Corny title, but it's true. The NBA playoffs are getting juicy right now. The old Spurs were knocked out by the young and scrappy Memphis Grizzlies. They'll now take on another young team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers outlasted Chris Paul and the Hornets, as did the Mavericks vs. the Blazers. Those two will meet in the second round also. I predict a Lakers vs. Thunder Western Conference Finals matchup.
In the East you have the Bulls and Hawks and of course the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. The most anticipated series of the playoffs so far. Many say the winner of this series will go on to the Finals. You can even say the winner will win the NBA Finals. But you have to cut the Bulls some slack because they are the number one team in the Eastern conference for a reason.
As of now you're thinking "Well there has to be a reason you're posting this right? We already know all of this." Yes, there is a reason! If you check out NBA.com you'll see a hyperlink that directs you to statscube. It's a place where you can see player vs. team, player vs. player. line up vs. line up, and player vs. rival matchups to see what a player has done in full analysis.
After the jump I'll be showing PiM a series of things about the Heat and their players for the up and coming series vs. Boston. ***NOTE PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS FOR FULL ANALYSIS, THANK YOU.
I might as well start off with comparing the Heat vs. the Celtics. The Heat are 1-3 vs. Boston so far. The big thing is that when it mattered the Heat took a 100-77 victory over the Celtics to capture the 2nd seed in the East. And a home court advantage for this series. I customized this table at NBA.com from StatsCube.
I'm sure many of us are anxious to see the matchups that will take place over this series. The players that had the most minutes for the Heat in the opening round were LeBron, Bosh, Wade, Anthony, Chalmers, Jones, Bibby, and Z, respectively. The rest of the team will be getting little time out there on the court.
So while Bibby and Z might start, it's Chalmers and Anthony that will be more of a factor out there on the court. I'm going to compare Rio-Rondo, Wade-Allen, James-Pierce, Bosh-Garnett, and Anthony-O'Neal. The following links contain the analysis.
There are many keys to this series. One of them is to get a hand in Allen's face. He'll beat you if you let him. He constantly is moving around the court, trying to get open looks at the basket. Wade is athletic and quick enough to stick with him and contest his shots. Leave Allen open and you're in for a long game. Ask the Knicks.
Over the past few years, Paul Pierce has done a nice job defending against LeBron. Especially in the playoffs. This cannot happen this series if the Heat want to be in it all the time. LeBron can not be stopped, but Pierce has shown he can be contained.
Bosh would like to get the soft label off him as quickly as possible. If that's the case he'll need to get big rebounds over Garnett. Also he and Mario Chalmers cannot bite when Rondo drives to the basket leaving KG open for the kick out for an easy mid-range shot.
Next is the player vs. team analysis. Who do you want shooting the last shot vs. the Celtics? LeBron? Wade? Bosh? Mike Miller?! While the last one is a joke I'd like to see how the big 3 shoot vs. the Celtics. Here are the links and numbers inside. Enjoy.
I'm tired of LeBron driving to the basket only to take a contested lay up that ends up rimming out of the hoop. It's predictable and it just doesn't work. What also doesn't work is waiting around for something to happen. Coach Spo needs to create a play and get the open shot for Wade. Or just give Wade the ball and have him do his thing. He's 2-2 when I watch him get the ball when a game needs to be finished. The examples are the Lakers and game 1 vs. the Sixers last series. I would also like to see Bosh post up, but against Garnett that may not be the best idea with little time left.
Finally I'd like to show you all the line up comparisons.
This series is going to be close so lets have a fun time watching these games. I'm sure there will be some stomach curling stuff. My prediction is the Miami Heat in 7 games. I don't think it gets better than this. Enjoy my friends.