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Walking in Memphis

Alex takes a look at the NBA semi-finals

Alex Ferguson Posted 3rd May 2011 view comments

After the first games of the NBA semi-finals, we've seen a Hollywood ending for the Dallas Mavericks (beating the Lakers in their own back yard), the Celtics getting rubbed by Wade & Co, and shocking wins for Memphis (over Oklahoma City) and Atlanta (over top seed Chicago).

The next few days are going to be very, very exciting.

Alex has some questions about the next few games....

Can Memphis continue its 'Cinderella' story?

After beating top seeded San Antonio in six games in the first round and then going into Oklahoma City and handily beating Kevin Durant and the Thunder 114-101 in the second, the Memphis Grizzlies are clicking at all the right times. Zach Randolph's providing the power at the attacking end, while Marc Gasol's stunning defence work is providing the guts. The bench is also contributing too. Oklahoma City aren't going to worry yet - particularly with the scoring prowess of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook - but they need to win the next game to stop them going down 2-0.

Kevin Durant and Marc Gasol lock horns as Memphis play Oklahoma

Kevin Durant and Marc Gasol lock horns as Memphis play Oklahoma

PREDICTION FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES? Memphis becomes Cinderella, and beats Oklahoma City 4-2.

Will the 'Wade Show' stop Boston?

Dwayne Wade exploded for 38 points in a 99-90 win over Boston in Game 1 in a tie that the Heat had won at the break. And his support came from an unexpected place: bench player James Jones. Jones, who will be getting everyone on the Kool Aid if he continues to put in 25-point performances like he did in Game 1 - outshone high-profile players LeBron James (22) and Chris Bosh (7). The Celtics' decision to rid themselves of Kendrick Perkins may not have hurt against New York (who they trampled 4-0), but it'll come back to bite them in the Miami heat.

PREDICTION: Miami wins 4-2 in an entertaining series.

Can Dallas keep rewriting the Hollywood script?

OK, so we still don't understand what happened on Monday night. The Dallas Mavericks were dead and buried in the second half, losing by 16 points. They were even down by seven at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Mavericks came back, outscoring the Lakers 25-16 in the final period. We still don't think they've managed to take Jack Nicholson's jaw off the floor. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs, scoring 28 points. Five of his team-mates also got into double figures - compared with just three on the Lakers. The Lakers will need to use someone other than Kobe Bryant if they are to get through - although his 36 definitely came in handy!

PREDICTION: Lakers come back, winning 4-3.

Can Atlanta keep running the Bulls?

An ankle injury to Chicago's Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose helped the Atlanta Hawks to a 103-95 victory over their hosts. The worry for the Bulls is that if Rose remains injured, they have much-reduced firepower. Luol Deng may be good, but Luol Deng on his own against Atlanta's firepower? We're not giving them a lot of chance - especially if Joe Johnson remains as brilliant as he was from 3-point range, where he dropped 5 from 5 en route to a 38-point day.

PREDICTION: Bulls win 4-3

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