|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAWhile the Eastern Conference semifinals are becoming clearer with every passing game, the Western Conference second round is still a dogfight.
The first team to advance was the Thunder with a win over the Grizzlies, while the rest of the teams fight not to be upset. The Spurs won last night to stay alive, and in the East the Heat eliminated the 76ers.
The Miami Heat only shot 40% from the field compared to the Philadelphia 76ers 47%, but the difference was all made up in three point shots. The Heat hit 12 of 30, while the 76ers only made 2 of 10. This covered up Miami's poor shooting from everywhere else on the floor and earned the heat their first playoff series win since 2006 with the 97-91 win over Philadelphia. LeBron James and crew will face the Boston Celtics in the second round.
It took the San Antonio Spurs until overtime to escape a late-game push from the Memphis Grizzlies. From a 16-point lead, the Spurs fell to being down 3 in the last seconds of regulation. A last second three tied the game, and then San Antonio won in overtime at the free throw line. The Spurs are now a little bit closer to surviving this first round, although Memphis still leads the series 3-2, with Game Six to be played in Memphis. It is doubtful the Spurs survive and win three in a row against the Grizzlies.
In the late game on Wednesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminated the Denver Nuggets in five games, beating them 100-97 to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. Although the Nuggets were slightly favored to win the series, the Thunder played well. They shot poorly last night from the field and from three-point territory, but made twice as many free throws as the Nuggets. The Thunder also had 16 offensive rebounds compared to only 4 from Denver.
With last night's games, the Miami Heat became the third team in the East to advance to the second round, while the Thunder became the first team in the West to eliminate their opponent. The Spurs are still fighting for their lives, while the Grizzlies should be pretty confident with their comeback and the close finish in overtime.