It’s no fun to talk about the struggled of the hurting, reeling, futile Chicago Bulls. They shot roughly 25 percent and scored 65 points without three leading players (if you include Derrick Rose). It almost seems like the Heat feel bad for the Bulls. A more interesting story is of a long-overlooked franchise seizing its window of opportunity to advance further than it ever has before: the hard-nosed Memphis Grizzlies. With Russell Westbrook out for Oklahoma City, Memphis knows it can move on
One of the most intriguing elements of the NBA playoffs is what the spotlight reveals about certain players – especially those who weren’t expected to be in the spotlight at all. We expect established superstars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant to welcome the pressure of the postseason and elevate their play. That is part of the reason they are among the game’s best players. It is also not that surprising to see very good players such as Stephen Curry and
Center Kendrick Perkins is known for being a tough defensive presence for the Oklahoma City Thunder. From an offensive standpoint, he has largely been ineffective since undergoing knee surgery back in 2010. The playoffs have especially been unkind to Perkins, who has shot a woeful 35 percent from the field in seven combined games. That’s pretty unacceptable from the five spot, no matter how little-involved you are in the offensive schemes.
Opportunity doesn’t knock twice. For the Nets, a banged up Bulls team gave the Nets a chance to stay in this series. Thanks to Brook Lopez, Brooklyn is still alive. Home playoff games afforded the Hawks the chance to reverse their fortunes, but how drastically it turned this series around is astounding. And who will get the opportunity to shine for the Thunder in Russell Westbrook’s absence? All this and more in today’s StatBox playoff breakdown.
HOUSTON — Mother Nature spent most of the Rockets do-or-die playoff Saturday drenching the Houston downtown area and beyond. And when it came time for the out-of-town Thunder to come down one final time inside the sold-out Toyota Center after blowing every last bit of a 26-point lead, the city’s hoopdom community was left high and first-round dry once again. Sure, it was a valiant spunky comeback from the Kiddie Corp. aiming for a sudden reversal of fortune against the resident Western Conference
The Derrick Rose injury saga has been going on, well, since Rose got hurt in Game 1 of the first round against the Sixers last year. First he was supposed to be back around Christmas, then sometime in January, and now it’s mid-March and he’s been close to coming back for several weeks. But we still don’t have definitive word, which has to be frustrating for Bulls fans waiting for their franchise player. Not having played a minute so far this