For the most part, day 12 went as predicted. Miami snuffed out the Sixers resistance with a comfortable (if not totally convincing) 97-91 victory to take the series 4-1. Oklahoma City also wrapped up their series 4-1 with a 100-97 win over Denver, while the Spurs forced their series to a Game 6 back in Memphis with a 110-103 win in overtime.

On to today’s points.

3 Points – Kevin Durant. If I could give Durant all the points for today I would. The Nuggets were probably the better team from 2-12 this game – but Durant’s 41 points carried the Thunder. Nothing much really needs to be said here. He’s awe-inspiring.

2 Points – Chris Bosh. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again till everyone gets sick of it. The Heat will only go as far as Chris Bosh can take them. LeBron and Wade will do their thing. Everyone knows that. But Bosh is the difference – if he’s not firing, the Heat are extremely vulnerable. Tonight he put up 22 points and brought down 11 rebounds.

However, this game highlighted the one great weakness of Miami and what will stop them from winning a title. They can not defend the low post at all. Elton Brand abusing Bosh/big Z/Joel Anthony was the main reason the Sixers were in it until the very end, but the Heat struggled to contain him throughout.

In the East, with Dwight Howard all but out of the way this won’t be much of a problem. But if we get a Lakers-Heat finals…I might have to revise my earlier prediction.

1 Point – Gary Neal. Neal only played 10 minutes and scored 7 points.

However, 3 of those points were the most important 3 points in the Spurs season – Neal hit the game-tying 3 that sent the game to overtime where the Spurs eventually won. For that reason, despite the stats put up by others, I have to give him the point.

Honourable Mentions.
Elton Brand. Turned back the clock to his Clipper days with 22 points and 6 rebounds, while having his way with whatever Miami threw at him.
Manu Ginobili. Just keeps doing his thing. 33 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 9/10 from the FT line.
Kendrick Perkins. As usual, Perk’s stats (11 points and 9 rebounds) don’t explain the kind of defensive steel he gives the Thunder. The trade for him by Sam Presti just looks better every day.

Playoff Retro Diary:
2010 Day 12 – Fear the Deer
2009  Day 12 – The Day the Hornets only lost by 21


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