Basketball Magazine

Western Conference Recap

By Rosstalkssports @rosstalkssports

 

The first weekend of the 2013 playoffs are in the books. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to sit and watch (almost) every game like some of us, here is a quick recap of what’s gone down in the West so far. Don’t forget to check out what’s happening in the East.

Thunder lead Rockets 1- 0

   The Rockets hung around with the Thunder for as long as they could. In the second quarter they made a bit of a run, but they are clearly outclassed in this series. James Harden said he felt like it was 1 on 5 out there at times. Sure he was pressing a bit, but his running mate Jeremy Lin had more fouls than he did assist, rebounds, OR points. That stat alone is enough to explain that drubbing.

Spurs lead Lakers 1-0

   As an absolutely huge Steve Nash fan I was excited to see that he would be playing in this round of the playoffs. I was equally shocked to see just how much Mike D’antoni was riding him. Has he learned nothing from Kobe Bryant’s injury about over playing older fellows? Especially with Steve Nash just returning from injury.

   I’d like Nash to get healthy and I think he can start to get somewhere closer to where he was last year as his health improves, so that was the biggest problem for me. A close second was that in bringing Nash back and playing him so hard, D’antoni effectively neutralized his own best weapon in Steve Blake.

   Steve Blake has been on fire the last handful of games, so now that Nash is back Blake should be pushed aside. This is the D’antoni doctrine and why he shouldn’t be back as Laker’s coach next year.

Nuggets lead Warriors 1-0

   In easily the most exciting game of the weekend the Warriors defense breaks down in awe of Andre Miller’s performance as he scores the game winning basket with less than 2 seconds remaining.  Miller abused the Dubs defense all game with his prolific aerial assault. Wait what? You mean Miller didn’t take flight against Golden State? You say he faked and dipped around defenders while just barely clearing the lines on the court? They obviously don’t teach that in AAU ball.

   Now that we’ve got the obligatory Andre Miller paragraph out of the way, Golden State hung in this one the whole game. If it wasn’t for David Lee going down in the 4th quarter of his very first playoff game with a hip flexor tear I’d pick the Warriors to win this series even after that first game. Unfortunately Lee will miss the rest of the playoffs, and the Warriors are going to miss that presence inside.

   What was billed as the most exciting series of round one has become a tale of two injured teams. It’s a shame that we can’t see George Karl’s offense at full strength in the playoffs attempt to buck conventional wisdom of needing a superstar to win. It’s equally sad that David Lee didn’t even make it through one game in his first playoff appearance in his 8 years in the league.

Clippers lead Grizzlies 1-0

   The Clippers were the second biggest surprise team of the weekend 1. I don’t want to make too much out of one game, but the Clippers are looking more like the team that went undefeated in December than the shell of themselves they’ve been for the last few months.  

   The Clippers claimed this season series 3-1 this year and similar dominance the rest of this series wouldn’t surprise me. These two teams played 7 last year and the Clippers won game 7 in Memphis. This year with the Clippers being even better with a healthy Chauncey Billups, and the Grizz getting worse 2 I don’t see this series even going 6 games this time around.  


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