With the second round of the playoffs drawing to a close here is a look around the NBA to determine who has been great (tops) and not so great (flops) in the last seven days as the postseason rumbles on.
San Antonio Spurs– The defending Western Conference champions strolled into the final of the conference after a convincing 4-1 series win against the Trailblazers. With an average margin on 19.5 points during the series, the Spurs managed to control the young, fiery Portland side with their usual balance and unselfishness.
Miami Heat– Same scenario for the heat, who closed out an as strong series against Brooklyn with a home win in game 5. The defending champions, who are on the search for a three-peat, have only lost one game in the playoffs so far.
Golden State Warriors– It looked like it was going to be very hard to replace Mark Jackson at the coaching spot, but the Warriors have hired Steve Kerr as coach, which is far from being a bad find.
Tony Parker– Despite the series win against Portland, game 5 saw Tony Parker limp off the court during the second quarter, the same pain that led him to miss part of game 3 in the NBA Finals against the heat last year, before a painful series loss in game 7. Let’s hope that that is only a coincidence, not a sign that the Spurs are doomed again, and more importantly let’s hope he is back on the court for game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
Brookyln Nets– Jason Kidd’s side looked set to clinch game 5 on the road, before a 12-0 run for Miami and a great block from Lebron on Johnson saw the Nets fall in the semi-finals. Although this is far from being a bad run for Brooklyn, the opportunities missed during the series leaves a bitter-sweet taste for the franchise.
Chris Paul– At a very high level, every second counts; despite a world-class performance (as usual) in game 5 in the series against the Thunder, CP3’s nightmare last 49 seconds of the game, two turnovers and foul on Westbrook’s three point shot, saw the Clippers lose a critical game, as they now have to win both remaining games to advance to the Conference Final, where as a win would have made them clear favorites to go through.