2012 Playoff Weekend Update

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Clips get swept in Round 2; game effort tonight but CP3 had a couple of clutch time miscues and Blake forgot how to rebound.

San Antonio still undefeated in playoffs; win 18th straight.

Thunder take game 4 in LA to go up 3-1; Durant hits three pointer for the win.

Sixers take game 4 in Philadelphia to tie the series; Celts remain very uneven.

Miami evens the series at 2-2; LeBron and Wade combine for 70 points and 27 rebounds.  Let’s talk about that statline for a moment.  When’s the last time a due combined for 70 and 27 in the playoffs?  I’m asking here.  I don’t know.  Did Kobe and Shaq ever pull that off?  I could see Shaq going 30 points and 20 boards and Kobe putting up 40 and grabbing 7 bounds.  I’d be surprised if Jordan and Pippen ever did it.  Too many rebounds for perimeter players to pile up – in fact, they didn’t even do it in the regular season when Jordan scored 69 and grabbed 18 rebounds by himself.  Who else could have done it?  Hakeem and Clyde or Horry in 1995 maybe?  That’s a lot of points for one of them to score in support of Dream.  Duncan and Robinson probably got the combined rebounds a couple times, but I doubt they ever had 70 combined points in the playoffs.  We might have to go all the way back to the ’60s.  I’m sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Wilt and some teammate did it at some point.  Hell, it’s possible Wilt did it by himself.

What’s interesting is that this is the type of game that shows why people gave LeBron such a hard time for teaming up with Wade – when you’ve got two guys capable of putting up those kind of numbers on one team, you’ve basically undermined the whole concept of team.  But it also undermines that idea that LeBron in Miami is taking the easy way out.  If he’s got to put up these kind of numbers to advance in the semi-finals, he might as well still be in Cleveland.  I suppose you could argue that his intent was to take an easier route where he could have an off game and the team would still win thanks to Wade and Bosh, but I think educated basketball minds who saw that team being built realized he’d need to keep on being LeBron for the team to be dominant.

In fact I think this last game was really a scary indication for the Heat.  With Bosh healthy, when the Heat stars went berserk, the team looked invincible.  When Wade and James went off today, the team still looked beatable.  Without Chris they seem to have lost that 6th gear that other teams couldn’t hope to match.  They might not need all that to fight their way out of the East, but come the Finals, the Spurs for Thunder (sorry Lakers fans), are going to be very tough if it takes 70 points from James and Wade just to get to 100 points total.

 

EDIT: Also here’s a table showing all the 40 point, 15 rebound, 5 assist playoff games players have had that are currently uploaded in the BBR database.

Rk Player Pos From To Count
1 Tim Duncan F 2003 2008 3
2 Carmelo Anthony F 2011 2011 1
3 Charles Barkley* F 1993 1993 1
4 Brad Daugherty C 1992 1992 1
5 LeBron James F 2012 2012 1
6 Michael Jordan* G 1989 1989 1
7 Shaquille O’Neal C 2001 2001 1
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/21/2012.
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10 Responses to “2012 Playoff Weekend Update”

  1. boyer Says:

    There seems to be 2 things here about lebron. The first being that he was supposedly worse off with his cavs’ teams and would have it much easier with the heat, which so far this is not true. The second being that it’s easy to see when he actually plays hard the entire the game as compared to when he stops playing hard and was loafing around for several games in the 10 c’s series and 11 mavs series. Never seen a supposedly great player perform/act like this, especially when he was on great teams and the favorite s to win the title.

    • jpalumbo Says:

      He’s definitely a riddle, wrapped in a conundrum, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a Heat jersey.

  2. boyer Says:

    This is exactly what lebron wanted, though. He could’ve gone anywhere or stay put in cleveland, but he chose to team up with 2 other perennial AS, while the heat have nothing else to give to fill out the rest of the roster. Though, I think the heat’s supporting cast isn’t that bad, and is quite a bit better than the lakers after their big 3. Haslem turned down several millions to rejoin the heat as well.

    If lebron recruited FAs to cleveland like he has done to miami, the cavs would’ve remained a great team for years to come. Also, if winning a title is more important to him than anything else, which I don’t know if that’s true or not, but he definitely has seemed to imply this many times, then he should’ve signed with the lakers before the 2011 season or at the very least stay in cleveland and get bosh or amare to join him. The lakers most likely would’ve won last year and this year, and while Kobe was nursing a bad ankle/knee during last postseason, lebron would’ve won finals mvp.

  3. jpalumbo Says:

    Monetarily, it would have been tough for LA to sign LeBron. Even though he signed for less than the absolute maximum he could earn with Miami, he’s still making near-max money. I guess if they could have worked out some kind of sign and trade and involved Gasol… It would have been great to see him in the Pippen role in the triangle offense though!

    • boyer Says:

      I wasn’t really talking about him going to the lakers expecting that he would make max money. He obviously would’ve had to take the midlevel exception, unless as you mention a sign-and-trade could happen. I was just saying that if winning a title is your absolute #1 desire, then he would’ve signed with the lakers. I’m not blaming him for taking a lot more money, but he’s not being completely honest when he says or implies that winning a title is his #1 priority. Keeping Pau on the lakers would only help his chances, but a kobe/lebron/bynum trio would’ve been pretty hard to beat as well, and that’s with odom playing at least somewhat respectable, too.

      • boyer Says:

        I know it would mess up the superfriends plan, and I’m not sure Kobe would’ve went for it, but even for one year, I mean, come on. I think if lebron would’ve done it, kobe would’ve let it happen for at least one year. Kobe wants to win, and having lebron would obviously help his chances of that. Lebron makes at least 20-25 mil. on endorsements yearly, doesn’t he? It’s not like he’s short on money. But, his #1 priority seems to be him becoming a global icon and making 1 billion dollars, that’s I’ve read before, so taking 10mil/year less is huge if that’s his goal, but after winning a title should help him earn most of that back.

      • jpalumbo Says:

        Let’s not be too harsh on LeBron as far as picking Miami to try to win a title. They did make the Finals their first year together, and they were favored to get back there again this year if not for the Bosh injury (and they still might anyway).

        I’m sure Kobe would be happy to have LeBron as a teammate. Bron is pretty much perfect for Kobe. LeBron wants to be a ball-dominant creator who gets in the open floor and sets up teammates. Kobe is probably the best player in the league at working to get open off the ball or to get good post position when the strong side defense reacts to one of his teammates. LeBron wouldn’t fight him in end of game scenarios. Unlike with Wade, they’d have an immediate pecking order, because the Lakers is unquestionably Kobe’s team. And LeBron could buy Kobe a lot of rest by carrying the second unit for long stretches AND he could defend the other team’s best player, giving Kobe some additional rest there.

      • boyer Says:

        I don’t know how that’s being harsh on lebron, just calling him out for his words/actions. The thing is that his teams have been favorites for 4 years running, so maybe at some pt., we should stop picking his teams to win it all. However, I do think he’ll eventually win a title, but maybe not primarily because of him. Since he’s a great player, and teams will try to surround great players with other good players, as even the cavs did and led the league in team salary at least one year, that his teams will probably be very good for a long time, and his teammates will be able to pick up his slack, as wade almost did last year in the finals.

        Last year was a very weak year in the nba with all the other contenders having serious problems and many of them getting eliminated early in the playoffs, which is why it worked out well for the mavs to even make the finals, but the mavs were hardly a great title team. Last year might’ve been the best chance for lebron and the heat. However, this year looks potentially easier, until bosh went down. This lockout year is really messed up.

        All I’m saying is that if he wanted the best chance to win a title, playing for the lakers last year was an obvious chance. But, he thought teaming with wade/bosh would be the answer; however, it’s going to be hard for his teammates to pick up his slack if he’s going to not give max effort throughout the playoffs.

  4. pmadavi Says:

    Sportscenter had the stat up this morning. Durant and Westbrook went for 40/30 last season. Prior to that it was Shaq and Kobe in 04.

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