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Sundayís NBA Playoff Match Ups
(Lakers @ Rockets Game 4, Celtics @ Magic Game 4)
The Lakers and the Magic have both taken control of their series and the physical play has continued throughout game two.
The Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics series is by no means as compelling as the Bulls and Celtics in round one, but I think we might see the end of Bostonís title defense with the Magic advancing to most likely play the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets Game 4
Although game three wasnít even near as physical as game two the Rockets may have suffered some serious set backs in the aftermath.
Ron Artest was in the middle of all the controversy yet again in game three as he was thrown out of the game for the second straight time. This time I will agree with both Artest and the Rockets that the ejection was totally unjustified. Game oneís ejection was pretty bad as well, but this one might have been even worse.
In the closing minutes of game three the Los Angeles Lakers had the game in hand with a good lead and an inevitable win ahead of them. The play that caused all the problems was when Pau Gasol had a breakaway layup. For some reason Pau thought he could out run Artest and the Rockets guards from half court and drove to the rim only to get hammered in the process. Now this was just like any of play and foul in the playoffs in which any other team or player would have committed. Yes, it was a hard foul by Artest, but it was no where near a Flagrant 2 let alone a Flagrant foul. That isnít the way the refs saw it as they almost immediately assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected Artest for the second straight game in this series.
Another huge blow for the Rockets was Yao Ming noticeably limping in the last five minutes or so in the fourth quarter. This is no real surprise as Yao is no stranger to injury, but he was grimacing in pain and could miss some time if the injury is as bad as it looked.
All and all I think the Lakers have taken control of this series and will be on their way to another Western Conference finals.
Boston Celtics @ Orlando Magic Game 4
The Boston Celtics are a resilient team and you can never really count them out in a seven game series especially the way they were able to get to the finals last year after coming back from adversity in every single series. The big problem this postseason though is the absence of Kevin Garnett.
Without KG the Celtics defense is not even close to being as good as it was during the regular season. Not only is the defense suffering, but the offense has also taken a huge blow.
Game three showed that the Magic have figured out how to play the Celtics and took advantage of it. Dwight Howard might not be going off for huge offensive numbers like Shaq used to in a Magic uniform, but he is making his presence felt on the glass and most notably on the defensive end as he is blocking shots left and right.
If Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu and new comer Courtney Lee keep stepping up on offense the way they have been then I see this series being over quicker than expect and in the Orlando Magicís favor.
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