Has there ever been a better Round 1, Game 1 series of games in the NBA Playoffs than what we witnessed this past weekend?
Even if the games didn't have stellar finishes, the action was outstanding throughout the eight games, including a few fantastic finishes and a couple of upsets. While the Pacers came up short in crunch time with their upset bid in Chicago, two underdogs completed the deed by making plays with the game in the balance.
The Memphis Grizzlies had a similar ending going to the Pacers when they gave up a 10-0 run to the 1-seed San Antonio Spurs in the final minutes, turning what was a six-point lead with less than three minutes to play into a four-point deficit with one minute to go.
But the Grizzlies made some plays at both ends to close out the game with Marc Gasol scoring inside and Shane Battier scoring outside, filling his team with belief by knocking down a huge 3-ball to give Memphis the lead back for good.
Then in Los Angeles, the New Orleans Hornets put themselves in position to win late against the Lakers. Not only did they hold off Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, but Chris Paul took over at winning time. Paul scored 15 point in the final five minutes to not only hold off the Lakers but bury them to secure the win.
Let's just hope the Pacers can work themselves in position to win Game 2 tonight and if so, find inspiration from the playmakers yesterday to get it done this time. After the jump, plenty of links including highlights from the Pacers' practice yesterday.
- Sunday practice highlights
Confident, not dejected, Pacers vow they won't go away - Caught in the Web
Bruno breaks down the issues the Pacers face heading into Game 2.
Can young Pacers shake off bitter Game 1 loss? | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers trying to fire up to take another run at the Bulls in Game 2.
- Rebounding woes need to be fixed | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Don’t sweep Pacers out of series just yet - Chicago Sun-Times
LACY BANKS: For the top-seeded Bulls, Saturday’s 104-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers was too close for comfort.
Boozer not playing at championship level - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago
Nick Friedell believes Carlos Boozer must do more if the Bulls want to make a deep playoff run.
Chicago Bulls: Tom Thibodeau expects more of same from Derrick Rose, Pacers' defense - chicagotribune.com
Despite getting knocked around by the Pacers in Game 1, Bulls guard Derrick Rose will continue to attack the basket in the Eastern Conference playoff series.
2011 Playoffs Bulls - Pacers : a Game One showing some flukes, some flaws - Blog a Bull
The Pacers showed some fight, but the Bulls showed some Derrick Rose as they were able to come back and steal back a victory. What in game one was Pacer luck, and what are legitimate reasons for concern?
Chicago Bulls: Coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't want to see any more fourth-quarter technicals - chicagotribune.com
While Luol Deng emotionally stuck up for Bulls teammate Derrick Rose on Saturday he picked up a technical foul in the process, and that's not smart basketball in coach Tom Thibodeau's book.
Chicago Bulls: Bulls hope to get Carlos Boozer going in Game 2 - chicagotribune.com
After a subpar Game 1, the Bulls are looking to get Carlos Boozer going early in Game 2.
- NBA Notebook: Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls
Bulls' playoff hopes hinge on aggressive Rose not wilting | NBA.com
Steve Aschburner comments on the Bulls relying on Rose continuing to withstand a beating throughout the playoffs.
Zach Randolph, Grizzlies agree to four-year, $66 million extension - NBA - SI.com
Pretty good day for Z-Bo with a Grizz win and a new deal.