NBA Playoffs: Studs and Duds of Round 2

NBA Playoffs: Studs and Duds of Round 2

by May 21, 2022 0 comments

In an exciting and interesting second round of the NBA playoffs, some players stepped up in a big way while others were forced to say “Well, I was having a bad day.” Each week, players are being guarded differently, and how they typically play gets affected. Unpopular players get to play well when the defense is no longer focused on them. The star players who are the main target by opposing defenders, however, might struggle and have a bad game. With that in mind, let us take a look back at some of the studs and duds of the Conference Semifinals.

Be sure to check out all of our NBA content.

Stud: Ja Morant in Game 2

Morant scored 47 points by shooting 15 of 31 from the field. He added eight rebounds, eight assists, and scored the last 15 points for the Memphis Grizzlies in a close win against the Golden State Warriors, which made his performance even more impressive. No one knew it at the time, but Morant would appear in just one more game before an injury prevented him from finishing the series.

Dud: James Harden in Game 6

While facing elimination, Harden would play 43 minutes but attempt only nine field goals and attempt zero free throws. This is not the Harden fans know, but it must be accepted now. Most of the NBA fans today will remember the version of Harden that would attempt 20 field goals or 20 free throws per game. Not anymore. Did that “foul-baiting” rule change him? Maybe it did.

Stud: Jayson Tatum in Game 6

Milwaukee’s fans had to be feeling good. The Bucks had a 3-2 series lead and the sniff of the Eastern Conference Finals was floating in the air. The Boston Celtics had other plans. Tatum scored 46 points and forced a Game 7. The Duke product even scored 11 points in a row at one point during the game to make sure a rally from the Bucks would not happen.

Dud: Marcus Smart in the last minute of Game 5

You can have a bad game but can you have a bad minute? Of course, you can, just ask Smart. The Celtics were up by three with 60 seconds remaining but would somehow lose the game by three points when the clock hit zero. Smart had a costly turnover that resulted in Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks hitting a three-pointer. Smart would then have his potential game-winning shot blocked by Holiday. Lastly, the Celtics had a chance to tie the game with a three but Holiday stole the ball from Smart before the Celtics could put up a shot.

Stud: Luka Doncic – Games 1 to 7

Doncic averaged more than 30 points per game during his second-round matchup with the Phoenix Suns and was the main reason why the team advanced. His Dallas Mavericks were down 0-2 to begin the series, but the Suns collapsed at a time when Doncic was just getting started with his incredible play. This one-man show has fans wondering what his postseason run would look like if he had an All-Star teammate.

Dud: Chris Paul – Games 3 to 7

Paul’s near-perfect performance in the first round gave us the feeling that he would be back in the Finals, so seeing him leave after the second round is tough. The future Hall of Famer being eliminated from the playoffs seems to be a yearly heartbreaking scene basketball fans have to endure. What happened? He attempted nine or less shots per game after Game 2 against the Mavericks, while his fouls and turnovers increased. Gone were the games where he would shoot 15-footers with ease. You hate to see this happen, especially to a guy like Paul.

Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

Follow Joey Almendras on Twitter @Buyaw

Main Image Credit: via Washington Live

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Reply