NBA Playoffs 2011: Schedule, Picks and Analysis for Heat vs. Bulls and More

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NBA Playoffs 2011: Schedule, Picks and Analysis for Heat vs. Bulls and More
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The 2011 NBA playoffs have officially advanced to the conference finals with some truly great matchups on the floor.

Sunday the Oklahoma City Thunder took care of the surprising Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Thunder star Kevin Durant showed why he's one of the elite players in the league, dropping 39 points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three shots.

Although teammate Russell Westbrook shot just 4-for-12, what's really scary is he made a lot of great decisions on the floor, registering 14 assists and showing that he could find teammates with relative ease if he tried. Westbrook's been criticized for forcing things offensively in the playoffs.

The Thunder will visit the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.

Sunday also marked Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, featuring the Miami Heat and the host Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls are led by 22-year-old Derrick Rose, who scored 28 points in their 103-82 opening win. Heat star LeBron James struggled from the field against the vaunted Bulls defense, and Dwyane Wade—well, he just got posterized by Bulls forward Taj Gibson.

Perhaps the most concerning thing for the Heat in Game 1 was the rebounding differential, getting outrebounded 45-33 and giving up 19 offensive rebounds. It's no surprise given the Bulls led the league in rebounding differential during the regular season.

Watch center Joakim Noah play and you realize why the Bulls are so dangerous on the glass. Noah grabbed 14 rebounds in Game 1.

For this and a whole lot more, tune in after the (page) break, folks.

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