|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAThe second round of the NBA Playoffs kicked off this weekend with the Grizzlies taking on the Thunder in the Western Conference, and the Celtics taking on the Heat in the East.
Both games were dramatic, and show how peaking at the right time can mean the difference between a lackluster regular season (or one that is just not as spectacular as promised) and an amazing postseason run. The Grizzlies and Heat both won their games on Sunday afternoon.
In the first game of the day, the Memphis Grizzlies continued their unlikely series of wins by stealing one in Oklahoma City against the Thunder, winning 114-101. Now that the Grizzlies have knocked off the No. 1 seed San Antonio Spurs, what can stop them? Zach Randolph scored a playoff career high 34 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while center Marc Gasol had 20 points and 13 rebounds. The Thunder should be worried about this series.
The Miami Heat successfully defended their home court against the former champion Boston Celtics, winning 99-90. This series is expected to be long and dramatic, and Game One set the tone. The Celtics came out flat after having an extended break between rounds one and two, while the Heat were firing on all cylinders. The Celtics' Paul Pierce was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter, thereby defusing a late-game Boston run that ensured the Miami victory.
No one really expected the Grizzlies to make it this far in the playoffs, and every additional win will be more surprising than the last. Can Memphis make it to the Western Conference finals or the NBA Finals? If the keep playing as well as they are now, it is certainly a possibility.
As for the Heat-Celtics series, most observers thought that this would be the single most inevitable series of the playoffs, but that does not make it any less exciting. This one should go six or seven games, and all of the players will have to keep their composure if they hope to advance.