“Well, we was going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried.” – J.R. Smith
A funny thing happened on the way to a funeral Wednesday, but the Knicks still ended up above ground Friday night. The all-black everything and the LaLa jokes might have affected Carmelo Anthony and Co., but I think those missed 3s and a lackluster contribution for the bench kept the coffin from being sealed. On Friday, watching Knicks fans squirm as the Celtics’ run in the fourth almost pushed the series to seven is what I’m here for. Huge shout out to Boston for making it a game (and a series).
“…And then also the hack-a-whatever-his-name-is.” – Kevin Durant
I found myself cheering for the Rockets Wednesday and felt pretty dirty about that afterward. The aggression between these two teams is building up (as I said before) the next great rivalry. Rockets fans can’t be too happy about Royce White chiming in on Houston’s success and trash-talking Kevin Durant on Twitter (LOVED KD’s response: “Who’s he?”), but they already hate him, so what’s a little more? Being the youngest team in the league, having a huge series against the defending Western Conference champs and getting playoff experience is going to take the Rockets even farther next year. Omer Asik came up huge for Houston and was ready to fight Kendrick Perkins (I really wanted to see that play out) and whoever else stepped in his way, which has to give Rockets fans something to celebrate. But seriously, Perkins, stop with the pushups. Just…don’t.
“I was just talking to the bench and exchanging words and Joey (Crawford) he don’t play so he tossed me.” – Zach Randolph
Joey Crawford must not have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Thursday night. Chris Paul and Zach Randolph were both ejected Friday night in what was easily the most physical game of the playoffs thus far. Seven technicals, a player with as many fouls as points, and a still-injured Blake Griffin battling it out with Chauncey Billups probably made David Stern wish he had chosen a different game to attend. The Grizzlies sent the Clippers home 118-105, and will face the Thunder in Oklahoma City Sunday afternoon, a team that seems pretty ready to throw down as well.
“We didn’t lose this series tonight…We lost this series in Game 1 and 2.” – George Karl
The Golden State Warriors advance past the first round thanks to rebounding, a huge game by Andrew Bogut, and a few missed opportunities by the Nuggets at the end of the game. Stephen Curry had a huge third quarter, which made all the difference in momentum in the second half. The Warriors take on a well-rested Spurs team Monday in San Antonio.
“We keep getting punched in the face, but we fight back.” – Joakim Noah
WE HAVE A GAME 7. And the need to push back that Rihanna concert scheduled at Barclays. Saturday night in Brooklyn, the Chicago Bulls will have a chance to advance to the second round if they can beat a Nets team still alive after being down 3-1. Their chances will be affected by the absence of Luol Deng (flu-like symptoms that could be meningitis?), Kirk Hinrich (bruised calf), and Derrick Rose (unable to play due to a suit endorsement deal we don’t know about? I’m completely lost at this point), but I’m sayin’ there’s a chance. The Nets beat an injured Bulls team 95-92, which makes me want to put my money on Chicago. Kinda.
“Enjoy tonight on the plane ride, get to New York, get something good in our bellies if stuff is still open.” – Roy Hibbert
The Pacers have a quick turnaround after knocking off the Atlanta Hawks in six. The Hawks went on a run near the end to make it a game, but they couldn’t overcome their missed shots and miscues of the first three quarters to force a Game 7. David West and George Hill were the leading scorers of the night, helping to get it done in Atlanta and gearing up for the Big Apple on Sunday.