By Sekou Smith, NBA.com
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — What a day!
Kevin Durant wins his first KIA MVP, dethroning the two-time defending champion LeBron James just hours before his Heat hit the floor against the Brooklyn Nets in their eastern conference semifinal.
The Golden State Warriors sever ties with Mark Jackson after three seasons, firing him after three straight seasons that saw the Warriors finally claw their way into the consistent playoff mix in the Western Conference.
Thanks to my Players! I Love U! We accomplished A lot together! I wish u all Nothing but the Best!! God Bless—
Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) May 06, 2014
And the NBA announced that Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser would take an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately. “This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances,” NBA VP of Communications Mike Bass said in a statement released by the league.
We got all of this before Ray Allen showed up to America Airlines Arena for his early afternoon shooting workout, so you had to know it was going to be a wild night …
24 – Oh and before we get started, big ups to CJ Paul for his Happy Birthday shout out to his baby brother Chris Paul. #TaurusPower #brotherskeeper
23 – When you have two teams like Miami and Brooklyn, teams with, ahem, elder statesmen galore, you should expect the rotations to run deep for both Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Nets coach Jason Kidd …
13 minutes into this game and 14 different players have scored.—
Lang Whitaker (@langwhitaker) May 06, 2014
22 – Perhaps the most underrated story of the late regular season and the start of the playoffs is that Dwyane Wade seems to have gotten his old bones healthy enough to be, well, Dwyane Wade …
21 – Magic Johnson playing agent for Mark Jackson, you know this has been an upside-down day …
If any NBA team is looking for a great coach, Mark Jackson is now available.—
Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 06, 2014
20 – Joe Johnson and Deron Williams doing it like you’re supposed to on the road. The pace of this one is exactly what the Nets are looking for. And LeBron’s playing well but he’s not nearly as dominant as you’d like to see him if you’re a Heat fan. Very reminiscent of some of his previous battles against Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett-led teams …
19 – Pacers big man Roy Hibbert should thank his lucky stars for teammates like Paul George and George Hill. They’re holding him down at a time when plenty of folks would run for the hills, if they had hills in Indianapolis. Do them a favor big fella and show up tomorrow night in Game 2 against the Wizards …
Professional teams stop rumors with Ws, not selfies.—
Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) May 07, 2014
18 – I knew the pace of this game wasn’t going to be Clippers-Thunder, or anything close to it, but wow! Only one fast-break bucket in 24 minutes?
Game's only fastbreak points a Ray Allen jumper in transition.—
Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) May 07, 2014
17 – Heat playing bully ball. LeBron getting whatever he wants in the paint. Shaun Livingston, as much as I love him and his comeback, is locked in an unfair fight.
Layups vs. jumpers. This game is heading for a blowout.—
John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) May 07, 2014
16 – Did someone say Billy Knight?
Joe Johnson seems like he slows the game down to his rhythm, in THAT he reminds me of Billy Knight, ALL you post 90s fans can google him.—
Chuck D (@MrChuckD) May 07, 2014
15 – We need LeBron mic’d up more often …
14 – No more Birdman tonight. Right knee contusion. Heat will be fine without him. They’re rolling the Nets right now.
13 — This wasn’t a contest. The Heat were the far superior team. Rest worked just fine for the Heat. #NoRust And LeBron had an easy time of it, way too easy, if the Nets are going to make this series interesting. KG being held scoreless for the first time in 139 career playoff games … wow!
Maybe Jason Kidd should buy that LeBron app, because….—
Khalid Salaam (@MrKhalidS) May 07, 2014
Funny, I don't see Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady making fun of Kevin Garnett for not scoring any points tonight.—
Russ Bengtson (@russbengtson) May 07, 2014
12 – Spurs start 8-0 and remind us all that they’ve been doing this longer than half the Trail Blazers’ roster has been alive … not really, but it always feels that way when you see the Spurs schooling some upstart squad.
Every Blazer starter has missed a shot, except Lillard, who has missed two—
Dwight Jaynes (@dwightjaynes) May 07, 2014
11 – Gone but not forgotten Dr. Jack Ramsay …
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and his entire coaching staff wearing a Dr. Jack pin. Classy move.—
Jason Quick (@jwquick) May 07, 2014
Got to love Terry Stotts' plaid tie matching the Dr. Jack Ramsay patch the Blazers are wearing on their uniforms.—
Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 07, 2014
10 – Euro step my … foot! Calling Manu Ginobili for traveling is like a holding call on an offensive lineman in football. You could blow that whistle on just about every snap if you wanted to. But you don’t, because it’s Manu!!!!!!
We’re going to start calling that travel on Manu *now?* He’s been in the league for 100 years.—
Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) May 07, 2014
9 – Welcome to Role Player Tuesday, when guys like Shane Battier, Marco Belinelli and Aron Baynes — yes Aron Baynes — move into the spotlight after not being heard from in the first round. #baynesanymeansnecessary …
8 – The Conference Semifinals would like to apologize to the basketball world for not being nearly as intriguing and flat-out wacky, so far, as our wild and crazy cousin, the First Round!
"These playoffs suck"-Fan who started watching in the second round—
Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 07, 2014
Dear NBA playoffs, I am going through withdrawal. You got me hooked on close games, now you've taken them away. I need them back. Fast.—
Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) May 07, 2014
7 – This is what they call Night School where I’m from. The Blazers are finding out the hard way … you don’t take any of the same mojo from one series to the next. Treat it like it’s brand new or you’ll get popped. Youngsters take notes for Game 2!
The ageless San Antonio Spurs.—
Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) May 07, 2014
6 – Sure, it looks ugly now. Really ugly. Bubba Sparxxx Ugly! But I don’t think there is any need to overreact to the first half of the first game of a series, any series …
After incredible 1st round vs. Rox, Dame is reeling on both ends. He's 2-7 from field, has 4 pts and Parker is scoring on him at will.—
Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) May 07, 2014
Calm down, Blazer fans. This is why they don’t play one-game series. Ambushed tonight by a team that’s been here before many times.—
Dwight Jaynes (@dwightjaynes) May 07, 2014
5 – Spurs are not messing around tonight. They’ve never made back-to-back trips to The Finals in the Duncan-Pop era. Would be an accomplishment this year, even for an outfit that has done just about everything else imaginable when it comes to winning …
AT&T Center sign: “Rip City meet Win City"—
Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 07, 2014
I guess the Spurs never turned off that Game 7 switch.—
Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 07, 2014
4 – Reasons, the reasons that we hear, The reasons that we fear, Our feelings a-won’t disappear …
3 – Game recognize game. And truly elite players know the MVP when they see him …
2 – Great point … even though I think the circumstances are dramatically different. But great point …
1 – These three words …