The San Antonio Spurs are clearly the class of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. They breezed through the Utah Jazz and swept their first round series in one of the two games on the schedule Monday night. The Spurs are showing a potent combination of veteran execution with an infusion of young athletes. We can't wait to see them face the Thunder (if OKC can get by the Lakers).
In the other game on Monday's schedule, the Los Angeles Clippers took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies. Overall, Memphis is the better team but they don't play well enough as a unit to overcome the star power of Chris Paul. The series heads back to Tennessee for Game 5 on Wednesday.
Here's a look at the four games on Tuesday's 2012 NBA Playoff schedule. All four games feature a team with a 3-1 lead trying to close out their series:
Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT on NBA TV
The sooner this one is over, the better. We have to give the Magic credit for winning a game and forcing overtime in another. They've played hard but just can't compete with the Pacers. Indiana, for their part, should have been more dominant in the series which doesn't bode well for them moving forward.
Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT on TNT
Joe Johnson has been a virtual non-factor in this series which is not want you need from a guy making max-player money. The Hawks have some interesting decisions to making in the offseason, which will likely start very soon.
Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on NBA TV
The 76ers are really showing something here and if they can close out the banged up Bulls on the road, they will have a lot of momentum heading into the next round. They are clearly the surprise of the playoffs so far.
Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT on TNT
The Lakers let one go on the road in the high altitude of Denver, but they won't let that happen again. The Nuggets simply can't run fast enough to make the Lakers bigs tired.