michael-garcia - May 22, 2012
Two games yesterday in the NBA Playoffs, with one series ending as the Spurs move on to the Western Conference Finals after sweeping the Clippers and the Heat show they aren't quite finished with a strong road win in Indiana.
Miami 101 - Indiana 93
LeBron James had a playoff performance like we rarely ever see (and haven't since 1961 when Elgin Baylor did it). 40 points, 18 boards and 9 assists in leading the Heat to the win and tying the series at two games apiece. Dwyane Wade added 30, with 22 in the second half, and Miami showed that maybe all the announcements of their demise were a little premature. Two of the final three games are in Miami, so the Heat have their home court advantage back. There's not much else to say about this game, but I do find it funny that after the Heat lost game three, the conversation was about how the team needs to be broken up and that Wade needed to be traded. Now the talk is about how the Heat are back, and they're on fire. I'm not saying the Heat are for sure going to win the series now, but I do think they have the edge. I just don't want to hear how they need to revamp the roster three games into a seven game series.
San Antonio 102 - Los Angeles Clippers 99
The Spurs have won 18 straight, and 29 of their last 31. They look like a team on a mission (because they are) after holding off the Clippers to sweep their second series in a row. If you need anymore proof of why Greg Popovich was the coach of the year, look at how the Spurs are doing it. They have maintained their ten man rotation in the playoffs, and in this strike shortened season, that is more important than ever. With a second unit that can play with anyone, and have the confidence because they've been doing it all season long, the Spurs are just too deep for pretty much everyone.
The Clippers now have to figure out how to learn from this playoff run. Blake Griffin needs to work on a few moves around the basket to become more of a threat. DeAndre Jordan needs to develop a post game. This was a big step for L.A's other franchise, and they have to improve because now they are expected to compete, unlike years past when nobody thought they would do much.
Article by Eric Gray