After the Bulls upset win in game one of this series, the Heat have emphatically seized control. Even with a hobbled Dwyane Wade not providing his usual scoring punch, the Heat have dominated the last three games. Once again, the Bulls will be without several important players, and, as has become clear, simply don't have enough to beat the best team in the NBA. At home in the American Airlines Arena, I expect the Heat to cruise into the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. Might not happen without some pushing and shoving, though, as this series has been chippy from the get-go.
The Grizzlies consolidated their hold on this series by winning two at home in Memphis, and now head to Oklahoma City in an attempt to close out the Thunder. In truth, this has been a very close series. All of the games have been in doubt late in the fourth quarter, with game four going to overtime. Kevin Durant has been struggling late in games, one presumes that at least in part, that has to do with the burden he is carrying in the absence of Russell Westbrook and the minutes he's playing (more than 42 in every game this series). I expect another close game, and the Thunder need to find some way of getting Durant to the finish line with something left in the tank. I'm not sure this series is over; I'm expecting a great effort from the Thunder, and for the Grizzlies to have to try to win this one back at home in Game six.
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