Marc Stein: Rating the first playoff weekend


Best Leading Man: Rose One more triple for Billups in Sunday's extremely-physical-for-a-rout smashing of the Hornets -- which would have matched Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Nuggets vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman for the single-game playoff record of nine 3s -- and we might have been forced to revise this selection. Or maybe not. Lead guards were the weekend rage, and Billups, appropriately, couldn't have done much more as a tone-setter for his desperate hometown team. It doesn't matter that Billups and Paul don't actually match up on every possession. The mere presence of the game's consensus No. 1 point guard in Denver's infamous altitude -- along with the low-hanging clouds stemming from the Nuggets' inability to win a first-round series since Billups was a junior at Denver's George Washington High School in 1994 -- combined to make Chauncey's 8-for-9 shooting on 3-pointers in a 113-84 rout one of his most memorable eruptions. We already knew, though, that the 2004 NBA Finals MVP could do this. Or something close to this. We had no idea what Rose was capable of in his first playoff game. We never expected to hear Magic Johnson -- who managed a comparatively paltry 13 points and 16 assists in his postseason debut for the Lakers -- gushing on the ABC set in response to Rose's 36 points and 11 dimes in a two-point OT win in Boston: "Michael Jordan couldn't do it, Magic Johnson couldn't do it, Larry Bird didn't do it."

Cavs' Brown named coach of the year

[From the FanShots. Vinny received a 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place vote. For coach of the year. The best coach...of the year. -ed.] There's always next year, Vinny.

There may be yet another act in the Kevin Garnett saga... Then, at 3:14 yesterday afternoon, the...


There may be yet another act in the Kevin Garnett saga... Then, at 3:14 yesterday afternoon, the story took another twist when Garnett appeared on the team’s practice floor wearing full workout gear. He proceeded to dribble a basketball as he walked slowly around the perimeter of the court, with strength coach Bryan Doo watching intently. Trainer Ed Lacerte came out of his office and sat at the far end of the floor to watch the event... After four minutes, Garnett, Doo and Lacerte walked through a door that leads to the weight room at the team’s facility....

From here

David Thorpe Loved Joakim Noah's Foul


The irony, he points out, is that this play is right out of Tom Thibodeau's Boston Celtics' playbook. One thing that Thorpe and his IMG Academies colleague Mike Moreau have been noticing all year about the Celtics is that they do foul jump shooters. Not constantly, but more than most good defensive teams. And to Moreau and Thorpe, that's OK.

Case closed: Get Ray Allen open

Practices usually don’t run this long or hard so late in the season, but everyone - Ray Allen especially - needed something yesterday to create a spark. The Celtics [team stats] guard, who was just 1-for-12 from the field in Saturday’s Game 1 first-round playoff loss to Chicago, sliced out to the top of the circle and buried a jumper. The ball rattled through - not with Allen’s customary swish but certainly better than all but one shot he took in the opener. Coach Doc Rivers called everyone in and ended practice at that moment. Muscle memory will be important in Game 2 tonight at the Garden. So too will effective pick setting - one of the many skills the team lacked in Game 1.

Bulls Get Help From the Knicks


This seems to have been forgotten and worth noting since Issiah just got hired as a college coach

X's & O's of Basketball Blog Breaks Down Derrick's Transition Success and the Celtics Defensive Paradox


Interesting discussion on how Rondo penetrating being the Celtics best (only?) weapon on Saturday lead to Derrick being able to run the break at will.

(On Derrick Rose) "Everybody has their night," said Kendrick Perkins. "I know it won't happen...


(On Derrick Rose) "Everybody has their night," said Kendrick Perkins. "I know it won't happen again. He'll never have another game like that against us." "...there was a boisterous three-on-three game going on at one end. At the other basket, Joakim Noah was endlessly shooting jumpers." " the third quarter, they made that run – we were up nine at the half--and I didn’t call timeouts, because, one, I think as a young team that’s a good learning tool for us."

Sam Smith with post-game notes.

The Chicago Bulls did a lot of things right on Saturday afternoon in Boston en route to a 105-103...


The Chicago Bulls did a lot of things right on Saturday afternoon in Boston en route to a 105-103 overtime win. They controlled the tempo on the Celtics' home floor, and mauled the league's second-best rebounding team on the glass. But it's impossible to consider any single facet of the game without focusing on Derrick Rose. Chicago's rookie point guard tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record for most points in a playoff debut with 36. Rose's game displays a seamless combination of spontaneity and purpose. He's perfectly capable of free-forming at any moment -- even off a made bucket -- but he's also a master orchestrator who controls the halfcourt game from the point. Rose shredded the Celtics' defense Saturday and he did it in a variety of ways.

Inside the Huddles for Game 1. SWING IT!!!


Inside the Huddles for Game 1.  SWING IT!!!