What they're saying about Sunday's NBA playoff games ...

Do You Believe?!!. Dirk Nowitzki. Who is this guy? I haven't seen the MVP candidate when he plays the Warriors. 14 points and 4-16 from the field, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, and 1 LOSS. Except for the one dunk he had, he played soft. For the entire game, he was bigger than any Warrior player yet couldn't manage to post up or get a rhythm going. I've never seen a potential MVP play with such little aggression, fire, and a complete inability to lead his team. The Warriors once again did an excellent job on him by completely harassing him no matter who was guarding him. [Golden State of Mind]


Warriors-Mavs Open Thread Game 1. (Posted April 22 9:10 p.m. ET). First victim: the Golden State Warriors, who actually think they have a shot in this series. They incorrectly believe that because they've won all three meetings between the teams this season, that the trend will continue in the post-season. It's not happening. The first win occurred during the first week of the season when no one is really together yet. Their second win was somewhat legit, but it did come the night after Dallas had won their 17th straight game by beating the Lakers by like 50 in Los Angeles. I think any team deserves a pass after winning that many games in a row. And we all know what happened in the final meeting, where Dallas basically threw out their D-League squad. The FanHouse prediction is Mavs in 5, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them win four in a row and get the sweep. [AOL Fanhouse]

Suns Take Game 1. The Lakers did EVERYTHING they wanted to do. Kobe Bryant scored 39 points. The Suns shot under 43 percent from the field. They shot 26.1% from the three point line. They kept the Suns under 100 points. And despite all of that, they weren't good enough to beat the Phoenix Suns. That's got to hurt. It's REALLY got to hurt. What else can they do to stop the Suns? What happens when the Suns' shot is on in the next game and they shoot over 47% from the field and 40% from the three-point line? What happens when Raja Bell actually starts shooting well? [Bright Side Of The Sun]

There's No Even In Beating. Oh, and I really underestimated the Nuggets. I guess I hadn't recognized just how immense (in game, not girth) Nene's suddenly become. And Melo really, really came to show something today, making it impossible for Bowen to contain him. So both got all the room they needed, and suddenly Nene and Camby are looking like a frontline to fear. If you don't see me bouncing about over this one, it's because they looked that good. The Nuggets handled biz, the scorers got their points, and the Spurs lost to the better team. [Free Darko]


Thoughts On Game Won. (oh, what a title). I get what what Chris Sheridan is trying to say, but if I were a Heat fan it wouldn't make me feel better about game 1: "All in all, the Heat didn't have a whole lot to feel all that unhappy about after they were outplayed and out-executed for a vast majority of the game." Um, that should make them unhappy, you'd think. [Blog-A-Bull]

Calm The %$@! Down, It's Only One Game. Well that was fun. Matthew covered most of it. I will say that I thought it was mighty stupid of him to not play the big three a little bit in game 82 just because they happened to be playing the Nuggets. Oh we're so worried they'll know our plays. Gimme a break. Everyone knows our plays. We've run the same shit for years. Before anyone panics though, let me just share one stat with you: After 8 playoff games, the NBA postseason leader in +/- is Matt Barnes, at +23. The worst is your future MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, at -20. It's just one game, please don't freak out. [Pounding The Rock]

Stars Spark Nuggets. The Nuggets of two seasons ago that stunned the Spurs on the road in Game One were satisfied with that performance, and their complacency was evident when they got blown out in Game Two. That kind of excitement wasn't evident as the final buzzer sounded tonight, as these Nugs displayed the same kind of poise and maturity that they showed down the stretch to hold off the Spurs. [Solid Gold]