The upstart Memphis Grizzlies eliminating the top seeded San Antonio Spurs in six games. Joe Johnson’s Atlanta Hawks limiting the NBA’s dunking leader Dwight Howard, to ONE field goal in Orlando’s blowout win in Game 5 before closing out the Magic in six. The New Orleans Hornets’ athletic facilitator Chris Paul giving “The Killer B’s” a run for their money in the first round series against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
This year’s playoffs seem to be one of the NBA’s most intriguing in recent years. So if you’ve got time, call the guys over, sit back in that La-Z-Boy, and enjoy pro basketball at it’s finest. Who knows, you might even witness a historic changing of the guard.
Although there are things that no one could have predicted to happen this year (i.e. Lakers and Spurs struggling in the first round), we also have had things that were expected to happen. Lets first take a look at the predictable.
The New York Knicks weren’t given much of a chance against the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics in their first round series. As some might already know, New York made an aggressive move late in the season to acquire Denver’s Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups (possibly the best players on the entire Nuggets’ squad). This led to the formation of another “Big 3” in the Eastern Conference, as Melo and Billups joined Amare’ Stoudemire in the Big Apple. It seemed, at least for a moment, that dreams for an NBA title were suddenly once again alive in the City of New York. Slow your roll, Knicks fans. Although New York now has two bonafide All-star players on the Roster, they have also traded away three of their starters including Forward Wilson Chandler who had been an unstoppable scorer for them all season. With three strong starters and no real depth to the bench, it seems the Knicks have more improving to do and that point was further emphasized in the first round sweep at the hands of the Celtics.
Now, the unpredictable.
Although the Knicks followed the predictions of many observers, no one could have foreseen The Memphis Grizzlies manhandling the best team in Basketball. Memphis became the first ever 8 seed to beat a 1 seed in a best of 7 series. I saw the Spurs making it as far as the Western Conference Finals, their post-season was cut short by the claws of The Grizzlies. Game 6 was in Memphis, where the Grizzlies made history. In fact, San Antonio failed to register a single road win in the series. Marc Gasol was a beast in the low post, while Zach Randolph averaged over 19 points per game. I have a feeling this Memphis team might also do some damage to the rest of the Western Conference.
Be sure to read my next article where I will predict the winners and losers of the next round. I will be sure to keep everything updated with new articles weekly and be sure to follow me on twitter at @CamDalton70 for score updates and players stats.
History has already been made this year, and that was just the first round.
Be sure to watch every thunderous dunk, every buzzer-beating 3 pointer, every last- second drive to the rim – This is the 2011 NBA Playoffs !