NBA Playoffs 2014: So what do we know so far?

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Each series has two games in the books. What do we know so far?

The NBA Playoffs are fully in swing, and half of the first round is already over (you know, provided there are going to be some sweeps). More accurately the teams that fought hard for homecourt in the playoffs played their first two home games. So what do we know?

Eastern Conference:

Indiana Pacers (1) - Atlanta Hawks (8)
  • This series is tied 1-1
  • IND looked listless to finish the season, and lost Game 1 in a game where they really looked out of sorts; but IND came back with a sufficient enough 101-85 beatdown in Game 2
  • In Game 2 we saw Paul Millsap continue to do great things on the court, but he was a whopping -26 in +/-, you can argue this many ways -- either that the team would have been that much worse without him on the court, or that while he was getting his, he didn't help his team win
  • More accurately, it's a two man show right now with Jeff Teague and Sap doing things. If one of them is not producing, others have to step up. They did in Game 1. They did not in Game 2.
Miami Heat (2) - Charlotte Bobcats (7)
  • This series is 2-0, Miami
  • Al Jefferson is hurt, playing hurt, and not even his singular play on offense can change the outcome
  • At this stage the Utah Jazz version of Big Al would talk about the series like it's already over, like he did against SAS years ago
  • Miami looks to have an 'easy' path to the East Finals with their draw
  • Big Al hasn't gone to the free thrown line once, he has played 75 minutes and taken 40 shots. This is not the ratio we usually see with efficient primary scoring options
Toronto Raptors (3) - Brooklyn Nets (6)
  • This series is tied 1-1
  • Style-wise, this is the most entertaining series so far (for Jazz fans we may have more rooting interest in the Hawks, and in terms of game intensity CHI/WAS is hard to beat), there are plenty of subplots and locker-room trash talk going around.
  • The crowds have been nuts in Toronto, and will probably be nuts in Brooklyn as well
  • Deron Williams is still fun to watch when he is dialed in, and he's having a battle on his hands with Kyle Lowry right now
  • It's been a great fight with experience vs youth, and it's likely that this series could go the distance
  • Jonas Valanciunas really looks better than Enes Kanter right now.
Chicago Bulls (4) - Washington Wizards (5)
  • This series is  2-0, Washington
  • The last 10 minutes of the first two games were almost better than the entire Jazz season
  • Somehow the lower seed came in and won two games on the road
  • John Wall and Bradley Beal are for real
  • All but one of ESPN's experts picked the Bulls, and the majority picked them in 5 or 6 games. Can they win 4 games in a row?
  • Defensive player of the year Joakim Noah needs some help, it would be nice if Carlos Boozer stepped up 'regardless'.

Western Conference:

San Antonio Spurs (1) - Dallas Mavericks (8)
  • This series is tied 1-1
  • The Mavs did what they needed to do, they got a split in the first two games. If they hold serve at home the can win this series
  • Game 2 was all about turn overs, you can expect Coach of the year Greg Popovich will swear a lot about this in practice today
  • Tim Duncan is still amazing though.
  • You just expect the Spurs to win, but they just got blown out, in the playoffs, at home, by 21 points.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) - Memphis Grizzlies (7)
  • This series is tied 1-1
  • I'm actually not watching this game, watching it on twitter is more than enough
  • Kevin Durant is unreal
  • Zach Randolph is a beast
  • This is the opposite of the MIA/CHA series
Los Angeles Clippers (3) - Golden State Warriors (6)
Houston Rockets (4) - Portland Trail Blazers (5)
  • This series is 2-0, Portland
  • Okay, another 4/5 match-up where the road team is up 2-0. Crazy.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 45 and 13 so far against their defense
  • Houston, you have a problem
  • I am fascinated by how many free throw attempts James Harden will get the remainder of the series
  • The former Rose Garden (now Moda center) is going to be really loud for Games 3 and 4
Former Utah Jazz Players:

Some of these guys make huge contributions every game, some guys haven't even played a single minute yet.

FG 3PT FT
Player Team G W Min PTS M A % M A % M A % REB AST A:TO STL BLK BARPS / Min +/-
1 Al Jefferson CHA 2 0 37.5 18.0 9.0 20.0 45.0% 11.5 1.0 2.0 0.5 1.0 32.0 0.85 -4.5
2 Paul Millsap ATL 2 1 33.5 22.0 6.5 14.5 44.8% 2.0 4.0 50.0% 7.0 8.5 82.4% 6.0 1.0 0.4 1.0 1.0 31.0 0.93 -10.0
3 Devin Harris DAL 2 1 28.0 18.5 7.5 12.5 60.0% 2.5 5.0 50.0% 2.0 2.0 100.0% 3.5 5.0 2.0 0.5 0.5 28.0 1.00 7.0
4 Deron Williams BKN 2 1 37.0 19.5 6.5 17.5 37.1% 2.0 6.0 33.3% 4.5 4.5 100.0% 1.0 4.0 2.0 0.5 0.0 25.0 0.68 15.5
5 Wesley Matthews POR 2 2 41.0 13.5 5.0 13.5 37.0% 1.0 6.0 16.7% 5.0 6.0 83.3% 2.5 1.0 0.3 2.0 0.0 19.0 0.46 6.5
6 Carlos Boozer CHI 2 0 22.5 8.0 3.5 8.0 43.8% 1.0 1.5 66.7% 8.5 1.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 17.5 0.78 -3.5
7 DeMarre Carroll ATL 2 1 33.5 8.5 3.0 6.0 50.0% 1.5 3.5 42.9% 2.0 5.0 40.0% 6.0 1.0 0.7 0.5 0.5 16.5 0.49 1.0
8 Kyle Korver ATL 2 1 30.5 7.5 3.0 8.5 35.3% 1.5 5.5 27.3% 3.0 1.0 0.7 0.5 1.0 13.0 0.43 -5.0
9 Andrei Kirilenko BKN 1 1 20.0 4.0 2.0 3.0 66.7% 3.0 1.0 UDF 4.0 0.0 12.0 0.60 -4.0
10 Mo Williams POR 2 2 25.0 8.0 2.5 7.0 35.7% 1.5 4.0 37.5% 3.0 3.0 100.0% 1.0 1.0 0.5 1.0 0.0 11.0 0.44 -3.5
11 Derek Fisher OKC 2 1 14.5 5.5 1.5 4.0 37.5% 0.0 1.5 0.0% 2.5 2.5 100.0% 1.0 0.5 UDF 1.5 0.0 8.5 0.59 8.5
12 Kosta Koufos MEM 1 1 5.0 2.0 0.0 1.0 0.0% 2.0 2.0 100.0% 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 4.0 0.80 -2.0
13 Earl Watson POR 0 2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0
14 Ronnie Brewer CHI 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0

Yeah, Big Al is playing hurt, and is such a trooper. He's just not helping his team win games right now. Is that on him? Of course not. It's a team sport. Love his heart, but there are flaws to his game still. Maybe that's just who he is by now on offense? We didn't think he could be a defensive anchor, and he proved that he could be in the right system. Maybe he can start getting to the line in the future too? Sap is blossoming on a national scale right now during these playoffs. He's going to the line 8.5 times a game, shooting great from everywhere (45/50/82 is nice), and the focal point of the defensive gameplan. Devin is straight up wrecking the Spurs. And doing it off the bench. D-Will and Wes aren't shooting as well as they'd want, but doing enough to get the job done. D-Will took over and ended Game 1 of his series by halftime. Wes is playing defense and getting to the line. Boozer has been asleep. DeMarre had a great game one. Kyle needs to shoot better  from deep, his main strength. Andrei had 4 steals in one game. #MOLO is in fire at will mode. And everyone else is forgettable.

Up Next:

  • The lower seed teams are at home for the next two
  • It's "kinda" panic mode for Houston and Chicago right now. They need a split at worst.
  • Game three will be the fulcrum for most of the teams playing in a series tied 1-1.
  • If the Hawks are going to shock the world they're going to NEED Korver to shoot better than 27% from downtown
  • If the Blazers are going to be trouble in the next round, they're going to NEED Wes shooting better than 17% from downtown
  • Ronnie B and Earl haven't played yet.
  • Some people on twitter think Jimmer Fredette would help the Bulls win games this series. If they lose Game 3 what would Thibs have to lose?
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