2012 NBA Playoffs: Ranking the Best Individual Performances from Day Four
The mini series of the top individual playoff performers from each day continues. Day Four of th...
The mini series of the top individual playoff performers from each day continues. Day Four of the NBA post season is over.
Unlike the day before, this playoff day brought few surprises with the eight seeded Philadelphia winning and fourth seeded Boston doing the same thing without their two stars.
Without any further ado, here's the list.
10. Avery Bradley
He started at point for the first time in the series to replace suspended Rondo. Avery Bradley filled the role of a starter quite nicely and was alongside Pierce the top contributors in Celtics' great win over the Hawks yesterday.
Avery had beyond his normal playing time and produced for his team. He was solid from an all-around point of view and gave his outstanding production on defense which is normal from him. The stats back that up.
He scored 14 points, dished out three assists, pulled down three boards, recorded three steals, denied three shots, committed only one turnover while shooting 4-8 from field, 0-1 from deep and 6-8 from the line.
The statistics don't show his real contributions here though. He was all over the floor defensively, controlled the pace well (only one lost ball) and overall was a real presence in positive sense for his Celtics out there.
9. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson didn't start the 2012 Playoffs like he liked and hoped to for which the Celtics' defense rightfully takes the credit. However, he made up for that in the second game.
The All-Star guard ended up playing in his usual form. He finished with the highest points total for his team, was active on defense and had a good all-around performance too. The stats prove that.
Joe poured in 22 points, dished out five dimes, grabbed four boards, had three steals, shot 7-17 from field, 3-7 from deep, 5-6 from the line and committed three turnovers in the process.
Unfortunately, even he couldn't force the Hawks over the shorthanded Celtics, couldn't impact the game that good when Smith was injured nor he answered to the challenge from Pierce too.
He'll definitely need to step it out with their power forward out.
8. Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah isn't known as a prolific scorer, but he took over in that aspect yesterday. However, even his great performance couldn't stop Philadelphia from achieving their goals.
Nonetheless, he played quite greatly out there. Joakim was active on both sides of the court, making himself a presence out there and raising his play to another level.
Noah scored 21 points, grabbed eight boards, had five dimes, recorded a steal, shot efficiently 10-11 from field and 10-11 at the line while making several highlight plays such as few jams and a nice crossover.
That's right. He even showed off his handles and his shot. Unfortunately, his great performance couldn't help his Bulls to stop the Sixers and their fast brakes.
7. Louis Williams
After having a below average start in this playoff series versus Chicago, Lou Williams surely yesterday came to play and had a strong performance.
Sweet Lou's production off the bench was among the key factors for his team tying the series at a game a peace. He was a consistent trouble to his opponents. They couldn't find an answer for him.
Williams scored 20 points, dished out six assists, pulled down a board, recorded two steals while shooting 8-13 from field, 1-5 beyond the arc and 3-4 at the charity.
He found the bottom of the net quite a lot, despite getting solid attention from Chicago's defense. This should be a big confidence booster for Philadelphia's leading scorer who's expected to continue in similar fashion.
6. Evan Turner
Although he's a Chicago native who's playing against his hometown team, Evan Turner has been booed ever since one his comment. It certainly didn't stop him from helping his Sixers to tie the series at a game peace.
Evan started Game Two of the playoffs and took full advantage of the given chance. He displayed his superb skill set, was everywhere on the court and produced.
Turner scored 18 points, grabbed seven boards, dished out six dimes, shot 8-13 from the field, 0-1 from the arc, connected on his three free throws and lost three balls as well.
He did all of this in 40 minutes of actions. Evan got the ball little more than the usual and Collins' idea to give him a try to run the offense worked nicely.
He'll continue to be a factor in the series.
5. Ty Lawson
After having a below average performance where he and his Nuggets shot poorly, Ty Lawson made up for that during Game Two of the playoffs against the Lakers.
Ty picked up the pace, as he raised himself to another level. He waived through the defense with his speed quite easily, got to the rim, made his shots and involved his team mates.
Lawson scored 25 points, dished out seven assists, grabbed a rebound, shot 11-17 from field, 0-3 from the arc, 3-3 at the charity, committed two turnovers in 37 minutes of action.
Unfortunately, despite him playing strongly, cracking the defense in variety of ways, it wasn't enough for him to lead the Nuggets to a win over the Lakers on the road.
With the series going in Denver, he'll definitely need to continue to have similar performance in order to upset LA.
4. Jrue Holiday
It was certainly one of those nights where it all went positively for him. The timing of Jrue Holiday's fantastic performance couldn't have been any better, as he led his Philadelphia to a win over Chicago.
With Turner running the offense, he was forced to play as the two guard despite being listed as "point" in the box score, to play more off the ball and to score in which he excelled.
Jrue poured in career high 26 points, dished out six dimes, pulled down two boards, had a steal, shot 11-15 from field, 3-3 from beyond the arc and 1-2 at the stripe while committing no turnovers in the game.
Doug Collins' idea to make Holiday a scoring guard, or simply a combo guard in the back court alongside Turner has worked and he has produced nicely.
Like his team mate Turner, he'll have to keep up his great performances in order for the Sixers to win the series.
3. Andrew Bynum
After recording a triple double in the opening game of the playoffs, Lakers' center Andrew Bynum continued in similar fashion. His excellent game was among the biggest reasons why his team is up 2-0 in the series.
Andrew was a remarkable presence on both sides in the paint. He was a changer this time with his offensive excellence, pulling down the missed shots, blocking and alerting many more shots and so on.
Bynum scored career high 27 points, grabbed nine boards, swatted two blocks, recorded two dimes, shot 12-20 from field and 3-4 from the charity.
Lakers' seven foot All-Star big man had yet another nice all-around performance with him being the positive difference maker for his team mainly on offense.
Can he continue his great play in the post season, LA have terrific chances of not only beating Denver, but sweeping them as well.
2. Kobe Bryant
He wasn't the first player that had a bad shooting day at the start of the playoffs. Kobe Bryant came to play and he did more than that. He dominated.
Kobe led the way for his Lakers in a close win over the Nuggets. His calm presence, will to win and terrific play has rubbed off positively on his team for sure.
His opponents couldn't find an answer for his offense. Bryant scored game high 35 points, pulled down four rebounds, dished out two assists, had three steals, a block, committed a turnover while shooting 15-29 from the field, 2-6 beyond the arc and 6-7 at the charity.
The veteran shooting guard seemed only as the vintage himself. This time, he was also active defensively with him making several strong plays on that side of the court as well.
He'll most likely continue to play in similar mood and lead his Lakers.
1. Paul Pierce
Before the start of Game Two of the playoffs between the Celtics and Hawks, few thought that the first team would defeat the second with their superstar point guard Rondo out. Paul Pierce had something to say about that.
And he did in a way that only proven legends can. With elite shooter Allen out of the match, Paul put them on his back and almost single-handendly led them to a win.
He scored 36 points, pulled down 14 boards, dished out four dimes while shooting 12-26 from field, 1-6 beyond the arc, 11-13 at the charity while committing eight turnovers in 41 minutes of action.
Although he didn't have great day protecting the ball, Pierce seemed to have no trouble carrying even a bigger load on offense.
He had an excellent all-around performance, besides his amazing offensive excellence. Paul closed out the Hawks with his 14 points in the fourth too.
When everything is taken in consideration, this is definitely a historical performance for him that will go down as one of the finest in recent Celtics' history.