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The Curious Case of the 2-1 Lower Seeds

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by jtr, May 10, 2015.

  1. jtr

    jtr Contributing Member

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    I find myself both amazed and aghast that every lower seed is leading their playoff series by 2-1 in the second round of the 2015 NBA postseason. I would highly doubt that has ever happened before. What has cause such an aberration? Let us take a quick look.

    Parity:


    We are finally seeing the new CBA cap restrictions come into play. The talent distribution among the top teams has narrowed because teams can no longer just go into the red to sign talent in order to win a 'ship. Perhaps the days of prohibitive playoff favorites beyond the first round has come to an end. There may be no Lakers like team featuring massive contracts for Gasol, Bynum and Kobe while still able to retain Odom ever again. Perhaps teams like the Spurs can put together below market sweetheart deals for stars, but that is about it. Even the Warriors with the best regular season record in decades is just being beat down by the Grizzles.

    Match Ups:


    How bad is the series match up of the Griz for the Warriors? I believe it is as bad as it gets. The very thing that the Warriors do best the Griz are constructed to stop. Perimeter play. Ball movement. Penetration. Allen and Conley are two of the premier perimeter defenders in the NBA. The Splash Brothers are just running into a brick wall against those two. With Memphis up 2-1 are the Griz getting into the heads of Curry and Thompson? The Memphis roster is not constructed like any other current NBA team. With Gasol and ZBow they focus on the interior generation of points. Massive offensive players that just punish opposing defensive players. It is going to be a tough series for the Warriors.

    Would someone explain to me please how Washington just won game three with Wall's wrist and hand having a half dozen fractures? Atlanta is star starved. Washington has Wall. Also, Washington is on a roll after their first round beat down of Toronto. But still. Atlanta's success has been based on flawless execution in a very weak conference. Once that execution breaks down Atlanta is vulnerable. But without Wall Atlanta will not lose this round. But they are road kill in the next round versus Chicago.

    Chicago is up 2-1 against Cleveland. What a surprise. Not. Even with LBJ it is difficult to construct a championship roster the first year into major roster changes. Chicago makes minor modifications each year, building on past successes and therefore has better roster construction and cohesion. The Vegas odds of a Cavs 'ship were artificially high. It is not surprise Chicago is dominating.

    Rockets versus Clippers. The most toss up series in the second round. They had the same exact regular season record, the seeding only decided by a division championship. Two super stars for each team. Harden, Paul, Howard and Griffin. The Clippers look dominant because of the play of Jordan. The under appreciated reason for their great season. And he is a free agent. Expect numerous max offers for him this off season.

    Injuries: The 900 pound gorilla in the room.

    Once the Cavs lost Love for the post season they were done. They have no chance against Chicago in the second round. Chicago just overwhelms teams with waves of above average players focused in on defense by Coach Thibs. With Rose again ascendant LBJ has been and will continue to be not enough.

    And I would like to ask again how Washington beat Atlanta in game three without Wall? The Wizards will crumple without their best player, but Atlanta does not have the talent to prevail against Chicago.

    Since Conley returned Memphis has looked dominant. Both teams are currently healthy and it should be a great series. The Splash Brothers will have something to say about this series outcome.

    Missing Bev and D-Mo against a healthy Clippers team the Rockets prospects look poor. It is somehow remarkable that the Rockets managed to sustain season ending injuries to both of their starters versus the Clippers two best players, Paul and Griffin. Rack this one up for the city of Angels team.
     
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  2. clos4life

    clos4life Contributing Member

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    Great assessment jtr, this is exactly how I feel. We'll see how things turn out.
     
  3. malakas

    malakas Member

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    I think a very important factor is the division rule. Neither Portland nor Toronto should have been top 4 seeds. Toronto is in the most weak division of all time and got them free wins. If the division rule didn't exist- with the winner being a top 4 seed- Portland wouldn't have been a high seed.
    So I don't think that's so much parity as it is more that the final standings weren't indicative of the real power rankings. Especially in the East.
    Next year the Central division will be hell while the Atlantic will remain a cakewalk.
     
  4. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    David Stern and his home court advantage refereeing are gone.
     
  5. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    the rockets need to win tomorrow :(:(:(
     
  6. what

    what Member

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    I think that for most series it is parity or injury:

    1. with Kevin Love chicago probably wouldn't be up 2-1 on cleveland.
    2. washington-atlanta is a shocker to be sure (especially with john wall out), but washington (to me) has just as much talent as atlanta. However i still see atlanta getting this series in 7 games.
    3. rockets-clippers, to me the clippers are the more talented and experienced team in the playoffs, so this really isn't a big shocker to me. The clippers had the misfortune of being in the same division as golden state, which game the rockets the higher seed.
    4. memphis-golden state. This is probably the biggest shocker of the second round. The dubs are/were clearly the most talented team in the playoffs, had only lost 2 games all year at home and were playing a team in the grizzlies that can't even score 100 consistently. I mean I'm a homer obviously, but most people (even david thorpe who usually is friendly to the grizzlies) were predicting a blowout series. The grizzlies are probably the most experienced playoff team left and they look to be on a mission.
     
  7. oogie boogie

    oogie boogie Member

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    Memphis/Oakland
    The Grizzlies grew a lot from their series against the Thunder last season. That was a series they probably should have won. I'll start off with Ibaka/Adams/Perk vs Dray/Bogut. Dray is probably the best defender out of the 5, but ZBO and Marc are simply too big and too strong for him. Serge on the other hand is a strong, athletic shot blocker who I think can defend both Marc and Zbo better. Perk is awful, but he just knows how to tire a guy out with his tough play. He's good for 10-15 minutes off the bench against teams with slow but big and strong front courts(see Cavs, Grizzlies, Lakers.)

    KD and Westbrook are simply more scary than Steph and Klay because Westbrook doesn't rely on a jumper to score and KD is possibly the scariest mismatch ever. An athletic near 7 footer who has a elite jump shot? Klay and Steph are one trick ponies who are surrounded by above average talent in a fantastic system. The thing is though that once they're put up against a gritty team that can cancel out their perimeter shooting, it's going to be very difficult for them to score since they have no post presence. David Lee is so bad defensively, but he's their best post scorer. I'd like to see Kerr give Lee like at least a 7 minute run to see if he can alleviate the pressure for Steph and Klay. If he does then he should get more minutes.

    Who ever wins game 4 I think will win the series. Either Grizzlies for up 3-1 or Warriors take back home court advantage meaning Memphis has to win one more at the Oracle. I hope the Grizzlies keep their focus. Such a beautiful team. Outside of Tony Allen(who I love) they don't talk much trash. They don't celebrate on every shot like it's a dagger. They just go out there and hoop. One of my favorite teams and I hope we see them in the WCF.

    Cavs/Bulls
    Two games w/o Smith and the entire series without Love. Bulls have to be favored here if they kept their intensity from game 6 against the Bucks. This is an angry Bulls team. They want to beat Lebron so bad and it stems from just three players. Butler, Rose and Noah. They all possess that determination that no one on the Cavs outside of Lebron has.

    And let's be honest. Lebron is still amazing, but he has been playing worse this season. That's not because he's a worse player though. Lebron plays better when he has better teammates. He's not the type of guy to just go out there and put the team on his back. I mean, not anymore he isn't. Kyrie had 0 assist. Lebron is basically the point guard for the team. That's impressive for LBJ, but it's not going to win games when you're the only one creating for teammates.

    Kyrie needs to score more, but he also needs to pick his spots on when to score. I don't mean trying to go 1 on 5. He can break down the defense so easily. He can easily rack up 6-7 assist just driving and kick to Jones and Smith if they're in the corner.

    I see the Bulls taking this series if things keep going the way they are. The talent level isn't that big of a gap, but the Bulls know how to play together better than the Cavs.
     
  8. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    All series but one are 2-2
     
  9. aumate

    aumate Member

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    If, Kyrie was even healthy, the Cavs would be up 3-1 on the Bulls. With, Love, a sweep.
     
  10. Dhoward12

    Dhoward12 Member

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    All of the series look even.... except for 1
     
  11. getbloodyred

    getbloodyred Member

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    At least we're unique? :rolleyes:
     
  12. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    Need one win and all series are 3-2.
     
  13. SemisolidSnake

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    We're just "different," and being ourselves is what matters according to my grade school education.

    Since we're fully in the era of "everyone gets a trophy," I wonder what trophy the Rockets should get for being their different, unique selves.
     
  14. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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    All series are 2-2 and look fairly evenly matched except the Rockets vs Clippers where we are being utterly humiliated and embarrassed and jtr's all time favorite coach McHale can't make any adjustments

    I'd love to hear his take on McHale's coaching this series. LOL
     
  15. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous
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    Homecourt advantage has diminished both in regular season and in playoffs recently, mostly due to travel not being as awful as it used to be.
     
  16. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    The curious case of round 2: Every series ended with 3 straight wins (or losses).

    Hmm...
     
  17. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Don't jinx it!
     
  18. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    So far: Out of 4

    3 series ended as expected with 6 games

    Only one series going 7
     
  19. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    Curious case close!
     
  20. Aleron

    Aleron Contributing Member

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    the higher seeds all closed out 3-0
     

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