Parity has struck the NBA playoffs, where the conference semifinals are all fit to be tied. The four current series are all knotted at one...
Parity has struck the NBA playoffs, where the conference semifinals are all fit to be tied.
The four current series are all knotted at one game apiece — the first time that’s happened in the second round of the NBA playoffs since the league went to its current format more than a quarter-century ago. For favorites like Miami, New York, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, home-court advantage has disappeared, and now it’s the underdogs who can control their own fates simply by taking care of business on their home floors.
The Heat, Knicks, Spurs and Thunder are four of the league’s top five winningest road teams this season. That probably isn’t being received as great news for Chicago, Indiana, Golden State and Memphis, the lower-seeded clubs who will be hosting pivotal Game 3’s when NBA playoff action resumes on Friday and Saturday.
“Pretty cool. The NBA’s loving it,” Heat forward LeBron James said. “When it comes to the playoffs, I always continue to say no matter how many games you win or lose in the regular season, once you get to the playoffs everybody’s record is 0-0. So I think it’s great.”
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After a first round with only two sweeps — by Miami and San Antonio, probably the favorites in the Eastern and Western Conferences, especially after Oklahoma City lost Russell Westbrook to a knee injury — the tone for the second round was set pretty quickly around the league. Miami lost Game 1 at home to a wounded and weary team from Chicago. San Antonio needed a huge comeback to beat Golden State in Game 1 of their series, then saw the Warriors come back and take Game 2.
The Knicks lost Game 1 to Indiana before evening up their matchup, and the Thunder is likely feeling lucky it’s not in an 0-2 hole after Memphis had plenty of chances to take the opening game of their series.
• Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant claims he never gave his mother Pamela permission to sell some of his basketball mementos. Bryant’s lawyers have asked New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions to terminate plans to sell items from Bryant’s high-school days and early Lakers career.
• Lakers forward Pau Gasol will not resume basketball-related activities for 12 weeks after undergoing a procedure aimed at curbing pain in his knees. He is expected to make a full recovery from the fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy procedure, an attempt to eliminate scar tissue.
• Amare Stoudemire will likely be limited to about 10 to 15 minutes per game if he is able to return during New York’s playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.
• Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri was named the NBA’s executive of the year.