If you survived watching Wednesday's three elimination games and your heart is still in tact, and if you have no desire to watch the NFL Draft, then Thursday's NBA Playoff schedule is for you. While the NHL Playoffs first round action has been thrilling as well, nothing compares to and NBA elimination game in the playoffs. Thursday's schedule features the Portland Trail Blazers fighting for their playoff lives against Dallas; the Orlando Magic trying to avoid a humiliating defeat at the hands (beaks) of the Hawks; and the poor New Orleans Hornets who have no chance against the L.A. Lakers' playoff machine.
First up is Game 6 of the Orlando Magic vs. the Atlanta Hawks at 4:30 p.m. Arizona time on NBA TV. The Hawks are up 3-2 in the series and blew their first chance to eliminate the Magic on the road. Now they return home and hope that Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson can continue dominating their wing match ups. The Magic finally saw their long balls go through the hoop in Game 5 and they are praying that will continue for them. Dwight Howard's shoulders are only so big.
Next up is Game 6 of the the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the New Orleans Hornets at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time on TNT. The Lakers are up 3-2 in the series with Game 6 in New Orleans. Chris Paul has been the best player in the playoffs so far but the Lakers have won 10 of their last 12 chances to eliminate their playoff opponent. Kobe's big dunks in Game 5 proved he's healthy and when the Lakers smell blood, it's all but over.
Game 6 of the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Portland Trail Blazers is in Rip City at 10:30 p.m. Arizona time on TNT. The Mavericks took a 3-2 lead but haven't yet been able to win on the road in this series. It's highly likely that trend will continue tonight. Look for this series to go to a Game 7 back in Texas where the Mavericks should be able to close it out and finally face the Lakers and give us the first-ever Dirk vs. Kobe playoff series.