Czar’s Playoff Review


#5 Chicago Bulls vs. #1 Miami Heat

With no Hinrich, Deng or Rose, Chicago took Game 1 from Miami in the biggest surprise of the playoffs thus far. The Heat’s reaction in Game 2 was a 115-78 destruction of the Bulls, led by LeBron of course. The undermanned Bulls must deliver the energy, effort and tenacity they displayed in Game 1 to protect their home court against the defending champs in Game 3.

Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat - Game Two

#3 Indiana Pacers vs. #2 New York Knicks

Behind incredible defense that helped limit Carmelo and J.R. to 14-43 from the field, Indiana won at MSG in Game 1. In Game 2, Smith still couldn’t shoot straight, but New York used a 30-2 run to even the series. Knicks could get a boost from the anxiously awaited return of Amar’e Stoudemire in Game 3, which should be a very physical battle.

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks  - Game One


#5 Memphis Grizzlies vs. #1 Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder escaped with a W in Game 1, barely. In Game 2 the Grizzlies’ front line dominated, and Mike Conley helped the Griz take over the fourth quarter to knot the Westbrook-less series at 1-1. Oklahoma will face a very difficult assignment in Game 3 at the Grind House, where the Griz have played outstanding basketball the entire season.

Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

#6 Golden State Warriors vs. #2 San Antonio Spurs

After an 18-2 run to tie the game in regulation, Manu hit a 3 with 1.2 seconds left in the second OT to win a classic Game 1, despite 44 from Steph Curry. In Game 2, second banana Klay Thompson went for 34 points and 14 boards, and Golden State came out on top in SA for the first time since 1997. Spurs must establish themselves on D and control the tempo to slow down the Warriors’ freewheeling offense and contain their outstanding backcourt duo.

Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Toney Douglas

Fantasy news travels fast, so many owners made moves following Toney Douglas’s fireworks display against the Bulls on Thursday. Douglas helped lead New York to a 120-112 win over Chicago with his 30-point performance, going 5 of 9 from 3-PT range in 31 minutes. Douglas followed up with two more solid showings, racking up 19 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against the Wizards on Friday and 17 points against the Sixers on Sunday.

The Florida State graduate was drafted 29th overall by the Lakers in 2009. After acquiring Douglas from LA, the Knicks had the patience to develop the young rookie and it looks like their investment is starting to pay off already. Up to this point in his sophomore effort Douglas has shown a consistent scoring touch and steady improvement in his shot-making ability. Maybe the greatest news for the Knicks is that Douglas talks about wanting to be the best defensive player on the team.

Douglas does a little bit of everything and is averaging 16.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 2.2 APG in 27.7 minutes. Though he comes off the bench, he’s logging starter minutes (first-string SG Landry Fields is averaging 8.7 PPG in 25 MPG). So it may only be a matter of time before he moves into the starting lineup. The Knicks play four games this week, giving Douglas ample opportunity to add value to your roster.