Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rockets Lose Yao for Postseason

Did the second round of the 09' NBA Playoffs just become much less interesting? The Nuggets beat the Mavs in dramatic and controversial fashion to go up 3-0 in the series. It was anyone's game to win, but with 5 seconds left, the Nuggets down 103-105 with possession of the ball, Antoine Wright appeared to intentionally foul Carmello Anthony. No foul was called, as Carmello pulled up subsequently nailing a game winning three point shot that left the crowd frozen in disbelief, along with the Mavs as they stood on the court looking around as if waiting for a review of the play.

The officials appeared to have blown the call, but the Mavs were and are not going to win this series regardless of what the result of Saturday's game.

After winning game three in Houston for a 2-1 series lead, the Lakers are showing more signs building momentum against the Rockets. The Lakers made the Rockets look bumbling on offense when they applied ball pressure and denied Houston to run the half court set through the post. Ron Artest took low percentage shots, Yao struggled to keep up in a fast paced game, and the Lakers scored on a multitude of Rockets turnovers. With momentum, the Lakers have another advantage over the Rockets. Yao will miss the remainder of the postseason with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Its not curtains for the Rockets without Yao. Playing without Yao will allow the Rockets to keep up with the faster pace established in Lakers' two consecutive victories. The games will be close, but Houston's lack of answer for Pau Gasol is enough for the Lakers advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers versus Nuggets will be the best playoff series thus far, excluding the Bulls vs. Cetics first round. But this game will have better talent and NBA Championship implications.

The quality of teams drops off profoundly in the Eastern Conference, outside the Cavs. The Celtics are nowhere near the level they were playing last year, the Magic are not consistent enough, and the Hawks (Atlanta Hawks Schedule)...well, start planning your summer vacation now...

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