Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hawks stumble, Nuggets stay alive

How is everybody's NBA playoff bracket look? The Magic, Cavs, and Celts took care of business as expected. The Bucks exposed the Hawks for lacking heart. Warriors fans remember the Feb. 21 game when the Warriors trailed by 16 going into the fourth quarter. To the Hawks surprise, the insertion of Chris Hunter stymied Atlanta's inside scoring and the Warriors came back to win. Basically, the Hawks are vulnerable to giving up run late in the game and don't close out. It was ugly to watch Hawks players look at one another with open mouthed, dumbfounded expressions after Delfino hit that three to give the Hawks a two possession lead. The Hawks are weak if they can't pull it together and beat a Bucks team minus Andrew Bogut.

Atlanta regroups, wins on the road, and wins game 7 at home.

The Nuggets held off elimination at home against the Jazz. This series, like all Western conference matchups, has been great basketball. The Nuggets shot the three better than the Jazz (Den. 53%, Uta. 39%) and made more free throws (Den. 33-42, Uta.19-25). The knee injury to Nene leaves Kenyon Martin as Denver's only reliable option for inside scoring. The Nuggets should take a lesson from Don Nelson and play a smaller line-up (Billups, Smith, Afflalo, Anthony, Martin). Those are strong, athletic players capable of scoring and creating turnovers. I don't see anyone stopping Deron Williams and I like the Jazz at home in game six.

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