INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 21: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls launches the game winning shot while defended by Roy Hibbert #55, Dahntay Jones #1 and Danny Granger #33 of the Indiana Pacers in Game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2011 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Bulls won 88-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

NBA Playoffs 2011 Memes: Derrick Rose, Miami Heat Dominate Crunch Time, As Expected

In Friday's edition of the NBA Playoff memes: the good teams have closers and the bad teams don't, the Derrick Rose clutch bot activates late, Brandon Roy makes an impact and more.

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NBA Playoffs 2011: Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls Dominate Crunch Time

NBA Playoff Memes celebrate the five stories everyone is buzzing about after each day of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. In Thursday's No. 1, we go back to an age-old meme: "Great Players Made Great Plays."

NBA players, coaches, writers and fans talk so much about "Crunch Time" that you'd think we're all sponsored by Nestle. OK, that was an awful joke. In all seriousness, so much of our analysis revolves around the jargon-filled concept of "crunch time," which is really something as remarkably simple as having talent. There's no time-tested concept as accurate as the idea that great players are particularly great to have with the game on the line at the end.

We got yet another example of that Thursday night in both of the early Eastern Conference games. In Indiana, Derrick Rose shook off a horrible shooting game to get an easy layup at the end, giving the Bulls a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, the Pacers' final two possessions resulted in horrible, contested shots, with the last one taking 15 seconds to even get an attempt by Danny Granger towards the basket. In Philadelphia, the Miami Heat, thanks to the presence of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, scored on nearly every possession down the stretch. Either one of those two were scoring, or they were creating offensive rebounding opportunities by their mere presence. The 76ers, meanwhile, turned to Andre Iguodala, the miscast star that -- surprise, surprise -- didn't get it done.

We can spout all the cliches and jargon that we want, but the concept here is relatively simple. It's explained by this John Madden-like tweet from Sham Sports.

The teams that will lose tonight are the teams that will turn to Danny Granger and Andre Iguodala in the clutch. Talent ultimately wins out.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Truer words have never been spoken.

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Bulls Vs. Pacers: Derrick Rose Clutch Bot Activates Just In Time

NBA Playoff Memes celebrate the five stories everyone is buzzing about after each day of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. In Thursday's No. 2, we discuss Derrick Rose's clutchness again, which made everyone forget just how horrendously he played.

The Derrick Rose Clutch Bot (TM) nearly malfunctioned last night, as the Pacers played the Chicago Bulls tough for a third straight game. Luckily for Chicago fans, it turned on at the very end, when Rose gave the Bulls the lead with one of his patented hard drives to the basket. The lefty layup was so Derrick Rose, in that the world continues to believe there is absolutely no human way of stopping him when the clock goes to two minutes or less. That's the narrative, and we must stick to it. Of course, this Rose drive was not like any of the others. We'll get to that in a second.

But first: this Rose game in general wasn't like anything we've seen. The Pacers finally figured out the secret formula to stopping him, dogging him with rookie Paul George, occasionally trapping him, but mostly laying way back as Rose slung missed jumper after missed jumper toward the rim. In fact, that layup was his only made field goal at the rim in the entire game. Rose scored 23 points mostly because the Pacers couldn't stop fouling him, but all in all, a 4-18 performance with five turnovers isn't MVP ... BUT HE'S CLUTCH SO IT DOESN'T MATTER. (Sorry, I think Tommy Lee Jones just zapped my memory).

Also, let's be honest: the Pacers could have stopped Rose's final drive with better defense. The great Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook covers this in depth here, so I'm piggybacking a bit, but it still needs to be said. For one thing, Frank Vogel switched Dahntay Jones on Rose for some reason instead of trusting George, who had defended Rose well in the fourth quarter. Jones naturally crept too close to Rose, allowing Rose to easily blow by him. Then, both players who should have cut off the lane -- George and Danny Granger -- swiped lazily at the ball instead of moving their feet. That can't happen against anyone, especially Derrick Rose.

Honestly, I wish both of those things happened. Instead, the Derrick Rose Clutch Bot meme rolls on.

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Mavericks Vs. Blazers: Brandon Roy's Tears Turn Into Cheers

NBA Playoff Memes celebrate the five stories everyone is buzzing about after each day of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. In Thursday's No. 3, we discuss Brandon Roy's outstanding performance in limited minutes, two days after admitting he had to hold back tears because he wasn't playing.

Brandon Roy earned the distinction of being one of the first NBA players in the history of the game to complain about playing time after playing poorly and gain universal sympathy for it. When I say "earned," I mean it. Given everything he's been through injury-wise, it was sad to hear about him holding back tears after he wasn't effective enough to play in the Blazers' Game 2 loss on Tuesday. A year and a half ago, Roy was one of the best players in the league. Now, he's sometimes coming into the game after Patty Mills.

The good news, though, is that sports always offers a chance for redemption. Roy took advantage in Friday's Game 3, scoring 16 points in 23 minutes to help the Blazers get a much-needed 97-92 win. It was just like old times at the Rose Garden, if only for a few minutes. Roy entered the game to thunderous cheers, cementing Blazers fans as the most forgiving and passionate ones in the game. He nailed a stepback jumper on his first possession, the kind that was his bread and butter in his heyday. He even got to the rim off the dribble from the three-point line, though we didn't see a dunk resulting from it. All the while, it was awesome to see.

It's a cliche, but the whole thing is why we love sports. Roy had an immediate chance to redeem himself, his hometown fans supported him and drove him to succeed and his team won. What more can you ask?

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Heat Vs. 76ers: Philadelphia Plays 'Andre Iguodala Blame Game' Again

NBA Playoff Memes celebrate the five stories everyone is buzzing about after each day of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. In Thursday's No. 4, we discuss Andre Iguodala's bad game and the entirely predictable reaction by many 76ers fans.

Andre Igouala is the highest-paid basketball player in a city that has a tendency to get very upset at its highest-paid basketball players. He's a small forward adept at doing everything but scoring and creating a good shot for himself. He also has played on a team without many other players adept at scoring and creating good shots for themselves for several years running. 

So, naturally, as the 76ers' chances to make it a series against the Miami Heat slipped further and further away one difficult Iguodala jumper at a time, the Philadelphia crowd decided to start booing Iggy. Nevermind the fact that he was playing on an injured knee. Nevermind the fact that, despite his awful shooting, he still managed to contribute 10 assists. Nevermind that he had to chase LeBron James around all game defensively, which tires anyone out. Iguodala is the highest-paid player on the team, dammit, and if he's not matching LeBron and Wade shot for shot, we're going to boo him! That's the Philadelphia way!

For the five thousandth time: here's the deal. Is Iguodala overpaid? Probably a little bit. Is he a bad basketball player? No, not even close. He's just miscast as a LeBron/Wade type, when he probably is better suited to being your third-best player. Those fans that were booing Iguodala should really direct their ire to management for constantly failing to bring in another elite scorer to allow Iguodala to play to his strengths.

(Worth noting: to their credit, the recap on SB Nation's 76ers blog Liberty Ballers gives credit to all the other things Iguodala did to help the team. I wish those fans that booed Andre saw that). 

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Mavericks Vs. Blazers: Mark Cuban Mixed With Crazy Blazers Fans Is Bad News

NBA Playoff Memes celebrate the five stories everyone is buzzing about after each day of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. In Thursday's No. 5, we discuss Mark Cuban getting an object thrown at him by a Blazers fan in the Blazers' 97-92 Game 3 win.

Mixing the NBA's most vocal owner/fan with the NBA's most vocal fanbase usually doesn't end well. Thursday night, naturally, was no exception. Mark Cuban, the Mavericks' owner that is known to travel with his team on the road and shout anything and everything to support them, was loud enough to bother a bunch of Blazers fans sitting in his section. One thing led to another, and -- wouldn't you know it -- objects were thrown.

What prompted a member of arguably the league's most passionate fanbase to do something so horribly vile? Via ESPN Dallas.

"I don't know what it was, but something hit me in the face," said Cuban, who encouraged fans to boo him more by putting his hand by his ear.    

Now, obviously, the Blazers fan who threw the object at Cuban should be ashamed of himself, because that's completely unacceptable. But still: if I would have told you that Mark Cuban asked members of the league's most passionate fanbase to continue to boo him, you would have figured something bad would have happened too. 

On the bright side, Cuban continues his incredible streak of stirring something up in the playoffs while his team lost.

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