Four games today
- Indiana vs Orlando
- Atlanta vs Boston
- Chicago vs Philly
- Los Angeles vs Denver
Indiana vs Orlando
I think I’ll be watching the first half of this one before switching over to the Hawks versus Celtics game.
- Nice job by Jason Richardson curling off a screen and driving to the rim off the catch. Finishes at the rim. Need more interior help defense there.
- Paul George has started quickly. I read that he has struggled offensively in this series. Low scoring numbers. Can’t buy a three pointer. Well, he just bagged one and he hit a putback moments earlier.
- Nice pick and pop between Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson who pops from the right wing to the right corner and knocks down a three pointer. Moments later, Orlando runs the same action on the opposite side of the court, this time Nelson goes away from the screen and hits the 20 foot jumper from the sideline.
- Haha, Ryan Anderson denies Roy Hibbert at the rim. Not a sight you’d expect to see. Unfortunately for Orlando, Hibbert retains the ball and dunks it at the second attempt.
- Game tied 7-7 after three minutes.
- Good effort by George hill to chase down the loose ball and force Glen Davis to step out of bound as they fight for possession. Indiana ball. Extra possessions so key. George Hill has also earned his way to the foul line for four free throws making three of four. Jameer Nelson has two fouls now. I think SVG needs to keep him on the court and he does.
- David West picks Turkoglu’s pocket as he tries to go around him. West top of the key, on the breakaway, Hedo can’t get back in it, transition layup for West. You’d expect your SF to do a better job of running down a PF with solid but unexceptional quickness like David West.
- Roy Hibbert posts up Ryan Anderson, spins baseline, pump fake, Anderson jumps at it, Hibbert goes up and finishes easily. Could have drawn a foul there. A 7-0 run here for Indiana (Hibbert’s post up + Hill’s free throws). Timeout Orlando.
- David West left elbow, looks for movement off the ball, nothing on, decides to go one-on-one with Glen Davis, two power dribbles left, step back fallaway jumper, swish. 9-0 run.
- Glen Davis halts the run with a driving short jumper. Ran down the middle of the paint and then took the fadeaway going left over Roy Hibbert. Tough shot. Missed a jumper from above the foul line on the previous possession, Baby that it is.
- Jason Richardson steals the tip as Roy Hibbert taps the jump ball back to his man only to see Richardson knock it away into the open court away from George, breakaway, fouled, missed both. Well short on that first one, front rimmed it. Not close on the second one either. They just showed a graphic on screen – Richardson had big scoring games in game one and game four but was a non-factor in games two and three. Appearently, he has been struggling heavily with his shot.
- Baseline inbounds, David West catches it on the near low post, left post, fakes middle, spins back baseline, loses his defender and drains the turnaround jumper.
- Lovely block by Roy Hibbert to smash JJ Redick’s driving layup but Redick was fouled on the play. Two FTs. Makes them.
- Indiana leads 18-11 at the five minute mark.
- Danny Granger with a nice pull up jumper (and gets the friendly roll) from the foul line area.
- Roy Hibbert finishes in the paint again. Hibbert easily maneuvering around and finishing over Daniel Orton on that play. Went middle, short shot close to the rim, easy basket. I don’t think Orton can defend Hibbert one-on-one. Orlando will need to double that matchup.
- Indy have doubled up on Orlando, 22-11.
- Daniel Orton picks up a blocking call. He is a problem for Orlando. Not ready to play.
- Amundson in for Orlando. At least that will give Orton a bit of a break. Needs to be careful of Amundson’s offensive rebounding and off-the-ball cutting though. Needs to be aware (not a strength for him). Immediately concedes a fastbreak dunk attempt to Amundson who misses it. Orton got caught ball-watching in transition and didn’t realize his man was streaking down court.
- Amundson hits a 14 footer over Earl Clark from below the foul line on the next possession. An 8-0 run here by Indiana to push the lead to 15 (26-11).
- Orlando – Duhon, Redick, Hedo, Clark, Davis
- Indiana – Collison, Barbosa, Granger, Hansbrough, Amundson
- Nice 1-3 pick and roll between Collison and Granger leading to a 20 footer left wing shot from Granger on the pick and pop, misses though.
- Hedo gets Collison on the switch, posts him up, fadeaway, knocks it down.
- Granger isolation against Hedo, faces up, jab step, takes it, misses it from about 17 feet left wing.
- Glen Davis catch and shoot from 17 feet right elbow extended, knocks it down. A 6-0 run from Orlando to end the first quarter. Good job to cut the lead from 15 to 9.
- Amundson scores in the post against Clark. Too strong for Clark. Needs more help when Amundson gets that deep in the paint but the help never arrived. Next possession, loose ball falls to Amundson for the 8 footer bank shot from left side of paint.
- Ohh oh, Barbosa with the hesitation dribble to freeze Hedo in transition, blows by him, gets to the rim and hits the layup and-one.
- Redick hits a long jumper from the top of the key. Orlando hanging within scoring distance. Next possession, Redick finds Turkoglu for an open look from three on the right wing, brick. Wow. Ugly miss.
- Good things are happening when Redick touches the ball. Smart passes and garnering a lot of defensive attention due to his shooting prowess. Creating time and space for his teammates to operate with.
- Ryan Anderson knocks down a three pointer to cut the lead to six, 35-29 Pacers lead.
- Transition three from Duhon, air ball. Yikes.
- Redick in the mismatch against Hansbrough, takes him left, gets to the rim and hits the layup. Good take by Redick.
- Next possession, pick and pop between Redick and Davis, finds Davis beautifully for the 17 footer right wing, misses … leads to a transition layup by Collison. SVG calls a timeout. Not happy with the defense there. The players were back but they didn’t contest the drive or the shot. Just let Collison roam into the paint for the easy score.
- Ryan Anderson posts up Granger. Granger does a great job fighting for position. Making life difficult, Anderson picks up his dribble, Granger closes down on him, travel. No wait, pushing foul. Eh, ticky tack call. Good defense.
- Haha, George’s pass goes right through West’s hands in transition (would have had a wide open layup) but it goes off of Turkoglu’s hands straight to Granger for the jumper out of the left corner, hits it. Lucky basket.
- Ball goes out of bounds off of Davis’ hands. He wasn’t ready for that pass back from Redick on the pick and pop. He thought Redick was going to shoot that (he had jumped into the air looking to shoot)
- Davis turns it over again, comes out of a crowd dribbling the ball out of the paint and trying to lead the fastbreak, George picks his pocket, kicks it out to Granger who knocks down the jumper. Indiana back up 45-34. A bad few minutes here from Orlando after they had cut it close. Four minutes to play in first half.
- Jameer Nelson bags a three pointer to calm the tide.
- Paul George posts up Redick, doubled, kicks it out to the opposite wing (left post to right wing), Granger drives left into the paint, drive and kick to George Hill who drains the jumper from the top of the key.
- Glen Davis attacking the rim but misses the lay in.
- Ryan Anderson back irons a triple from the right wing. Good look. He is only 3-9 FGAs tonight.
- Oh, nice play by Glen Davis, left post, muscles his way into the paint and forces up a shot through Roy Hibbert, gets it to go and gets the foul. Next possession, Jameer Nelson hits a 20 footer from the top of the key to cut the lead to 6 with 90 seconds left in the half.
- David West right wing isolation, pump fake, drives baseline, beats Davis easily but Davis recovers and blocks the shot from behind. Denied. Leads to a drive and kick three pointer by J-Rich from the left wing on the other end of the court. Three point game.
- Indiana go right back to David West, left wing, turnaround J, misses.
- Pick and pop Jameer and Davis, 19 footer top of the key, hits it. A 13-3 run by Orlando over the final 4+ minutes of the first half.
- Roy Hibbert posts up R.Anderson, shot clock ticking down, turns baseline, jump hook, hits it.
Indiana lead 50-47 at the half. They look the much superior team but at times they’ve been gotten caught toying with the Magic. Not finishing them off. Letting them hang around.
Atlanta vs Boston
Al Horford starts tonight. This will be interesting. Marvin Williams too.
- Horford gets a quick start deflecting Rondo’s kickout pass, Boston retain possession but turn it over moments later … only for Atlanta to give it right back to them with a turnover in transition.
- Joe Johnson has a big size advantage over Bradley. I’d like to see lots of catches for him on the elbows and in the post.
- Rondo knocks down the 17 foot fallaway over Horford against the shot clock.
- Josh Smith misses a face up jumper over Bass from 17 feet right wing.
- Joe Johnson tees up Teague for a right corner three pointer in transition. Nice vision by JJ.
- Rondo posts up Teague, goes to work, mid-post, drives left, spins right, muscles it up, misses.
- Nice brush screen by KG to free up Pierce for the left wing triple.
- Josh Smith misses a layup right at the rim after a nice baseline drive off the JJ pass
- Pierce slam dunk in transition. They have started quickly, up 9-3. Another turnover Atlanta, Rondo brings it up, probes, nothing on, brings it back out, finds Bass who has Teague on him on the switch, Rondo goes right to him, Bass attacks Teague, pushes him out of the way easily and finishes. Timeout Atlanta. 11-3 Boston lead. Where was the help for Teague? Can’t leave your PG on an island like that matched up against a power forward.
- Offensive rebound and two handed slam by Horford. Nobody blocked him out after Garnett went to help on Teague’s shot.
- Bradley left corner, drives into the lane, shoots, rejected by Horford. Letting his presence known here.
- Teague hits a tough 20 foot fallaway over Garnett on the switch. Atlanta have trimmed the lead to 11-7 Boston.
- Horford posts up Bass, spins baseline, Bass bumps him and Horford loses it out of bounds easily. Not ready for the contact there. Nice initial move.
- Stiemsma in for Garnett. Immediately gets an offensive rebound and extra possession for Boston which leads to a Pierce driving baseline and reverse layup.
- Joe Johnson shielding his dribble well from Bradley, using his size, muscles his way to the foul line, takes the short jumper, misses. Good percentage shot attempt though. Keep taking that. Boston need to be wary of this matchup. Be watchful of how Bradley handles the much bigger Joe Johnson.
- Horford with his second block, this time denying Pierce at the rim … but Atlanta turn it over again, my god, Pierce never got back and gets the breakaway layup.
- Atlanta have 5 first quarter turnovers and have conceded 10 points on those 5 turnovers. Killing themselves early in this one.
- Josh Smith with the fastbreak alley oop (bad pass) to Horford, Horford not ready for it but he keeps it alive and saves the possession for Atlanta.
- Dampier in for Horford
- Stiemsma looks so awkward but he does a nice job contesting that driving layup from Teague. Unfortunately for Boston, Atlanta keep possession and Dampier gets a dunk a moment later. On the other end, a Ray Allen to Greg Stiemsma pick and roll, Stiemsma fumbles it out bounds off his knee trying to dribble to the rim.
- Joe Johnson is 0-3 from the field tonight. He had a stupid three point attempt three behind the line when Bass switched onto him and that midrange jumper over Bradley. I forget the other one. He has had a few nice passes but overall he hasn’t had enough of an impact offensively.
- Stiemsma swats Josh Smith at the rim. One of the better backup centers in the league … such a dangerous shot-blocker.
- Boston lead 17-13 with 90 seconds left in the first quarter.
- Lovely ball movement from Boston, Ray Allen in left corner to left wing Garnett, to right wing Dooling to right corner with Pietrus who misses the three. Lovely ball movement to beat the Hawks helping defense though.
- Kirk Hinrich knocks down the 20 footer pull up jumper in transition.
- Garnett replies with the jump hook in the paint
- Haha, great stuff, Garnett hits a three pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter. Not a bad shot to concede at the end of a period to a big man but Atlanta has no luck and it goes down.
- Boston leads 22-15 which isn’t too bad for Atlanta considering how badly they played in that first period.
- Horford misses a 19 footer from the right corner
- I like Atlanta bringing back Josh Smith here alongside Horford with Boston using Ryan Hollins and Garnett together. Good chance for them to get some extra offense on the floor to try and get their team going.
- Garnett offensive rebound. Extra possession. Passes out, then posts up, left block, doubled, kickout, Dooling triple, good.
- Keyon Dooling with a lovely block on Hinrich’s pull up jumper off the drive in the paint. Sideline inbounds, Teague cuts to the sideline, drives, against the shot clock, Rondo doing a nice job keeping him off balance, Garnett comes over to alter the shot, hits the side of the rim, shot clock violation. Excellent defense by Boston.
- Horford misses an 8 foot fallaway. Atlanta only shooting 26% from the field.
- Boston lead 29-20 around the 8 minute mark
- Joe Johnson misses a contested rushed 20 foot jump shot on the right wing. Bad shot to take.
- Joe Johnson with a nice post up and spin move into the lane for the short leaner against Paul Pierce.
- Pierce walking gingerly. Not moving well. Looks like his knee is giving him some trouble.
- Nice post up by JJ, Boston went for the steal, missed, Joe protected the ball and sealed his man, just turned and hit the layup. Back to back buckets for Joe Johnson. Hopefully that will help settle this Atlanta team because they have been playing terrible basketball so far. JJ misses a pull up J in the paint in transition on the next possession.
- Horford with an offensive rebound off of Marvin’s missed three from the corner. Doesn’t even look to bring it back up. Resets the offense, no wait, JJ trails and takes the three, misses.
- Josh Smith gets himself into trouble but bails himself out with a nice pass to Marvin Williams on the opposite side of the baseline, Marvin loses the ball though, either fumbled it or tried to pass in traffic and lost it. Should have been a layup. Wasteful.
- A transition hoop for Atlanta and a catch and shoot for Bass. The score is 31-26 Boston with three thirty to play in the first half as Bradley steps out of bounds on the sideline as he was looking for the corner three in transition. 7th turnover for Boston. They are getting as sloppy as Atlanta were in the first quarter. The Celtics really should be up 15+ points at this juncture in the game. A wasted opportunity.
- Garnett knocks down a long jumper
- Horford pump fakes the 20 footer, puts it on the floor, drives on Garnett but runs into a crowd, spins back to the foul line, picks up his dribble, in trouble, pump faking, rushes it, worried about Garnett’s length, misses. Horford has looked out of sorts offensively. Giving Atlanta good work defensively and on the glass though.
- Nice ball movement from Atlanta as Marvin Williams knocks down the corner three. Back to back threes from Marvin to cut the lead to one.
- Brandon Bass responds emphatically with the two handed slam and scream. Nice pick and roll between Bass and Rondo.
- Joe Johnson answers with a triple from the right wing. Tie game. A big 90 seconds from Atlanta as they hit three straight three pointers and go on a 9-2 run to tie the game.
- Teague dribbles out the whole 24 ssecond shot clock, creates nothing, then heaves a three pointer coming off a screen and roll against the clock … and hits it! Atlanta lead! The crowd goes crazy.
- Haha, wow, Rondo with the 28 footer from downtown at the buzzer. Takes the wind out of Atlanta. Still, great work (or lucky shooting?) by the Hawks to tie the game heading into the half at 40-40.
Halftime – Third Quarter
- Nice ball movement from Atlanta as Marvin (left corner) finds Horford (left elbow) for the midrange jumper.
- Jeff Teague with a transition layup. Atlanta up four.
- Garnett with a deep catch in the paint against Josh Smith, turns and shoots immediately, no time for help defense, hits it.
- Horford nails a 20 footer along the left hand side of the baseline
- Teague with another aggressive drive to the rim in transition this time drawing a foul and hitting two.
- Josh Smith with a nice driving left handed floater against Bass. Too easy though. Bass gave him his left hand going middle.
- Atlanta leads 52-48 as Pierce putbacks his own miss
- Teague with a nice pass to a cutting Horford for a layup. Starting to get easy shots in the paint.
- Bass answers back with an 18 footer from the right elbow extended.
- Josh Smiths showing off his hops with a very impressive putback slam dunk … then leads the break on the next possession and turns it over and costs his team a layup on the other end. A four point swing from Smith’s fastbreak folly.
- Very good by Rondo showing off his vision to spot the cutting Bass who takes a dribble, draws a foul and goes to the line. Makes them both. Two point game, 56-54 Atlanta with 5 plus minutes remaining.
- A catch and shoot for Joe Johnson curling off a screen from 18 feet left wing. Marvin Williams doing a nice job bothering Pierce, deflects the pass, fastbreak, Boston stop it, Atlanta bring it back out, PnR, cross court pass to the opposite corner, Marvin Williams hits his third three pointer. He has 13 points. Rondo with the acrobatic drive and attempted reverse layup but Josh Smith made him alter it enough to force the miss, rebound Horford, fastbreak, Teague gets to the FT line. Makes two. Al Horford rejects Ryan Hollins at the rim, fastbreak again, fouled again. Sideline inbounds, Teague to Horford left wing, to Joe, iso left side, works on Pierce, foul off the ball on Hollins. Horford hits one of two FTs.
- Suddenly (in two minutes), Atlanta goes on a 9-0 run and is up 11. Atlanta leads 65-54.
- Horford iso against Hollins on the right wing, not sure about this, drives right, moves back to the basket, spins baseline, muscles his way back to the post, turns middle, muscles it up and draws the foul. All effort. Horford makes one of two again.
- Terrific pass by Rajon Rondo to Ryan Hollins for the two handed slam. On the other end, an excellent block by Hollins to deny Teague at the rim. Oh my, Rondo with the offensive rebound on Ray’s missed three and gets the lay in. Then steals the inbounds pass and knocks down a long two point jumper from the right wing. A four point swing for Boston. The Celtics 6-0 run has cut the lead the half. Offensive rebound Hollins, hand off to a cutting Rondo, layup. 8-0 run. Atlanta holds it for the final possession, turns it over, fastbreak, Pietrus layup. 10-0 run.
- Terrible finish to the third quarter from Atlanta. Squandered a 12 point lead.
- The Hawks have conceded 23 points off of (15) turnovers. And they turn it over again to start the fourth. Shooting themselves in foot tonight.
- Ray Allen has a catch and shoot triple from the right wing rim in and out.
- Teague pump fakes a three pointer, then dribbles inside, probing, takes the short floating jumper, hits it.
- Rondo baseline inbounds, finds Ray along the baseline, nails an 18 footer.
- There is some talk that Paul Pierce might be done for the rest of the game. He has struggled physically as the game has gone on.
- Rondo with the alley oop pass to Hollins in transition for the two handed dunk. Tie game at 68-68.
- Boston – Rondo, Ray, Pietrus, Garnett, Hollins – strong lineup, lots of balance, quickness, shooting and defense.
- Atlanta – starting lineup back out there as Dampier goes out for Horford
- Rondo with the teardrop in the lane, good! Boston lead!
- Update on Pierce – he is still available but sitting at the end of the bench. Looks set to play a minor (or not at all) role down the stretch.
- Rondo finds Ray Allen for a three from the right sideline and he knocks it down. PnR action with Garnett to set that up.
- Josh Smith attacks Hollins again. Earned a foul and two FTs on the previous possession. This time creates a lefty jump hook going baseline, hits it. Four straight points from Smith for Atlanta against Hollins. Then hits an 18 footer right wing as Teague draws the defense on the dribble at the top of the key. Six straight points.
- Stiemsma hasn’t played in the second half either. He looked dodgy physically earlier + also because of Horford’s jump-shooting. Doc likes Hollins speed and ability to defend away from the rim and his ability to cover ground on help-and-recover sequences.
- Pierce is back in.
- Rondo with an incredible hustle play to save a possession. Dives on the loose ball that is going out of bounds. Doesn’t get there but forces Horford to make a play for it too and knocks it off of Horford before Rondo goes out.
- Transition hoop, Josh Smith races down and finds a cutting Marvin Williams for the slam dunk. Timeout Boston.
- Josh Smith nails a 19 footer left wing. He has 13 points on 6-16 FGAs. Pull up jumper over KG there.
- Atlanta leads 79-76 at the 5:30 mark as Garnett replies with a long jumper of his own
- Bullet pass from Josh Smith from the top of the key to Horford wide open under the rim. Garnett had helped on Joe Johnson on the off the ball screen, left Horford alone who cut to the front of the rim, created a passing angle and got the dunk.
- 4:30 – JJ PnR, gets the switch with Bass, drives left down the paint, gets to the rim and scores the floater. Timeout Boston.
- All five Atlanta starters have double digit points tonight
- Garnett right post, almost loses it but keeps possession and turns the other way from the defender who went for the steal, uncontested 7 foot turnaround jumper, hits it.
- Pierce with a tough drive and fallaway jumper in the paint heavily contested by Marvin Williams.
- 83-80 Atlanta with three minutes to play — Joe Johnson misses a fallaway off the dribble over Bass. Second straight missed J by Joe.
- Rondo to Ray popping out to the left corner, nails the three! Tie game, 83-83. Timeout Atlanta.
- 2;30 – Teague PnR with Horford, drives down left side of the lane, finds Horford cutting down the paint, slam dunk!
- Garnett with a catch inside the paint, 11 footer over Marvin Williams, misses. Rebound Atlanta.
- Joe Johnson gets the switch with Bass again, passes it over to Horford right wing, pump fake, drives around Garnett, banker, gets the roll, good. Timeout Boston.
- 1:34 — Atlanta lead 87-83 — inbounds to Rondo, over to Pierce left wing coming off a Ray down screen, curls to the rim, takes it to the basket, contested layup, rolls out. Atlanta ball. Pierce didn’t elevate well on that attempt.
- The Hawks run down the shot clock, Joe Johnson works on Pierce, fallaway J from the right elbow at the buzzer, no, passes to Horford right side, 20 footer, misses, ball kept alive, loose ball foul on Atlanta. Their foul to give. No FTs. Timeout Boston.
- 1 min – Pierce left open from the right wing as Josh Smith helped down and Marvin was slow to rotate, knocks it down. Two point shot. Sorry.
- 40 seconds — Joe Johnson screen and roll with Teague, back to Teague, three pointer, misses
- 30 seconds — Boston run it up, nothing on, bring it back out, Pierce right wing, decides to take it against Joe, faces up, pull up jumper, misses, out of bounds. The Celtics go for a steal. Don’t get it. Atlanta pass it upcourt and run a good 8 seconds of the clock. Only 11 seconds left to play. Atlanta lead by 1 with two FTs to come.
- 10.9 — Sorry no FTs, sideline ball, Rondo picks off the inbounds pass … Boston pushes it upcourt, will play for the win, Smith on Rondo, PnR with Garnett, Horford on him, they switch, Rondo tries to throw it back to KG, deflected pass by Josh Smith, loose ball, time runs out.
Terrific win for Atlanta. They played poorly for most of tonight but managed to gut it out thanks in large part due to an inspirational effort from the recently returned Al Horford (19 points and 11 rebounds).
Chicago vs Philly
Tuning in late in the third with four minutes to play
- The Bulls lead 53-42 after Taj Gibson’s putback in transition.
- Sixers – Holiday, Turner, Iggy, Allen, Hawes
- Bulls – Watson, Brewer, Deng, Gibson, Boozer
- Lou Williams and Thad Young just came in for Philly for Hawes and Turner
- Lou Williams with a nice drive and-one runner in transition.
- Boozer working on Lavoy Allen, one dribble left off the left elbow, fallaway, misses.
- Taj Gibson just went down hurt. Holding his ankle. Looks in a lot of pain. I don’t think he’ll be back tonight. He is trying to get up but he can barely walk. I don’t think he’ll be able to come back. The Bulls have brought in Asik for Gibson.
- I think Deng can give them some good minutes at PF against Young or Allen in the fourth quarter if necessary.
- Lucas dribbling the ball for 15 seconds, creates nothing, passes it left to Deng, back to Lucas, still nothing on, only 7 seconds to go, forces a play, awful possession. Transition opportunity the other way, Lou Williams takes it hard to the rack but gets called for a charge, turnover.
- More movement this time for Chicago. Ends up in Boozer’s hands along the left baseline, drives middle, knocks down the short shot. Nice play by Boozer. He has 10 of his 15 points in the quarter.
- Brewer top of the key with 8 seconds to go in the shot clock, PnR, Brewer can’t create anything, heave, misses.
- Lavoy Allen hits the 19 footer left elbow extended jumper. A catch and shoot opportunity.
- Chicago hold it for the final possession of the court. Foul to give. Less than six seconds to run a play. In bounds to Boozer, right block, pivots around Allen easily for the lay in, good!
- Chicago lead 57-48 in a low scoring affair
- Lavoy Allen misses a right baseline 18 footer
- Thaddeus Young has taken over the Boozer assignment after Allen’s struggles in the third quarter.
- CJ Watson with the drive and dump (out of the pick and roll) to Asik at the rim for the easy two. Nice pass by Watson.
- Carlos Boozer knocks down the 14 footer left side of the paint over the out-stretched arm of Hawes. Timeout Doug Collins.
- The score is 61-50 Chicago after two Iggy FTs from transition play. There is just under 9 minutes left for Philly to mount a comeback. Lot of time.
- Luol Deng with a deep three against the shot clock. About two steps behind the line.
- Lou Williams replies with a long two point jumper. Quick offense early in the shot clock there.
- Boozer on the PnR, catches it at the foul line, draws the defender, bounce pass to Asik on the weakside, fumbles it out of bounds.
- Taj Gibson just got up and tries to check in (too late) and gets a great ovation from the crowd.
- Haha, another three pointer from Deng at the shot clock buzzer. This time from the right corner on the drive and kick from Brewer. Chicago up 15 points. Wait, 12 points, Jrue Holiday takes an early three from the top of the key. Big shot from Deng and from Holiday.
- Turnover, Philly out in transition, Iggy finds the trailing Hawes, layup and the foul. Ten point game. Hawes makes the FT. Nine point game.
- Sixers have their starting lineup out there with one exception, Lou Will for Turner. Chicago have Gibson and Boozer up front and the rest of their starters out there.
- Taj Gibson knocks down a baseline jumper from 18 feet
- Six minutes to play — Chicago lead 69-58
- Jrue Holiday keeping the offensive board alive, tapping it, can’t come away with it though, Chicago rip it away and have a 4-on-1 going the other way, 4-on-2, pass ahead to Gibson, to the rim, fouled. Timeout. Gibson makes them both after the timeout.
- Lou Williams misses a long jumper, offensive rebound, snared away from Ronnie Brewer. Chicago come up the other end, Korver misses a triple from the top of the key after the hand off.
- Jrue Holiday has a mismatch against a big, left wing, jabs and fakes, then drives, goes hard down the paint, to the rim, fouled, makes two FTs.
- Chicago lead 71-60 with 4:50 to play
- Philly show some full court pressure to drain the clock. Chicago don’t get the ball up near the three point line until the 13 second mark but Holiday gives away a stupid reach in foul. Chicago inbounds, high PnR with Boozer, Watson forced away, gives it up, gets it back, drives on Jrue, pump fake, Jrue bites, fouled. Two stupid fouls in one possession from Holiday. Watson makes one of two.
- Hawes hand off from Holiday off the right elbow, Holiday curls around down the left hand side of the lane, finds Hawes, layup
- Hawes with a nice block on Gibson’s lay in … Lou Williams takes a quick three immediately after bringing it up, misses, Brand keeps it alive, Bulls get the rebound in the end though.
- Chicago proceed to come up empty on two consecutive transition opportunities.
This is a really awful basketball game. So many bad plays and non-plays. Good (offensive) plays are few and far between.
- CJ Watson knocks down the pull up jumper off the dribble on the right wing after the PnR. Great screen by Boozer.
- Brewer steals the Sixers outlet pass and resets the offense. Only 2:22 to play and have a 12 point lead. They’ll run the clock, miss at the end of the shot clock but their lead is formidable.
I am going to call it. This is over. Chicago wins. Awful awful game.
Los Angeles vs Denver
Game five – closeout game for LA on their home floor. If they lose tonight and win game six, Artest would be back for the start of the second. Not that that is a consideration. Just an interesting fact.
I missed the first half to watch the end of that Sixers vs Bulls game (bad choice) so I am only tuning in here to start the second half.
- The Nuggets lead 49-43
- Ramon Sessions kicks off the second half with a teardrop and-one. I love the teardrop.
- Gallinari crossing over Ebanks twice and showing off his handles with (a somewhat awkward) looking driving hoop. Gallo also has made an earlier jumper and just got to the FT line for six early third quarter points. Ty Lawson also added a jumper from around the left elbow. Denver lead 57-47. An 8-0 run by Denver. Ty Lawson adds another bucket, passed up on the three, takes it to the basket and hits a floater in the paint. That brings a timeout out of Mike Brown.
- The Lakers come back with five quick points. A triple and a nice post up and turnaround J by Pau Gasol over Faried.
- That must have been a travel by Kobe Bryant on that drive. No call anyway, missed the runner.
- Denver leads 61-54 at the midway point
- Gallinari misses the fadeaway bank shot from 15 feet on the left wing. Then misses a wide open three in transition. He hasn’t been knocking down his shots well enough in this series. Struggled in the post-season last year too. He continues to post too large a number of his big nights against weak teams and too few of them against top class opposition / defensive opponents.
- The Lakers crowd is booing their team now and again. Unhappy with the effort and rightly so. The Lakers look like they are on one of those regular season back-to-back-to-back nights where they don’t have their legs and are only into the game intermittently.
- Bynum just picked up a tech for some shoving under the rim. Hopefully, this will get LA going.
- Andre Miller knocks down a three pointer from the right corner. Appearently, it’s his second made three of the night. Always noteworthy when Andre Miller makes a three pointer. Especially multiple three pointers.
- Kobe Bryant high pick and roll, double screens, Faried knocks it loose, dives it on to save the ball, passes it back, picked off by Barnes, to Bryant, drives into the paint, runner on the way, good! He just made a nice contested layup against McGee a few moments later and knocks down a three pointer in transition moments after. Seven big points here from Kobe Bryant and that brings a timeout from George Karl. The Lakers have pulled within three.
- Andre Miller posts up Kobe on the right sideline, drives middle, draws the help, dump pass to a cutting McGee for the dunk. Miller gets a steal and draws a quick to avoid the fastbreak points on the other end. A couple of big plays from Miller here in the third. Oh my, bounce pass over to McGee for the long jump and slam dunk as he runs down the lane. Pass was from Ty Lawson. Next possession, Dre Miller on the left wing, crossover dribble left to right spin back left, blows by Barnes, to the rim, layup. A 6-0 run to put Denver back up 72-63.
- Some boos again for LA
- Matt Barnes air balls a jump shot and hears it from the crowd. The crowd now booing because of the lack of movement offensively.
- Corey Brewer hits a nice pull up jump over Kobe Bryant from about 16-17 feet on the right wing. Kobe Bryant looked like an old man on that play. On a few other defensive plays late in the third too. Either he is struggling with his knee tonight or he is simply knackered and needs a rest. Not his normal defensive effort.
- Denver lead 76-67 early in the fourth
- Oh my god, Andre Miller with a lob pass from the backcourt (just) to McGee in transition, wow! What a play.
- The Nuggets are on a 14-4 run over the last five minutes. Andre Miller just scored on a fadeaway over Blake on the right baseline. Timeout LA and some more boos from their home crowd.
- The Nuggets lead 82-67 now with 9 minutes left.
- Oh my goodness, Andre Miller from in between the halfway line and the three point line, throws an alley oop lob for McGee who spins to the rim and dunks it home. Sessions got two FTs just before and Blake added a three pointer right after. 12 point game.
- Andre Miller answers right back, crosses him over, down into the paint, stops his dribble on a dime and leans in, Blake flies by, pivots, scores.
- Oh wow, Steve Blake with a 30 footer thrown up at the shot clock and it goes in. A desperation shot that banked in. George Karl has his hands on his hands, can’t believe it.
- Denver lead 87-76 after two Afflalo FTs with seven minutes still to play
- JaVale McGee chases down the loose rebound and slams down a one handed dunk hard. And the foul. Impressive play by McGee. The Nuggets are back up 15 with 6 minutes to play.
- The Lakers are running out of time. They need a run quickly to get this into single digits.
- Pau Gasol gets the party started with a sweeping hook and then get a stop on the other end. Brewer helping aggressively off of Sessions. He denied the post entry pass to Bynum. Then doubled Bryan and stopped his iso. Ball swung to Sessions, drives into the paint, short jump shot, misses, offensive rebound and putback Bynum. 11 point game with five minutes twenty seconds to play.
- Corey Brewer is hurt. He’ll head back into the locker room. Timeout Denver.
- Nice backdoor play for Afflalo as McGee cleared out to free up Afflalo for the finish inside against Blake.
- Kobe Bryant bags a three pointer. That makes it a ten point game with 4:45 to play.
- JaVale McGee with an incredible rebound with one out-stretched arm reaching back to snare the board and he scores a flip shot against Bynum. 21 points and 13 boards for McGee tonight. Has outplayed Bynum according to the commentators.
- Kobe Bryant running up in transition, finds Pau Gasol for the 12 footer in the paint, hits it.
- Score is 94-85 Denver with 3:30 to play
- McGee forces a dumb shot. Creates one-on-one against Bynum, spins, an ugly wraparound flip shot. Miss.
- Fastbreak the other way, Sessions to the rim, blocked by Gallinari, Bynum is there running the floor and gets the loose ball, bucket. Great effort and concentration by Bynum. Don’t assume your guy makes his layup.
- The Lakers post up Bynum again, fouled before the pass and shot attempt (dunk attempt). Timeout Denver.
- 2:40 — inbounds, Kobe runs off of two screens (under the rim and right elbow), pops out to the top of the key, three pointer, good! Four point game. Kobe has 37 points on 27 FGAs tonight.
- Oh wonderful, terrific drive by Andre Miller, beats Blake left, takes him to the rim, stops, then muscles Miller out of the way. No help from the shot-blockers there. 20 and 8 for Miller.
- Pau Gasol rolls to the rim, dunk, no … blocked by McGee at the rim. Great play by McGee.
- Lawson has Bynum on a switch, threatens to drive, then takes the jumper, misses … LA come up the other way, Kobe Bryant gets a catch and shoot triple in transition, he nails it. His third three pointer in the quarter.
- 96-93 Denver with 1:25 to play — Miller right wing, PnR, goes around the screen and takes a runner off glass from 16 feet, hits it
- Sessions to Kobe, left wing to left corner, Kobe catches, jab step, shoots, three pointer on the way, good! Wow
- 50 seconds — Miller working on the PnR again, forced wider this time, a fallaway going away from the rim from 19 feet, misses, rebound LA. Fastbreak Lakers, no Denver get back, Kobe iso against Gallo at the top of the key, crossover, drives left, runner in the lane, misses, foul on Gasol, loose ball foul going for the rebound. Denver ball.
- 29 seconds — Harrington gets two FTs, makes 1. Denver lead 99-96. Timeout LA. Inbounds to Sessions, back to Kobe who runs around Bynum, takes the three pointer right wing on the catch, misses. LA fouls on the rebound. Surprised LA didn’t take a quick instead of going for a three pointer.
- 20 seconds — Timeout Denver. Inbounds to Lawson, fouled. One second off the clock. He splits his FTs too. Four point game. Timeout LA. Blake inbounds to Bynum, hand off to Blake, over to Sessions in the opposite (right) corner who takes and makes a three pointer. Bad defense by Gallinari to leave Sessions open. There was no threat anywhere for him to help that far off of Sessions.
- 14 seconds — inbounds, Miller fouled. Makes both. Timeout LA.
- 12.8 seconds — Denver lead 102-99, Blake inbounds, can’t get it to Kobe again, back to Pau top of the key, to Kobe left wing, three pointer left wing to tie, heavily contested and a foot behind the arc, misses, offensive rebound, out to Sessions, second try at a three, misses.
Huge win for Denver. LA will be disappointed they failed to finish off this series. They have just made their life a lot tougher.
On the bright side, the Lakers will have Ron Artest back to defend Durant in the next round once (if) they beat Denver in one of the two remaining games.
I think that Game Six in Denver will be a very difficult one for LA to win. Denver on their homecourt in a close-out game. Their arena. Their fans. The altitude. The way Denver pushes the ball in transition. They’ll put a huge amount of pressure on LA and it’ll take a really good performance from the Lakers to pull that one out.
So, I think this series goes seven with LA finishing the Nuggets off on their homecourt.