Sunday, April 29, 2007

NBA Playoff Impressions: Bulls In A China Shop.

Bulls 92, Heat 79 - So I guess you really can't just turn it on for the playoffs, despite the pre-conceived notions surrounding the Miami Heat. What should have been the most competitive first-round matchup on paper turned ugly quick and was over today, with Luol Deng and Ben Gordon picking up their 20+ apiece to get the Bulls past the first round of the playoffs since Jordan retired again in '98. Funny enough, coach Scott Skiles has been here before -- he coached the Suns when they knocked off a defending champion Spurs team in 2000. Chicago plays the Pistons in the next round.

Suns 113, Lakers 100 - Now, this was the close, fast exciting game to watch -- well, at least for the first half. Come 3rd quarter, Phoenix said, "Enough of this shit," and started just smoking a Lakers team that doesn't have the talent, outside Kobe, to compete with the top tier of the Western Conference. Nash shot poorly, but his 17 points weren't the number to focus on -- those 23 assists would do it. Amare Stoudamire grabbed 27 points and a Rodman-esque 21 off the boards, Shawn Marion had 22 and 11 boards, and Leandro Barbosa popped in 16. This Laker team is maddeningly frustrating -- flashes of brilliance, in the triangle and out, offset by more prolonged periods of poor ball-care and turnovers.

More to come after the night games. If you aren't watching Mavs-Warriors, you're probably going to be missing out.

(Photo: Getty Images.)

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