The NBA playoffs started with 16 teams, and we’re about two weeks into it and darned if there aren’t still 13 teams left. As the quest continues to see who advances up until they play the Heat, I take a look at tonight’s NBA fan delight — Four Game 6s on the same tonight.
Spoiler alert: I am about to share the final score of all of tonight’s games.
Knicks at Celtics 4 p.m. (ESPN): As Carmelo Anthony ices down his shooting arm, his assisting arm is well-rested. I look for Melo to get the rest of the gang involved in the first quarter, let J.R. Smith get crazy in the second quarter and then take over himself in the second half. Some times being on the road can ease the pressure. I felt the Knicks were a little tight in Game 5. Also the Celtics needed overtime to beat the Knicks at home without Smith in Game 4. Final Score: Knicks 91, Celtics 83
Pacers at Hawks 4 p.m. (ESPN2): So far this series has followed a pretty basic trend. The home team wins with ease. I believe that ends tonight. The Pacers just plain have more desire as a group than the Hawks in my opinion. And Atlanta isn’t really an intimidating place to play with fans’ attention luke warm at best. Pacers’ Paul George is only player in playoffs to average 20 points and 10 rebounds. Final score: Pacers 88, Hawks 79
Thunder at Rockets 6:30 p.m. (ESPN): For me this is the toughest game to call. Something tells me Kevin Durant isn’t going to let this get to a Game 7, but the Rockets seem like a shark that smells blood in the water right now. They believe. Houston is a tough road environment and James Harden has that unconsciousness necessary to be a great postseason scorer. I think we’re going to Game 7. Final score: Rockets 111, Thunder 100
Grizzlies at Clippers 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2): I love my boy Zach Randolph, a fellow Michigan State grad, but I had to laugh at his take on Blake Griffin’s ankle injury being something that wouldn’t knock him out of the game and that the playoffs are big-boy business. One big difference there Zach, Griffin needs his ankle to jump, an important part of his game. You haven’t jumped since senior year of high school. You don’t need healthy ankles. But that’s what I love about him, too. Like Kevin McHale or your 50-year-old uncle, Randolph can sneak the ball in the basket with athletic guys flying all around him. Marc Gasol has been an amazing force on both ends in this series. It only seems right that two teams with identical records, who played a seven-game series last year, would play another one this year. The Clippers will play with the back-against-the-wall frantic energy that they’ve been missing and pull out a suprise behind 27 from Jamal Crawford and double-digits from Matt Barnes, DeAndre Jordan and of course Chris Paul. Final score: Clippers 97, Grizzlies 93
So there you have it. Have your remote control handy. It should be an entertaining night. I’m looking for both East matchups to end tonight and both West matchups to be extended to seven games.