So the Knicks, Thunder, and Bulls are all down 3-1. Here are my takes on each team’s chances of pulling a comeback in their respective series:
To say the Knicks, who now trail the Indiana Pacers 3-1, have lost their mojo is an understatement. Things are falling apart for Mike Woodson’s squad and their previously formidable offensive attack is floundering . On offense they collectively have the confused look that Javale McGee has on his face at all times. You want to know how bad things are in New York? New Yorkers are begging Woodson to play Chris Copeland more. Chris Copeland! Copeland is not necessarily at all defensively serviceable, but he’s a gifted scorer and the Knicks need offense. Personally, I’ve hopped aboard the Copeland train. But the Knicks are also going to need J.R. Smith to wake up from the nightmare series he has had so far. (Smith is shooting 28% this series, which means that his field goal percentage is directly proportional to the chances that either of my two cats are awake right now.) Carmelo Anthony needs to heat up too. And, ya know, it might be a teency bit nice if New York got a rebound or two. Actually, let’s leave it at one, we don’t want to push our luck.
Chances of a Knicks comeback: Very low, but not quite infinitesimal
The Grizzlies are straight balling right now and the Thunder clearly miss Russ Westbrook. Can the Thunder make a comeback against Memphis? I know this is going to sound crazy given the fact that he has been great so far this series, but Kevin Durant needs to be better for the Thunder to have a chance. I mean, he’s gotta be transcendent. The help from his supporting cast just isn’t there. As much as I would love to see Reggie Jackson suddenly turn into Westbrook, it ain’t happening. K-Mart isn’t giving the Thunder a whole lot either. This is really a situation where Durant needs to put on his big boy pants, hit the court and start dropping 40 a night on Memphis Michael Jordan style, because that’s the only way OKC is going to make a comeback here. The Thunder also need to up their defensive intensity. Allowing Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley all to put in at least 23 points the way they did in game four is quite plainly inexcusable. That ain’t Thunder basketball! They’re a better defensive team than that!!! (Maybe they need a little Rocky Balboa style inspiration.)
Chances of a Thunder comeback: Low, but not out of the question
You wanna know what’s the scary thing about the 65 points the Bulls scored in game four of their series with Miami? The Bulls dominated the Heat on the boards. They were +10 in total rebounds and +12 in offensive rebounds. And they still only scored 65 points! Their leading scorer, Carlos Boozer, who finished with 14 points, went 3 of 14 from the field. I still don’t think the Heat are playing their best basketball, but the talent gap between their squad and the Bulls is slightly larger than the talent gap between the Houston Astros and your typical Single A baseball team (so not that big…). This series was over from the moment it started, even though the Bulls did manage to magically steal game one. It is one thing to steal a game. Stealing a seven game series is something else entirely.
Chances of a Bulls comeback: 0%