The NBA Playoffs have been full of amazing performances because after all, this is where “amazing happens”. Some players have really stepped up their game and taken their respective teams to an entirely different level. As the playoffs wind themselves towards the Conference Finals and ultimately the NBA Finals, it is going to take some extraordinary play from the stars of the league in order to secure that coveted championship ring. Take note of these performances listed here and look for more to come in the next few weeks. These guys would make any fantasy basketball roster look good.
Jason Terry – SG – Dallas Mavericks
Western Conference Semifinals – Game 4 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Draining a ridiculous 9-10 3PTs in three quarters, the 2009 Sixth Man of the Year tied an NBA Postseason record en route to a remarkable sweep of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Terry finished the game with 32 points in 25 minutes, shooting 11-14 from the field alongside 4 assists. Not only did the Mavericks dominate with a 36 point victory, but their bench outscored the Lakers team 40-39 in the first half. Reserves Peja Stojakovic (6-6 3PTs) and Jose Juan Barea (22 points 8 assists) also joined the party. It is only fitting that the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year (Lamar Odom) gets ejected after “Jet Terry” displays his worthiness of his prior award.
Dwight Howard – C – Orlando Magic
First Round – Game 1 vs. Atlanta Hawks
Superman tied a career high with 46 points, going 16-23 from the floor and 14-22 at the charity stripe. Howard also ripped down 19 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Although he dominated those two statistical categories, Dwight committed eight turnovers. Furthermore, he only recorded one blocked shot in 46 minutes. This monster line was not enough for the Magic, as the “Silent Assassin”, 2010 Sixth Man of the Year, Jamal Crawford came off the bench with 23 points and 5 assists to lead the Hawks to a pivotal game one victory.
Derrick Rose – PG – Chicago Bulls
First Round – Game 1 vs. Indiana Pacers
Now that it is official, the 2011 MVP showed a national audience why the Chicago Bulls are championship contenders. Trailing 98-88 with 3:38 remaining, Rose cut the lead to four after assisting Joakim Noah at the 2:27 mark. After back and forth empty possessions, Rose drove to the hoop hitting the layup plus the foul. A running seven foot floater by the MVP tied the game at 99 with 1:27 left. Crafty UCLA product Darren Collison attempted to squeeze a layup between defenders but Kyle Korver blocked the shot, leading to a run-out. Rose then returned the favor, finding an open Korver from downtown to go up 102-99. Derrick made two more free throws to seal the win. He is the MVP for a reason, a true team player. Final line: 39 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST, 3 BLK, 1 STL, 19-21 FTM-A. Only downside was a pompous 0-9 from behind the arc.
Chris Paul – PG – New Orleans Hornets
First Round – Game 4 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The glaring hole in the Laker defense this postseason was their point-guard play. Sure veteran Derek Fisher can hold his own, but after witnessing Jason Terry and J.J. Barea dismantle the Lakers it is not too far fetched to see All-Star Chris Paul’s name up here. Scoring 14 of his 27 in the fourth quarter, CP3 notched a triple-double finishing with 27 PTS, 13 REB, 15 AST and 2 STL. Paul hit all eleven of his free throw attempts and at one point scored nine points in a row during the fourth quarter. With 33 seconds left, CP3 made an unbelievable pass to Jarrett Jack putting the Hornets up 4 with 9 seconds to go.
Rajon Rondo – PG – Boston Celtics
First Round – Game 3 @ New York Knicks
Sticking with the triple-double theme brings us an offensive onslaught from the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. Rondo dished out 20 dimes (two assists more than the Knicks squad), to go along with 15 PTS and 11 REB. It is a simple equation for the Celtics, when #9 plays well Boston is a hard team to beat. Paul Pierce (38 PTS) and Ray Allen (32 PTS) finished a combined 14-19 from downtown. Without the veteran presence of Chauncey Billups, youngbuck Toney Douglas failed to contain Rajon Rondo in his 30 minutes of play.
Brandon Roy – SG – Portland Trailblazers
First Round – Game 4 vs. Dallas Mavericks
Riding the roller-coaster of multiple injuries and a new role coming off the bench made this performance more significant for Roy. The Blazers made NBA history as the third team in the shot-clock era to win a playoff game when trailing by 18 points or more heading into the fourth quarter. Dallas blew a 23 point lead as Roy scored 18 of his 24 in the fourth quarter in a heroic comeback. Down four with 1:19 remaining and the shot clock running down, Roy pulled up several feet behind the arc under heavy pressure from Shawn Marion. Whistle. Swish. Crowd Eruption. Swish. Tie Ball Game. Roy then banked in a jumper with 9 seconds left to break an 82-82 tie.
Kevin Durant – SF – Oklahoma City Thunder
First Round – Game 5 vs. Denver Nuggets
Matching his career playoff high, the defending NBA scoring champion closed out the Nuggets in this decisive home game. Trailing Denver 91-82 with 3:30 left, Durant nailed a three to pull the Thunder within six. He then proceeded to score the last nine points, leading Oklahoma City to a 100-97 victory to move onto the Western Conference Finals. After logging 17 points in the fourth quarter, Durant finished with 41 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 BLK, 1 STL, and 11-12 from the line. It wasn’t pretty from downtown, as KD went 2-10 3PTM-A.
Zach Randolph – PF – Memphis Grizzlies
First Round – Game 6 vs. San Antonio Spurs
If you haven’t realized it by now, Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies are for real. In an attempt to upset the number one seed, Z-Bo became a possessed man in game six. Scoring 17 of his 31 in the fourth quarter, Randolph added 11 REB, 2 AST, and 1 STL. This type of fantasy production has been consistent all season long. Z-Bo dropped 21 PTS and 21 REB against the likes of Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins in game three of the Western Conference Finals.
Kevin Garnett – PF – Boston Celtics
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Game 3 vs. Miami Heat
In a must-win situation, the “Big Ticket” put up 28 PTS and 18 REB to give hope back to the Boston faithful. We have not seen a monster line like this from Garnett in years. After the abrupt trade of Kendrick Perkins, there is more pressure on KG to perform defensively. His post game has reemerged alongside his consistent jumper and free throw percentage.