OKLAHOMA CITY, April 30, 2012— Round one of the NBA playoffs typically has the least drama because of the gap in talent of a first seed playing an eigth seed.
But forget how exciting round one can be; Have we ever seen a more intriguing story driven collection of Game Ones?
Starting with the first game on Saturday the top-seeded Chicago Bulls took on the upstart 76ers. The Bulls had the game in hand with 1:10 remaining on the clock when reigning MVP Derrick Rose fell to a heap. The worst scenario came true when we learned that Rose tore his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the postseason.
Rose missed a lot of the season, and the Bulls still got the number one overall seed, so they know how to play without him. But losing your best player, up by double digits with a little over a minute left is tough to swallow.
The following game had the Heat playing the Knicks, where Knicks guard Iman Shumpart had a similar play that tore his ACL. The Heat won by 33 points handing the Knicks their worst playoff defeat in over 20 years.
Next we had the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic against the 3 seeded Pacers. The Magic were supposed to be on a short list of championship contenders before Howard distracted the team for a whole season of nonsense only to have season ending back surgery. The Pacers looked solid all year beating Chicago, Miami and Oklahoma City in the regular season. So the Pacers should be able to handle the Magic just fine, but lost on their home floor to the Magic.
If you stayed up late for the last game Saturday night, you were in for a treat. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks matched up with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Many have picked the Thunder to march to the finals, while most have written off the Mavs. Remember, Dallas is a team that the young Thunder have struggled with in the past, making this a tough match-up.
Dallas led most of the game until the closing seconds. OKC stayed in the game with a few seconds left for a chance to win. Whenever the Thunder have a last second shot they seem to do the same thing every time. Give it to Kevin Durant, let the clock wind down and then he launches a three. This happened against Dallas in December and Durant made the game-winning shot.
The outcome has not always been the same. Durant has had that shot a few times this season and missed. The fans have been grumbling for a new game-ending shot and they finally got one. Durant, this time, drove to basket and put up a bad shot, bouncing off the left side of the rim up to the backboard and fell in. OKC wins.
That was just round one, game one, day one. Sunday couldn’t match it, could it?
Read Part Two here
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