2012 NBA Playoffs Diary – Day 5

Tony Parker scored 18 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs in the biggest blowout of the playoffs so far, crushing the Utah Jazz 114-83 in what’s beginning to look like a disappointing end to the surprising Jazz’ season. Maybe they would have been better off not making the postseason at all, bulking up in the draft with a high pick?

This definitely isn’t the same team that tumbled down in the first round last season. The Utah Jazz are not the same Memphis Grizzlies from last season as well, shooting a terrible 34.4% from the field with only one player, Al Jefferson, finishing in double figures with 10 points. The Jazz gave up on the 3 big men lineup, but it didn’t really change the fact that they were completely outclassed on both ends of the floor.

For the Spurs, it was about as easy as it gets. No one played more than 28 minutes, six players scored in double figures and Tony Parker actually had to beg Popovich to let him play a bit more in the fourth quarter, shouting – I’m only 29!

No big embarassing fourth quarter collapse for the Grizzlies in Game 2, keeping their 6 point lead heading into the final period. They eventually won 105-98 as the Clippers, without Caron Butler, lost Mo Williams along the way as well, although he’s likely to return in Game 3.

The Clippers turned the ball over 20 times, including 5 by Chris Paul and 4 by Blake Griffin. Both teams shot very well from the field so the rebounding numbers were rather low, but the Grizzlies did grab 16 offensive rebounds. The Clippers shot the ball well, but handled it poorly, and the costly and careless play of theirs was too much to overcome.

Six men scored in double figures for Memphis, including 21 from Rudy Gay and 20 from OJ Mayo, while Zach Randolph is slowly coming back to himself, starting and finishing with 15 points and 8 rebounds.

This is how you expect the Orlando Magic to look like without Dwight Howard. After stealing game 1, the Magic have simple regressed into a jump shooting team without much else. Glen Davis did impress with 20 points, but when Orlando don’t shoot like crazy, added to the 17 turnovers, they simply have no shot of competing against any team in these playoffs.

Danny Granger was fantastic with 26 points, hitting 5 three pointers and grabbing nine rebounds. More importantly for the long road, Roy Hibbert finally broke out offensively, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, making 8-10 from the field.

Finally the Pacers used their size advantage to their favor, carried by excellent shooting early on. The Magic seemed to lose every rebounding and hustle battle down the stretch. There’s not much else they can sell against a better team, going down, at home, 97-74. Hard to see them actually coming back from this 2-1 deficit.

3 Games, 3 Players

Jazz (83) – Spurs (114) – Tony Parker with 18 points and 9 assists. The Spurs lead the series 2-0.

Clippers (98) – Grizzlies (105) – Rudy Gay with 21 points and 5 rebounds. The series is tied at 1-1.

Pacers (97) – Magic (74) – Roy Hibbert with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Pacers lead the series 2-1.

Stat leaders

Kobe Bryant is leading the scoring with 34.5 points per game, followed by Russell Westbrook with 28.5. Josh Smith leads the rebounds with 15 per game, followed by three players with 12 a piece. Rajon Rondo dished 11 assists in one game which is enough to lead the postseason numbers, followed by Tony Parker and Chris Paul with 8.5.

On Today

Miami Heat at New York Knicks (7 ET). Heat lead the series 2-0.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks (9:30 ET). Thunder lead the series 2-0.

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