Sports Out West

The highlights of the NBA Playoffs’ first round

Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the NBA playoffs started off with plenty of fireworks.

With every team in the national spotlight, there were plenty of intriguing matchups. From Houston and Portland in the battle of offensive juggernauts, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks in a “David and Goliath,” storylines were everywhere.

The Western Conference, notably the Pacific Division, may be where the most exciting highlights will be.

LaMarcus Aldridge

This is a moment of appreciation for LaMarcus Aldridge’s gem of a series so far against the Houston Rockets and Dwight Howard. He’s scored 89 points in two games with a mix of pick-and-roll drives, deep posts, and hook shots. The full evolution of Aldridge’s offensive game was on display against arguably one of the better defensive big man in Howard. Instead of settling for long jumpers (his bane), he went for aggressive post and pick-and-roll moves.

His running mate, Damian Lillard wasn’t half-bad either.

The series of the playoffs

Golden State Warriors v. Los Angeles Clippers.

When the news of Andrew Bogut‘s injury hit the wire, the Golden State Warriors’ chances fell through the floor. Thanks to some explosive play and clutch moments, the Warriors are a real threat. The series is 2-1 in favor of the Clippers, but if one or two plays fell in favor of the Warriors, it could very well be the opposite result.

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan

The other great power forward in the playoffs, Griffin was fantastic again in game 3 of their series. He’s been a matchup nightmare, impossible to guard, and incredibly clutch. With the exception of his free-throw game in game 3, he’s been everything Los Angeles’ fans wanted in a superstar.

As for Jordan, he’s easily the defensive anchor on the team. A difference maker in rebounds and blocks, there will be no answer from the Warriors for Jordan. Without Bogut, Jordan will run the paint in the entire series and should be the “x-factor” for the Clippers.

Stephen Curry

He’s been inconsistent with his shot (44.4 percent) and his scoring numbers are muted (54 points in three games), but Curry’s been everything as advertised. The dark horse for MVP, and unquestioned soul of the Warriors, cannot be guarded. His evolved offensive game allowed for Curry’s ridiculous 10.0 assists per game average to exist.

 

Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.

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