The 2012 Playoffs got off to quite the start this weekend. While we were treated to some great games such as the Thunder's last-second win and the Clippers' ridiculous road win, we also were dealt with the sad reality of watching Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, and Caron Butler go down for the remainder. Hopefully we're in for plenty more drama, but I fear that we're going to see more players fall to injury as the intensity rises.
Renner notes that the Thunder committed a lot of turnovers out high on the perimeter (many by Jason Kidd) and Dallas converted 14 turnovers into 24 points. Dallas is not a fast breaking team, so it is incumbent on the Thunder to not provide them with easy opportunities to score in transition.
We return to one of my favorite post-game write-ups on the web. It is humorous and expansive but actually does a great job at explaining what went down in the games.
One of the big questions heading into this series was, "who guards Dirk Nowitzki in the 4th?" Serge Ibaka has had his troubles, Durant is still learning the post defense game, and Nick Collison is able but limited. Perhaps we should have considered Kendrick Perkins, the anchor of the defense. If he can stay in front of Jason Terry, why not Dirk?
Kahn does his standard great analysis in figuring out what happened in Game 1. One of the things he highlights that has gotten lost in Durant's game winner is how patient Russell Westbrook was in attacking the Dallas defense. As we have noted, Westbrook's willingness to allow an offensive sequence to unfold is going to be his biggest attribute against a slower defense.
Kevin Durant loves OKC, but skeptics will never be satisfied.
I can link to this with a smile because it did not happen to the Thunder. Amazing come-back, and notice served that Chris Paul's gang is going to be a tough out.
This fan's aborted towel wave pretty much sums up the Grizzlies' game one meltdown.
The Mavs are not nearly as dynamic offensively as they were a year ago (losses of players like DeShawn Stevenson and J.J. Barea hurt) and so the Thunder should have a much easier time limiting one of their two offensive cogs. My suggestion is, slow down Terry early and Dirk late. Also noted is the fact that Derek Fisher probably should not be seeing the court much, because he hurt the Thunder offensively and defensively.
Kang gives Andrew Bynum the treatment. So far, the biggest weakness I've seen in his game is that when his strength is met with equal strength (Kendrick Perkins), the kid backs down.
Deadspin gives LeBron James' tumble to the court the slo-mo treatment. Was it a flop? Was it simply a viscous screen? Either way, watching LeBron willfully or involuntarily lose control of his appendages is a sight to behold.
What a cringe-worthy quest...hey, good effort, Tim!
Rajon Rondo allowed his emotions to get the best of him during a failed comeback attempt, and ended up bumping a referee. It will be interesting to see how the league handles this poor judgment.
Carlson gives a sweet little account of how a hot dog vendor in Bricktown connected with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The follow-up actually does not surprise me at all, because regardless of what you think about Cuban the owner, Cuban the business entrepreneur has very high regard for those people who take their business into their own hands and achieve. Also, #WeinerUp is a great hashtag.