The only thing seemingly happening more often than freak injuries through the playoffs first two days are blocked shots. We saw Roy Hibbert sending away all sorts of shots from the Orlando Midgets. Kevin Durant somehow had four of them. And Serge Ibaka was just… Serge Ibaka. But only one guy this weekend tied the NBA Playoff blocked shot record, and that was Andrew Bynum. By the four minute mark in the third quarter of the Lakers’ blowout win against Denver, 103-88, Bynum already had seven rejections and before the night was over, he not only had a triple-double (10 points, 13 rebounds, 10 blocks), but he had also broken the franchise playoff record and tied Mark Eaton and Hakeem Olajuwon for most blocks ever in a playoff game. Just for that, let him shoot a three. Denver was never close, and it spells doom for them if they’re gonna get beat up like a punching bag even though Kobe Bryant had one of the quietest 31-point games we’ve seen from him. A few things really hurt the Nuggets. One, when Kenneth Faried stands next to Pau Gasol, he looks like a guard. Crazy size advantage for the Lakers. Two, Andre Miller was twice the player Ty Lawson was yesterday, and while that might fly against most teams – it happened a lot during the regular season – Lawson is the single biggest difference-maker for Denver. This is looking more and more like one of those series where Lawson doesn’t do anything in the first few games, then turns the Lakers’ point guards into shredded wrapping paper in Game 3 before coming back to Earth again at the end of the series … Another reason why the Staples Center always feels closer to a bingo hall than an NBA arena during the playoffs: in OKC last night, every person in the crowd was rocking a blue t-shirt. But yesterday in L.A., maybe half the crowd wore the shirts they were handing out … During the regular season, the Spurs were a calculator-smashing 41-2 when they had the lead at the half. They’re now 1-0 in the playoffs after doing enough to down Utah by 15. Tony Parker (28 points, eight assists, four of Jamaal Tinsley‘s ligaments and both of Devin Harris‘ ankles) carved up Utah all afternoon. He had 12 in the second quarter and was in the paint at will – off pick-n-rolls, fast breaks. Remember when Parker and Harris was actually a memorable playoff matchup? … The old timers had it working as well. It’s unreal how good Tim Duncan (17 points, 11 rebounds) looks right now. He had one pump fake and dunk where we thought it was straight from the Spurs’ 2003 championship video. The arena had “Still D.R.E.” bumping while this was going on too. TD and Dre together = perfection. And Manu Ginobili had two consecutive unreal passes – one was an over-the-shoulder dime to Duncan and then the other was a wraparound pass to DeJuan Blair – in the third quarter to push the lead to 13 … Check out this tweet from @RedsArmy_John: “This is not a joke: When Dick Bavetta first broke in as an NBA official, the Spurs were still in the ABA.” So basically, Bavetta the ref is older than the NBA’s Spurs … Derrick Favors is easily one of the most underrated players in the league. At one point in the second quarter, he had two consecutive rejections that would’ve killed anyone’s confidence. First, he destroyed Duncan’s jam attempt. Then, Favors stopped a three-on-one break by sending Parker’s layup back to France. Of course, the next time down, Parker got him in the air and Duncan soared like he didn’t just turn 36 years old … Keep reading to read about what happened to Rajon Rondo …
Smack / Apr 30, 2012 / 12:33 am
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