Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while entranced watching Charles Barkley pretend to eat churros….
Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets. If you are going to beat the Heat, you need to attack where they are weak — at the point or with bigs. For a Brooklyn team built with beating Miami in mind that means Deron Williams, the point guard they traded for to be their franchise cornerstone. Except he had zero points on the night. None. Zip. Zilch. He was 0-for-9 from the field — and some of those were good looks. By the fourth quarter he was hesitant… and with that performance the Nets were toast.
Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn Nets. We could continue to Deron Williams in this space. Or Kevin Garnett. But that’s like making fun of Jar Jar Binks — it’s not even a challenge and everyone has done it. Let’s find a positive for Brooklyn… Teletovic. He was knocking down threes for Brooklyn, five in the first half and 6-of-9 for the game, setting a Brooklyn record. More than that he pulls the Heat bigs out of the paint and opened things up for the Brooklyn offense.
Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs. In the first round he slowed down Dirk Nowitzki. In this round he gets LaMarcus Aldridge and has been crucial to the Spurs series lead. Aldridge was 6-of-23 shooting in Game 2, and with Splitter keeping Aldridge in check the other defenders can stay home on the Blazers three point shooters. Splitter is pitching in on offense, he had 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. But it’s his defense that is key.