Stars Picking Up Playoff Intensity

Finally, playoff basketball is underway. The intensity is overwhelming at times and the performances of some are downright inspirational.

Thus far, we’ve had series that have been tarnished by injury, made worse by self inflicted wounds and others that are being extended past a predicted sweep by a shock win from the underdog. As usual, we’ve got the best of the best from a wild week of first round action in this weeks highlight reel, so let’s get to it.

Team of the Week: Los Angeles Lakers

The championship talk surrounding this Lakers team was limited coming into the postseason, but after their first two performances against a solid Nuggets team, the belief is back in L.A. Andrew Bynum‘s triple double on Sunday paired with a 38 point performance from Kobe Bryant in game 2 has put a lot of people back on the Lakers championship wagon. With their size in the front court and the improved back court with Ramon Sessions, the Lakers aren’t a shock pick to come out of the west.

                                                                                                                                                     

Player of the Week: LeBron James-Miami Heat

After a 32 point performance in game 1, James followed it up with a 19 point 9 assist performance in game 2. Using his versatility and incredible play making ability, LeBron is answering any doubts about whether or not he deserves the MVP with each game right now. If he continues to play this way, the Knicks postseason won’t see South Beach again and the Heat will be clear favorites to come out of the east.

                                                                                                                                                      

Dunk of the Week: Dante Cunningham-Memphis Grizzlies

Rarely is Blake Griffin on the receiving end of one of these, but here Cunningham shows Griffin that he isn’t the only capable of hammering down a thunderous dunk. Griffin would have the last laugh, however, as the Clippers would complete an incredible come back to take game 1.

                                                                                                                                                        

Block of the Week: Jeff Teague-Atlanta Hawks

Considering where Teague comes from to make this play, it’s a rare gem for a point guard. In a night where the Hawks couldn’t capitalize on the absence Rajon Rondo, Teague’s massive swat is one of a few highlights from game 2 Atlanta can feel good about.

                                                                                                                                                          

Assist of the Week: C.J. Watson-Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose going down isn’t a death sentence? While many doubt that, take a look at the type of ability that his backups bring to the table in Chicago. While the Bulls aren’t the threat they were before, remember that they are still the No.1 seed in the postseason and have a potential Coach of the Year candidate running the show.

                                                                                                                                                      

Trick Shot of the Week: Tony Parker-San Antonio Spurs

It’s the Tony Parker show in San Antonio and right now, the show looks to be anything but a ratings hit. Not because it lacks highlights like the one below, but because anyone who believes Utah stands a chance against the likes of Parker and his Spurs is fooling themselves.

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About David Rice

David Rice is a freelance reporter currently working in the Tampa Bay area for the Tampa Bay Times and is the NBA Editor of Opposing Views. He has written articles covering everything from sports and local music to local politics and business. Rice has also worked for Sam's Army, the official supporters group of the U.S. national soccer team for the last six years as a writer.
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