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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