We now know who the final four will be after a hard fought Sunday where we say good-bye to 4 more teams! Semi-Finals kick off at 7pm this Sunday and the action should be extremely entertaining as we get a couple great match-ups. Let's get right to it.
BULLETS vs WARRIORS: This game was not pretty to say the least but the heavily favored Warriors were able to grind it out! The Bullets were without their GM Patrick who was getting married on this day and it woulda had to have been a legit excuse for him to miss this one. Javan and his teammates were trying to deliver him an awesome wedding gift by getting him the win but it was not meant to be. They had their chances and kept the powerhouse Warriors in check the whole game but just could not hit key shots during the game. The Dubs turned it over 18 times and shot 28% from the field...but unfortunately the Bullets turned it over 16 times themselves and shot 27.6%. Gopal hit a couple big triples for the Orange squad and played some very solid defence while Amit carried the scoring load with 18. They are still gonna have to play a heck of a lot better to advance to back to back finals as their opponent this Sunday will be ready for them. The Warriors only had 3 guys score in this game and the role guys did not play up to expectations and could have been the reason they lost. The Bullets missed way too many point blank shots and were extremely careless with the ball. They still had a solid season and will now have the offseason to work on their game and come back stronger.
Final Score: Bullets 31 - 38 Warriors Player of the Game - GOPAL Narasimhaiah 8pts/13rebs/4stls - 2 Triples
CELTICS vs NUGGETS: This was a thrilling game despite the low score...heck it was 11 to 11 af half-time lol...but the second half was a back and forth battle and the Celtics pushed the Nuggets to the brink. GM Ray had flashbacks of the previous season where they lost 34 to 32 in the quarters to the Warriors. Asok hit a huge three in the last minute to win it after trading blows back and forth down the stretch. In the last stages of this game Mr. Abdul Wahedi hit a huge triple to give the C's a 31 to 28 lead and you can see the frustration on GM Ray's face. I have previously talked about how the Nuggets offence sometimes just disappears and it was happening throughout this game where they would go on droughts which would give the other team a chance to steal it. I mean the Celtics played pretty badly themselves as everyone not named Abdul combined to shoot 3 for 25! Umaraj who has been fantastic this season...chose a bad time to have his worst game of the year as he finished with only 3 points and 1 assist...give credit to the defence of the Nuggets who threw multiple guard defenders at him. With all that being said, they still had a chance to upset the top seeded Nuggets as their man defence proved to be highly effective and GM Ray's team could not get too many clean looks from the outside. The big play of the game was when Dwayne was left wide open for a 3 in the final minute and he missed it...but the rebound came straight back to him (not acceptable for him to be that wide open for a 3 and to get his own rebound!) and he calmly passed it over to Chris who made the clutch shot of the night with a big time triple to tie the game! Abdul misses a close range shot on the other end and the Nuggets come back with a layup by Glenn to take a 2 point lead. Momentum shifted...disaster adverted for the Nuggets...well not so fast...Abdul had one last effort to tie the game but misses a shot...but Jey with a huge offensive rebound and kick out to GM Jso for the triple and the lead...but it hits back rim and just pops out...BUT WAIT...he gets the foul call on the 3pt attempt!. So now the GM of the C's who really wanted to make a statement this season after finishing last the previous season gets a chance to tie or take the lead with a couple seconds left on the clock. Unfortunately...he misses all three attempts...damn...devastating ending for Jso and the green squad. The team did not play very well at all but they were that close to getting into the Semis. Nuggets survive a nail biter and will now face the Grizzlies in the Semis.
Final Score: Celtics 31 - 33 Nuggets Player of the Game - CHRIS Searles 16pts/7rebs/1ast/2stls - 2 Triples
TIMBERWOLVES: This game was suppose to be a good one but the Grizzlies led wire to wire and were never in danger of losing. They were only playing with 5 players and had no subs and still managed to win it pretty easily on the backs of Anthony's offence and Nisan's defence! Nisan controlled the boards and limited second chance opportunities for the Wolves and also had 4 big time blocks! Anthony was incredible in the fast break as always and hit a couple dagger triples. The Wolves had a full team but they were the ones who looked tired in this game and they were out of rhythm the entire night. Manveer could not get his shot going as well as Ragu and Manish. Thuva also struggled from the field and finished with 14 but the lack of energy was evident and it came at a bad time. I don't know if whether they thought this game would be easy (especially without the Grizz having any subs) but they did not bring the intensity needed in a playoff game. They could have easily pressured the Grizz the entire game and rotated their players off the bench...they could have double teamed Anthony consistently and make a conscious effort to have someone back on transition every play...but none of this was happening and the team just played their worst game of the year. They will now have a long summer ahead thinking about what could have been as they were a strong team that could have held the championship trophy but there is always next season. GM Vimal will make his first appearance in the Semis and he has done a great job keeping team focused on the task at hand and not worry about arguing with each other all the time. Grizz vs Nuggets this Sunday!
Final Score: Grizzlies 46 - 34 Twolves Player of the Game - ANTHONY Jeyakanthan 27pts/1reb/1ast/3stls/1blk - 4Triples
JAZZ vs BLAZERS: The Blazers finally did it. They have overcome the team that took them out in last season's Semi-finals and also beat them during this regular season. They were missing Nishant who was out of the country but the rest of the team stepped up in his absence. Starting with Nirojan 'NJ' Krishna who played incredible in this one as he got his teammates involved with some sweet dimes and also made timely shots (12points) and lastly...played some incredible defence on Demone. He pretty much did it all in this one especially in the first half and then he let Vijith Nava take over in the second half. Vijith had 5 points in the first half but exploded for 18 in the second half and he was simply unstoppable. He made 5 triples whis is 2 more three's than the entire team of the Jazz and this team is extremely tough to beat when he gets it going from the outside. GM Annojh gets his team back into the Semis and he will look to try to get them one step closer to the top of the mountain. The Jazz will not win back to back championships and their season was shaky this year as they did not have the same type of flow from Season 2. They had player's in and out of the lineup and the talent got better in the league so there was less room for mistakes. It will be interesting to see if GM Sayon brings back the same core for next season or if he blows it up. The only thing for certain is that there will be a new ETBL Champ in Season 3!
Final Score: Jazz 35 - 52 Blazers Player of the Game - VIJITH Nava 23pts/3rebs/4asts/0TO - 5 Triples - 53% Shooting