Monday, May 21, 2012

5/21: Lebron and a Sweep

Greetings... let's go quickly...

  • Lebron James had a playoff performance for the ages yesterday in Miami's 101-93 series-evening victory. LBJ finished with 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists and became the first player in playoff history to achieve all 3 of those statistical totals. That's insane when you think about the greats to play the game, but Lebron has that ceiling and he showed it yesterday. Miami also got 30 points (including a 22-point second half explosion) from Dwyane Wade after there was noticeable concern brewing for his whereabouts in the series through the 1st half. You'll hear a lot about LBJ/Wade and their 70 total points, but I also thought Udonis Haslem's 14 points on 5-6 FG off the bench was huge for Miami here. The series is knotted at 2-2, and you've seen the best Miami has to offer in this one, we'll see if it continues.
  • Get your brooms out. San Antonio finished off the Clips by a 102-99 margin late last night to advance to round 2. San Antonio had 6 guys in double-figures led by a 21-point, 9-rebound effort from Tim Duncan, and their balanced scoring was enough. Chris Paul finished with 23 and 11 for the Clippers but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his late-game struggles, especially when considering his reputation (and statistical backup) for being fantastic late. He simply wasn't in this series. In short, this was a 4-game masterpiece from San Antonio with the exception of the early-game struggle in game 3, and they are the best team in the league IMO. 
  • The Golden State Warriors are reportedly "committed" to moving to San Francisco. The majority of people probably have no idea where they play now (Oakland), but this would be a huge impact in both areas. Keep an eye on that.
  • Tim Hudson dominated the Rays yesterday and led the Braves to a 2-0 win in Tampa to win the series. 7.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 0 ER and with one fortunate 8th inning bounce of a ground-ball hitting a runner's leg in the 8th inning was enough to hold on to the win. The Braves are now 26-16, sporting the 2nd-best mark in the NL and tied for the 3rd-best in all of baseball (with Texas). It's been a good 2 months.
  • MLB Check - Has there ever been a more enigmatic pitcher than Max Scherzer? The Tigers hurler struck out 15 batters in a 4-3 win over Pittsburgh after entering the game with an ERA north of 6. I have no idea. Jonathan Lucroy hit 2 homers and drove in 7 for Milwaukee in their 16-4 win over Minnesota. You may ask who Lucroy is, and I would tell you that he's the Brewers' catcher. Yep. And finally, Josh Beckett was very sharp again in dispatching of the Phillies 5-1. Beckett threw 7.2 IP of 1-run ball, and improved his ERA back near the normal range with a 4.38. He's fine again.
What to watch for on Monday...
  • NBA - Sixers @ Celtics - TNT 7:00 - Series Tied 2-2 - Game 5's are always huge in this type of series, and Boston would be my pick.
  • MLB - Braves @ Reds - ESPN 7:00 - Minor vs. Leake - Two much-maligned pitchers squaring off. Minor has been wretched lately, but the numbers show he's been pretty unlucky too, and he's got a good chance here against Mike Leake and his 6.21 ERA. 
  • NBA - Lakers @ Thunder - TNT 9:30 - Thunder lead 3-1 - After the LA late-game implosion in Game 4, I think OKC finishes them off here in 5 games, but it wouldn't shock me if LA rose up and tried to steal this one.

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