NBA Playoffs: 5 Things That We Never Expected


April 26, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) during the second half in game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So far this postseason, the playoffs have been as exciting as usual. It may be a surprise that Chicago is up 3-1 against Brooklyn, but they were up 3-1 in the regular season. Other things, like how the playoffs have gone so far in terms of dominance are considerably surprising. With that being said, here is a list of five things that no one expected to happen.

1. Knicks up 3-0:

Unless you’re a Knicks fan, you didn’t predict the Knicks to go up 3-0 on the Celtics in the series. Some even predicted that the Celtics would be able to make the conference finals and play the Heat. While that was unlikely, it wasn’t impossible, because the Celtics have so much depth. It turns out, however, that Rajon Rondo is vital to the offense, as the Celtics don’t usually score higher than 35 points in the second half. It’s hard to watch the Knicks go on a very big run, just because the Celtics aren’t making any shots, not because they’re not playing any defense.

2. Warriors up 2-1:

The Warriors and Nuggets series was supposed to be the most exciting, and that it is. Two of the game were decided by three points or less, and the Warriors are looking pretty good. They’ve snagged home court advantage for this series, and are looking to continue the Nuggets’ postseason woes. Each time the Warriors make the playoffs, some magic appears. Unless you’re a Warriors fan, however, you didn’t predict this.

Realistically, many thought that the Warriors were going to get eliminated in four or five games, while others thought the series would go to seven, but the Nuggets would still win. That’s fine, if you want to talk realistically, but this is the playoffs, where nothing is unrealistic. People forget that certain type of magic that the Warriors carry. The fortune of having amazing fans, and the courage to face adversity against a screaming home crowd on the road. The Warriors are great in the postseason, but none of us expected they would lead the Nuggets at this point in the series.

3. Westbrook to Get Injured:

Not high-school, not college, not the NBA? Not until now, anyway. At one of the most crucial stages in the NBA, Russell Westbrook went down with a torn meniscus and is out for the rest of the playoffs after having successful surgery. Unless he pulls a Metta World Peace and comes back in two weeks, it’s not going to be pretty for the Thunder. How unlikely is it that a guy that hasn’t missed a game since middle school goes out in the postseason, when his team needs him the most.

If you went to the streets and asked someone how long Westbrook’s streak of not being injured would go on, they would say forever. Whenever he takes a fall, no matter how hard, you always expect him to get up. This time, however, that wasn’t the case. Winning for the Thunder is going to become increasingly difficult.

4. Grizzlies to Allow 112 points:

It may seem likely a pretty small detail, but how many of us expected the best defensive team in the NBA to allow 112 points, 37 in the fourth quarter? Defense is a very crucial part of winning games, and many say that it’s the only part that isn’t inconsistent. If defense wins championships, the Grizzlies would be going to the finals. Unfortunately for them, their offensive game isn’t as good as they would like.

That means their defense would have to be good. Many fans, not analysts, who looked at the series predicted the Clippers to win, just because of their flashiness. If the Grizzlies can just get a grip on the series, which they have, they could easily close out the Clippers who are in some trouble.

5. Spurs Crushing Lakers:

Every Laker fan said that the Lakers could take the Spurs, and it wouldn’t be too hard. It shouldn’t be, but that’s just not the case. Whether it’s the inability to run plays, or the inability to use a high basketball IQ, the Lakers are having some trouble dealing with the Spurs, now down 3-0 in the series, and none of the games were even remotely close. The Spurs are owning the matchup.

Even without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers have one of the best rosters in the NBA. With arguably one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, and one of the NBA’s best centers, the Lakers should be matching up with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker easily. They also have Pau Gasol, an all-star forward, and Metta World Peace, one of the league’s best defenders. Tell me why they’re not winning. I’m curious.