With 33 NBA Playoff games completed, the stage is set for exciting finishes, surprise endings and possibly some disappointed favorites and projected championship contenders. Boston has moved on with its' sweep, but others are getting close while a couple are holding on and most are fighting to the end. Denver is now playing on pride, against a team that has more talent and has owned them all season, as the Thunder sustained it's first loss against the Nuggets last night 104-101. Dallas made a statement with a controlling victory over Portland, who forgot to get physical in the second half and allowed the skill of the Mavericks to shine again, leaving the series in favor of the Mav's 3-2, a position that only 17% of the trailing teams in the past have comeback to win after training 2-3. Then there is the Western Conference #1 seed trailing the #8 seed 3-1, after Memphis handed San Antonio a 104-86 loss to grab a commanding lead and making the dream of a rare upset reality, and a nightmare for the heavily favored Spurs. Orlando is looking at the same fate, trailing 3-1 and Los Angeles has its' back against the wall going home tonight to try and regain control of their series tied 2-2. Indiana has played extremely well for three and a half quarters against the #1 Eastern seed Chicago Bulls but has come up lame in three of four games due to the late game heroics by Derrick Rose, until a break through in game four has them feeling a glimmer of life and some potential hope, as a hobbling Rose may not be up to standard with a severely sprained ankle. Philadelphia's actual win, may be no more than a token or moral victory, having to travel back to Miami for game five on Wednesday, where the newest "Big Three" will undoubtedly finish off the 76er's, who have hung around each game, but never really threaten to take a game until game four when the Miami concentration went stale and a sense of desperation set in and a large double digit lead was blown by the Heat late in the ballgame this weekend.
With two gimpy superstars playing on each end of side of the country, New Orleans could steal a game in LA. While Indiana has its' last chance to turn playing extremely well and close into finishing with another victory as Rose continued to wear a cam boot following treatments. And as a Kobe Bryant follows getting off crutches with daily treatments, New Orleans may have a window of opportunity to outplay the will of the Leagues top superstar and sustain the momentum gained in winning game four. If these scenarios play out and Atlanta continues its abuse of Orlando, this could prove to be the most unpredictable playoff run in modern day history.
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