Shaq: Denver “Back,” Knicks “Whooped”

May 13, 2024

The second round of the NBA Playoffs are creating some interesting stories and hot races. The Finals are still a long way off, and so far, no clear favorite has emerged, at least not as far as we can see. And that “we” includes our man Shaq and the Inside the NBA crew.

Last night (as of this posting date), the Denver Nuggets showed some big signs of why they are the defending NBA Champs. The Nuggets beat the under-the-radar Minnesota Timberwolves 115-107. That pulls that series to even at two games each. 

Were the Nuggets – led by the Joker – having some kind of letdown? Or were they just finding their playoff footing? Hard to say, but the criticism was already bubbling when Denver went down the Wolves 0-2 to start their Western Series matchup.

Seems Denver has finally found their groove after that rough start. They picked up back-to-back wins at Minnesota to put the pressure back on the Timberwolves and take back home-court advantage, as the series now goes back to the mile-high city.

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After the game last night, NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal had one thought after the Nuggets Game 4 win in Minnesota. He said simply, “The champs are back.” Does that mean he’s picking them for a repeat? Well, not so fast. 

With just three games remaining in that series, there’s only a slight home-arena advantage. Game Five is in Denver, but then it comes right back to the Target Center. If needed, Game Seven will be in Denver. Gonna be interesting, for sure. 

Meanwhile, the other headline-grabbing series has been in the East, with the Indiana Pacers putting up some major numbers on the New York Knicks. In Game 4 of that series on Sunday, the Indiana Pacers blew out the New York Knicks with a final 121-89.

Through three quarters, the Pacers had an insurmountable 38-point lead. They were able to sit their starters for the entire fourth quarter. In 28 minutes of action, Tyrese Haliburton was sensational, dropping 20 points on 8 of 15 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists.

Once again, Shaq had some simple and to-the-point insights on that game. Afterwards, he said on TNT, “In the hood, they call that an a**-whooping.” 

The Knicks have had more than their share of post-season injuries, for sure. They just didn’t have the horsepower to keep up with the Pacers, and the final score reflected that. Now, the Knicks look to bounce back in Game 5 against the Pacers, tomorrow night (Tuesday, May 14th).

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