2016 NBA PlayOffs: Day 12, The Unexpected

Day 12. The expected and unexpected.

The outcomes in both of the West’s first round series for this day were expected. Portland beating LA, 108-98 and Golden State closing out Houston, 114-81 — yep, what with the circumstances surrounding these teams! No Paul and Griffin for the Clippers. And the Warriors? Yeah, no Curry but they’re up 3-1, so why waste the opportunity to close out?!

But then, today’s lone Eastern first round game was quite surprising. Miami losing to Charlotte and at their home floor, 88-90! Whatta disappointment for Heat fans?! Our thoughts..

One. Courtney Lee who hasn’t really shot well in this game (2-9) hit a 3 with 25.2 seconds left in regulation. Thoughts: Must be lucky.

Courtney Lee and Jeremy Lin after the go-ahead 3
Courtney Lee and Jeremy Lin after the go-ahead 3

Two. 25.2 seconds is a long time to not be able to recover and win the game.. But the Miami Heat failed! Thoughts: Must be Charlotte’s scrappiness.

Three. This is what everyone has been talking about. Yeah, Dwyane Wade must have been fouled somewhere. Body contact at the very least. Thoughts: Are the refs trying to give a free pass to the Cavs to the Finals in attempting to eliminate the Heat?

Still, while the Heat are the favored team, they were not really able to assert themselves against the Hornets. Even their regular season matchup shows, they split ’em 4 games! So, looking deeper, don’t be surprised if the Hornets could even close out the Heat.

And if the Heat loses this series, they only got themselves to blame. Wade was not especially active in Game 4 as he only attempted 11 times while making 4 of them. Oh, was he tired? Whiteside, too. He wasn’t as assertive when he could actually impose on the Hornets’ bigs. Hmm… And why aren’t Stoudemire and Johnson playing?

0427 hornets heatIf the Heat are going to be the real test for the Cavaliers in the East then these guys can’t afford to be ‘lazy’, they can’t afford to take a day-off. It’ll become a habit. A losers’ habit.

As it appears, with 3 of the East’s series being hotly contested, there seems to be no team who could truly challenge the Cavs (unlike the West where the top 4 teams, when healthy, are real tough).

Well… Just like the past years, the East is still a weak conference. And those regular season wins was more like a fluke brought about by more favorable schedules.

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