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Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 at 9:30 am  |  71 responses

Post Up: Holy Thunder

OKC gives the Lakers a beatdown in Game 1 and Philly evens things up against Boston.

Sixers 82, Celtics 81 (Series tied 1-1)

After letting Game 1 slip from their hands, the Philadelphia 76ers overcame a sloppy, physical, turnover-filled game to escape with a gritty 82-81 victory at TD Garden. With the win, the series heads to Philly tied 1-1, with pressure now on the Celtics to steal at least one game on the road.

Two days removed from a disheartening defeat, the Sixers answered in a big way. They sharpened their focus, showcased resiliency and executed down the stretch, particularly on defense. Jrue Holiday scored 18 points and Andre Iguodala added 13 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds, but second-year guard Evan Turner was the hero, converting on a go-ahead layup in the final moments to propel Philly to victory.

Boston took command early, scoring the first 9 points of the game, and was in the driver’s seat for most of an ugly, back-and-forth first half of basketball. Rajon Rondo had 8 of his 13 assists in the first two quarters, doing his part to give the C’s a 38-36 lead at the break.

From a “flow” standpoint, the third quarter was no different. In fact, it was worse, making the game borderline unwatchable. With about 5 minutes left in the third, the score was just 43-41 Boston. It was an unsettling display of sloppiness, with the Celtics committing 7 turnovers and making just 4 of 17 shots in the quarter. When the shots finally started to go in, though, it was Philly doing the scoring. The Sixers scored 14 straight points, turning a 47-43 deficit into a 57-47 lead in the final minute of the third.

Entering the fourth quarter, Game 2 was eerily similar to Game 1—the Sixers held a double-digit lead (57-49) to begin the final stanza, but quickly relinquished command, as Kevin Garnett imposed his will, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the fourth. Boston tied it twice before eventually going up 72-71 on an Avery Bradley 3-pointer with under 3 minutes to play. Holiday answered right back with a 3 of his own, but Ray Allen one-upped him, sinking a trey with 1:40 left, putting the Celtics back up one. After forcing Philly into a 24-second shot clock violation, the Celtics had a chance to extend the lead, but Rondo couldn’t convert on a short-range jumper.

Then came the moment.

Down by one with under a minute to play, Evan Turner caught the ball on the left side of the court at the 3-point line. He sized up Rondo in the triple-threat position, blew by him using one dribble to the right, took two steps towards the hoop and converted on a nifty reverse layup. ET had a sloppy game overall, tallying a negligible 10 points and committing 5 turnovers, but he converted with the game on the line, and in the Playoffs, that’s ultimately what matters most.

In a hostile, zoo-like environment, with his team staring at a 2-0 deficit, the former No. 2  pick made the first No. 2-pick-play of his career, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The jury is still out on Turner in terms of potential, value and ceiling, but if Turner can consistently create his own shot in crunch time, he has a chance to develop into the go-to guy Philly desperately needs.

Turner’s layup put the Sixers up 76-75 with 40.4 seconds remaining, and on the ensuing possession, Allen missed a fadeaway baseline jumper. After inexplicably wasting 10 seconds of clock, the Celtics finally fouled Turner, who calmly sank both free throws to give his team a 78-75 lead with 12 seconds to go.

Out of a timeout, Doc Rivers drew up a set to get an open shot, but the Celtics never got their chance, as Kevin Garnett was whistled for an offensive foul while setting a screen for Paul Pierce (who finished with just 7 points on 2-of-9 shooting). And, that was it. A few meaningless 3-pointers bridged the score, but the game was already in the bags. Allen scored a game-high 17 points, but it was to no avail. The 76ers, unlike in Game 1, executed down the stretch—going 6-for-6 from the foul line in the last minute—to escape with the narrowest of victories. Game 3 is Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

Last tidbit: It’s only a matter of time before Pierce has one of his signature 30-point, four clutch-shot games, right? Well, if the Sixers can keep Pierce at his series average of a shade over 10 points per, their chance of winning increases significantly. So far this series, when Iguodala has guarded Pierce, he’s annulled Pierce’s scoring prowess. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Iggy held Pierce to 1-6 shooting and forced four turnovers when guarding him in Game 2. And, for the series, he’s held Pierce to 26.7 percent shooting, tallying more turnovers (6) than field goals (4). Part of Pierce’s struggles are a direct result of his injured knee, but let’s give Iggy some credit here. It didn’t occur to me before the series, but Iggy’s length, quick hands and feet, and tenacious motor can stymie Pierce. Pierce is one of the most persistent players in the league, and isn’t one to relent or back down, but if I’m Doug Collins, I stick Iggy (and occasionally Thad Young, when Young is at SF) on Pierce for the remainder of the series. Even if this will tire Iggy and make him a one-way player, a) it’s not like he’ll be too tired to do the little things, like get ahead on fast breaks and convert easy buckets, and b) the Sixers have had a scorer-by-committee approach all year, so I don’t think they’d fret if Iguodala doesn’t give them 17 points every night.

It’s exciting, and convenient, to start dissecting a presumed Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals. But if last night told us anything, it’s that Philly is a fearless—and more importantly—a capable, group of guys. If Turner, or whoever else has the ball in the final moments, can continue to make plays, the Sixers could very well win both games at home. And then, uh, they would be up 3-1. As KG once assured us, “anything is possible.” Eldon Khorshidi (@eldonadam)

Thunder 119, Lakers 90 (OKC leads 1-0)

Call it the Monday Night Massacre.

The Oklahoma City Thunder throttled L.A. in Game 1 of their second round matchup, riding a combined 52 points from superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to coast to a 119-90 victory. OKC had 9 days of rest following their sweep of Dallas in round one, and showed no signs of rust. Just pure energy, committing only 4 turnovers for the game while being extremely efficient offensively, racking up 20 assists and shooting 53 percent from the floor overall—plus 41 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the free throw line. The Lakers turned the ball over 15 times.

“Obviously they’re more well-rested than we are, but I don’t think it really made that much of a difference for us,” Kobe Bryant said. “We could have had the same amount of days off. They’re just younger and faster. I think tonight, what you saw is they executed extremely well. We’re going to have to make our adjustments. Tonight and tomorrow, we’ll talk about it and figure some things out and things that we want to do differently. They just got too many open looks.”

Westbrook led all scorers with 29 points and added 9 assists, while the Thunder bench was brilliant, led by James Harden’s 17 points. OKC went all the way down their bench with all 13 players earning playing time and 12 of them registering points. “Like I told the guys, it’s one game,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “The first team to four wins the series. Come Wednesday night, regardless if you won by 20, it’s going to have no impact. We have to come out with the same energy.”

Following a somewhat close first quarter, OKC extended their lead to 15 at the half. The game continued to get away from L.A. in the third. After Thabo Sefalosha hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 77-48 with about 8 minutes left in the third, Lakers coach Mike Brown stood with his hands in his pockets, stunned.

“Give OKC credit they did a terrific job,” Brown said postgame. “Westbrook and Durant got loose for jump shots that weren’t contested. We had problems defending the pick-and-roll and our weakside defense wasn’t very good. They were very physical and made our offense look stagnant at times.” Bryant led the Lakers with 20 points and Andrew Bynum posted 20 points and 14 rebounds.

With the game out of hand late and reserves in for both squads, Lakers forward Devin Ebanks was ejected for shoving Royal Ivey during a loose ball. He smacked a chair on the Lakers bench and stripped off his jersey on his way to the showers. It was that kind of night for the Lake Show. Game 2 is Wednesday in OKC. —Nima Zarrabi (@NZbeFree)

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Russell Westbrook was on automatic from mid-range last night.

  • Fat Lever

    I’ve been defending ET since he got here(Philly). His track record has always been starting off slow at each level, then when he gets adjusted to the pace of the next level, he flourishes. For 3 quarters, last night’s game was hideous, there’s no denying that. This is what the game looks like when Philly has to get a majority of their points through the half court set. It’s not pretty. But this young team showed a lot of poise in one of the more hostile environments in the L. The Sixers are a much better team at home than on the road, and they match up well with Boston, so taking two wouldn’t be that far fetched. BUT, I am a realist Sixer fan, and I respect Boston’s veterans and their experience, so I think we split at the Well. To win this series, we are going to have to win another in Boston.

  • charliewinning

    Last night was a good night.

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    In a game that was decided by a point you can’t really call Evan Turners 10 points “negligible”

  • Heals

    Nice POV Fat, I think the lack of days off between series caught up with both Bos and Philly last night (I see you TBJ). I mean of course tough D and spotty O is part of it, but while Mia and Indy got 3 days off Bos and Philly are working off 1. Truth be told this is very similar to Atl v Bos, in that Phi has been in control more than Bos so far. I didn’t like the officiating either. I don’t think the C’s got the shaft, but the lack of calls early (on legit fouls) created a very rough and sloppy style of play. There’s was no flow…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Royal

    If the Thunder are hitting their jumpshots they are damn near unstoppable …..I mean but can’t you say that about every team…

  • Heals

    Gonna be tough for LA, now they need 4 games in 6 and have a b2b to look forward to this weekend after coming off a 7 game series…

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Do y’all agree with Webber or Chuck on that moving screen call on Garnett?

  • Heals

    @DMH, Da Kid tip-toes that moving screen line all the time so on the whole I can’t be upset, but given how much they let slide (pun intended) last night I thought it was an iffy call…

  • Heals

    @DMH, Da Kid tip-toes that moving screen line all the time so on the whole I can’t be upset, but given how much they let slide (pun intended) last night I thought it was an iffy call…

  • Heals

    Gotta love Barkley last night “Yeah and I rolled thru a stop sign and spent the night in jail,” classic Chuckster…

  • T-Money

    da-meat-hook: i don’t know what they said but it’s about time they start calling those on kg. how are you expected to deny the ball from boston’s best shooter if kg can just shove you out of the way? kg even said himself that danny crawford had warned him throughout the game about moving screens. / doug collins has to get some props for putting turner at the 1 and jrue at the 2. both players have flourished since the switch.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe is playing Westbrook the same way he played him two years ago. The only problem is that Westbrook isn’t the same player. And if Kobe is playing Westbrook, then Blake or Sessions is playing Harden.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Who on the Lakers (other than MWP’s elbows) can actually defend Durant and Westbrook?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    There are very few players in the League that set legit screens these days. It’s pretty much a block whenever most players set them. Which makes an already incredibly difficult defensive job even harder.
    KG, Noah and Perkins are some of the worse offenders. They never set a screen without leaning or moving.

  • T-Money

    i know okc is a jump shooting team and you can go hot/cold on jumpers BUT an uncontested shot from the elbow, in rythm, for kd and russ is basically a layup. and russ basically clowned steve blake on the block. i can also see that, after a hot start with the lakers, ramon sessions is back to being ramon sessions.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Wayno
    You can do better than continually backing up and conceding open mid range jumpers. Two years ago Westbrook was streaky from there, currently that is his bread and butter. He feasts on that shot and has all year. And the three headed monster of Westbrook, Durant and Harden is tough for any team to match up with. Particularly Harden, who is great, absolutely GREAT, in the pick and roll. I’ve been telling cats that he’s the best one on the team in pick and roll.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    T-Money, Webber was saying it was a legit call, Shaq and Barkley were saying it was a terrible call to make with 10 seconds left, Kenny was sort of in between but was leaning more towards a no-call. IMO it was definitely an illegal screen, I just hate to see games decided by a whistle.

  • MUBWAR

    Durant can be nicely defended by MWP and Barnes. westbrook on the hand has absolutely no defenders in front of him. And let’s not act kobe is the same defender as 3 4 seasons ago either. so ima go on a limp and say this might BE a sweep. 76ers looked good, i hope they take this series in 7 and confuse the whole eastern conference

  • riggs

    That KG call is terrible because not only does everyone do it, its a stupid call to make with 10 seconds left. Also the Ref bit the flopping that iguodala did to try and get the whistle. So yes, its a terrible call and the officiating during these playoffs are god awful.

  • T-Money

    when i was playing varsity ball, the only thing i’d look for in a ref was consistency. i don’t mind if you call it tight or you let ‘em play, as long as you always call it the same way. i don’t believe in calling things differently in crunch time, or when a guy has 5 fouls or when it’s a scrub defending a star. a fould is a foul is a foul.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    That’s my beef. If you’re gonna call the illegal screen, call it the first time you see it. Set the tone early. You can’t let the same screen slide with multiple warnings then decide to call it on the final play.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Yeah, Harden in the P&R is a thing of beauty. I feel like there is no way LA has the speed defensivly to keep up with OKC…that could just be the 29 pt win causing me to overreact though. Is there anyone in the world who wouldn’t love to watch an OKC vs Miami finals though? How entertaining would that be?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think they should call more illegal screens.
    Also, anybody notice that they have slacked off on calling the hand or forearm to the body when a player is driving. That used to be an automatic foul when they changed the rules, but now it’s allowed by some refs in certain games. I wonder how they decide what to call.

  • Fat Lever

    T-Money, that’s what Sixer fans have been wanting Doug to do. ET is a creator, Jrue is more of a scorer. This is what he should have done from game 1 this season. If KG was warned about it and still did it, then it’s a legit call at that point. I usually hate to see calls like that at that point in the game, but if was warned, then it’s up to KG to adjust. He didn’t, got called, and potentially cost them the game.

  • T-Money

    allen – i’ve noticed that too and i’m not mad. i think the refs just adjusting to the speed and power of the new generation of guards. it’s almost impossible to keep russ or drose out of the paint by just sliding your feet and not making any contact whatsoever with your hands. they’re also doing a better job on the verticality rule – it’s not because there’s contact in the air that it’s a foul, a defender is allowed to jump straight in the air.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I love the new verticality rule and how it’s called. I think that’s one of the best adjustments the League has made, and it almost makes up for the still ridiculous flops offensive players get away with. Omer Asik is a beast with staying vertical when he jumps, it’s what makes him so effective as a paint protector. It takes a lot of discipline not to reach though.
    Unfortunately, I think the League is sliding in the wrong direction when it comes to charges. They are getting too much like college basketball which I abhor. I don’t have a problem with charges in general, but the flopping in the paint, and guys falling down despite not truly getting in front of an offensive player is annoying. Also, calling charges when the defender gets into position after the offensive player has already gathered and started to rise makes me furious.

  • http://www.google.be/imgres?q=hail+scalabrine&um=1&hl=nl&sa=N&rlz=1C1AFAB_enBE454BE454&biw=1600&bih=763&tbm=isch&tbnid=NwJ-Val5sz1SEM:&imgrefurl=http://thecorner33. Max

    Could you imagine the Sixers in the CF 3 weeks ago?

  • elmaar

    The sixers have been lucky in a way they somehow get to play the teams that have their best players injured! With pierce playing injured I still don’t see them winning more than a game!

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    My poor Lakers.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen in regards to your 10:31, the refs have meetings before the game and go over points of interest and the opposite, points in the game they plan on letting go. A lot of times they will tell the team captains or an assistant coach what they will be looking for during the game. Also, certain referees have reputations to call games a certain way. Especially the lead ref.

  • lakernation

    After watching the first 3 quarters of the lakers game last night….. I was embarassed as a fan! The Thunder are not playing, they are on a mission. These guys played phenomenal last night. We have to play zone, there is no way we can keep up with these young legs. Then again Dallas did.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    The Celtics got away with Game 6 against the Hawks on some missed calls: the foul before the in-bound and the no call on PP’s foul on JJ layup attempt. (Not that the Hawks would surely have taken advantage of it and made their free throws). It is only fitting that they have a semi-questionable call go against them for once.
    .
    - The Kobe defense of laying back and daring guards to shoot worked 3 years ago. Even Rondo and Thabo will make their shots if left wide open these days. He says he wants to guard Westbrook but is content on dying on screens, and giving up on rotations which almost always result in a made 3. Also when he turns the ball over, he just gives up on trying to get back. I like the dude but I’ll wear sack cloth and pour ashes upon myself if he gets any All NBA defensive teams selection this year.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    that switch is finally catching up with the lakes. u can’t just turn it on wheneva and be okay that what happen last when they took NO & Dallas lightly. & that happening this year with Denver and OKC.. Okc will just be too much no 1.can guard westbrook(best scoring Pg now) Durant(Best coring in the nba) harden(best scoring off bench)& saying bryant will is too much of task,he already looks gas by the 4th just to stay in games.Lakers bench is tUrrible,(barkley voice).this will be over in 5.Mike brown has no clue what to do

  • http://www.dimemag.com Showtime

    Allen i also hate the charge call when it off the ball. that total has nothing to do with the play that ongoing.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So I wish I would have had the Lakers losing in 5. They don’t have a shot in this series.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Nbk as much as the purp and yellow monster inside of me wants to disagree with you I can’t. Kobe isn’t the same defender and this isn’t 2010 anymore. Thunder have homecourt who are damn near unbeatable there and have proved they can beat us on the road. If we’re gonna have a shot we have to play better defense.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    About damn time a ref had the cojones to call a moving screen on KG. KG does that sh*t all the time and gets away with it all the time. Perkins must have studied at the KG illegal screen setting school because he’s also a habitual illegal screen setter.
    Also, Rondo is probably the most overrated defender at the 1 spot. I lost count how many times Phili cats blew past him last night. The only thing he excels at on the defensive end is playing the passing lanes and poking the ball out from behind after players have gone past him. People look at this defensive numbers (steals) and are fooled into thinking he’s a great defender.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    JT I’ve been one to say that he is overrated as an on ball defender. If anything Bradley is their best on ball defender by far.

  • bike

    Westbrook’s mid range pull up jumper is the best I have seen since…Jordan. Good luck stopping that guy.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Oh…lawd. I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone decided to compare one of today’s players to MJ. Stop, just stop.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I wonder which bike that was.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I’m really interested in the SA vs LAC series…I feel like LAC’s athleticism and the 4 and 5 spot could cause all sorts of problems for SA. I don’t think CP3 and TP will be able to stop each other either.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    JTaylor
    You know I’m on board about Rondo.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The issue with Rondo defensively dating all the way back to the playoffs in 10′ is he has become f*cking lazy. he really is a very good defender….or was. Now he just seems to half ass it and try and get that strip from behind almost out of habit. frustrating.

  • http://www.google.com/imgres?q=brian+scalabrine&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=712&bih=572&tbm=isch&tbnid=paNXJ6FIB-hVJM:&imgrefurl=http://www.2ksports.ca/2012/04/30/brian-scalabr LakeShow

    Weeeell snap.
    How you stay positive as a fan? I’m gunna tell myself that the drubbing was better than a close game. It will allow OKC to relax a little and the Lakers to be a little more serious.
    I’ll say this though. I don’t think any team in the L could win a game 1 in OKC. Freaking college style environment. Durant farts and they are all jumping around and starting to make “Durant Farter toys” and signs that say “Durant’s the best farter in the L” for the next game to pass out. Dam OKC crowd why you gotta make me hate on my fella like that.
    Good news is even Perk and Ibaka have no chance of stopping Bynum. We gotta get real big games out of him this series, but honestly Pau and Kobe just as much. Defense was awful across the board for the Lakers. Screens came on every play and no one made any attempt to get around them. Bynum refuses to switch ever. Pau will not rotate to disrupt a shot let alone try and block it. It was terrible. Game 2 i’m hoping for something a little more competitive.

  • bike

    @JTaylor. Just comparing one facet of one player’s game to one facet of MJ’s game. Don’t panic, Westbrook is no MJ but honestly, that pull up jumper of his is a serious killer.

  • INFINITELY

    Jordan? MJ? Wow. Just wow.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Sam Cassell is rolling around in his grave at Bike’s comment.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Bike with the idiotic statement of the day, in no way shape or form does westbrook have the best mid-range jumper since Jordan.

  • Heals

    “Most overrated (on D) at the 1 spot,” sure thing. I love how ya’ll drop definitive statements after 1 playoff game or watching a team for a few weeks. Yup all the talent evaluators and advanced scouts are wrong, but JT21 and Ap got it figured out…

  • ClydeSays

    That Bos/Philly game was almost as ugly as my last game of pick up. Just terrible. I hope the C’s find their game before they crumble into dust…

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    kobe was getting WORKED on those screens. i don’t know why he didn’t make more of an attempt to get around them smh. The funniest part of last night was when the lakers tried a 3-2 zone to stop the thunder… and the thunder went up 40

  • Heals

    Check the stretch from this season when Boston’s D was historically great (look it up). Check how he presses full-court and absolutely kills an opposing teams’ ability to initiate their offense. Quickness, length/wingspan, anticipation, rebounding, playing passing lanes, transitioning, switching on smaller guards are among the many things Rajon excels at…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Heals, I don’t really know how many times Taylor has said that, or how long he’s felt that way, but Allen has been saying that since the playoffs last season. Not like it’s something he just noticed.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Heals, that stretch when Boston’s D was at it’s peak was right after they moved Bradley to the starting lineup and rotated KG to Center. Rondo wasn’t such a huge part of that, he was pretty much doing what he did last night. And I still think he’s a top 5 defensive PG, just can’t try and act like he’s been spectacular this season. Because he hasn’t. This is was really his worst defensive season as a starter. He was still “good” but he wasn’t the catalyst or anything like that.

  • Hey-Zeus

    The thing about Rondo’s defense is that he’s probably taking it a bit
    lighter on that end, because he has to handle a bit more of the offensive load in terms of finding the open man, rebounding and the occasional scoring. If he had a reliable jumpshot it wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but for a player who pretty much has to drive to score, its gonna take a toll on your defense.

  • Heals

    nbk, I’m not jumping on Allen just disagreeing regardless of how longs he’s held that POV he’s wrong. Overrated based on what? Funny last playoffs he played the last games with 1 arm. Rondo was playing right next to Bradley and getting more minutes (and often played opposite the other pg), who is better on ball as we all agree. That stretch continued after Bradley returned to bench, was exhibited during their first and second finals runs. Allen only sees him play 10-12 reg season games plus any playoff games he catches (often when matched against other “elite” players/teams). Rajon has been an elite defensive guard going on 3 years now. He’s their starting PG, he’s an ESSENTIAL part of it. Simply check post-game quotes and analysis (following the team gives me this advantage obviously not expecting you to backlog all that BS). Lazy at times certainly, but their dismissal (not yours) of his ability (and their sample size) was just so if not more…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Game was so bad, I said f*ck it and played some 2K12, then went to sleep. Sorry, but after last year, I kinda vowed to myself I’ll never keep watching a Lakers game when I know they’re going to lose midway through the 3rd. Only time the Lakers made me pay for that was….well, this year, ironically, against the Thunder.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That’s fair Heals

  • http://slamonline Brion

    As a life long Sonics fan, its especially hard to watch OKC beat up on the Lakers, for years Kobe (and Shaq) used to come to town and give the Sonics the business. Now that the shoes on the other foot, its not our team anymore. We should be in Seattle getting pumped for game 2. Please turn it around Lakers.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’ve always felt that way about Rondo. I’m not one to let stats fool me into thinking that someone is something they are not and Rondo is not a very-good to great defender.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Shout out to Brion.
    Taylor where would you put Rondo on the list of defensive PG’s this year? I’ll quickly shout mine out. This year:
    1. Avery Bradley(maybe concidered a 2?)
    2. Kyle Lowry (till he went out)
    3. Eric Bledsoe
    4. Chris Paul
    5. Jrue Holiday
    6. Rondo
    7. Russel Westbrook
    8. Nate Robinson
    9. Jeff Teague
    10. Rick Rubio
    Honorable mention:
    Derron Williams
    Darrin Collison
    Kemba Walker
    Shumpert is a 2 so I didn’t rank him.
    I know this list is highly debatable. Based upon the games I watched this year these guys stood out to me defensively in this order.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Around 9 or 10.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    What up Lake? Im counting on your boys!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Damn, I think you got him to low. Discussion for another day.
    Brion, were doing our best, but were like a paraplegic dog with a wheel cart for rear legs these days.

  • Heals

    Deron is much better than ya’ll think, watch him play other elite pg’s. I watch every C’s game, Bradley benefits from fewer total mins and having little to no Offensive responsibility than RR; therefore it’s easy for him to go “all out” on D. Same with Bledsoe who often matches up with opposing team’s bench guards…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Agreed Heals. Still, time as a hamper or not they play more effective D in their time played imo.
    Deron is a good defender. He use to be real good. I didn;t watch him a whole lot this year, but when I did he wasn’t as impressive as the other guys I listed and he was better. Once he gets back to where he was I have him as a top 5 maybe 6 defensive PG.

  • Heals

    Mos def Lake, that’s a totally legit way to assess it (like you needed me to affirm it, haha) and I agree about AvyB possibly being a 2 more so. Ditto on DWill this year, you probably gave more weight to this year and I favored past performances more. Depending on the night you saw him with the Nets this year DWill could leave you with 2 totally different opinions. He coasted A LOT, but when he was “up” for a game it was all still there. Everybody’s gonna remember how good he was/is next year when he’s playing in a much better situation…

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    jesus chrrrrrrrist lebron, why can’t you hit those effing free throws???

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Overrated doesn’t mean bad.
    Overrated means overrated. It means that people value you what you do too highly.
    If I said “Kobe is overrated” it wouldn’t mean I think Kobe is a bad player. That’s an asinine statement to make. Kobe is probably the second or third best shooting guard of all-time depending on what you think about Oscar Robertson’s position.
    That said, Kobe can still be overrated. If a sizable contingent of people believe Kobe is better than Jordan, then he’s overrated.

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