The defending World Champion Miami Heat seized control of their series after that opening loss to Chicago, and for all the hoopla and haters who came out of the woodwork when the Bulls pulled off the Game 1 upset, it appears it was all a fluke. After two routs in the Windy City, the Heat went home to South Beach on Wednesday night and shut, locked, and bolted the Playoff Exit door on Chicago with a 94 – 91 win to close out the series 4 – 1. MVP LaBron James and Miami now awaits the outcome of the Indiana/New York series.
The Indiana Pacers had worn the Knicks down in their NBA Eastern Conference series with tenacious defense and strong rebounding, something New York seemed to have no answer for. The Pacers were holding a commanding 3 – 1 lead in the series heading into Game 5 Thursday in the Big Apple. The scenario looked bleak for New York, but Carmelo Anthony and teammates collectively pulled out an 85 – 75 victory that now sends the series back to Indianapolis for Game 6 on Saturday night.
The San Antonio Spurs again have proven that no matter the circumstances, this team knows how to win, and knows how to close out an opponent. Going into Oakland for Game 6 of their Western Conference series on Thursday, the Warriors’young team remained confident they could take the Spurs to a full seven games, but the veteran team wasn’t having. Been there, done that. San Antonio will move on to the Western Conference Finals to face the Memphis Grizzlies beginning on Sunday afternoon in Texas.
The Memphis Grizzlies will have to be dealt with by the MIami Heat, which means a Memphis/Miami Eastern Conference Final. All at the expense of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who simply could not move forward without star point guard Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant led OKC past Houston, and tried mightily to do against Memphis, but the Grizzlies inside duo of Zach Randolph and Mark Gasol was just too strong for the defending Western Conference champs. OKC lost Westbrook during the Houston series and finished 3 – 6 since he went down for the season.