A wise man once said: “The NBA Playoffs are a clusterf*ck of storylines.” This year’s first round is no exception. Even if Derrick Rose’s ACL captures the majority of the casual fan’s attention, the injury is only the tip of the iceberg. Since it’s hard to keep track of every little in-and-out of the league’s 16 playoff teams, so we did our best to recap some of the weekend’s events in a condensed fashion.
1. Rajon Rondo Loses His Cool
Against all odds, the Boston Celtics have a legitimate chance at making it out of the East. They’ll be hard-pressed to do so with star point guard Rajon Rondo facing a possible Game 2 suspension, a likely scenario following an ill-advised chest-bump of an official. Already down 1-0 against Atlanta, the Celts will have to rely heavily on Avery Bradley, who has proven his worth in limited doses this season.
2. Heat Make A Statement
Behind the presumptive league MVP, Miami ruined any good will circulating through the Knicks community, thumping New York, 100-67. LeBron was stereotypically great, scoring in the 30s and doing almost everything from opening tip to the final buzzer. All in a day’s work, apparently*. My personal favorite highlight came courtesy of Tyson Chandler.
3. Bynum’s Big Day
Could Andrew Bynum finally have turned the proverbial corner? The 24-year-old turned in a great performance: 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks. If this is a sign of things to come, Denver – and, really, everyone else – is going to have a tough time slowing the Lakers.
4. Clippers Bounce Back, Make History
It would have been easy for L.A.’s other team to take their licks and call it a game after starting the fourth quarter in a 23-point hole. Chris Paul wasn’t going out like that though, leading his team to an incredible comeback, stealing home court advantage in the process and knocking the ’02 Celtics 26 point, Eastern Conference Finals comeback out of the top slot. Memphis is tough, battle-tested and will rebound in time for Game 2. And they might be the better team, top-to-bottom. This could be the Playoff’s definitive first-round series.
5. Dallas Hates KD
Kevin Durant… man. What else needs to be said? OKC’s stars shined bright against Dallas, but it was Durant who provided the dagger, slapping the Mavericks with an L on this nasty game-winner. Just as awesome as Durant’s shot was Shawn Marion’s last-second heave. It’s always good to remind ourselves how ugly the Matrix’s J is.
6. Blake Griffin Got Banged On
Not all that important but still noteworthy because a.) it’s a new form of abuse taken by Blake, usually the assailant and not the victim, and b.) Dante Cunningham’s name has never appeared here before so, welcome to TSS, Dante.
* – Unless that ‘day’ falls between late May and early June.