Preview: The 2006 Miami Heat went 52-30 in the regular season and then won the NBA Championship. They are the last and lowest seed of all the NBA champions: A 3 seed. That though tells them they have a point to make. They are led by the duo of Wade & O’Neal, one of the best duos we saw in the 00s. Besides for these 2 they had many good veteran role-players. Ultimately they are champions so they will be tough to beat.
The 2000 Charlotte Hornets went 49-33 in the regular season. They are a balanced team with 6 players in double-figures, led by a prime Eddie Jones. Along with Eddie Jones they also had physical Derrick Coleman and Anthony Mason giving them a nice presence inside on the glass. They did not get very far in the playoffs losing in the 1st round.
The balanced Hornets square off against the superstar combo of the Heat. A classic battle between a more ‘team-orientated’ approach vs. ‘superstar’ approach. The Hornets have a prime Eddie Jones who was one of the top perimeter defenders to help slow down Wade, but can they stop Shaq? The Heat’s defense will also be key in getting the stops they should as the Hornets are not that good of an offensive team overall.
Player of the Game: S.O’Neal 26pts/13reb on 11/17 FG
Recap: The Heat take Game 1 with great offense. Wade and Shaq both had over 20pts, while Walker and Posey added 17 for the Heat. Overall in the 2nd half they scored 68 points as the Hornets just had no answer for the Heat offense.
Player of the Game: D.Wade 26pts/13ast/9reb on 12/23 FG
Recap: The Heat were simply too good for the Hornet again taking a 2-0 lead in the series. The Hornes made adjustments and slowed down Shaq Game 2 but Wade was able to free himself and have a good game. The Heat supporting cast was strong as well.
Recap: The Hornets gave it all they had this game but it was not enough to take down the Heat. The game came down to the wire but Wade/Shaq put the game away in the 4th. Jones was named POG despite being on the losing end of this. The Heat now lead the series 3-0. .
Recap: [/b] The Miami Heat come out with no effort while the Hornets come out with full heart. It was a blowout. Kind of embarassing for the Miami Heat this game. Everyone is laughing at them and they need to get serious Game 5.
Player of the Game: S.O’Neal 23pts/11reb/4blk on 10/14 FG
Recap: The Heat felt like they had something to prove after the Game 4 blowout and they did. They came out strong today finishing this series off at home in 5 games. O’Neal, Wade, and Walker all had over 20 to seal the series off.
Preview: The 2004 Indiana Pacers went 61-21 in the regular season good for the best record in the NBA. They lost in the ECF to the eventual champions Detroit Pistons in a very nice defensive series. They were led by All-Star PF Jermaine O誰eal and All-Star DPOY Ron Artest. Overall a very good defensive team that has many good offensive weapons, will be a tough team to beat.
The 2001 Toronto Raptors went 47-35 in the regular season before losing to the 76ers in the 2nd round in 7 games. They were led by Vince Carter coming off the best season of his career. He had good veteran big man like Antinio Davis, Charles Oakley, and Kevin Willis to help himself but overall not many other good offensive weapons. This team lived and died through Carter.
The Pacers will have to stop Carter this series. Luckily, they have the DPOY Artest on their team and will be the primary defender on Carter this series. If the Pacers can even slow Carter down, it will be very difficult for the Raptors to pull an upset. At the very least, they need to play good defense in this series.
Player of the Game: J.O誰eal 30pts/20reb/5blk on 12/22 FGs
Recap: Jermaine O誰eal has a monster Game 1 performance to give the Pacers a 1-0 lead in the series. O誰eal was excellent on both ends of the floor as the Pacers played great defense. Vince Carter went 11/29 in Game 1, solid defensive effort by Artest. Raptors will need to stop Jermaine O誰eal if they want a shot at an upset.
Player of the Game: R.Artest 15pts/9reb on 6/10 FG
Recap: In a tight defensive battle Jermaine O誰eal hit the game winning jump-shot with 7 seconds left in the game to give the Pacers a comeback win. They were down 72-58 in the 4th but made a run to stun the Raptors. O誰eal had no FGs coming into the 4th but scored 8 of his 9pts in the 4th including clutch baskets down the stretch. Artest played great defense on Carter again limiting him to 14pts.
Player of the Game: J.O誰eal 37pts/19reb/4blk on 14/25 FG
Recap: After struggling most of Game 2 Jermaine O誰eal has a big Game 3 to put his team ahead 3-0 in the series. This performance was even better than his monster Game 1 performance. The Pacers played much better offense with O誰eal playing well. The Pacers were also able to slow down Carter again.
Recap: The Raptors stay alive in the series with a strong close to the game. They finished the game on a 15-0 run to extend the series back to Indiana. Carter had a good game and overall the Raptors played good defense. Limiting Jermaine seems to coorelated strongly to how well the Raptors play on defense.
Player of the Game: R.Artest 32pts/6reb/7stl on 11/19 FGs
Recap: The Pacers finish the series off in a domination fashion. Ron Artest stepped on offense for the Pacers with a huge game to seal the series at 5. Their defense was great again, especially on Carter holding him to 6/18 shooting. The 2004 Pacers advance to the 2nd round.
I mean its not that surprising, it is best out of 7 and all these upper-seeded teams were pretty good. I mean amongst the 4 seeded teams: 3 of them had the best record in the NBA that season and the one that didn't went to the finals.
Preview: The 2000 Blazers went 59-23 in the regular season before coming very close to upsetting the eventual champion 00 Lakers in the WCF. This series is still regarded as one of the closest ever in the Shaq/Kobe era. This team was very deep with great veterans all-around. You had Rasheed, Pippen, Sabonis, Damon Staudomire, Steve Smith, none of these players were in their primes, but each were close to their primes. Overall the Blazers are a team that have proven they can beat anyone, so it wouldn稚 surprise me no matter how far they go in this tournament even as a 5 seed.
The 2002 Detroit Pistons went 50-32 in the regular season before losing in the 2nd round to the Celtics. This was the 1st year of the Ben Wallace Pistons era as the franchise immeditely turned around when Big Ben joined. Right away he turned the defense of the Pistons around. Stackhouse led the team on the offensive end. Overall, a good team with good offense and defensive weapons.
This will be a difficult series for the Pistons to win. The Blazers were a deep team and should have no problem winning the depth battle here. Stackhouse will be slown down by Pippen and overall Detroit may have trouble scoring. Their only hope is if Ben Wallace can limit the Blazers as much as possible, this maybe tough considering how many options the Blazers have.
Player of the Game: D.Staudomire 22pts/9ast on 8/15 FG
Recap: The Blazers start strong in Game 1 with a dominating performance. All 5 starters were in double-figures for Portland as they had no problem executing on offense. Their defense was also strong holding the Pistons to just 90 points. Detroit has a lot of things to figure out if they plan to comeback from this.
Player of the Game: S.Pippen 16pts/5ast/3stl on 6/10 FG
Recap: This game was much closer as the Pistons gave up more of a fight. However, tough defense by the Blazers in the 4th quarter sealed the Pistons fate. It was another team effort from Portland with no one having a really good game, just good veteran play and a solid win.
Recap: Ben Wallace says not so easy. In another tight game entering the 4th, this time the Pistons play tough defense to get themselves the win. They held the Blazers to just 33% shooting for the game and only 33 points in the 2nd half. This effort was of course led by DPOY Ben Wallace. The Pistons realize great defense is their best shot to beat Portland.
Recap: The Pistons even the series up at 2-2 with an amazing effort in Game 4. Trailing by 8 entering the 4th, Chucky Atkins caught fire scoring all 14 points for the Pistons from 5:30 to 0:30 when the game was pretty much over. His 4th quarter offensive heroics, combined with the amazing effort on the glass and defense by Ben Wallace has the series all knotted up.
Player of the Game: J.Stackhouse 41pts/8reb/6ast on 14/25 FG
Recap: The Pistons stun the Blazers with a Game 5 victory. The Blazers led by as many as 21 points in the 1st half, before seeing some of the hottest shooting performances they have ever seen. The Pistons shot lights out in the 2nd half scoring 69 points and eventually taking the game. Stackhouse who has struggled all series finally came through 41 points for the Pistons. Detroit now hopes to put away the series as we head back to Motor City.
Recap: With the game within 5 points entering the 4th, the Blazers actually played like their season was on the line. It looked like the Pistons would steal another one in the 4th, but the Blazers played terrific offense and defense extending the series to 7.
Player of the Game: R.Wallace 27pts/10reb on 11/16 FG
Recap: The Blazers win the series in a very tough Game 7. The Game was tied 86-86 with only 4 minutes remaining, but the Pistons had run out of gas as the Blazers finished the series strong. Rasheed Wallace was great on offense as the Blazers overcame a 20-20 performance by Ben Wallace. Stackhouse blamed himself for the loss with another poor shooting performance.
Wow what a series that was. I had the privledge of watching this series unfold slowly through the play-by-plays. Had a very real feel to it on how it all went down. We also were very close to our 1st upset.