill scored 14 during the 3rd, despite being cold during the 1st 2 Quarters. Hill would later end up with 23 points. Both of them combine for 26 points of the Phoenix Suns’ 34 3rd Quarter points. After the 3rd Quarter, The Suns see themsleves tied with the Lakers.

Now, the 4th Quarter begins. The Suns put their productive bench in while the Laker starters played much of the 4th’s duration. The Suns lost due to the fact that they’re undersized. Not only that, but also because of their lack of defense. In the end, Kobe Bryant, who played facilitator in the game, scored some key buckets to finish off the Phoenix Suns. The Black Mamba scored 21 points and had a career-playoff-high 13 assists. Pau Gasol ended with 29 points while hauling in 9 rebounds. The Phoenix Suns’ captain Steve Nash finished with 11 points with 15 assists. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 18 points and some 6 rebounds.

Even though the Suns lost, Planet Orange still ain’t giving up. Why? Here’s some fact. At some point of the game, the Lakers lead by 16. Then the Suns showed some life. Tying the game at 90 apiece after 3 Quarters. This is still a long series, we still don’t know what else is gonna happen, but hey, we’ll keep you updated here in HHC. Game 3 is on Sunsday, errr, Sunday.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Harry How/Getty Images

2) Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo

NBA Playoff Recap 5/13: The Last Day In A Cleveland Jersey?

Today was game 6 of the NBA Playoffs, which featured the one the only Lebron James vs  the Celtics. I say this knowing that this is all the media cared about from the start. This was definitely an interesting series but the world was really only looking at one person and one person only. Sorry Rondo. It was Lebron James.  Even though Rondo was amazing, no one could steal the media frenzy that was behind LeBron’s last day in what could be a Cav’s Uni.

Is it finally time?

The game was well fought by the Cav’s for, oh lets say the first half… Then Mike Brown pulled his “I’m going to fail this team in the clutch of Game 6.” card out from his pocket and said “hey guys LeBron is our best player, but you guys all shoot.” As a player, you have to pity LeBron. I Mean really your whole 61-21 record just got shot out the window, and your teammates begin to play like D-Leaguers. Poor LeBron. Everyone will hate him for tonight and maybe tomorrow, and this will stress him out and push his hair line even farther back then before. I will begin it like this.

3rd quarter. LeBron is playing well, Mo Williams showed up to play. Anderson is playing with energy. The Celtics are playing great D, with equal offensive contribution.  ITS EXACTLY WHAT GAME 6 was supposed to be. Then Mike Brown walks out of the locker room. Someone should have taped him to a chair and not let him coach. Mistake #2. The first mistake was having Shaq guard KG. The third quarter goes as planned, both teams trading basketball, fouls, and D. Then the Celtics fans kick in, the Celtics go on two runs: both unanswered. Mike Brown…. What are you doing… Small Ball worked. Play IT!! Mistake #3. Small, quickness killed the Celtics all year. The third quarter ends. The Celtics are up and have momentum on their side. Game over. The Cavs know it. LeBron wont show it.

4th Quarter starts. LeBron is two assists away from a triple double, yet everyone is bashing him in the media. Just remember this stat. LeBron opens the quarter being aggressive, hits back to back 3’s. Timeout Celtics. Doc, who Mike Brown needs to worship like a holy god, talks his team back with a “you can only win, if we play together” speech. It works, the Cavs never got close again. LeBron finishes one assists away from a triple double, not because he wasn’t looking, but because his team just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop. The saddest part of this whole game that I saw was the Cav’s giving up with more then a minute to go. Mistake #5. I apologize to the city of Cleveland, but you guys are a city meant to never be known as a winner. The fumble… MJ over the Cavs… Now you guys losing LeBron. I’m sorry. LeBron. I’m sorry. New York just rejoiced.

Final Verdict:

Cleveland: just moved into the Dallas spot for biggest disappointment in the playoffs by a team with 60 plus wins. Losers.

Boston: proved they are a better team then experts thought. Rejuvenated. Momentum. Rondo. Winners.

NBA Playoff Recap: May 11th, 2010

4th-seed Boston Celtics vs. 1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers (120-88)

(Boston leads 3-2)

The Cavs went into this game seeking a 3-2 lead in the series. And, so were the Celtics. Many eyebrows were raised during Game 4 due to issues concerning the Cavs‘ play, with headlines striking the Internet like “LeBron James should guard Rajon Rondo.” and “Shaq should play more minutes.” Ironically, the Cavs didn’t manage to give answers for the news during Game 5. Shaq played 26 minutes, but ended with 21 points as the Cavs leading scorer. If he could’ve played more minutes the game would’ve been close. LeBron James was able to defend Rondo for some part in the game, but it was Mo Williams defending him mostly in the game.

Early on, the Cavs looked for Shaq down the post, where he scored 7 early points. His presence down low took him to the free throw line too, converting 3/3 free throws. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who has received a couple of DNP-CD‘s, played back-up for Shaq.

Celtics again played magnificent defense, they were able to make the Cavs force shots with the shot clock expiring. Their offense was perkulating too. The Big Three lead the way, scoring 64 of their team’s 120. The Celtics ended the 2nd-half with a 50-44 lead.

The 3rd quarter belonged to the Boston Celtics. They outscored the Cavaliers 30-19 in the 3rd quarter alone. It started with Ray Allen threes that lead to Rajon Rondo drives. Speaking of Ray Allen, he finished with 25 points. Rajon Rondo ended with 16 points and 7 assists. Kevin Garnett also hoisted some jumpers too. The 3rd quarter would end in the favor of the Celtics with a 80-63.

The Cavs lost all hope in the 4th Quarter. Again, they were dominated by the Celtics with a 40:25 point ratio. Cavs hope to even the series and avoid elimination while the Celtics look to close them out on Thursday.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo

NBA Playoff Recap: May 10th, 2010

Yes, two teams taste the Conference Finals and two teams earn an unpleasant downfall..

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 5th-seed Utah Jazz (111-96)

Lakers played Game 4 with a purpose. The Lakers, which Deron Williams dubbed as a championship-team, ended the 1st half with a 17-point lead. The Jazz made the game much more interesting cutting the lead to 5 during the 3rd with Carlos Boozer‘s lay-up. The reigning champions would play some excellent ball and would finally close-out the Jazz in the 2nd-round.

With this win, the Lakers clinch another appearance in the Western Conference Finals, their 3rd-straight. The Lakers were lead by Pau Gasol, who had 33 points and 14  rebounds. Kobe Bryant ended with 32 points. Utah Jazz Forward Carlos Boozer went cold, he shot 4/11 from the field, ending with 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Los Angeles Lakers now earn a 6-day rest. They meet the Phoenix Suns in the Conference Finals.

2nd-seed Orlando Magic vs. 3rd-seed Atlanta Hawks (98-84)

For the 4th-time in this series, the Magic blowout the Hawks. The Magic started tremendously ending the 1st Quarter with a 34-23 lead. And the Magic would continue from there. They shot 55.4% as a team. Vince Carter lead the way with 22 points and Jameer Nelson would add 16 points and 9 assists. Dwight Howard had 13 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and swatting away 4 shots. Atlanta Hawks Forward Josh Smith scored 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Jamal Crawford lead all the Hawks in scoring with 18 points. The Magic are now enjoying another early rest as they await who there next competitor will be, the Boston Celtics or The Cleveland Cavaliers.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

3) Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Socialize with Tim on Facebook:

Tim Lacson

NBA Playoff Recap: May 9th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (87-97)

Well, the Cavs had a lot of momentum after taking home-court advantage back in Game 3. But, a point guard from Kentucky would change all of that. More details of that later. The Celtics were a little bit sloppy at first, but energy and some transition plays helped them out. The Cavs had significant help from no other than LeBron James, who finished 22 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Shaq, another factor for the Cavs, had 17 points in the game. The other Cavaliers weren’t really producing at their level, shooting a mere 36%. Rajon Rondo scored 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists to end the 1st half. He would later end with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. (I’m not lying on the 18 rebounds. And he’s a featherweight – 170 pounds.)

2nd-half story, the Cavs made up for their 1st-half plays by coming back with a 27-20 point ratio during the 3rd, reducing the lead to two. The Celtics and the Cavs swapped runs during the 4th. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett both scored 18 points. Paul Pierce still plays cold, shooting 3/8 from the field, ending with 9 points. In the end, the story is still Rondo. Celtics tie the series at 2 games apiece. If Rondo keeps this up, the Celtics should’nt worry about their future. Go Celtics!

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (107-101)

The Spurs find themselves on a not too common “Do or Die” situation with the Phoenix Suns. Tony Parker has finally started for the Spurs in Game 4 and became productive during the 1st half. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were going down low at the paint, combining for a 10/14 during the 2nd quarter. The Suns‘ bench on the other hand, made some key threes and timely buckets to cut the Spurs lead. Channing Frye, Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley to name a few.

Steve Nash rocking the “Cyclopse” look.

And as always, this series is physical. So, the SunsSteve Nash (pictured) receives an elbow from the SpursTim Duncan. He went back to the locker room and acquired 6 stitches before returning to the game. Speaking of Tim Duncan, he finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Manu Ginobili scored 15 points but he made up for it with 5 steals. Despite the injury, Steve Nash would still score on floaters and would pass to Amar’e Stoudemire for some key jumpers. But, the Spurs still never gave up. George Hill gets the hoop plus the harm for a 4-point play that would cut the lead to 2. The Spurs would need to foul now. They find Grant Hill, unfortunately for the Spurs, he would make both free throws. Manu Ginobili misses a three at the other end, and the Suns taste the sweetest revenge against the Spurs.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Elsa/Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Ronald Martinez/NBAE/Getty Images

4) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter:

@InOutNBAMacGelo