5 things to watch in the NBA's first round - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

5 things to watch in the NBA's first round

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon). Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6), left, and guard Chris Paul (3) talk on the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon). Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6), left, and guard Chris Paul (3) talk on the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer

Five things to watch in the first round of the NBA playoffs, which begin Saturday:

GAME 3 IN BOSTON: April 26, 8 p.m., Knicks at Celtics. You won't want to be one second late for the start of that telecast on ESPN, because if the scene at the first Bruins game since the Boston Marathon explosions was any indicator, then the emotions that pour out from the stands in the Celtics' first home game since that tragedy may be unprecedented. The NBA got the scheduling right - all basketball-watching eyes will be on Boston for that game, as they should be, and the other two matchups that evening are later games on the West coast. Regardless of what happens in the first two games of that series in Madison Square Garden, the Celtics will have to be heavy favorites in Game 3.

___

JAMES HARDEN'S RETURN: Given that he shot only 38 percent during the NBA Finals last season, it could be argued that James Harden hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder then, and now he'll try to do it again - just while wearing the uniform of the Houston Rockets. Maybe it's fitting that Harden and the Thunder meet in the first round, after talks about an extension broke down reportedly when the team offered a $55 million deal and the player insisted on $60 million. Yes, one of Harden's best games this season came against the Thunder, a 46-point outing in February. But his only trip back to Oklahoma City this season resulted in one of his worst games, a 3-for-16 shooting effort. Whatever angst he felt then, he'll likely feel something similar in Game 1 on Sunday.

___

WHAT WAS JENNINGS THINKING?: Nothing inspires reigning MVP LeBron James more than the playoffs, with the possible exception of hearing someone say he's going to lose in the first round. So maybe Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings shouldn't have told the crowd at the Wisconsin Sports Awards that he and the Bucks were going to beat the Miami Heat in six games. Granted, every athlete always thinks they're going to win - which is perfectly understandable, since really, what else are they going to say? But some of the things Jennings has said in recent weeks about the Heat, like how Milwaukee matches up with the defending champions, has captured Miami's attention. Odds of the Heat overlooking the Bucks now: About zero, possibly less.

___

HELLO, BROOKLYN: When the Nets face the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night, it'll mark the first time a Brooklyn team (at least from one of the four major U.S. pro sports) has hosted a playoff game since Oct. 10, 1956. The Yankees beat Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers 9-0 in Game 7 of the World Series in that one, and a mere half-century-and-change later, Brooklyn fans are finally getting a chance to cheer at another playoff game. The Nets' bounceback season has almost seemed overlooked at times year - this is the franchise's first time in the playoffs since 2007 and its first time hosting a Game 1 since the New Jersey days of 2006. And the Nets are heading into the postseason on a bit of a roll, having won six of their last seven games.

___

CLIPPERS-GRIZZLIES RENEWED: The only first-round rematch from a year ago might shape up to be a classic this time around. The Clippers went into Memphis and won a Game 7 last season, and Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Co. will have the home-court edge for this series. Some of the stats posted by these teams this season are ridiculously identical. Both went 56-26 overall, with identical home (32-9) and away (24-17) records. The Clippers were 35-17 in games against Western Conference opponents and the Grizzlies were 34-18 in those games. If this matchup doesn't go the distance again, basketball fans might get short-changed. The winner will face either the Thunder or the Rockets, and probably will be a bit tired when that second-round series starts.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Victims identified in Conway double murder

    Victims identified in Conway double murder

    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:38 AM EDT2018-08-19 15:38:37 GMT
    Source: Ian Klein/WMBF NewsSource: Ian Klein/WMBF News

    CONWAY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after two individuals were found dead in a Conway home.  According to Capt. John Harrelson with the HCPD the bodies were found in a home on the 4000 block of Highway 19 in Conway. Details are extremely limited at this time. WMBF will continue to provide more information as it comes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

    More >>

    CONWAY, SC (WMBF) — Horry County Police are investigating Saturday after two individuals were found dead in a Conway home.  According to Capt. John Harrelson with the HCPD the bodies were found in a home on the 4000 block of Highway 19 in Conway. Details are extremely limited at this time. WMBF will continue to provide more information as it comes available. Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

    More >>
  • Scotland County deputies 'Stuff-a-Cruiser', starting students semesters successfully

    Scotland County deputies 'Stuff-a-Cruiser', starting students semesters successfully

    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:23 AM EDT2018-08-19 15:23:18 GMT
    Source: Sheriff Ralph KerseySource: Sheriff Ralph Kersey
    Source: Sheriff Ralph KerseySource: Sheriff Ralph Kersey
    SCOTLAND COUNTY, NC (WMBF) — For the third consecutive year the Scotland County Sheriff's Office provided school supplies to students in need through the 'Stuff-a-Crusier' program. Sheriff Ralph Kersey estimates 800 families received aid Saturday with the help of the program. The Scotland County Sheriff's Office partnered with the Scotland County Chapter of the NAACP as well as Scotland High School in 2015 to help make the donations possible.  Beginning a f...More >>
    SCOTLAND COUNTY, NC (WMBF) — For the third consecutive year the Scotland County Sheriff's Office provided school supplies to students in need through the 'Stuff-a-Crusier' program. Sheriff Ralph Kersey estimates 800 families received aid Saturday with the help of the program. The Scotland County Sheriff's Office partnered with the Scotland County Chapter of the NAACP as well as Scotland High School in 2015 to help make the donations possible.  Beginning a f...More >>
  • Darlington County deputies investigating overnight shooting

    Darlington County deputies investigating overnight shooting

    Sunday, August 19 2018 10:55 AM EDT2018-08-19 14:55:18 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) — Police are still attempting to understand Sunday what led to one victim being shot overnight in Darlington County.  Lt. Robby Kilgo with DCSO says authorities are still investigating after a victim was shot just after midnight outside of a residence on Birdsnest Road. The victim was transported to the hospital with the extent of the gunshot wounds still unknown at this time. WMBF News will continue to update this developing story.  ...

    More >>

    DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) — Police are still attempting to understand Sunday what led to one victim being shot overnight in Darlington County.  Lt. Robby Kilgo with DCSO says authorities are still investigating after a victim was shot just after midnight outside of a residence on Birdsnest Road. The victim was transported to the hospital with the extent of the gunshot wounds still unknown at this time. WMBF News will continue to update this developing story.  ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly