Kurt Helin

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets- Game Four

Take that Paul Pierce: Deron Williams leads Nets with 35 to get win (VIDEO).

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A few weeks back, Paul Pierce made headlines saying the Nets lacked leadership and that all started with Deron Williams.

Williams sent his own message, turning back the clock and putting up 35 points to lead the Nets to a 120-115 win and even the series with the Hawks 2-2. This effort tied Williams’ career playoff high.

It helps the Nets cause that the powerhouse Hawks team from January is nowhere to be seen come April, but Williams is still leading his team through that open door.

PBT Extra with NBASavant.com: Wizard’s defense peaking at right time

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards - Game Four
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The Washington Wizards were a top 5 defensive team this season, but come the postseason they unquestionably cranked up the intensity and the result was a sweep of the Toronto Raptors in the first round.

Just how good were the Wizards?

PBT has partnered with the fantastic NBASavant.com to break down the Sports VU Camera data and look more closely at the advanced stats of the NBA playoffs and what decided a series.

Washington’s averaged defender distance to the Toronto shooter was 3.55 feet, the closest defense any team played in the first round of the playoffs. If they do that in the next round — either against the Nets or a Hawks team that has not looked like the vintage Hawks — the Wizards will have a chance to advance.

Report: Chandler Parsons to have knee surgery, could require microfracture surgery

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets- Game One
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Dallas has really missed Chandler Parsons during their first round playoff series with Houston — he was the guy supposed to match up on James Harden, but he has been out with an injured knee (he played in Game 1 but couldn’t continue after that).

Now they may be missing him a lot longer.

Parsons is going to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but depending on what they find microfracture surgery could be next, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Dallas Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons might need microfracture surgery on his right knee, sources told ESPNDallas.com, although there remains a possibility that the cartilage damage could be repaired with arthroscopic surgery.

If microfracture surgery is necessary, Parsons could be sidelined to begin next season.

Basically, the doctor is going to open him and see what the situation looks like up close.

Microfracture surgery usually takes six-to-eight months to recover from and return to the court. That would have Parsons back around the start of next season at the earliest, and the Mavericks likely would be cautious in bringing him back.

Parsons averaged 15.7 points a game last season (second highest on the Mavs), shot 38 percent from three and had an above-average PER of 16.3. Parsons had the third highest win shares on the team, trailing only Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler.

Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith gets two-game suspension for shot to Jae Crowder’s head

Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Boston Celtics At TD Garden
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Considering the flagrant style of the blow and his history, J.R. Smith (and the Cavaliers) are lucky it’s not more.

Cleveland’s starting two guard J.R. Smith has been suspended for the first two games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals for this blow to the head of Boston’s Jae Crowder on Sunday, the league announced

Crowder suffered a sprained knee from his fall.

Two games was on the low end of what Smith deserved for this cheep shot — Metta World Peace got six games for his shot to James Harden years ago.

With Kevin Love already ruled out for the entire next round due to his shoulder separation — for which Kelly Olynyk will be suspended one game at the start of next season — the Cavaliers are in a tight spot, down two starters against a Bulls team that has finally gotten healthy and is starting to find its stride.

In other news, Cleveland’s Kendrick Perkins’s second quarter foul for hitting the throat of Crowder while setting a screen has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 and he has been fined $15,000, the league announced. Perkins should have been ejected for that blow.

PBT Extra with NBASavant.com: Draymond Green helped hold Anthony Davis in relative check

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans - Game Four
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Draymond Green came in second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, and if you were watching the Warriors sweep the Pelicans out of the playoffs you saw why. Hopefully the 42 writers who left Green off their ballot completely were watching.

PBT has partnered with the fantastic NBASavant.com to break down the Sports VU Camera data and look more closely at the advanced stats of the NBA playoffs and what decided a series.

Anthony Davis was nothing short of spectacular in his playoff debut for New Orleans, but Green was key to keeping Davis in (relative) check and not letting him take over the series. One key stat: Davis was +35 when playing while Green sat, -55 while Green was on the court at the same time. That’s series changing impact.