The totals have been tabulated for the contestants after the completion of the second round of the NBA playoffs. Check where you stand and read my quick takes on the semifinal round action.
After a pathetic first round score that made Mario Menoza scoff... Kellan proceeded to fall even further behind in the standings. Fortunately for Kellan, though, suns68 has zero possible points left... so Kellan might crawl out of his last place dungeon.
That's what suns68 gets for trusting the Clippers. Never trust the Clippers.
The triumvirate of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes has to the most loathsome group on a single team in the NBA. I must confess I took a measure of sadistic glee in their heartbreaking ouster.
DeAndre Jordan, on the other hand, would look pretty good in purple and orange... especially if he can find a way to shoot better than 40% from the free throw line. How about shooting underhand next season? It can't possibly get worse... but selfish pride is obviously more important than winning.
On the other end of the spectrum is Austin Elmer. Dude had a perfect second round and has opened up a chasmic lead. Barring a Clipper-eque collapse Austin will be taking home the hardware... well, a shirt isn't technically hardware. I'm pretty sure it's in the bag if Cleveland beats Atlanta. He might still win even if they don't.
Austin and I actually picked the exact same teams throughout the bracket... with the exception of him picking the Clippers in the first round. Oh well, I'm still feeling good about my remaining picks and a solid top five showing in the final standings
On to the recaps...
Warriors over Grizzlies 4-2
Even after the Grizzlies pulled ahead 2-1 I was never concerned. The Warriors were able to beat the Grizzlies at their own game, holding Memphis to 86 points or less in three of their wins. The pace for the series was 91.5, well below Golden State's league high regular season mark of 98.3 (Memphis was 26th at 92.0). The Warriors defense is just that good.
The most interesting aspect of the series was probably the Brobdingnagian difference in three point shooting. The Warriors hit 68 threes on 39% shooting while the Grizzlies had just 25 on 27% shooting. Stephen Curry hit 26 by himself.
I also think it's funny that the Warriors are basically playing a seven man rotation... Suns fans should appreciate this.
The Warriors are going all the way.
Rockets over Clippers 4-3
Through four games in this series the Clippers looked ridiculously better than the Rockets. I had started to think that LA's impressive win over the Spurs might be a springboard. They looked very confident... until they didn't.
Watching the end of game six was almost surreal. The Clippers couldn't do anything right. Josh Smith was taking Josh Smith shots... but they were all going in. There was a palpable sense of impending doom in the building.
Since I generally despise the Clippers, it was schadenfreude at its best.
Now the Rockets are in big trouble.
Hawks over Wizards 4-2
The paper tigers continued their march to the Eastern Conference Finals. Seriously, how many trips to a Conference Finals appearance in recent history have been easier than beating the Nets and a depleted Wizards team? The Thunder didn't even make the playoffs and I think they could have managed that...
I really like the John Wall/Bradley Beal backcourt. If Wall doesn't get hurt I think the Wizards take that series.
Now Atlanta finally faces a real challenge... even though the Cavaliers are playing without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving may or may not be limited.
Cavaliers over Bulls 4-2
If you thought Memphis tried to muck up the game... I think it would be hard to play at a slower pace (86.1) without extending the shot clock.
Despite injuries and suspensions the Bulls still couldn't manage to beat LeBron James. James wore his cape throughout the series, willing his team to victory despite not really having a Robin. Tristan Thompson did an admirable job of filling in for Kevin Love, though, putting up an efficient 9.3 points and 11.2 rebounds in 37 minutes per game.
Now the Bulls will try to implement the change coaches to get to the next level strategy. I'm sure Tom Thibodeau would love to coach James, since he obviously can't beat him. Maybe a change to the Western Conference is in order?
Getting Irving back healthy for the next round would probably help Cleveland.
***Make sure to double-check your scores for accuracy!***