May 2, 2016, 9:53 am
Game 7s are always an intense and fun atmosphere to watch. Sunday brought us two in what was a first round full of injuries and plenty of blowouts. The Hornets had an excellent chance to put the Heat away in Game 6 on Friday, but they couldn’t capitalize and had to travel to Miami on Sunday. That was the kiss of death on a great season. I’ll spare you the Jordan crying memes. The Raptors and Pacers figured to be a much closer fight and they delivered. DeMar DeRozan showed up again with 30 points and will be marching on to round two. Canada lives on. Meanwhile, round two is underway in the Western Conference and the Warriors aren’t skipping a beat without their MVP. It’s all here in Monday’s Daily Dish:
HEAT 106, HORNETS 73
The Hornets blew any chance that they had to take this series when they couldn’t get it done at home in Game 6 on Friday.
“I’m not a prophet or anything,” Dwyane Wade said, “but I knew we were winning this game.”
Not only was Wade right, but the Heat never trailed in Sunday’s Game 7 win. Wade finished with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, six boards and one assist in 25 minutes. The Heat led by 30 after the third quarter and most of the starters weren’t needed in the fourth quarter. The blowout theme dominated round one throughout the NBA Playoffs.
The biggest star for the Heat was Goran Dragic, who dazzled owners on Sunday. Dragic shot 11-for-17 from the field for 25 points with two threes, six rebounds, four assists and one block in 32 minutes. Luol Deng added 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field with two threes, eight boards and four assists. Owners in playoff leagues are pleased to see the Miami starters advance.
Joe Johnson cooled off a bit, shooting 3-for-10 from the field for nine points with one three, four rebounds, four assists and one steal. These are the numbers you can come to expect from Johnson these days. He is not a superb option for DFS owners.
Staying consistent isn’t always a bad thing. Hassan Whiteside kept the block party going with five on Sunday, passing Alonzo Mourning for the most blocks in a series by a Heat player with 24 (Zo had 21). Whiteside finished 4-for-8 from the field and 2-for-4 from the line for 10 points with 12 boards, one assist and five blocks. He will be paid handsomely this summer.
It was an all around ugly game for the Hornets, who shot 32.1% from the floor as a team. They ended the season just as they began it, with a loss to Miami. Kemba Walker came off a terrific 37-point performance in Game 6 just to fall short. He didn’t come near that total on Sunday. Walker went cold, shooting 3-for-16 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line for nine points with one three ball, two boards, six assists and one steal. His top-20 finish this season was one of fantasy’s best values. Kemba will be a hot commodity in the fantasy community next season.
Frank Kaminsky led Charlotte in scoring with 12 points (3-for-15 FGs, 4-for-4 FTs), which should tell you just how bad of a night it was for the Hornets. Nicolas Batum (foot) came off the bench and played 29 minutes, shooting 3-for-9 from the field and 3-for-3 from the line for 10 points with one three ball, five boards and two assists. Batum had his highs this season but he needs to stay healthy and land in a good situation to be trusted as a high asset in fantasy leagues next season.
Marvin Williams (elbow) also played through an injury, contributing just five points on 1-of-3 shooting in the loss on Sunday. Williams shot 27.1% in the postseason and the elbow injury is a big reason. He was one of fantasy’s biggest surprises this season and will test free agency in the offseason. The Hornets could look very different as not only Batum and Marvin Williams are free agents, but Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lee will be free agents as well.
With the win, the Heat advance to the Eastern Conference semi-finals to take on the Toronto Raptors.