NBA Playoffs Preview for Monday Night

There are three games on the board tonight, and one of them I’ll be attending, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic.  I’ll give the things I think need to happen in each game.

New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat (Miami leads 1-0)

Apr 28, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) drives to the basket past New York Knicks small forward Steve Novak (16) during the second half of game one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Carmelo Anthony has to come up big for the Knicks to have any shot in this game.  We saw what happened in game one, where the Heat won going away, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that happens again.  Lebron James is in his zone, and if he stays there, good things will happen for the Heat.  Losing the Knicks top defender in Iman Shumpert is going to hurt them.  It’s hard telling what they need to do beyond the starters, who didn’t even surpass James’ scoring with a 32-30 edge in favor of James, need to step up and make this a game.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers (Orlando leads 1-0)

Apr 28, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Paul George (24) tries to keep the ball away from Orlando Magic power forward Ryan Anderson (33) during game one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Orlando defeated Indiana 81-77. Mandatory Credit: Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Hard to believe the Magic have the lead in this series after that brutal end of the game for the Pacers.  The Pacers will have to come out strong and feed the ball to Roy Hibbert and David West, who have a huge advantage down in the post.  Hibbert needs to continue his dominance on defense, and make sure guys earn the shots they make down there.  The Pacers have to guard the three point line better, and get a hand in Jason Richardson’s face as he hit five of those three pointers by himself.   Danny Granger needs to turn back around to what he was doing in April and make smart choices with the ball.  Those days off might have wrecked the momentum he had going, but I think he’ll get it back tonight.  The Pacers need to win by at least ten to get themselves that confidence to go to game three and win down there in Orlando.  No way can they afford to be down 2-0.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City leads 1-0)

Apr 28, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots the game winning shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the fourth quarter in game one of the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Not much needs to change on either side, since the first game was won by Kevin Durant of the Thunder on a shot towards the end.  Dallas has been down a few times 1-0 in a series, but have rallied back to win 6 out of 13 times.  So they know what they need to do.  Should be another fun back and forth game that might come down to the last possession.


Topics: Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic

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