BSTFWNHO: Last Night in NBA Playoffs

Every weekday, Shoals recounts playoff action in terms of the seven categories that govern the universe. ↵

↵ ↵Big: Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. I said Howard's opening 25/22 wouldn't be the norm? Shoals, please to meet 29/20 and another Magic win. I've been hyperbolically jocking Paul since the All-Star break, but I'm beginning to think I've sold him short. No pun intended. He had 32 points, 17 assists, and fury. 2-0 Hornets. ↵

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↵ ↵Small: A mere 11 points for Phoenix in the third quarter, with a hangover that lingered into the fourth. Amare had 25 at the half; he went scoreless for that fateful quarter, which was either the cause or the effect of their offense vanishing. ↵

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↵ ↵True: There's a reason why the Suns fell apart like they did. The Spurs know it's rough out there in the West, and have responded by slathering on about ten more layers of game face than anyone else could afford or imagine. That, and not divine inspiration, is what explains Duncan's three, too. ↵

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↵ ↵False: The Hornets are very good, but the Mavs simply aren't this bad. They shouldn't be so easily picked apart, possession after possession. ↵

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↵ ↵Wide: While the Magic are up 2-0, I see this series going 6 or 7. Orlando's not invincible, just Howard, and even with another 20/20, this was a lot closer tonight than in Game One. ↵

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↵ ↵Narrow: That first quarter was the best I've seen Shaq play since mid-2005. I don't even think Kerr expected Phoenix to ever have such an imposing frontcourt. That hard foul on Parker? One quarter of complete and total redemption for this "soft" team. Too bad the mood dissipated. ↵

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↵ ↵Obama/Hillary: I don't want to talk about it. That ten-point margin made the next few weeks so much more unpleasant than they had to be. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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