With the Round 2 of the 2012 NBA playoffs ending, I figured we could take a quick step back and look at some of the excitement from Round 1 and its implications for the most prestigious basketball tournament in all of cyberspace, AGR’s Big Shot Bob Playoff Tournament.
Round 1: East
Bulls-Sixers: In a tough-as-nails series, the eighth-seeded Sixers upset the top-seeded Bulls in 6 games. Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 and Joakim Noah suffered a crippling injury shortly thereafter, which opened a window for the upstart Sixers. The Sixers crashed through that window in dramatic fashion, with a series-clinching 79-78 win topped off by Iggy’s crunch-time heroics. Hero: Andre Iguodala. Goat: The injury bug. Best Boxscore: Joakim Noah had 21 pts (10-11 FG), 8 reb, 5 ast, 0 tov in Game 2.
Heat-Knicks: The Knicks won a close Game 4, but this series was over before it began. The Heat dominated through and through en route to a 4-1 series victory. Hero: Talent plus Team Basketball. Goat: Talent minus Team Basketball. Best Boxscore: LeBron had 32 pts (10-14 FG), 4 reb, 3 asts, 4 stl in Game 1.
Pacers-Magic: The Dwight Howard-less Magic stole Game 1 in Indy, but that’s where their Disney magic ended. The Pacers won the next 4 games, including an overtime thriller in Orlando, to advance. Hero: George Hill. Goat: The Magic franchise (sorry!) Best Boxscore: Jameer Nelson had 27 pts (5-8 3pt), 4 reb, 5 ast, 0 tov in Game 5.
Hawks-Celtics: What this series lacked in aesthetics it made up for in drama. Rondo was ejected in Game 1 and suspended for the next game. Boston still won Game 2 as Josh Smith got injured. Without Smith, the Hawks lost Game 3 in OT. Smoove and Horford (who had been out since January) returned for Game 4, but the Celts still won. Games 5 and 6 were dogfights, each decided by a single possession, but that’s all the Celts needed. KG played MVP-caliber ball in a demonstrable response to the Hawks’ owner calling Garnett “old” and “the dirtiest player in the league.” Hero: Kevin Garnett. Goat: Injury bug, again. Best Boxscore: Kevin Garnett had 28 pts (10-19 FG), 14 reb, 2 ast, 5 blk, 3 stl, 1 tov in series-clinching Game 6.
Round 1: West
Spurs-Jazz: Some people thought Utah’s size would give a brief scare, a la the 2011 Grizzlies. Nope. Sweep. Hero: More rest for the old team. Goat: Less experience for the young team. Best Boxcore: Tony Parker had 28 pts (10-19 FG), 4 reb, 8 ast in Game 1.
Thunder-Mavericks: In what could have been a fun and competitive rematch of last year’s WCF, the only fun we were treated to was a Durant game-winner. Sweep. Hero: Kevin Durant. Goat: Tyson Chandler. Best Boxscore: Durant had 31 pts (11-15 FG, 4-6 3pt), 3 reb, 6 ast, and 1 tov in Game 3.
Lakers-Nuggets: A seven-game thriller! The Nuggets roared back from a 3-1 deficit after Bynum declared close-out games easier than all other games. Also in a wildly close Game 5, Javale McGee briefly turned into Wilt Chamberlain. The Lakers came through at home in Game 7, sending the Nuggets home. Hero: Kobe Bryant Goat: Danilo Gallinari Best Boxscore: Ty Lawson had 32 pts (13-18 FG, 5-6 3 pt), 5 reb, 6 ast, 0 tov in 30 min in Game 6.
Clippers-Grizzlies: A seven-game thriller! The big story was how the Clippers overcame a late 27-point deficit to stun the home-team Grizzlies in Game 1. The Grizz rebounded to win Game 2, but Lob City won two nail-biters at home (including on overtime game) to go up 3-1. Memphis rebounded, played as tough as you’ll see a team play, and tied the series 3-3 before losing a Game 7 at home. Hero: The Clippers’ Bench. Goat: The Grizzlies’ Game 1 Collapse. Best Boxscore: Mike Conley had 25 pts (10-15 FG, 2-2 3pt), 7 reb, 8 ast in Game 4.
The Status of the Big Shot Bob (Rob) Tournament:
1. David Gold (39)
1. Dan Leifer (39)
3. Ethan Frigon (38)
4. Jesse Gainsburg (36)
4. Michael Eppler (36)
6. Tommy McCarthy (35)
7. Andrew Wise (34)
8. Dave Attewell (32)
9. Izzy Gainsburg (31)
10. James Choca (29)
10. Zach Mason (29)
12. Dickson Cohen (27)
12. Chris Nolop (27)
It will be a bloodbath going forward, with notorious rivals David Gold and Dan Leifer going at each other’s throats. Human encyclopedia Frigon made a name for himself by being a pro at predicting series-lengths (he would). The other notable point is that Jesse would have a commanding lead with 41, or even 43, if he had the sense to remember that Dwight Howard was out for the playoffs before picking the Magic over the Pacers. That said, it mattes not, because as will see in the next update, he picked the Clippers over the Spurs. For Jesse, the other non-contenders, and the Round 1 losers, I say:
What are your Round 1 thoughts? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and to like us on Facebook.