It’s Time To WIN, or GO HOME.

Ending my day by watching NBA basketball at its best in both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals has been nothing short of entertaining.

The match-ups are sick:

  • West- San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC leads 3-2; SAS faces elimination tonight on the road)
  • East- Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics (Cs lead 3-2; the Heatles face elimination tomorrow on the road)

What’s really interesting about these match-ups is how well-balanced they are between both conferences.

They Must Prove Themselves Worthy

We’ve got the Thunder and the Heat. The Thunder are the young guns–crazy athletic, and growing up as a team before the world’s eyes, as the commentators pointed out in Game 5. Similarly, the Heat haven’t been together very long. The flaws in their play have been dissected, and they have yet to prove that all the free agency hype and movement from Summer 2010 was worth it.

And yet, Westerners KD, Westbrook, Harden, Collison, Ibaka, Perkins, Fisher, and the rest of the Thunder squad are one game away from heading to the 2012 NBA Finals. In the East, LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, and the remaining Heat team are one game away from going home.

Kevin Durant, James HardenLeBron, Udonis Haslem, D-Wade

They’ve Been There, Done That…Now, Doing It Again

We have the vets. They’ve been there, done that…as in they’ve been to the Finals, and won their championship rings. The San Antonio Spurs caught my attention big time this post season, coming into the Western Conference Finals with a playoff record of 8-0. Timmy Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili just refuse to call it quits. Year in and year out, they’re serious contenders. So, after last year’s early ousting in Round 1, they bounced back strong. Tonight’s Game 6, will be do or die for the Spurs in Oklahoma City.

The Celtics claim the title of veterans in the East. Together for five years, the Cs, like the Spurs, don’t go out without a fight. After grinding it out in the first two rounds against the recurring playoff rival Hawks and division sharing 76ers, the Celtics (almost inevitably) had to face the Heat.

And what a series that has been. From the defensive plays of both teams to Rondo’s flawless passes…not to mention the sideline interviews from the Celtics, who I think–it’s safe to say–have taken offense at being called old. They sure are entertaining:

“Boo boo go to bed.”

The Celtics have taken a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat and like the Thunder, are one win away from going to the 2012 NBA Finals. The Western veteran Spurs, like the Heat, are one loss away from going home.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce2012 Spurs

I just love the unpredictability of it all. This is exactly what NBA Playoffs basketball is supposed to be like.

The Knicks’ Season Survives

In my last post about the Knicks, I was hoping the boys in orange and blue were gonna pull off a miracle and steal Game 2 in Miami.

Unfortunately, the Knicks couldn’t snag the W; instead, they lost 104-94. After the game, Amar’e Stoudemire apparently punched the glass protecting a fire extinguisher out of frustration and cut his hand pretty badly, resulting in stitches and his sitting out in the Knicks’ Game 3 loss at home. Every Knick fan was like, “smh, bro.”

The NYK came into today’s Game 4 against the Miami Heat down 3-0, facing elimination from the playoffs. Losing would mean a second straight year of a Round 1 series sweep. It would also add on loss #13 to the longest losing streak in NBA Playoffs history.

The Knicks hadn’t won a playoff game in over 10 years, and many expected Miami to sweep them away today…including me. I found the first half to be extremely dull, but I was relieved the Knicks had at least kept the score close.

The game became significantly more entertaining during the second half. I was at the edge of my seat, throwing my hands in the air, fist pumping, and talking to the TV. It was fun to finally feel GOOD watching a Knicks playoff game.

What didn’t feel good was witnessing yet another injury causing a player to go down. Knicks’ guard Baron Davis was rolled off the court on a stretcher with a dislocated right patella in the third quarter. Davis’ knee injury added to his personal list of pains and the league’s as a whole. SO many guys are down and out: Iman Shumpert, Jeremy Lin, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Ricky Rubio, Wilson Chandler, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, and there’s definitely like 20 more players I’m forgetting…

While Davis lay on the stretcher, I actually gained an ounce of respect back for LeBron and D-Wade. They nudged Baron’s head and arm as a “Get well soon, Buddy” gesture. I really like good sportsmanship and people being kind to one another.

The crowd applauded Davis, and the game continued. The score remained close, fouls were committed, free throws were missed, free throws were made, triples were hit, timeouts were taken, and the score of 89-87 was finalized as Dwyane Wade’s jumper came up short.

The Knicks came away with the win–Broomthe playoff win–the first playoff win in 11 years and the first Knick playoff win I’ve ever seen live as a fan. It was a win that dodged death–the Knicks have lived to play another game.

So put the brooms back in the closet Miami, because the Knicks aren’t getting swept this year.