The first round of the NBA playoffs are over and we are off to the semifinal rounds as eight teams are continuing their hunt for an NBA title.
Game One: (5) Atlanta Hawks vs. (1) Chicago Bulls, United Center
- Final Score: Hawks 103, Bulls 95
- For as much as the Bulls lost the game, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau receiving the 2011 NBA Coach of the Year Award prior to the tipoff, the bigger storyline out of this game is the health of Bulls’ Derrick Rose who tweaked his left ankle towards the end of the game. Rose stepped on Hawks’ Jamal Crawford’s foot when he suffered the injury. An MRI on Rose’s ankle was negative and is expected to play in the next game.
- Hawks: Joe Johnson 34 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals.
- Bulls: Derrick Rose 24 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists.
- Key Stats: Bulls had a 18-8 lead in fast break points. Hawks won by outscoring the Bulls by 17 points in the 1st and 4th quarters combined.
- “I just want to come out and be aggressive and make plays,” Johnson said. “Collectively, as a team, we’ve been great in the postseason. We’ve approached every game with intensity.”
- “The intensity wasn’t right,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The start of the game was poor in terms of ball direction, in terms of challenging shots, in terms of showing help. There wasn’t one aspect of the defense that was good. They’re too good of a team to play like that.”
- Atlanta leads the series 1-0. Game Two will be in Chicago this Wednesday.
Game One: (2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks, Staples Center
- Final Score: Mavericks 96, Lakers 94.
- After being behind as much as 16 points in the game, Dallas stormed back to beat the Lakers on a 9-2 run to close out the game. Dallas steals home court advantage.
- Mavericks: Nowitzki 28 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists.
- Lakers: Bryant 36 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal.
- Key Stats: Dallas had more assists than the Lakers, 30-21. Lakers’ Bynum was on the floor for 59 of the Lakers’ 101 possessions and had a touch on just 18 of those possessions.
- “It’s definitely a great win for us, but if you look at their last series, they lost Game 1 and came right back and won the next two and had the series back in control,” Nowitzki said. “We’d love to go for it in Game 2.”
- “We felt like we gave the game away,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “I’m not so sure Dallas didn’t outplay us, but the players felt like we gave it away. … The game was won in the third quarter when we got the lead and stopped playing defense and stopped playing offense. It took a lot of energy out of us and gave a lot of energy to them.”
- Dallas leads the series 1-0. Game Two will be in Los Angeles this Wednesday.