For the second day running, we have had a fairly predictable series of events.
Both Miami and Chicago won on opposition court to get themselves 3-0 leads respectively, while Portland clawed out a win over Dallas on the Rose Garden floor which made all the NBAMate boys feel a bit less stupid. And thankful for Danny Crawford.
Without further ado…
3 Points – Dwyane Wade. The Heat’s superstar swapping this series meant that D-Wade had his turn today in Game 3, and he responded with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in leading his team’s defeat of the Sixers and a 3-0 series lead. Philly have been competitive throughout, but ultimately they have had no answer for Miami Twice ft. Chris Bosh. There isn’t really much to be said here. Wade eviscerated the Sixers this game and had a hand in seemingly everything Miami did. Nothing less.
2 Points – Luol Deng. The Pacers played trap defense on Derrick Rose all game, limiting his scoring opportunities which, combined with a horror night from the field (4 from 18) forced the rest of the Bulls to take a greater role offensively. Deng stepped up with 21 points and 6 rebounds in what was a pretty messy and uninspiring game.
1 Point – Brandon Roy. After earning himself an honorary HTFU award with his gripes over playing time after Game 2, Roy redeemed himself with 16 points in 24 minutes off the bench, helping the Blazers push the series to 2-1 and reminding us all that even though he may never be the same as he was before his injury, he’s still a pretty good player.
Which brings me to the thought of the day – is there a precedent to what Roy is now? That is, a guy who came into the league, was the best player on a couple of very good teams before injuries held him back and he had to re-invent himself as an effective role player? I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.
I’m skipping the HMs for today for a couple of closing thoughts:
- I’ve been pretty impressed by the Pacers all series. Like most people I figured this series would be a cakewalk for the Bulls – but Indiana have played hard throughout all three games and pushed them down to the wire. The only thing that’s let them down has been the lack of a guy who can get his own shot in crunch time. Still, it’s pretty sad that one of Orlando/Atlanta (playing a series that should be sponsored by UPS cause they all seem to be mailing it in, Dwight excepted) will make the next round but this Indiana team won’t. I hope they win at least the next game though.
- Tyson Chandler is more important to this Mavs team than I realised. When he fouls out, they lose most of their mongrel on defense. He’s gonna have to work on that through these playoffs.
Playoff Retro Diary: