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Tuesdayís NBA Playoff Match Ups
(Pistons @ Cavs Game 2, Rockets @ Blazers Game 2, Jazz @ Lakers Game 2)
The first game for all eight NBA playoff series is in the books and there were some very surprising outcomes.
The Lakers and the Cavs both proved they are still the best two teams in the league with very impressive wins over the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons, but there were some heavily favored teams that got a big wake call in game one.
Both the defending champion Boston Celtics and the up and coming Orlando Magic were upset in game one by their first round opponents. It was only a few days before tip off that the Boston Celtics were rocked to the core with bad news. First it was the realization that Kevin Garnett would probably be watching from the bench throughout the entire playoffs and second it was the news of Celtics GM Danny Ainge suffering a minor heart attack. Those two things combined in such a short amount of time tipped the scales in the Chicago Bulls favor for game one.
As for the Orlando Magic they just underestimated the Philadelphia 76ers and paid the price being down 0-1 to start their first round series against Philly.
On to game two for two teams in the West and one team in the East:
Detroit Piston @ Cleveland Cavaliers Game 2
This series comes down to one thing and one thing only: the Pistons canít stop LeBron James!
In past years the Pistons have been solid on defense with great defenders like Rasheed Wallace, Tayshawn Prince and Chauncey Billups. Although Prince is the one that guards LeBron most of the time, he just can stay with him and that was very apparent in the game one. LeBron just seems to be able to get to the rim at will and the Pistons defenders pay so much attention to him that it leaves his teammates wide open for threes and cuts to the basket.
The Pistons might snag one game in Detroit if they get out to a good lead in the first half, but I think this series will be sweep in the Cavs favor.
There is no way that the Pistons are going to beat the Cavs in game two in Cleveland. The Cavs have lost two games at the Q all season long; I donít see game two being the third loss for LeBron and company.
Houston Rockets @ Portland Trailblazers Game 2
The Houston Rockets surprised everyone in game one, including myself, with a huge 27 point thrashing of the Blazers on their home floor at the Rose Garden. There arenít that many arenas in the NBA in which the home team is extremely dominate. The Cavs have just destroyed almost everyone at home this season when they play in Cleveland and the Blazers have done the same at the Rose Garden, but the Rockets showed them they arenít intimidated in game one.
I think the Blazers will come out on a mission to defend their home court in game two. I expected to see the Blazers win big before they head to Houston.
Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers Game 2
Game one was pretty much a joke in the first half as the Lakers got out to a 22 point lead heading into halftime. Everything seemed to be clicking on offense and defense for Kobe Bryant and company, but the third quarter was a different story as the Lakers defense virtually disappeared and let the Jazz get back into the game. The Lakers stopped the bleeding before the Jazz could get it down to single digits though and eventually took game one with a 13 point victory.
It will pretty much be the same story in game two with the Lakers beating the Jazz by at least ten or more as long as they can keep playing well on the defensive end and not lose their focus.
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