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The Milton Measure

2014 NBA Playoffs Inspire

by Neel Taneja on Friday, May 16th, 2014

Even though the hometown Boston Celtics aren’t participating, the 2014 NBA playoffs have been far from boring. In fact, analysts and writers alike have called this year’s first round historic. Night after night, fans have had the opportunity to view the best basketball played on some of the biggest stages in the world.

In the first round, five of the eight playoff matchups went to do-or-die Game 7’s, each with their own unique storyline. However, two of these first round series stood above the rest.

The number one seeded Indiana Pacers, who surged through most of the regular season and hoped to dethrone the Miami Heat as the kings of the Eastern Conference, faced a monumental collapse in the weeks leading up to the playoffs. Perhaps the problem was related to center Roy Hibbert’s recent underperformance: without Hibbert playing up to his usual level, the Pacers struggled on defense, allowing opposing teams to shoot a high percentage in the paint. The struggle continued in the opening series against the 38 – 44 Atlanta Hawks, yet Paul George was able to carry Indiana to a Game 7. With the exquisite challenges and pressures of a game 7, Roy Hibbert finally overcame his struggles and responded brilliantly, scoring 13 points on 60% shooting, grabbing 7 rebounds, and tallying 5 blocks.

Perhaps the best matchup of the first round was the Portland Trail Blazers against the Houston Rockets, a series in which three of the six games went into overtime. Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldrige was red-hot early in the series, scoring a total of 89 points in his first two games. Despite Aldridge’s scoring surge and James Harden’s poor play, the Rockets managed to also force a big Game 7. In fact, the Rockets came just 0.9 seconds from winning the entire series, until Damian Lillard, a second-year member of the NBA, drilled an amazing fadeaway three pointer for the win. Given the circumstances, Lillard’s shot was one of the greatest in Blazers history, especially given Portland’s mediocrity over the last few years.

With only the first round completed, the best basketball of the 2014 NBA playoffs has yet to come.

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Posted by Neel Taneja on May 16 2014. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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