We’ve seen some fun things in the early games. The series between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets is ridiculously entertaining and could go seven games. Same goes for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies. We even saw the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls push each other to the limit in a triple-overtime battle for the ages. But not everything has been so fun and with that in mind, we present the five biggest disappointments of the 2012-13 NBA playoffs.
No one expected the Milwaukee Bucks to take down the Miami Heat, but there was hope that they might at least make it interesting. That has not been the case. The Heat are completely dominating this series and the Bucks have struggled to get anything significant out of their high-flying backcourt pairing of Jennings and Ellis. Jennings is shooting .320 from the field, while Ellis is at .400, but he’s just 2-for-15 from downtown. If the Bucks want to steal a game from the defending champs, these two will need to break out of their old habits and start hitting some shots.
Turns out the Celtics do miss Rajon Rondo, eh? After winning at least one playoff series in each of the past five years, the Boston Celtics are down 3-0 against the New York Knicks and they appear to be doomed. Their backcourt has not helped their situation. While the Celtics were decent without Rondo in the regular season, they really need him now. Their offense has struggled to find a leader without him. As the starting point guard, Avery Bradley has put up the same underwhelming stats he did during the regular season (nine points, two rebounds, two assists) and his defense has not been enough to make up for it. Anyone who thought Bradley would rise to the occasion in the playoffs was sorely mistaken.
3. The Not-So-Resilient Los Angeles Lakers
Yeah, I know, they’re really banged up; and they started Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris last night, but that’s what I blame them for. In the first two games, everyone other than Kobe Bryant was healthy and they still didn’t put up much of a fight. The Lakers may be old, but the San Antonio Spurs aren’t any younger and they’ve still been manhandling them. Things would likely be different with Kobe, but you’d think a team with Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol would have been a bit tougher to take down.
Is it even possible to watch these games? Do you die of boredom if you keep them on for too long? Can’t we just have the Pacers start playing the Knicks right now? This is by far the most worthless series of the first round. Even the Heat-Bucks series has some intrigue because of LeBron James. Right now, you have a slow, dull team who won’t be interesting until they make the later rounds (the Pacers) playing a team who somehow has not entered a rebuilding era even though they really should have. The sooner this is over, the better.
1. The Russell Westbrook injury
Now this one really hurts. What are the playoffs going to be like without Westbrook? I’m not sure that’s a question we want to know the answer to. We’re going to miss both his jaw-dropping athleticism and his excellent fashion sense in post-game press conferences. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s chances of winning a title this season have just become very slim, leaving us to wonder if anyone can seriously challenge the Heat. Losing Westbrook meant we lost an extremely fun player and it might have made the rest of the playoffs even more predictable that we thought they’d be. What a bummer.