Tuesday's NBA Info
1 Replies | 226 ViewsOn 05/01/2012 06:40 AM in NBA
Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks (-4, 172.5)
THE STORY: Rajon Rondo will be stationed on the sidelines when the Boston Celtics visit the Atlanta Hawks in Tuesday’s Game 2 of the first-round series. The Boston point guard was given a one-game suspension for bumping into official Marc Davis late in the opening game, won 83-74 by the fifth-seeded Hawks. Atlanta built a 19-point lead and then held off a charge by the fourth-seeded Celtics and scored the final five points of the game after Rondo was ejected.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), Sport South (Atlanta)
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Boston missed all 11 of its 3-point attempts as top outside shooter Ray Allen missed the game with an ankle injury. Forward Paul Pierce missed all six of his 3-pointers while struggling to 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting. Rondo had 20 points and 11 assists but lost his cool with 41 seconds left after a scramble for a loose ball led to a foul call on teammate Brandon Bass. “Obviously I was upset about the call and I said some words to Marc,” Rondo said. “I deserved the first teach. As I was walking, I thought he stopped. My momentum carried me into him. I even think I tripped on his foot.”
ABOUT THE HAWKS: Atlanta could use a better outing from Joe Johnson after the All-Star guard/forward made just three of 15 shots in Game 1. Johnson missed all nine of his 3-point attempts and committed four turnovers while tallying just 11 points. The star of the opener was forward Josh Smith, who had 22 points and a personal playoff-best 18 rebounds. “He was an animal,” Atlanta coach Larry Drew said. “When he’s playing with that energy, he just makes us so much better.” The Hawks shot just 40.8 percent after opening the game by hitting 8 of 11 attempts.
- The over is 9-1 in Atlanta's last 10 home games.
- Boston is 13-5-2 against the spread in its last 20.
- The underdog is 4-1 against the number in the last five meetings between the two teams.
1. The home team won all seven games when Boston beat Atlanta in a 2008 first-round series.
2. Celtics forward Kevin Garnett overcame a 1-for-9 first half in Game 1 to finish with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
3. Hawks center Zaza Pachulia (foot) is expected to sit out Game 2 after being held of the opener.
Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls (-6.5, 176)
THE STORY: For a team that took Game 1 in convincing fashion, things could not be going much worse for the Chicago Bulls. With just 1:10 left in Game 1, reigning MVP Derrick Rose planted awkwardly and had to be helped off the court. An MRI revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, knocking Rose out for the rest of the postseason. The Philadelphia 76ers are in a position to take advantage if they can find a way through the Bulls’ suffocating defense.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, CSN (Philadelphia), CSCH (Chicago)
ABOUT THE 76ERS: Philadelphia was thoroughly outplayed in Game 1, shooting under 40 percent from the field while letting the Bulls go off at 51 percent. The 76ers were a sub-.500 team the second half of the season, going 16-22 after Feb. 13. Where Philadelphia excelled during the regular season was on the defensive end, and without Rose on the floor it will need to focus more attention on Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton The 76ers were outrebounded, 47-38, in Game 1, when rookie Lavoy Allen started at center and Spencer Hawes played only 15 minutes off the bench.
ABOUT THE BULLS: Chicago went 18-9 without Rose during the regular season and is confident that it has the defense and secondary scoring to survive without its star deep into playoffs. Splitting the point guard duties will be C.J. Watson and John Lucas III. Both players shoot just under 40 percent from beyond the arc and will need to keep that up to prevent Philadelphia from collapsing on Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah on the interior. One of the highlights from Game 1 came from Hamilton, who went 6 for 7 from the floor and finished with 19 points. Hamilton averaged 20.6 points in 120 career playoff games with the Detroit Pistons and will handle more of the scoring going forward.
- Chicago has covered in four straight.
- The home team has covered in five of the last seven meetings.
- The over is 7-1 in Philadelphia's last eight.
1. Rose is also out for the Olympics, leaving Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook as the top options for Team USA at point guard.
2. Philadelphia leading scorer Lou Williams was held to nine points on 1-of-6 shooting in Game 1.
3. The Bulls beat the 76ers, 89-80, without Rose on Mar. 17.
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (-4.5, 200)
THE STORY: Andrew Bynum and Magic Johnson will forever be linked in Los Angeles Lakers playoff lore. Bynum's unexpected triple-double lifted the Lakers to an emphatic victory over Denver in Game 1 of their first-round series, and he'll look to continue his low-post dominance as Los Angeles hosts the Nuggets in Tuesday's second game. Bynum equaled an NBA postseason record with 10 blocked shots, forcing the Nuggets to abandon their layup-reliant offense and settle for jump shots that simply didn't fall.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, Fox Sports West
ABOUT THE NUGGETS: Denver didn't go down quietly in Game 1 despite shooting a paltry 25.6 percent from the field. The Nuggets claim Bynum should have been whistled for repeated illegal defense violations, alleging the seven-footer spends far too much time in the painted area. Ty Lawson and Al Harrington were both blocked four times in the opening-game loss and combined to shoot just 7 for 25 from the floor. Connecting from long distance could be critical for the Nuggets, who made just four of 14 attempts from 3-point range in Game 1. The starting lineup combined to go 0 for 5 from beyond the arc.
ABOUT THE LAKERS: Despite Bynum's triple-double - the first by a Laker in the postseason since Johnson turned the trick in 1991 - a pair of forgettable incidents has taken some of the focus away from the Lakers' on-court performance. Small forward Metta World Peace remains on the sidelines after being suspended for a vicious elbow on Oklahoma City's James Harden, and power forward Jordan Hill faces an uncertain future after being charged with assaulting his girlfriend in Houston earlier this year. Hill, who came to the Lakers in a deadline deal with the Rockets, faces two-to-10 years in prison if convicted of the felony charge.
- Denver has covered in four of its last five.
- L.A. is 3-10 against the spread in its last 13 as a home favorite.
- The under is 35-17 in the last 52 meetings.
1. Bynum became just the second player to record a points-rebounds-blocks triple-double in playoff history.
2. Lakers G Kobe Bryant averages 25 points in 56 career games against the Nuggets. He had a game-high 31 in the opener.
3. Bynum left Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari awe-struck. "We've got to find a way to score before he gets in the paint, because he's impressive," Gallinari said.