Covering the NBA isn’t something this site does nearly enough of, but the NBA Playoffs are in full swing so it’s only right that we give you a quick look at where the first round match ups are this morning.
As not to be accused of having an East Coast bias, we’ll read things left -to-right across the national map:
San Antonio Spurs (1 seed) lead the Utah Jazz (8 seed) – 3 to 0
In the first two games, the Spurs made use of their home court advantage, winning by an average of 23 points per game. Things got better for the Jazz when the series moved to Utah, but not by much, as the Spurs won by 12. The next – and likely final – game in the series is Monday Night in Utah.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2nd) eliminate the Dallas Mavericks (7th) – 4 to 0
Three of the four games were decided by six points or less, but the defending NBA Champions are no longer active in the bracket. The outcome in Game 3 likely deflated any chances the Mavericks had, losing the first game in Dallas by 16.
Los Angeles Lakers (3rd) lead the Denver Nuggets (6th) – 2 to 1
Both teams in this series have held court, with the Lakers winning both in Los Angeles and Nuggets winning as the series moved to Denver, but if momentum means anything, Kobe Bryant might be in trouble. After losing Game 1 to the Lakers by 15 points, the Nuggets kept the outcome within 4 points in Game 2, then won by 15 in Game 3. Tonight sees Game 4 tip in the Rocky Mountain state.
Los Angeles Clippers (4th) lead the Memphis Grizzlies (5th) – 2 to 1
Home court advantage means very little in this series, as the Grizzlies have already won a game in Los Angeles, and the Clippers have done the same as visitors in Tennessee. Game 4 will be contested Monday night.
Chicago Bulls (1 seed) trail the Philadelphia 76ers (8 seed) – 2 to 1
The loss of Derrick Rose has been a huge deficit for the top seed in the East, and the team is yet to win without him. Game 2 saw the Bulls lose by 17, but as the series moved to Philly, the Bulls pulled closer, with the 76ers only winning by 5. Game 4 plays early this afternoon, likely before most will read this article.
Miami Heat (2nd) lead the New York Knicks – 3 games to 0
With some key players out for the Knicks, the Heat have been dominant. The Knicks didn’t even score 70 points in Game 1, losing by 33 in the series opener. Game 2 saw the Heat win by 10, their lowest margin of the series, as Miami stepped up as things moved to Madison Square Garden, blowing out the Knicks by 17 in New York. Game 4 – and the probable exit from the playoffs for the Knicks – will be Sunday afternoon.
Indiana Pacers (3) lead the Orlando Magic (6) – 3 games to 1
After losing the first game in the series, the Pacers got on track in Game 2 and haven’t looked back. Though Game 4′s win was by 2 points, the Pacers got their other two victories by an average of 19 points. Game 5 will be contested on Tuesday night, where Indiana can close out the first round series.
Boston Celtics (4th) leads the Atlanta Hawks (5th) – 2 games to 1
In relatively low scoring contests, the difference in final tallies in each of the three games between these two has been less than 10 points. Tonight in Boston, the Hawks have the opportunity to tie things up, or the Celtics can take the commanding 3 games to 1 lead and look to close things out on Tuesday.
Points Per Game
30.3 – Kobe Bryant (LAL)
27.7 – LeBron James (MIA)
26.8 – Dirk Nowitzki (DAL – ELIMINATED)
26.5 – Kevin Durant (OKC)
Rebounds Per Game
15 – Josh Smith (ATL) (1.5 off / 13.5 def)
12.3 – Kevin Garnett (BOS) (1 off / 11.3 def)
11.8 – Roy Hibbert (IND) (4.5 / 7.3)
11.3 – Andrew Bynum (LAL) (3 / 8.3)
Assists Per Game
11.5 – Rajon Rondo (BOS)
9.3 – Chris Paul (LAC)
7.7 – Tony Parker (SAS)
7.3 – Mike Conley (MEM)
Blocks Per Game
4.67 – Andrew Bynum (LAL)
4.25 – Roy Hibbert (IND)
3.33 – JaVale McGee (DEN)
3.25 – Serge Ibaka (OKC)