NBA Playoff Action Open Thread - Friday, April 22. Getting Interesting?

The Hawks and Hornets have golden opportunities to take 2-1 leads in their series vs. the Magic and Lakers if they can take care of home court tonight, while the Knicks hope the presence of the Beastie Boys and Spike Lee at MSG will propel them to a much-needed win over the defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics.

Amare Stoudemire is expected to play for the Knicks, but Chauncey Billups remains questionable. One wonders what a Knicks team at full strength would be able to do in this series. As it is, they're giving the Celtics all they can handle, but the Celtics have proven their mettle to close out games so far while the Knicks have not.

The only thing of which I'm sure about the Magic-Hawks game is that Dwight Howard will fill up the box score. In the first two games, he's averaged 39 points and 19 rebounds per game on 71% FGs. If his supporting cast does their part, Orlando shouldn't have much problem taking this series.

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have combined to shoot only 36% from the field so far for the Lakers, and Gasol has posted a meager 8 points in each of the first two games of the series. Hard to imagine that continuing, and even if it does the Hornets will need to score more than the anemic 78 they managed in game 2 to take advantage.

Tonight's lineup:

Boston at New York, 4PM PDT, ESPN. Celtics lead series 2-0.

Orlando at Atlanta, 5PM PDT, ESPN2. Series tied at 1-1.

Lakers at Hornets, 6:30PM PDT, ESPN. Series tied at 1-1.


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