9 Important Lessons From The First Weekend Of The NBA Playoffs

Well that was a crazy weekend.

1. Zach Randolph Knows How To Get The Memphis Crowd Going

2. Chris Paul Knows How To Shut Them Up (And Is A Miracle Worker)

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Chris Paul turned Nick Young into a viable offensive weapon in a playoff game. Of everything that was crazy about yesterday’s Cliipers-Grizzlies game, nothing even comes close to that. Sure the Clips tied the NBA record for largest fourth quarter comeback. And that story about how Clippers Coach and lost Wilson brother Vinny Del Negro was going to sit Chris Paul with the game out of reach, only to have Paul demand to go back in saying, “Let me go back in, it’s not over”? That was awesome. But Nick Young — the same Nick Young, who had the most embarrassing play of the season — scored 19 points, including three clutch three-pointers during the comeback. His once promising career seemed borderline unsalvageable in Washington, and this weekend he looked like he could contribute to a title contender. We’ve always known Paul makes the players around him better, but the? This is beyond MVP type work. He should win a Nobel Prize in the category of “How The Fuck Did This Happen?”

3. ACL Tears Make People Stupid

(Getty)

After Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert tore their ACLs within hours of each other, the Internet began to angrily blame David Stern and the lockout-induced abbreviated schedule for both players’ woes. If it hadn’t been for Stern’s desire to squeeze as many games into the schedule as possible (in a desire to get the owners more revenue), maybe these guys’ bodies wouldn’t be so sensitive to injury. This is idiotic, reactionary bullshit. It ignores the fact that the players wanted more games too (they get paid by the game) and that Derrick Rose sat out for the better part of the year, so if anyone would have been well-rested for the playoffs it would have been him. ACLs tear sometimes. It sucks. But it’s sports.

Oh also a Nike shoe designer claimed that Derrick Rose wouldn’t have gotten hurt if he had signed with Nike instead of Adidas. People are stupid.

4. The Likely NBA MVP Has Turned Flopping Into A Really Annoying Art

To review, LeBron throws an elbow at JR Smith, JR Smith throws his hands up, and then LeBron falls down. I have no problem with selling a foul, but inventing one? LeBron has been spending too much time with Liverpool FC.

5. Kevin Durant Is Cold-Blooded

6. Oh Yeah, The Spurs Are Great

Pictures / Reuters

Tell me if you’ve heard this one. The Spurs dominate the regular season, but are so boring that no one likes talking about them. The playoffs start to approach, and pundits everywhere focus their attention on the “sexier” Western Conference teams. Then the playoffs start and the Spurs remind everyone that they’re really awesome at the whole playing basketball thing. I know everyone has dreams of an Oklahoma City-Miami Finals, but the Spurs might have something to say about that.

7. Rajon Rondo Is Immature

David Goldman / AP

Hey Rajon, I know you’re frustrated with how this game is going, but maybe you don’t do something really stupid that will probably keep you out of another game in this series. You know, like say chest bumping a ref.

8. Andrew Bynum Has Arrived

Speaking of immature, Andrew Bynum did a lot to shut up his critics this weekend. 10 blocks in one game? A triple-double without assists? This could be a short series for Denver.

9. The Orlando Magic Might Be America’s Team

Michael Conroy / AP

I have hated the Orlando Magic ever since they bounced my Cavs from the playoffs in 2009, so I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t remember the last time a win made me as happy as their game one win over Indiana did. So fuck it. I’m in. Forget Dwight Howard. Show him up. Let’s go Magic!

(Sorry Indiana, but maybe you shouldn’t have a dog puncher on your team.)

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