Chris Cox from the ‘Undersized Basketball Podcast’ names his All-NBA Playoff 1st-Round Team, consisting of the top performers from the opening round of the NBA Playoffs.
A celebration of the top performers during the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. The criteria for selection took into account both individual brilliance and contribution to team success. Only players from qualified teams were eligible.
Point Guard: Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors beat Denver Nuggets 4-2)
24.3 PPG (46.8/43.4/100), 4.3 REB, 9.3 AST, 2.2 STL, 0.2 BLK, 3.3 TO
There are few finer sights to behold in basketball than watching a pure jump-shooter catching fire. Curry put on an exhibition of scoring, seemingly unable to miss, on a plethora of occasions, helping to propel his Warriors team to an unlikely victory against the much-fancied Denver Nuggets. The fourth-year guard’s combination of flair and efficiency, balanced scoring and getting teammates involved, secures him a place in the All-NBA Playoff 1st-Round Team.
It would be perhaps more appropriate to label George a ‘defensive guard’, as he does his finest work on that end of the floor. Yet, the league’s most improved player has expanded his game sufficiently enough to attract the attention of the opposition’s defence – creating invaluable floor spacing for teammates. Despite only shooting 41.8%, George’s well-rounded game helped him stuff that stat sheet and allowed his Pacers team to close out a tough first-round matchup against the Hawks.
Small Forward: LeBron James (Miami Heat beat Milwaukee Bucks 4-0)
24.5 PPG (62.7/27.3/70), 7.8 REB, 6.8 AST, 1 STL, 0.3 BLK, 4.8 TO
The four-time regular-season MVP shot an incredible 62.7 from the field, guiding his number one-ranked Miami Heat team past the Milwaukee Bucks in an uneventful four-game sweep. James, as usual, threatened a triple-double on a nightly basis. Although not at his spectacular best, James did more than enough to suppress any notion of a Bucks upset. Worrying for future opponents.
Power Forward: Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs beat Los Angeles Lakers 4-0)
17.5 PPG (51.7/-/88.3), 7.5 REB, 1.5 AST, 1.5 STL, 1 BLK, 1.5 TO
Much like James, Duncan didn’t post ridiculous flashy stats. The Big Fundamental quietly and effectively controlled the paint on both ends of the floor, without having to expel masses of energy, nullifying the Lakers’ only chance at victory: Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
Centre: Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls – beat Brooklyn Nets 4-3)
11.4 PPG (45/-/42.1), 9.9 REB, 2.3 AST, 0.6 STL, 3.1 BLK, 1.59 TO
Noah earns his place in the starting five through sheer grit and determination. With a game built around hustle and energy, Noah has been playing through injury all post-season: plantar fasciitis hasn’t been enough to stop the centre dominating the paint. His game seven performance was spectacular – 24 PTS, 14 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL and 6 BLK in 41 minutes – enabling Chicago to clinch the series.
Bench: Mike Conley (MEM), Tony Parker (SAS), Kevin Durant (OKC), Carmelo Anthony (NYK) and Andrew Bogut (GSW)
Sport Is Everything. Chris Cox.