The 2013 NBA playoffs have arrived and the first day of action brought what all the fans had been waiting for… fireworks and epic failures! Let’s take a look at each matchup from the opening day of action with a few thoughts on what each series has to offer after just one game.
2 – New York vs. 7 – Boston (New York wins 85-78)
Things are bad enough in Boston at the moment without their storied franchise only managing a pathetic eight points for the final period.
Carmelo Anthony proved that scoring nearly half of his teams points doesn’t mean a lot as he still somehow registered just -3 on his +/- stats. It is still mind-boggling to me that anyone really takes any notice of that stat as Melo was still obviously influential. That being said, I’ve gone ahead and mentioned it so I’m technically breaking my own rule. Whatever, I needed to fill space and this game was pretty ordinary (like both of these teams). If the Knicks can’t win this in five games, why would we want to keep watching them anyway?
For what it’s worth, the Celtics stuck around longer than I thought they would before an ultra-efficient Melo put them away in the fourth. Anyone with delusions of a New York championship this year may want to take note that this shouldn’t have been remotely this close.
4 – Brooklyn vs. 5 – Chicago (Brooklyn wins 106-89)
Say what you want about the Chicago Bulls and their perseverance through Derrick Rose’s absence but without half of Joakim Noah’s legs working, they are done. Noah limped through Game 1 as he battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot. While Brooklyn were predictably psyched for their first hoops playoff game in close to 60 years, the Bulls laid a Barclays Center-sized egg in this one.
Nate Robinson’s numbers looked nice for Chicago yet he obtained nearly all of them once the game was decided. Carlos Boozer battled hard but was the Lone Ranger when it came to offense for the Bulls. On a day when League Pass was showing an abnormal amount of old Chicago highlights during commercial breaks, the Bulls couldn’t have looked worse.
A total of six players scored in double-figures for Brooklyn, who were led by everyone’s sixth favourite point guard Deron Williams. As a team Brooklyn had more rebounds, assists and steals than the Bulls and led this game by 25 at the half. Yawn.
Chicago fans all over Twitter slowly unraveled during this display, turning on their coach, players and even superstar Derrick Rose. Quite an interesting sub-plot to this series will be watching Bulls fans slowly set fire to themselves and everything around them if their team gets swept. It’s completely possible if Noah’s foot doesn’t improve so keep an eye on our friend social media.
3 – Denver vs. 6 – Golden State (Denver wins 97-95)
When it was possible that Denver would face either Memphis or the LA Clippers in the first round, I stated that this Nugget team could go down as one of the best first-round-exit teams in NBA history. This doesn’t look as likely now as they face the injury-depleted Golden State Warriors.
While the Warriors put up a great fight in Game 1, news was recently released that forward David Lee is done for the remainder of the season with a hip injury. This will put significant pressure on Andrew Bogut as the anchor of both the Golden State defense and now also their inside game at the offensive end. Bogut performed extremely well in Game 1 collecting 19 points and nine assists as well as the attention of his opposing coach George Karl who made mention of Bogut’s performance in his post-game address.
Golden State’s rotation is already “playoff shortened” so it will be interesting to see where Lee’s minutes are distributed. Needless to say it’s going to be tough for the Warriors to climb out of an 0-2 hole so the next contest becomes huge for them.
If there’s one thing Golden State can concentrate on for Game 2, it’s to not be beaten in the final seconds by an 85 year old point guard named Andre. There’s two Andre’s in Denver and this one should not be ending your season for you.
4 – LA Clippers vs. 5 – Memphis (LA Clippers win 112-91)
This will forever be known as the game League Pass destroyed for me. While I admire the NBA’s marketing protocol of giving out free trials, the correlation between streaming issues and free trials just grinds my gears.
In protest of my frustrating experience I will simply state the following…
Eric Bledsoe hit 7/7 from the field and nut-punched the Grizzlies chances to steal a Game 1 victory in the fourth quarter.
Luckily for the NBA, I was only mad at them for one afternoon and have resumed loving them and everything they stand for, unconditionally.
Day 1 in the books… good times.