Miami Heat v. Boston Celtics
Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat past the visiting Boston Celtics in game one of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup. Wade dropped 38 points and 5 assists on 14-21 shooting from the field. He brought his A-Game and led the Heat past a frustrated and lacking Celtics squad. The Celtics frustration shined through when Paul Pierce was ejected with 7 minutes left in the game. He picked up two technicals in less than a minute after getting upset with the physical play of Wade and James Jones (25 points off the bench). Ray Allen led the Celtics with 25 points (5-8 from 3pt range). Although he played well, Allen knew his team had to step up all over the court if they want to get back to the NBA Finals…
“There are so many things we need to do to get better. I think everyone in that locker room knows that, just from a small conversation we just had.”
Prediction: I gotta go with my previous pick and take the Celtics to win the series in seven games. Deep down, I know it is going to be hard for them to do this, especially with how well the Heat are playing and how dangerous D Wade looks, but Celtics in 7 is the pick.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls
Joe Johnson looked like his old all-star self while dropping 34 points (12-18 FG, 5-5 3pt range) and taking over when it mattered most. Johnson and his 6th man teammate, Jamal Crawford, turned back the clocks and made it rain on the Bulls in Chicago to take game one, 103-95. Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 24 points and 10 assists, but the superstar and newly named MVP struggled from the field at times (11-27 FG) and ended the game by tweaking his ankle which he hurt in the first round. This is very scary news for Bulls fans as they will need Rose in order to win the series and move forward in the playoffs. Rose had this to say about the injury…
“I should be OK. I’ll probably get treatment right now, go home, get some more treatment and be ready to go for Wednesday.”
Prediction: Again, my pick struggled in game one and lost, but I think the Bulls have a better chance of rebounding against the Hawks and eventually move on to the Eastern Conference Championship. Bulls in 6.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Mavs became the third team out of four to win away from home in game one of the 2011 NBA Conference Semifinals. Dirk Nowitzki showed why he is considered a great player and took over down the stretch leading the Mavs to a 96-94 victory. The Mavs trailed the Lakers by as much as 16 points in the second half before storming back and winning the game on two converted free throws by Nowitzki with 19.5 seconds left after a Kobe Bryant turnover. The Lakers had the last chance, but Bryant’s 3 point attempt was off the mark at the buzzer and the Mavs took the first one of what should be a highly entertaining series. Dirk led the Mavs with 28 points and 14 boards, while Kobe led all scorers with 36 points on 14-29 shooting from the field.
Prediction: I wanna go with the upset pick here, but I just can’t say no to the Lakers squad that boasts a better team. I think Pau Gasol will step it up and Kobe will drive his team to victory. Lakers in 7.
You heard it here first, Lakers-Thunder advance from the West in 7. Bulls-Celtics from the East. Check back for more coverage and highlights as the series continue. Be sure to watch the games tonight where the Celtics and Heat square off in game two at 4pm on TNT, followed by game two of the Grizzlies-Thunder series.