|Posted on May 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM|
Best plays of the second round:
- Watch Derrick Rose make a strong crossover and finish with a big dunk.
- Watch Dwyane Wade turn Kevin Garnett inside out with an unbelievable step-step move.
- Watch Kevin Durant serve up a facial dunk on Zach Randolph.
- Watch Josh Smith slam home a beautiful alley-oop.
- Watch Russell Westbrook's tomohawk dunk.
- Watch Derrick Rose make one of the highest shots you will ever see.
Best individual performances of the second round:
- In game 3, against the Heat, Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 18 rebounds.
- Dwyane Wade scored 38 points in the Miami Heat’s game 1 win versus the Celtics. Overshadowed by the drama surrounding Lebron James, Wade has been used on 2% more of the Heat’s possessions than Lebron has so far in the playoffs and has also had a fantastic season.
- Derrick Rose put the Chicago Bulls on his back in the second round, averaging 30 points and 10 assists for the series, including 44 points in game 3. I’m afraid that the Bulls are beginning to rely a little too much on Rose. So far in the playoffs, Derrick Rose is taking 34% of his team’s field goals and 43% of his team’s free throws while he is on the floor.
- Josh Smith recorded 23 points, 8 assists, and 16 rebounds in game 4 in the Hawks’ series against the Bulls.
- Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic of the Dallas Mavericks shot a combined 15-16 on three-pointers.
- Russell Westbrook recorded just the fifth ever triple double in a game 7, scoring 14 points, dishing out 14 assists, and grabbing 10 rebounds against the Memphis Grizzlies. This was the game where Russell Westbrook first truly understood that his job on the Oklahoma City Thunder is not to score the basketball; it is to get the ball to the best scorer in the league, Kevin Durant. This postseason, when Westbrook takes fewer than 20 shots, the Thunder are 6-1, as opposed to 2-4 when Westbrook takes more than 20 shots. When Westbrook does pass the rock, the results are dazzling, like in game 7 when Westbrook assisted on nine of Kevin Durant’s buckets.
- Speaking of Kevin Durant’s buckets, he had a lot of them when he dropped 39 points on the Memphis in game 7.
- He is not in the same class that Durant and Westbrook are in, but Nick Collision may have had the most effective game 7 of all. While Collison was on the floor, he blocked three shots, pulled down 12 rebounds, played astounding defense, and the Thunder outscored the Grizzlies by of 26 points. He will be an x-factor going forward for Oklahoma City, especially since he will have the nearly impossible assignment of guarding Dirk Nowitzki in the Western Conference Finals.
Best team performances of the second round:
- The Chicago Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks in six games to advance to the third round. While Derrick Rose was unbelievable, so were some of the lesser known bench players on the Bulls, especially on the defensive end. The five-man bench unit of C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, and Omer Asik allowed the Hawks to shoot just a dismal 38% while they were on the court. This kind of defense can carry Chicago to an NBA championship. However, the Bulls depend largely on the play of their point guard, and MVP, Derrick Rose, and teams with extremely active point guards tend to be unsuccessful. In the past 20 years of the NBA Finals, the team whose point guard averages more turnovers and shots than the opponent’s point guard is 1-13… Rose leads all point guards remaining in the playoffs in turnovers and shots.
- The Dallas Mavericks ousted the defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers in a sweep! They did it with three point shooting and bench play. Dallas made more than three times as many threes in the series as Los Angeles and set NBA playoff records for most threes in a game, in a half, and in a 4-game series. Dallas also had the edge in terms of reserves. The Mavericks’ bench scored more than twice as many points as the Lakers’ bench over the course of the series, and in game 4, Dallas’s bench scored 86 points which was as many points as Los Angeles’s starters had!
- The Oklahoma City Thunder fought a tough, seven-game battle with the Memphis Grizzlies, and were having chemistry problems over the first six games. Westbrook was taking too many shots, Durant was playing too much one-on-one, and weren’t playing good defense against Memphis’s big men. However, in the seventh and final game of their marathon series, the young, inexperienced team corrected all of their bad habits. Westbrook took only 12 shots and passed well, only one of Durant 13 buckets was off one-on-one, and Oklahoma City held Memphis’ big men to just 40% shooting. Maybe, most impressive of all, the two 22-year-old stars for the Thunder, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, dressed up like elementary-school students after the game. Have a look.
- The Miami Heat knocked out the Boston Celtics 4-1. Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh averaged only 20 points per game less than the entire Boston team. I feel like people underrated the Heat going into the playoffs. While the Heat had some ups and downs this season, they still had the third best record in the league, they still outscored their opponents by more than any other team, and they still have two players that have lead the league in scoring.
Please comment and tell me what you think.