Good morning, bring on the NBA playoffs second round

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

A thrilling first round is over, with a promising second round on tap. Plus lots of links in Monday's NBA newsletter.

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Good morning. Let's second round.

THE END OF IT ALL: The newest WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT feature includes my essay on the end of the first round, plus Paul Flannery on the Nets, Conrad Kaczmarek on the Raptors, Dane Carbaugh on the Mavericks and more.

THE SPURS DID NOT MESS AROUND: San Antonio blew the doors off the Mavericks in Game 7. Which is what we expected to happen all series long. Credit the Mavericks for avoiding it until the last possible moment.

THE NETS MESSED AROUND A LITTLE: Brooklyn had a strong performance in Game 7 ... but Toronto refused to die until the final buzzer, as the Nets required a Paul Pierce game-saving block to win 104-103. A totally even series ended with a 1-point Game 7 margin. Of course.

Crushing loss for Toronto.

MEET THE SECOND ROUND: Here's your schedule. Until teams get eliminated, we're getting two games per night, with OKC-L.A. paired up with Zards-Pacers and Miami-Brooklyn paired with Spurs-Blazers. Speaking of which ...

TONIGHT: Here's Monday's schedule. Oh, you think there's a one-day break? THERE ARE NO BREAKS.

Wizards at Pacers, 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT

It seems unfair that the Clippers and Thunder are already back at it. After that grueling Game 7 victory Saturday night, Doc Rivers sent his players home with a massive homework assignment in preparation for Game 1 vs. OKC.

RAPPERS REACT TO THE RAPTORS' FAILED COMEBACK. Speaking of rappers ...

MIKE TIRICO WITH 2 BARS OF FIRE. Yep, he went from calling the Damian Lillard masterpiece on Friday to rapping about Drake on national television on Sunday. Versatile!

LOCKER ROOM FIGHT TIFF: Apparently some ballboys goaded the Warriors and Clippers into a hallway standoff after Game 7.

ENJOYABLE AND INSIGHTFUL: Marc Stein has been looking at the offseasons of each team as they are eliminated. Fun reads. Check them out.

THE CALCULUS OF MARK JACKSON: Tim Kawakami has everything you need to know about the Warriors' position on Mark Jackson as the offseason abruptly begins in Oakland.

UPSIDE-DOWN: So Doc Rivers will play a role in hiring his next boss. That's different! Good info from Mark Heisler on next steps for the NBA and Clippers. Speaking of Doc ...

VIDEO OF DOC'S COMMENTS TO THE CLIPPERS AFTER GAME 7. Short and sweet and powerful.

AND ONE: Doc says there was more stuff going on with regards to Sterling behind the scenes. My curiosity is piqued.

#AAW: J.J. Redick talks about his last week in the wake of the Sterling saga.

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE: Dan LeBatard on how only the stupid cycle of scandal brought down Donald Sterling in the end.

HOW THAT HAPPENED: Coach Nick breaks down how the Clippers fought off the Warriors in Game 7.

LIVE FROM NEW YORK: SNL took on Donald Sterling. Dennis Rodman was involved.

WHAT'S NEXT IN HOUSTON: Daryl Morey indicates he'll be keeping Kevin McHale but hasn't made a decision on Chandler Parsons' tricky contract. I wrote in February that the Rockets should keep Parsons on the cheap this year and roll the dice in 2015.

WHIMSY: Brilliant data viz project by Matt Daniels, comparing the vocabularies of rap artists. Andre 3000 and Big Boi are basically Shakespeare, Sacramento's own Blackalicious is tops on the West Coast and DMX stays DMX. (Via Mr. Big Wheel.)

Happy Monday. See you next time.

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