Monday, April 18, 2011

April Playoff Showers

The NBA opening weekend was nothing but spectacular from the start of the Chicago-Indiana afternoon game to the end of the Oklahoma City-Denver night cap.

Both elements of the game were in full effect during Saturday and Sunday's games, but the offense surely out shined the tough grueling defense we usually see come playoff time.

In the eight Game 1s, 12 players recorded a double-double and six scored at least 30 points. Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic poured in 46 points and 19 rebounds in a 103-93 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, the projected MVP, Derrick Rose scored 39 points (19-21 FT) in a 104-99 comeback victory over the Indiana Pacers, while LeBron James and Chris Bosh tallied double-doubles (James: 21 points 14 rebounds, Bosh 25 points 12 rebounds) to secure their 97-89 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

To end the first night of playoff basketball, Dirk Nowitzki put up 28 points and 10 rebounds, but his point guard Jason Kidd hit 6-of-10 threes en route to 24 points to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 89-81. 

Those phenomenal individual efforts carried over  into Sunday's games and also included some history making results. San Antonio and Los Angeles are the first No. 1 and No. 2 seeds to take a loss in the first game of their respective opening-round series.

Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies combined for 49 points and 23 rebounds in their 101-98 upset win against the Spurs. Following them, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets demolished Derek Fisher and the Lakers defense with his 33 points, 14 assists and 7 rebounds (led the team in all three categories) effort which helped his underdog Hornets to a 109-100 win over he defending champs.

In the Sunday night games, Boston prevailed to a 87-85 victory due to a late three by the all-time leader in threes made, Ray Allen (24 points 3-5 from three) with 11.6 seconds.

Oklahoma City also crawled and fought to a tough 107-103 win over Denver behind 72 combined points from Kevin Durant (41) and Russell Westbrook (31).

The opening weekend as set the bar high for the rest of the playoffs, but the intensity is sure to rise as the stakes get much higher as each series progresses.

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