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Four 3-1 series, do we see four series closeouts Tuesday? No.

May 8, 2012, 1:47 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics - Game Four Getty Images

Four games — every one of them featuring a team up 3-1 in a best-of-seven series.

Tuesday night could see four series close out in the NBA playoffs.

Not likely.

We’re not sure who, but someone will push the series forward to a Game 6. One team will lose some days off to rest. That said, we will see closeouts. We are going to see what some call a “Gentlemen’s Sweep” (a team could have won in four but took its foot off the gas and let the other team win a game). We are going to see playoff series set.

Here is a quick look at each of Tuesday’s games, in order of potential Game 6s being forced.

Boston at Atlanta, Celtics up 3-1: This series may have been decided way back in Game 2, when Boston won on the road without Rajon Rondo while Josh Smith got hurt for Atlanta. In Tuesday’s Game 5 back at home Al Horford and Marvin Williams will move into the starting lineup for the Hawks, and they will have Josh Smith. Boston will play all of its key guys, despite some injuries — Paul Pierce’s knee and Avery Bradley’s shoulder in particular. Boston has simply executed better in this series, looking stronger each game, but expect a more desperate Hawks team at home. Joe Johnson wants to take more shots and he is capable of getting hot. Jeff Teague has been good and could outplay Rondo for a night. Atlanta has been to the second round the last couple years and will not roll over. Boston is going to have to work to earn the extra rest that comes with no Game 6.

Denver at Los Angeles, Lakers up 3-1: Denver knows the model to win — run the Lakers into the ground with a scattered, up-tempo game — but the Lakers have largely resisted playing along. Los Angeles has turned their wins into a traditional half-court basketball games and used their superior size and skill up front with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to get the victories. Well, that plus that Kobe Bryant guy is pretty good. The Lakers should close this out at home, but they have yet to really fire on all cylinders for any game and would you really be shocked if they had one of their “mental vacation” games tonight? Neither would I.

Philadelphia at Chicago, 76ers up 3-1: Again we have a young team trying to get a road close out win in the playoffs, something that they will learn is not easy to do. But the Bulls are just so banged up — Derrick Rose is out with his knee injury and Joakim Noah is a game-time decision, he shot without a brace on his sprained ankle during shootaround Tuesday, but he likely will not go and even if he does he’s not going to be 100 percent. Chicago has guys like Luol Deng who could take over for a game, but Philly is finding its groove from early in the season when they were surprising everyone. Spencer Hawes has always been key to their offense — he can stretch the defense and his passing skills move the ball side-to-side for Philly, getting better looks. He’s found his game again. Expect Philly to close it out.

Orlando at Indiana, Pacers up 3-1: In Game 1 Orlando came out with playoff intensity and Indiana came out like a wide-eyed young team that had never really been there before. Midway through Game 2 Indiana woke up and said, “wait, they don’t have Dwight Howard, we should be beating these guys” and it has gone that way ever since. Orlando plays hard, Stan Van Gundy knows how to coach. But in the end Indy has Roy Hibbert, David West and Danny Granger and talent wins out in this league. The Pacers will close this out.

  1. mungman69 - May 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Sixers just might have won this series straight up. You will never know.

    • comeonnowguys - May 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Santa Claus may have just gave me a pony last Christmas.

  2. dal24la - May 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    “The Lakers should close this out at home, but they have yet to really fire on all cylinders for any game and would you really be shocked if they had one of their “mental vacation” games tonight? Neither would I.”
    Did you not see game 1 versus Denver? That was a “fire on all cylinders game” in every sense. Lakers won by 13, Kobe got 30pts on 11/24, Pau nearly had triple double, Bynum DID put up a triple double, Ebanks put up 12 and 5 (in 19 minutes), etc. Need I go on?

    • tanna456 - May 8, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      To @dal24la; Not to nitpick but you said about the Lakers: “but they have yet to really fire on all cylinders for any game,” but then you go on to say about game 1: “Did you not see game 1 versus Denver? That was a “fire on all cylinders game” in every sense.” Which is it? You’re obviously a Lakers fan so I won’t just straight out hate on this particular comment, but I’m looking forward to them losing to OKC! Go Durant!!!!

      • anythingbutyanks - May 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        You missed the part where “have yet to fire…” was in quotes, as it came from Helin. Dal24la is responding to that. And Dal may be a Laker homer, but I pretty much just see facts about game one, not opinions.

  3. dal24la - May 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    IMO I say LA, closes out game (Lakers have only lost 1 game 5 since 08; undefeated at home in game 5s).
    Pacers close out, but I think Hawks and Bulls survive for one more game.

    • anythingbutyanks - May 8, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      You really want to cite their history of “game 5’s”? A game 5 could be played with 8 different W-L and Home-Away variations, plus this team has changed since ’08. It is an interesting fact, but has no bearing on the likely outcome tonight.

      • dal24la - May 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        ” It is an interesting fact, but has no bearing on the likely outcome tonight.”
        I completely agree with you, I just like interesting facts/stats like that.

  4. aboogy123456 - May 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    People will disagree, but I think the Lakers should just rest their starters tonight. The benefit of having Ron back for Game 1 against the Thunder is huge and worth dragging this series out two more days. Worst case, they win without the starters and get extra game of rest anyways. The playoffs don’t start for LA until next round and it’s important to be at full strength.

    • gpatrick15 - May 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      You don’t rest your starters in the middle of a playoff series. It’s all fun and games until Denver (hypothetically) gets hot and gets momentum going in their favor and stretch the series out.

      • aboogy123456 - May 8, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        Benefit of having Ron back for game 1 > risk of losing series by extending it one game

        Plus, when Lakers are actually trying and Bynum decides to move his feet, Denver stands no chance, no matter how hot they get.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Throwing a game?

      Competitors look for challenges. With Ebanks and HIll stepping up and PERKINS POSSIBLY NOT PLAYING AT ALL IN THE SERIES, Ron ain’t making THAT much of a difference if they close it out tonight or not.

      • aboogy123456 - May 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        Ron makes a HUGE difference, Ebanks stepping up? You’re dellusional. Yea Ebanks has been playing really awesome defense, but what has he done on offense? This is the oklahoma city thunder, not the bobcats, you can’t take them lightly. Ron might be the x factor in that series for his defense on durant, and he can actually stretch the defense by shooting open threes.

        Competitors look for challenges?? ok, cool. I want the lakers to win, so hopefully perk does sit out and it’s less of a challenge.

        Btw did you see ebanks get pulled with 9 minutes remaining in the first quarter last game? Ron has been in the best shape in years, he’s going to play a big role in the playoffs, I just hope he comes back sooner. What does perkins not playing have to do with the lakers decision to rest or not rest one game?

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    They’re all ending tonight. The only one that has a CHANCE is a desperate (and they never show such desperation) Hawks team. Orlando’s Game 1 win was a fluke, the Bulls are just as short-handed as the Knicks are vs. Miami and are playing a team that doesn’t quit. The Sixers probably would have won that series in 6 or 7 anyway, though.

    The Lakers will close it out. The genius who thinks they should rest, with Kobe’s killer instinct demanding otherwise, needs to go back to watching quidditch.

    The Knicks will win Game 5 tomorrow, but beyond that, I don’t know.

    • chicitybulls - May 8, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      So the short handed Bulls lose at home but the short handed Knicks win on the road against a better team? Ok. That makes sense.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Lazy analysis.

        It’s all about matchups. The Bulls don’t have any advantages anywhere.

        The Knicks still have three guys who can drop 20. The Bulls don’t have ANY (unless someone has a career night).

      • aboogy123456 - May 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Mr. Wright, more like Mr. Wrong.

      • bozosforall - May 9, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        @Mr. Wright

        Carlos says that you must be a Boozer and Luol says to suck his Deng. Guess two guys proved you wrong.

  6. bozosforall - May 8, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Either way, the Celtics aren’t winning a title this year…or anytime soon.

    • bozosforall - May 9, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Looks like the river of De Nial continues to run through the craphole that they call Boston.

  7. bozosforall - May 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Once again, a team from Boston CHOKED.


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