Sunday, May 13, 2012

Boomer's Slam Dunk: Western Conference Semifinal Previews & More

Wrapping up the Western Conference First Round: I Love LA!

Saturday Night Live, in Hollywood last night where the LA Lakers overcame a very pesky Denver Nuggets team to win Game 7 in their First Round series, 96 to 87. Kobe and Co. seemed to be in control all night long, however, only led by six (48 to 42) at halftime. The Nuggets played a solid 3rd quarter to only trail by one (69 to 68). The Lakers made a surge in the 4th quarter and the Nuggets were unable to response and faded down the stretch. The Lakers received a season-high (19 pts.) from PG Steve Blake off the bench, and fresh off his 7-game suspension Metta World Peace chipped in with 15 points to spark the Lakers offensive attack. Pau Gasol after being a non-factor in Game 5 and 6, responded with 23 pts. and 17 rebounds in the decisive game of the series. The Lakers now turn their attention to the OKC Thunder, as that series starts Monday Night (9:30 TNT) in Oklahoma City.

Memphis Blues, for the Grizzlies that is. Mother's Day afternoon, the Memphis Grizzlies had the momentum and home fans rocking in the series deciding Game 7 vs. the LA Clippers. However, the Grizzlies shot poorly (33% FG) and did not make a single 3 pt. basket (0-13), and were bounced out of the playoffs by the Clippers, 82 to 72. It seemed like it was all for the Grizzlies heading into today's game, with winning the previous two games, but it was not meant to be for the Grizzlies, who upset the #1 seeded SA Spurs a season ago, in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. The Clippers did it down the stretch, and they did it with a unusual lineup. Going with mostly bench players in the 4th quarter, the Clippers got 23 of their 25 fourth quarter points by their bench, and outscored the Memphis bench overall, 41 to 11. Hats off to Coach Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers on getting a rare First Round Playoff series win. The Clippers now turn their attention to the next round, that starts up Tuesday Night (TNT 9:30) vs. the Spurs in San Antonio.

Western Conference Semifinals

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs. #5 LA Clippers Regular Season Series: Spurs 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday (TNT 9:30 PM EST) in San Antonio
Game 2: Thursday (ESPN 9:30 PM EST) in San Antonio
Game 3: Saturday (ABC 3:30 PM EST) in Los Angeles
Game 4: Sunday (TNT 10:30 PM EST) in Los Angeles
Game 5: May 22 (TNT) in San Antonio*
Game 6: May 25 (ESPN) in Los Angeles*
Game 7: May 27 (TNT) in San Antonio *
*- if needed
Now, after a drag out/knock out First Round series vs. the Grizzlies, what sort of energy will the Clippers have at the start of this series? The Spurs now will have been off for over a week, after sweeping the Utah Jazz. The Spurs are probably happy they don't have to face the Grizzlies again this season, after being shocked by them a season ago. Tim Duncan and Co. has plenty of depth to match what the Clippers will bring to the table, and I just think with the long 7 game series, the Clippers had in the First Round will play a factor earlier on in this series and the Spurs will play fresh, with no signs on rust to make this another quick series. Spurs in 5.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #3 LA Lakers Regular Season Series: Thunder 2-1

Game 1: Monday (TNT 9:30 PM EST) in OKC
Game 2: Wednesday (TNT 9:30 PM EST) in OKC
Game 3: Friday (ESPN 10:30 PM EST) in LA
Game 4: Saturday (TNT 10:30 PM EST) in LA
Game 5: May 21 (TNT) in OKC*
Game 6: May 23 (ESPN) in LA*
Game 7: May 27 (TNT) in OKC*
*- if needed
Again, another series out west that will pit a team that just finished up a long 7 game series vs. a team that has been resting/sitting around for over a week now. The Lakers disappointed me a little bit, needing the decisive 7th game to finally put the Nuggets out of the NBA Playoffs. The Thunder are probably just glad to get back into their playoff run, after sweeping the defending champ (Mavs) out of the playoffs over a week ago. Just like the Clippers/Spurs game, what will be the x-factor, the Lakers lack of rest heading into this series or will the Thunder have any sort of rust after the week long break. This point last season the Lakers who were 2-time defending champs, where swept out of the playoffs, and though I don't seem them getting swept this time around, I like the young and athletic Thunder squad in this series. Thunder in 6.

Update on the Eastern Conference Semifinals
76ers/Celtics                                                                      Pacers/Heat
Game 1: Celtics 92 to 91 Boston 1-0                                 Game 1: Heat 95 to 86 Miami 1-0
Game 2: Monday (TNT 7 PM) in Boston                           Game 2: Tuesday (TNT 7 PM) in Miami
Game 3: Wednesday (TNT 7 PM) in Philadelphia              Game 3: Thursday (ESPN 7 PM) in Indy
Game 4: Friday (ESPN 8 PM) in Philadelphia                    Game 4: Sunday (ABC 3:30 PM) in Indy
Game 5: May 21 (TNT) in Boston*                                   Game 5: May 22 (TNT) in Miami*
Game 6: May 23 (ESPN) in Philadelphia*                         Game 6: May 24 (TBD) in Indy*
Game 7: May 26 (TBD) in Boston*                                   Game 7: May 26 (TBD) in Miami*
*- if needed                                                                       *- if needed