No big suprises from the weekend playoff games - The DETROIT PISTONS dominated Philadelphia in Game 1. While the sixers opened up a 15 point lead in the first quarter, things settled down and the Pistons offense got going behind a more focused defense. It was clear that Jim O'Neil realized his sixers were undermanned downlow and had employed a more fluffy strategy of telling DALEMBERT to play big - the sixers came out with a ton of energy and a lot of intensity and DALEMBERT controlled the boards and blocked numerous shots, even earning 3 goal tends during the first half (!). However, the intensity could only go so far against a DETROIT team with loads more talent and a strong inside game (Chris Weber, what?).
My MVP of that series so far is clearly RASHEED WALLACE and I don't think the series will go more than 5 games - really should be a sweep, but AI is bound to go off for 45 points in one game at the Comcast center, earning the sixers a mercy win.
In the other Eastern Conference series, things also went pretty much as expected.
New Jersey had some nice looks in the first quarter and did a decent job finding good shots - later in the game Vince may be took too many 3s but the bottom line is that they were an eigth seed that played against a much more powerful 1-seed and it showed. (barely an eigth seed at that....if it wasn't for the gift of cleveland caveliers ownership).
The Pacers/Celtics Game 1 might have been the worst game I've seen in awhile - BORING, unless your a celtics fan. I would love to see Indiana go on a little run and match up against Detroit in the next round, but its not likely to happen given the offensive firepower on Boston (payton, pierce, walker, davis).
Watching the Bulls get by Washington was nice - I hated to see Eddie Curry leave the lineup (irregular heart beat) and such an innopportune time. With a healthy eddie curry in the lineup these young bulls may have gotten out of the first round. Taking game 1 ensures that they still have a chance to do so, but I think its unlikely (besides, they will just get crushed in round 2 either way - but still nice experience for those guys who are bound to be back next year).
More on the west later on.