Of course it’s too soon for anything but here are a few first impressions:
1) The 2011 playoffs look as good as predicted
Games were close and tough for most teams. LA, Orlando and San Antonio lost their homecourt advantage in Game 1. I didn’t expect it to start on round 1 but games are very good and competitive already.
2) The refs want to be on the show as well
I’m not even talking about Joey Crawford typical BS calls. I’m talking about that WTF offensive foul on Melo against the Celtics or the Perkins tip. Expect the refs to mess more good games.
3) We have some big flaws - but hey, so do the others
While we struggled to stop Psycho T and the 3 point shooters from Indiana, the Spurs lost already, the Lakers just showed how much damage a good point guard can do against Fisher and Superman left alone and lost.
4) Want a new SG? Keep winning
Winning in the playoffs makes players look good and GMs go crazy. Just look at Z-Bo news contract. If we reach the NBA Finals we can trade Bogans for Kevin Martin (ok, maybe not, but you get what I mean).
5) Are the Hawks next?
I still think they will crumble as they always do but that game just made Atlanta 4-1 vs. Orlando this season. I think it’s a good thing for the Bulls as we match them better.
6) Forget LBJ and Kobe (for now)
Rose, CP3, Durant and Howard were the starts and I don’t see it changing in Round 1. Yes I expect good games by LBJ and Kobe but not dominant performances thru the series.
7) Celtics does have the mythic extra gear (except for Rondo, who sucks)
They didn’t play well but again KG, Pierce and Allen really turned into beasts at the clutch last night. I expect them to be in the ECF. That said: Rondo sucks more than ever. Really, he does. That should have been much easier for Boston but Rondo keeps playing poorly. Yes he almost had a triple-double but don’t let the numbers fool you: he faced Anthony Carter and Tony Douglas most of the time. And about Jermaine O’Neal wtf? Nice game!
8) Some guys in our team can step up as well
ROSE: he just couldn’t be stopped and that was with him on a shitty shooting day. Hollinger would be proud as he finished 3rd in PER – ahead of Dwight and LeBron.
LUOL: It wasn’t even a great game for him but he was able to finish with 18 points (10 in the 4th qtr), 10 rebounds, shooting over 50% and playing really good D on Granger. I don’t expect him to reach the 22+ ppg he had on the 2007 playoffs as he is not as important to the offense as he was back then. But if he can keep near the 8.7 rpg of that year that will help a lot. That +15 on the boards really helped the Bulls win that tough game.
NOAH: he’s back! Ok, maybe not the 2010 Noah yet but is just great to see him with double-double again and putting a block party. If his game and energy continues to improve we will be the team we dreamed before he was hurt and that means you can face the toughest teams.
KURT THOMAS: During the regular season Big Sexy made a hard foul or knocked baby on the floor. But it’s playoffs time and Kurt will knock people out.
9) Dwight is leaving
Ok, another exaggeration. But if he does, he can’t be blamed: 46 points and 19 boards and still lose?! I can see he in purple and yellow already. No way anybody is picking Arenas contract again, Hedo’s, or JJ’s...