NBA Thumbnail Tales | Opening Round ’10

By Paul Gotham

Eastern Conference

Bulls vs. Cavs

Maybe the Bulls could show as much spirit on the court as their coach, Vinny Del Negro, and GM, John Paxson, show off the court. I missed the announcement of “Joakim Rules.” Maybe Vinny should consult with Joe Girardi.  It’s kind of nice how the Bulls positioned themselves to be the Cavs’ appetizer. Chicago won 10 of its last 14 to get in the playoffs. Can Derrick Rose continue getting to the basket now that it is the playoffs, and teams will actually play defense? Can Shaq get in stride after a layoff? Does Shaq still have a stride? LeBron should be plenty rested.

Heat vs. Celtics

As far as seeds and numbers go, Miami winning would fall into the category of an upset. How many would be surprised if the Heat took this series? Does it matter any more that Boston swept the season series? The Cs have dropped eight of 13. Of course, it’s not like the Heat have anyone beyond D-Wade that they can actually count on from night to night. Do you hear that Michael Beasley and Jermaine O’Neal?

Hawks vs. Bucks

Has the potential to be the best first round series. Milwaukee will go without Andrew Bogut, but do not discount Scott Skiles and his ability to motivate the Bucks. Don’t forget, the Bucks have John Salmons who has the reputation for playing big in the playoffs. Salmons will need a great performance to thwart the Hawks.

Anyone looking for Marvin Williams will find him in Atlanta’s lineup. Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson average 33 a game. Skiles’s defense should shrink those numbers.

Magic vs. Bobcats

Maybe the Vince Carter acquisition wasn’t such a bad idea after all. “Vinsanity” is averaging 16.6. More importantly, the “Iso King” is not disrupting Orlando’s offensive flow. Jason Williams is getting a second chance and making good on it. His presence along with Jameer Nelson’s make the Magic a contender. Congratulations to the Bobcats for qualifying for the playoffs.

Western Conference

Lakers vs. Thunder

You know things are not right with Lakers when Phil Jackson has to resort to mind games in the first round of the playoffs. Just when Kevin Durant showed maturity beyond his years, he goes and reacts to Jackson’s gibes. It will be interesting to see how many shots Durant takes in the first game or two of this series. He averages 20 shots per game.  What is there to not like about the Thunder’s roster: James Harden, Jeff Green, Nick Collison, and Eric Maynor. They have a good, young lineup. They are just not ready to win this series.  How much of LA’s success in the long run depends on Andrew Bynum’s Achilles’ tendon?

Nuggets vs. Jazz

Denver has lost their way since George Karl’s bout with cancer has taken him off the sidelines.  Carlos Boozer is a game time decision. Both lineups pack plenty of talent. Which team will get the most mileage out of their gas?

Mavericks vs. Spurs

Oh, the intrigue. Dallas looked ready for a title run after acquiring Caron Butler. Dallas has lost just seven games since getting Butler on February 16th. Does anyone want to play the Spurs in the playoffs? How much playoff experience do the Spurs have? Tony Parker is back in the lineup.

Suns vs. Blazers

Probably the most entertaining series. There will be plenty of scoring. Portland without Brandon Roy does not bode for the Blazers making any noise in the playoffs.


Remember when Rey questioned Boston’s acquisition of Rasheed Wallace? If you don’t, click here. Bill Simmons added his commentary on the Celtics picking up Wallace. Read it here. Rey saw the smoke months ago.

Cheers to Lionel Hollins for showing Kenyon Martin how it’s done.

Give us your take on the NBA playoffs.

71 Responses to "NBA Thumbnail Tales | Opening Round ’10"

  1. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    But where has it gotten them?! The guy is 7 feet. Who can he guard? His rebounding has to be one of the worst all time for a guy his size in correlation with minutes played.

  2. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Does Ginobili with the nose bandage bounce the bloody sock as the ultimate sacrifice?

  3. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Dampier is guarding Duncan. Why the HECK can’t Dirk? That is sad.

    Najera was figuring he’d give Ginoboli a borken neck to match his nose.

  4. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    That us actually what I am saying. Dirk defends and rebounds as well Sheed. Where can I find a 7 footer who likes playing 20′ feet from the basket?

    Where did I hear that before? 🙂

  5. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I LOVE this game!!!!!

  6. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm


  7. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I am not at all defending the Mavericks’ lineup. If they were asked to play a character in the Wizard of Oz, they would have to be tin man.

  8. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Having Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki on the floor at the same time is painful to watch.

  9. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Best thing that has happened to the Spurs is Parker’s injury. That allowed George Hill to come out of his shell and find his purpose on this team. Now he and Parker are playing well together. IUPUI Pride!

  10. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    They have six starters. Finally, Richard Jefferson looks like he is in step with everyone else.

  11. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    What are the chances Popovich shows the tape over and over again of Haywood lumbering up the floor and catching it in the lane for a bucket?

  12. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    at 4:07, a perfect example. Spurs have a 3 attempt from corner. Dirk standing right there and Duncan comes over him to get tip-in. Sure he scores 35 a game, but at the crucial moments he does nothing else.

  13. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Haywood is a big boys to stop, but you’re right – Pop knows that those defensive assignments being missed won’t get them far.

  14. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Oh wait, Jason Terry just got smoked on a back door cut. There’s something new.

  15. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    No foul there IMO. Clear out for Dirk and McDyess doubles at the perfect time. Oh well.

  16. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Wow – Duncan is 1-9???

  17. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Oh man, I wouldn’t want to be Tony Parker at the next film session.

  18. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Yeah, Duncan is 1-9 and they are friggin’ winning.

  19. Casey   April 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Did you just laugh out loud with that three-point attempt?

  20. Rey   April 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I didn’t see it. I was laughing though, but at the thought of Mark Cuban giving Dirk an extension this summer.

  21. Heat Shirts   July 13, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Welcome to Wade County Celtics fans! Its going to be fun teasing you guys about S. Florida sports for the next 5 years.

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