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

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@InOutNBAMacGelo

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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

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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

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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

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 7th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (95-124)

(Cleveland leads series 2-1)

If you’re a Cavalier fan then this is what you have been hoping for. The Cavs started well, all because of LeBron James. He was draining so many jump shots in the 1st Quarter that the cylinder looked like an ocean. For the C’s? Let’s just say that they looked dead the whole game. They didn’t even manage to grasp a single lead in the contest.

LeBron James might have controlled the game with his 38 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. But, he had help too. Antawn Jamison had a 20-12 performance, which leads me say that this is his “Best Game of the Series”. Other than that, 6 players were in double figures for the Cavs, now that’s a balanced attack, these are the rest of the 3 starters, which is Shaq, Anthony Parker and Mo Williams. Delonte West was the only bench player, who was in double digits. From start to finish, the Cavs controlled each aspect in the game.

Rajon Rondo scored 18 and 8 assists. Kevin Garnett had 19 to lead the Celtics while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 18 points. After this game, the Celtics’ Paul Pierce said it was their Defense that paved the way for their Game 3 loss. Adjustments are expected to be made for Game 4.

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (110-96)

(Phoenix leads series 3-0)

The Spurs went off to a great start. At one point, they seized an 18-point lead. During the 2nd Quarter, the Suns managed to make a 19:5 run to cut the lead to 6 after the 1st half. And then the 3rd Quarter started. Manu Ginobili and Steve Nash seemed to swapped basket for another. Manu ended with a Spurs‘ team-high of 27 points, and some 6 dimes. Steve Nash, on the other hand, scored 16 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and add 6 assists too.

But then Phoenix Suns‘ Head Coach Alvin Gentry deployed the Goran Dragic experiment, which turn’t out to be a success. He would score 23 points in the 4th Quarter alone, he finished with 26 points in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire had an off-night with 7 points. Jason Richardson scored 21 and Grant Hill added 18. Tim Duncan finished with 15 and Tony Parker with 10. As the game went to a finished, it all would  go down to Dragic‘s excellent play, as the Suns win Game 3.

My Spurs are DEAD. I guess we’re done for the Playoffs now.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

4) Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 5th, 2010

7th-seed San Antonio Spurs vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns (102-110)

The Bear and the Widowed Wife fighting over a loose-ball.

The San Antonio Spurs started pretty well on both defense and offense. They had fast hands, they avoided fouling, and they were making shots. The Spurs ended the opening-quarter with 30-21 lead over the Suns. During the 2nd Quarter, the Suns had significant help from their second-unit. Jared Dudley, Channing Frye and Goran Dragic to name a few. The Suns shocked the Spurs in the 2nd, as they tied the score to 41 apiece.

During the 2nd half, Channing Frye went HOT. He shot 5/6 3-pointers. But, Tim Duncan had a decent night, he scored 29 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Tony Parker, who I think should’ve started the game, ended up with 20 points and 7 assists. Manu Ginobili struggled from the field, shooting 2/8 from close and 2/5 from far, but he dished out 11 assists to be the leading passer in the game.

But the Phoenix Suns won’t give-up. They gave it all they got to have a 2-0 series lead during the 4th-Qtr. At the end, Amar’e Stoudemire scored 23 points and taking 11 rebounds with the help of Steve Nash and Jason Richardson, who scored 19 points apiece. Add 6 assists for Steve Nash. And Grant Hill also gave some help to his team with a score of 18 points.

Phoenix gains a 2-0 series lead , dammit! I say Spurs are winning the series.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Barry Gosage/NBAE via Getty Images

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Tim Lacson

NBA Playoff Recap: May 3rd, 2010

4th-seed Boston Celtics vs. 1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers (104-86)

In Game 2, “The Big Three” scored a combined 54 points with the help of Rajon Rondo, who had 13 points and 19 assists. Lebron James helped the Cavs causes with 24 points. As the game progressed, it became more physical. Anderson Varejao and Kendrick Perkins had a scuffle, both had T’s as punishment. Cavs made an unbelivable run, it started with Lebron James floater with 8:03 seconds in the fourth, cutting the lead to 10, which was 23 before the run started. But, the Celtics had an 11-3 run to end the quarter, to snatch the much-needed victory in Game 2. Momentum is now theirs.

Additional note: Lebron James presented his MVP award to the Cleveland crowd before the game started. Fans gave a well-deserved applause for his repeat.

7th-seed San Antonio Spurs vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns (102-111)

In Game 1, Steve Nash started strong in the game, scoring 17 points in the 1st Quarter alone. He later ended with 33 points and 10 assists with the help of Jason Richardson, who scored 27 points. For the Spurs,  Manu Ginobili scored 27 points to lead San Antonio. Tony Parker had 26 points in a loss. Tim Duncan had 20 points and 11 boards, but it was not enough as the Suns win Game 1 of their classic NBA series. As I end, I would like to say Go Spurs Go! (I’m a Spurs fan!)

Don’t forget we have one more game tomorrow. (UTA/LAL)

PHOTO CREDITS:

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Christian Petersen via Getty Images

Socialize with Tim on Facebook:

Tim Lacson


Spurs versus Suns | What To Expect In This Classic NBA Series

Ever since the Spurs and the Suns advanced to the 2nd-Round, I’ve been thinking about the Phoenix Suns‘ causes against the San Antonio Spurs. So, yesterday I thought deeply though about it. And it came to conlusion that I said, “The Suns have their biggest chance of beating the Spurs this year.” But, the Spurs won’t give up without a fight. They are force to reckon with since they’ve turned the Mavs from Contenders to Upsets. This Spurs and Suns match-up is a must-see for all basketball fans. I’m not lying. Analyses are coming up.

Here are some analyses for the Suns and the Spurs:

Phoenix Suns

Here we start with the Suns. First of all, they have never won a 7-game series against the Spurs since the 2000 NBA Playoffs, which gives the Spurs much more confidence to win. But, let me say this, “This might be the year where the Suns finally dispose the Spurs to the fishing grounds.” Why? They’re defense has slightly improve and their Run N Gun offense can easily tire the Spurs’ veterans, which is very exceptional. If the Suns want to win this series, they need Amar’e Stoudemire to play a more decent game since he’s matching-up with one of the all-time greats, Tim Duncan. He has to snatch those boards, whether offensive or defensive, in order to win the glass. Plus, he’s shotblocking skills is pretty much needed since Suns’ defensive shotblocker Robin Lopez is out with a back injury. But the pressure on him is that he has to outwork Duncan on the floor. Steve Nash is a factor too, mainly because he handles the Suns’ offense. If he is able to distribute the ball well in this series, then the Suns will not miss a single beat. Their bench has to become more ecstatic too since the Spurs’ bench produces effectively in a nightly-basis. Lastly, Grant Hill is the X-Factor for this Suns’ team. His defense should be able to slow-down the all-star play of Spurs’ guard Manu Ginobili. And this veteran knows how to play well, he can shoot, he can drive down the lane and he can rebound too. The Phoenix Suns are in for a physical 7-game series. We just hope nobody gets SUSPENDED nor gets INJURED in the match-up.

San Antonio Spurs

We all know the Spurs, they are one of the oldest teams in the NBA. And if you’re old you aren’t fast enough and you prone to tire more often. So, if I was Greg Popovich I will tell my players not to go with the flow of the Suns’ Run-N-Gun offense. Defense will be big for them since the Spurs don’t have that presence down low, aside from Duncan (And Tim can’t be there always, right?). Tim Duncan may not be young now, but he’s still the main reason why the Spurs here in the postseason. His sidekicks, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, are lethal for their causes to win. If Manu Ginobili continues his all-star play and Tony Parker continues to strive in his 6th-man role then I think the Spurs will knock this Phoenix team to the fishing-grounds. X-Factor is George Hill, why? He is the present starting point guard for the San Antonio Spurs, which was preceded by Tony Parker. He has the ability to take advantage of Steve Nash with his speed. And he can shoot deadly too. His defense is quite remarkable too, since he often defends the number 1 scorer of the opposing team. No giving up on this Spurs team. They have a big chance to win, I just have that feeling.

The final verdict, the Spurs in 7. Sorry, Suns. This Spur team is  better than you. You might be fun to watch with your Run N Gun offense, but defense always sets the tone to win. This Spur team has it all, Defense and Offense. If you prove me wrong, then i’ll give the money. Series starts Monday.

And yeah, I need your comments down low.

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