NBA Playoff Lessons
By Guest Blogger Tyler Daly:
With the NBA playoffs now in full swing, fans and players alike are beginning to discover whom the contenders and pretenders really are. As more games are played, we learn more and more about who has a shot. Here’s what I’ve learned so far this April:
THE BOSTON CELTICS FOOLED US ALL AGAIN:
Much like last year, Boston more or less stumbled into the playoffs, finishing with weak performances and opening them up to questions about whether or not age would affect their playoff performance. The C’s have quickly silenced their doubters by jumping out to a 3-0 series lead against a tough New York Knicks squad. If Rajon Rondo can continue to distribute the ball to Boston’s shooters as well as he has, then we may have not seen the last championship won by this group.
THE ATLANTA HAWKS ARE FOR REAL:
This incredibly athletic lineup has come to play in their series against Orlando, looking to avenge last year’s embarrassing lopsided defeat. Jamal Crawford has been playing out of his mind, and Joe Johnson has been everything Atlanta needs and more. Atlanta has seemed to realize that there may be no stopping Dwight Howard, but instead have focused on closing out on Orlando’s shooters and making it hard to get the ball into Howard. After taking a 2-1 series lead, the Hawks are flying high and their confidence just might carry them to a first round upset.
OKLAHOMA CITY IS ON ITS WAY:
What do I mean by this? I’m talking on the way to a championship folks. Not necessarily this year, but the Thunder are headed in the right direction. Not only does this team look poised to blow the Nuggets out of this series, they’re playing as good as anyone in the playoffs right now. OKC has electric scorers in Westbrook and Durant, and with the addition of Kendrick Perkins they finally have an inside presence to bang with the big boys. Serge Ibaka is an absolute monster shot-blocker, and Thabo Sefolosha plays hard defense every possession. This team has all the pieces to be great and they are looking ready to take that greatness to new personal heights.