NBA Playoffs: Mavs, Knicks on brink of elimination


Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony

Two playoff series might be over come Saturday and Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat have taken 3-0 series leads. Can their opponents battle back or will the Thunder and Heat put them bed?

Who would have thought that the defending champion Dallas Mavericks would be staring a 3-0 deficit in the face after making one of the greatest playoff runs in NBA history last season. After losing the first two games by a combined four points, the Mavs were blasted by the Thunder at home on Thursday night, 95-79. OKC’s duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant went a combined 19-34 from the field and 51 points. Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki struggled, going 6-15 from the field, finishing with 17 points. After being locked-up by Shawn Marion in the first two games, Durant exploded for 31 points on 11-15 shooting (his best shooting game in his playoff career). Two years ago, Oklahoma City took the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the first round, last season they lost in five games in the Western Conference Finals to the Mavericks. This season, the Thunder is one of the favorites to come out of the Western Conference and is showing us why.

The New York Knicks have had a season of ups-and-downs. Carmelo Anthony gets hurt, Jeremy Lin, unexpectedly, saves the day. Carmelo comes back, and then Amar’e Stoudemire goes out. With Stoudemire out, the Knicks start winning games again. Stoudemire comes back again, only to punch a glass case to go out again. The Knicks barely had a shot against a Miami Heat team that got to within two games of winning the NBA Finals last season. The Heat is showing us that they are out for revenge and is taking some of last season’s anger out on the Knicks. They have completely stifled New York’s offense, particularly Anthony, en-route to three easy victories. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have led the way for Heat and both are playing with confidence levels above 100%. These boys are out for the title and it doesn’t look like they are going to stop until they get it.

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