With so much promise for upsets early in these first-round series, we wound up getting just two upsets thus far: the fifth seeded Wizards and Blazers each "upset" the four seeds in their respective conferences (Bulls and Rockets). With the promise of three final series games yesterday, we didn't get a single upset as the home teams took care of business.
The Thunder took care of business against the Grizzlies, as Memphis was without Zach Randolph (suspended) and with a hobbled Mike Conley (hamstring). It was a bit unfortunate that the Grizz were unable to take care of business earlier in the series as they let Game 4 slip away in overtime and lost 92-89. It was an ugly series and one that exposed the weaknesses of the Thunder - ball stopping and odd shot selection. Overall it was a fun series, but Game 7 didn't live up to expectations as the Thunder took control of the game after the first quarter and breezed to a 120-109 victory.
Indiana moved on after an easy 92-80 Game 7 win over the Atlanta Hawks. People are trying to figure out what all the issues are with the Pacers and the question of "will this wake them up?" will follow them around for the rest of the season. Atlanta is a well-coached team that fought hard with inferior talent, but the Pacers got back on track with a huge-game from Paul George. He led all scorers with 30 points yesterday and was the first Pacer to go for 30+ in the series.
And the final game from last night took place in Los Angeles, where the Clippers won the series with a 126-121 win in Game 7. Our old friend Andre Iguodala averaged 13.1 points on 51.6% shooting (53.3% from deep, 60.6% FTs), 4.4 assists, and 3.0 turnovers in 35.4 minutes per game. Iggy didn't get on track until Game 4 of the series, he scored just 8 points, 4 points, and 11 points in the first three games. His Game 4 explosion of 22 points and 9 assists helped his team even the series at two games each, but a strong Game 5 performance of 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists weren't enough to help his team get an important win. In the deciding Games 6 and 7, Iggy had just 5 combined assists and 6 turnovers (5 turnovers in Game 7) and scored a total of 29 points (15 and 14, respectively).
Iguodala wasn't the reason the Warriors lost or won the series, he's a complimentary player on a team that will be in search of more talent. With no Andrew Bogut, the Warriors didn't have their tough guy in the middle and it would have been interesting to see how he mucked up the series and tried to get in the heads of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Bogut would have been good for a flagrant foul or two in the series, but Jordan's superior athleticism would have been an issue for him, too. The Warriors lack of bench talent was evident and Draymond Green, a fine player, played too big of a role on a team looking to make a deep playoff run. Outside of Harrison Barnes, who played just 13 minutes in Game 7 and averaged just 22 minutes in the series, the Warriors lack any real weapons off the bench and the team still relies too heavily off Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and company getting hot from the outside. Oh and Mark Jackson could be replaced ...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Mark Jackson doesn't have one GSW front office ally who'll make a case to ownership to keep him. "He's on an island," league source says.</p>— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/statuses/462837249248591872">May 4, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Let's see what happens today before we take a look at the next round of match-ups.