Even Kate and William are caught up in the Grizzlies hype
By: Corby Yarbrough | 4/30/11, 9:08 PM EDT
Memphis seems to have some royal support for its playoff run
It's on to the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Memphis and Atlanta lead the upset charge after knocking off the No. 1 and No. 4 seed in their respective conferences. Now Memphis gets the No. 4 in the West while Atlanta gets the No. 1 in the East. Can they do it again?
Eastern Conference Semifinals
No. 1 CHICAGO vs. No. 5 ATLANTA
Regular season series: Bulls 2-1
The Bulls, as usual, went as Derrick Rose went in their series against the Pacers. They might not have the services of Carlos Boozer due to a turf toe injury, but that might not make a difference; he barely showed up in the first round whereas backup Taj Gibson did. The Pacers series should serve as a wake-up call. Atlanta managed to get a series win over Orlando thanks to the Magic shooting miserably from the floor. Kirk Hinrich injured his hamstring in the series-winning game and looks to be a no-go against his old team. Chicago's defense will be too much for the Hawks to handle. BULLS in 5
No. 2 MIAMI vs. No. 3 BOSTON
Regular season series: Celtics 3-1
The Celtics won the season series, but their three wins came by an average of 4.3 points. At times in the Knicks series it seemed as if Rajon Rondo was the only productive Celtic. Boston will certainly need more than Rondo to get past Miami. The Heat have no depth and it will be interesting to see how that translates over a long series. But the emergence of Chris Bosh near the end of the season and his playoff performance (19.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg) finally makes the big three The Big Three. HEAT in 7
Western Conference Semifinals
No. 2 L.A. LAKERS vs. No. 3 DALLAS
Regular season series: Lakers 2-1
To get past the two-time defending champs the Mavericks have to find a way to get past the Lakers' two 7-footers and Lamar Odom. Dallas only had to deal with LaMarcus Aldridge's size in its last series, but do the Mavericks have an answer for three post players? No. And then there's the job of guarding Kobe Bryant, twisted ankle or not. Even with a limping Kobe, the size will win this matchup. LAKERS in 5
No. 4 OKLAHOMA CITY vs. No. 8 MEMPHIS
Regular season series: Grizzlies 3-1
The Grizzlies could not be in a better situation confidence wise. Memphis became just the second No. 8 seed in the seven-game, first-round setup to knock off a No. 1, and now the Grizzlies get a Thunder team they defeated 3-1 during the regular season. The two former Northwest franchises — Memphis in Vancouver and OKC in Seattle — are both coming off their first series wins in their new homes. This series is a complete toss up with the high both teams are on right now. Whichever organization comes off that high first will be the one that calls it a season. THUNDER in 6
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
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