On the fifth day of NBA playoffs things panned out as expected. Memphis managed to maintain their lead and earn a home court split. Tony Parker sliced and diced the Utah defense en route to a San Antonio thrashing of the Jazz. And thanks to a nice showing from Danny Granger, the Pacers slugged out a road win in Orlando, holding the Magic to just 74 points on the night.
3 votes – Tony Parker. So far it hasn’t really seemed like a playoff series between the Spurs and Jazz, for this I blame Tony Parker. I’ve enjoyed watching both the Spurs and Parker all season long – he’s getting in to the lane at will, his shooting from the floor’s been improved, and sometime between getting benched for George Hill in last years playoffs, and representing France in the world championships, his court vision improved out of sight.
Utah were never really in this game and it got out of hand pretty quickly, but in his 27 minutes on the court, Parker was extremely efficient. He controlled the tempo, got to the line six times, and gave up just one turnover. He even convinced Pop to keep him on the floor when the game was all but over in the third quarter.
2 votes – OJ Mayo. For whatever reason, I found myself subconsciously pulling for the Clippers throughout this game, and despite what the box score suggests, OJ Mayo was public enemy number 1. He made just six shots from the field for 20 points, but every single one of them came at a meaningful moment in the game.
1 vote – Danny Granger. I’ll admit this is the one series I haven’t been following very closely. Orlando don’t have the defensive presence in the paint, or the offensive firepower to win a series, which is basically going to send Indiana to the second round by default.
I watched game 1 of this series and wasn’t particularly impressed with the play of Granger, or the Pacers in general, but the Magic will be used as a tune up for the Pacers as they begin preparation for their series with the best team in the Eastern Conference.