Apr 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) dribbles the ball during the fourth quarter as Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones (6) defends in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Playoffs: What we learned from the opening weekend


Eight game 1′s in the books and I’m not sure if we really can take anything of significance from one game — in the regular season. However, in the playoffs, we usually can. In the playoffs, the winner of game 1′s win the series more than 70 percent of the time. That’s a pretty significant number.

So for Brooklyn, Golden State, Atlanta, OKC, San Antonio, Miami, Washington and Portland, things are looking good. Though, are they really?

In any case, here’s what I think we learned from the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs…

PAUL PIERCE IS STILL COLD-BLOODED

The Truth scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday afternoon, and many of those baskets came at the most crucial of times. Pierce showed that he’s exactly what this Nets team needed — a cold-blooded finisher. As long as the rest of his teammates can carry him to the fourth quarter, never put any team past them. At least not with the way Pierce played in the final minutes against the Raptors in game uno. 

GOLDEN STATE WILL BE FINE WITHOUT ANDREW BOGUT IF THEY CAN KEEP BLAKE GRIFFIN IN FOUL TROBLE

In 19 minutes against the Warriors, Blake Griffin scored 16 points, snagged three rebounds and was a plus-22 during his time on the court for the Clippers. When he was off the court (mostly due to foul trouble), the Clippers were minus-22 and saw their offensive rating drop from 136 (when BG was on the court) to 85 (when he was off the court). On the other hand, Golden State took advantage of just that and “stole” game 1 in LA. The Clippers can’t afford to let this happen again. However, if it does, the Warriors would be more than happy to capitalize once again.  

INDIANA MAY BE IN TROUBLE

There were moments in their game against the Hawks in which the Indiana Pacers looked like their old selves again. Then, there was the second half. If the Pacers don’t be careful, they could very well find themselves down 0-2 in this series. Then, it REALLY gets interesting. Still, it’s not the end of the world that the Pacers dropped the opening game to Atlanta. It’s a warning sign — GET YOUR S!&* TOGETHER, INDIANA! 

DALLAS HAD THEIR SHOT, MISSED IT AND WILL REGRET IT LATER

The Dallas Mavericks were up on the Spurs 81-71 with 7:45 left in the game. During the next six minutes, the Spurs went on a 17-1 run to end any hopes the Mavs had of stealing game one — and perhaps sending a message in this series. The Mavs may win a game or two later in this series — most likely at home — however, I find it very likely that they’re going to look back at game one with a whole lot of remorse. 

DWYANE WADE LOOKS AWFULLY GOOD

This was Dwyane Wade’s stat line from game one vs the Charlotte Bobcats: 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting with five assists. Not too shabby. Heck, even LeBron James admitted that Wade looked good: “Can’t get no righter!” he said. “He couldn’t look better. He was in attack mode.” Nevertheless, if the Heat can get the Wade that played game one throughout the majority of the NBA Playoffs — and certainly for the more crucial games — then the Heat could well be on their way to a three-peat. However, that’s a big “if” though. 

CHICAGO IS GOING TO NEED MORE THAN HEART AND HUSTLE TO BEAT WASHINGTON

As expected, the Bulls out-hustled and out-hearted the Washington Wizards by a slight margin in game one. However, one thing that they didn’t do against the seasoned Wizards was outscore them. Turns out, that’s kind of a big part of this whole game called basketball — whoever scores the most points, wins the game. The Bulls may have all the want in the world, however, if they can’t get some extra fire power on offense they won’t last too long in this series. 

WE ARE GOING TO GET AT LEAST SEVEN GREAT GAMES IN THIS FIRST ROUND THANKS TO HOUSTON AND PORTLAND 

Can that statement stand by itself? I mean, did you all see game one last night? That is all.

P.S. don’t kill this series refs. 

 

*All statistics courtesy of NBA.com unless otherwise stated

 

 

 

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Brooklyn Nets Chicago Bulls Dallas Mavericks Featured Indiana Pacers Los Angeles Clippers Miami Heat NBA Popular