Kyle Soppe also writes about the NBA for Pickin’ Splinters. Follow him on Twitter.
Superstars are great to have, but a solid core of players wins in the playoffs. Thanks to the performance of two trios, the Celtics and Thunder were able to win game 2.
Celtics @ 76ers – Boston dominates from start to finish, winning 107-91
All three players recorded a double double in three quarters of action, as this game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score may indicate. The C’s pulled away from the beginning of the second quarter to the end of the third quarter, outscoring the home team 61-33. During that 24 minute run, Rondo had 10 dimes and both KG and Pierce had a double digit point quarter. Glance at the box score and you will see Boston’s big three outscored the 76er starting five 74-36. That’s a 38 point difference in a hostile environment, in a crucial game. The 76ers maybe younger with more potential, but the 2012 playoffs aren’t concerned with the future, and if last night was any kind of indicator, the experienced Celtics have the edge in the present.
Lakers @ Thunder – Thunder can win ugly too, as they outlast the Lakers 77-75
Only two days after the Lakers scored 90 points and lost by 29, a 29 point second half was just enough for the Thunder to take a 2-0 lead in the best of 7 series. OKC’s three studs combined for 50 points, including a remarkable 82.8% of the teams second half points. The importance of their scoring was magnified by the lack of scoring by their Laker counterparts, as the Los Angeles players playing PG, SF, and reserve SG combined for a mere 15 points 4/18 shooting. The Thunder trio added 16 rebounds, 11 assists, and 5 steals in the defense battle. OKC may be a young team, but their proven ability to win both the low scoring and high scoring games is a unique blend, and a big reason why they are currently the favorites to win the 2012 NBA title.