Blogtable: Can’t miss this

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Memories | One to watch | A surprise champ

San Antonio's Tim Duncan has played in 211 playoff games in his illustrious career. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

San Antonio’s Tim Duncan has played in 211 playoff games in his illustrious career. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

> A quick look forward: Other than KD and LeBron, who’s your can’t-miss performer for these playoffs?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comTony Parker. No more resting, no more worries about point-guard rankings as individuals. None of that. Parker gets to quarterback the San Antonio push through the playoffs, and given his experience and the tools at his disposal, I think he’s going to remind people how valuable he really is.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comBlake Griffin.  He’s taken his game to the next level and forced his way into the MVP conversation.  If he keeps it up in the playoffs, the Clippers are a real threat in the West.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comChris Paul. He’s the rare superstar lacking a championship who doesn’t get hassled for having not won one. Think about that. That’s all we do is ask when so-and-so is going to finally win a title? CP3’s in his ninth season yet seems to stay removed from that discussion. He’s made it out of the first round only twice, in 2008 with New Orleans on a team with Tyson Chandler, David West and Peja Stojakovic that lost to San Antonio in Game 7 of the semis, and then his first season with the Clippers when they were swept by the Spurs. A run to the conference finals looks like it will take getting through Golden State and then Oklahoma City, a mighty task indeed, but it’s time for this superstar to get there.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comHyland DeAndre Jordan Jr., Clippers. Already putting up big rebounding numbers and on a hot streak with blocks, now he may get the gift beginning of a first round with the Warriors down Andrew Bogut and, still, Festus Ezeli. With the pace Golden State and L.A. play at, a 20-rebound game by Jordan is very realistic. And even if the Clippers open against someone else, Jordan will continue his regular-season impact anyway.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comTim Duncan. At some point, this ride has to end, and we should appreciate the best player of his generation as much as we can, while we can. As a whole, the Spurs are brilliant, but it all starts with Duncan’s leadership and play on both ends of the floor. It will also be fascinating to see if they can get back to where they were last year and somehow redeem themselves for Game 6 and, for Duncan, the missed bunny in Game 7.

Sekou Smith, There are a number of players I’m expecting to show up and show out in the playoffs, the leading two candidates for MVP, of course, headline the list. But I’ve enjoyed watching Joakim Noah perform as much as I have any single player in the league this season. His playoff breakout came last year, when the Bulls surprised us with that epic effort in that seven-game series against Brooklyn. Noah’s a better player now than he was then and I can see him chasing a triple-double every night in these playoffs. No one brings more raw energy and effort to the party than the Bulls’ big man.

Lang Whitaker, All Ball Blog: It’s not exactly like he’s overlooked, but one player I traditionally love watching in the postseason is Chris Paul. The game slows down, offenses become more halfcourt-based, and having a floor general like Paul becomes essential. As great as Paul is during the season, he turns up in the postseason and finds another level. It’s the playoffs where Paul takes over games, threatening triple-doubles and commanding games. And that’s must see TV.

Akshay Manwani, NBA India: Blake Griffin. His mid-range game, his post play and his athleticism all make him compulsory viewing material. Also, Griffin — who has been at the receiving end of some really hard fouls right through the regular season — will have his patience tested, perhaps, more severely in the playoffs. It would be interesting to see how he responds in the pressure cooker environment that are the playoffs. Chris Paul is undoubtedly the nerve center of the Clippers, but Griffin has to play big if the Clippers are to have a great run.

Aldo Avinante, NBA Philippines: I think it will be fun to watch Dirk Nowitzki. He has been relatively healthy all-season long, and after the Dallas’ absence last year Dirk knows he only has a couple of playoff runs left in him. He will surely try to make the most out of it. And with that sweet stroke and unstoppable one-foot fadeaway, it will be fun to watch him torment defenders on the big stage again. DeMar DeRozan is another player to watch out for, the athletic swingman could use the playoffs as his spring board to stardom a la Paul George and provide the fans a showcase of his vastly improved skills.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA Greece: I don’t know how we should leave Paul George out of the equation. Especially after last year’s games against the Heat. Or Tim Duncan. He had a phenomenal regular season and it’s really interesting to see if he can carry on his second youth during the postseason.


  1. Tom Thibodeau says:

    What about Zack Randolph? Stephen curry? James Harden? D12? Taj Gibson? Kyle Lowry? Demar Derozan? Lance Stephenson? Perhaps Ellis? Maybe Bosh? All these guys can go off. Are these guys not exciting enough? Stop it!!!!

  2. Mike says:

    The Miami Heat won’t make the Eastern Finals. And when that happens, I’ll probably get a woody.

  3. Terry Gyimah says:

    The Spurs and Mavs this series I am actually looking forward to it believe it or not. Even though I am a Celtics fan and since my team is not in the playoffs these 2 teams specifically the Spurs and Mavs I love how they play so it will be interesting to see who goes through to the second round but honestly I will say Spurs win this series in 6 games tops with them winning 4-2 in this Best of 7 series.

  4. Bob M says:

    I think that the Spurs go out early. Their pattern was championship, out next year. I think they are the best team in the West, but history is pretty clear.
    I see the Grizz and OKC to be a real battle. Memphis plays the pick and roll better than anyone and they grind out possessions. I wouldn’t bet on either team, it’s going to be close.
    Clippers……….. next year. They need more experience together.
    In the East, it’s the Heat. The Pacers can have homecourt all year long, they are going to have a tougher road than the Heat. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago made it through.
    So, it’s the Heat vs Mem/OKC. It’s hard to bet against LeBron. The Heat are not playing defense like a champion, but all the experienced pieces are there and the East is weak.
    I’ll take the Heat in an uncomfortable decision..

  5. SHAK says:

    Thanks for not mentioning the Raptors They will probably shock a lot of people

  6. dustydreamnz says:

    60 percent chance OKC will win it all? I’d take the odds against that any day.

  7. Gus says:

    The NBA champ will come from the west. It will be the winner of OKC and the Spurs. I think the starting line up of OKC and the Spurs is even, but the Spurs have an edge from the bench and the coach. Spurs and Pacers in the final. Spurs in 6.

  8. no_lpogs says:

    Watch out for the raptors players… Demar, Terrence and Kyle Lowry. You’ll gonna eat your words…for not mentioning these guys… you know what I mean… just because…

  9. BobbyC says:

    I belive the Spurs will be crowned this year. Yes Oklahoma is tough and actually beat the Spurs on all their games in the regular season. But we are in the playoffs now and it a step up in which I believe the Spurs will be not one, but 2 steps up. GO SPURS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. thespectator says:

    duncan is not an x-factor…for the spurs itll either be kawahi, green or patty mills…for the west its gonna be either OKC or SPURS. i would like the CLIPPS to make it out just so this years finals would be different…Clippers VS Heat would be outstanding..

  11. ix says:

    The title of the article is BLOGTABLE: CAN’T MISS THIS, and no one even mentioned Steph Curry!! Irony 😉

  12. name says:


  13. ecisneros says:

    Kawhi Leonard will emerge as the X Factor in the Spurs’ run to the Finals.

  14. Another Heat Fan says:

    Silly question because there’s atleast one or two players on every team that are supposed to step up

    But if we’re talking about the KEY players in teams that matter (MIA, IND, OKC, SAS, LAC, HOU), in order of importance then:
    -Chris Bosh, D Wade
    -Russel Westbrook
    -Manu Ginobli
    -Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson
    -DeAndre Jordan
    -Jeremy Lin

    These are the players I think are wildcards on their respective teams that can make or break their championship team.
    I did not include players who are expected to be big and come up big consistently (like Durant, LBJ, Paul George, CP3, Blake, D12, James Harden, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan…).
    I’m 99% sure the championship will go to one of the 6 teams I mentioned above. If any of those 6 teams is to win this, the wildcards above will have to step up to shoulder the load with the other superstars and team MVPs.
    I’ll give the highest odds to OKC for winning it all this year, probably 60% chance they will win it all.

  15. A says:

    What about Lillard?
    There is no way Harden or Lin can guard him, so he has a good chance of making a lot of noise against the rockets.

  16. Patrick says:

    No Stephen Curry?

  17. The Spurs will make noise. Duncan will be a dominant factor! But I believe OKC comes out the West if they are clicking on all cylinders! Check out this video Why Subscribe 2 HeKnowsHisSport?