1. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs scored 108.9 points per 100 possessions in four games against Utah, per NBA Stats Cube. That is right around where we expect them to be. Their defense, however, allowed a mere 91 points per 100 possessions. It’s a small sample size so it’s probably not indicative of the Spurs’ defense but, still, I’m impressed nonetheless.
2. Miami Heat
Other than an ill-advised 3-pointer from Dwayne Wade to close out Game 4, this Heat team is running on all cylinders.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
The fourth quarter of Game 4 showed why the Thunder are a force to be reckoned with. It’s downright impossible to stop Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook simultaneously.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have relied extensively on Andrew Bynum, he’s logged 37.5 minutes per game this series. And for good reason. The Lakers outscore the Nuggets by nine points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court and they’re outscored by 4.9 points per possessions when he’s off the court.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
They are up 3-1.
6. Memphis Grizzlies
They aren’t up 3-1.
7. Boston Celtics
The Celtics’ defense allowed 86.4 points per 100 possessions in four games against Atlanta. And they just got back perimeter sniper Ray Allen back.
8. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are one game away from advancing to the next round with a potential date with the Miami Heat. Interesting.
9. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers have outscored Chicago by 0.5 points per 100 possessions yet they are up 3-1 in the series. Sometimes basketball doesn’t make any sense.
10. Atlanta Hawks
Al Horford and Josh Smith returned just in time to witness a 22 point blowout first hand.
11. Denver Nuggets
Who would’ve guessed that Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions would connect on two big corner 3-pointers to essentially put the Nuggets away?
12. Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose is out. Luol Deng has been ineffective. Joakim Noah suffered an ankle injury. Nothing seems to have gone right for the Chicago Bulls.
13. New York Knicks
I keep envisioning a scenario where Jeremy Lin strolls into Miami and takes Game 5 by himself. Followed by a couple of unexpected 20 point outbursts, the Knicks eliminate the Miami Heat. Sigh. The odds of that happening are slightly higher than the Bobcats winning a playoff game this year. But, only slightly.
14. Dallas Mavericks
Although I enjoyed every second of their Game 4 loss, it was still a bit unfortunate that this series didn’t go at least six games. These teams didn’t give away anything easily.
15. Orlando Magic
Hey, at least Ryan Anderson won Most Improved Player? There’s a silver lining?
16. Utah Jazz
They fought hard at the tail end of Game 4. Got to give them immense credit for that. I like where their team is going but they do need to improve their backcourt significantly.
Tags: NBA Playoffs 2012