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: Thabo Sefolosha

Born in Vevey, Switzerland, Thabo Sefolosha fits right in with his fellow cast of characters on the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose athleticism and ability to run have enabled their young squad to rank among the best in the competitive West.

A role player who has been key to the Thunder’s success, Sefolosha joined superstar Kevin Durant and starting center Nenad Krstic on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2010-11 NBA Preview. He’s a long, athletic player who prides himself on playing aggressive team D. Sefolosha hustles, gets stops and rebounds the ball, doing his part to refute foreign players’ reputations for being soft on defense.

Now entering his fifth NBA season, his third with OKC, we may not have seen how complete a player he is yet. Sefolosha is a raw talent who, depending on how hard he works, could develop into something interesting as he matures and gets more experience in the league. He will continue to get better as he rounds out his game.

Sefolosha posted double-doubles in two of his past four contests – going for 13 points and 11 rebounds against the Wolves followed by 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Pacers last week.

A multiple-position player, Sefolosha is averaging about 6 points and 5 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. He’ll get you a couple assists, a steal and even the occasional block. He’s available in most fantasy leagues, and Oklahoma City plays 4 games this week.