NBA  > General NBA  > The Good And The Bad of the 2009 NBA Playoffs
May 14, 2009, 04:36 PM
(Author's note: This article was originally published at

With Round 2 of the 2009 NBA Playoffs set to wrap up, let's look at the good and the bad from so far.

Good: Point Guard Play

The old adage used to be: you can't win a championship without a top-flight big man. That statement seems to be about as relevant in 2009 as the idea of waiting three days to call a girl after a first date.

Seriously look around:

In Denver, the Nuggets are absolutley cruising in the playoffs, essentially untested through nine games. The biggest reason? Denver had a Fashion Emergency type makeover at the point guard position, trading in the never satisfied, I gotta get mine Allen Iverson for the team first Chauncey Billups.

Since acquiring Billups, Denver has completely revamped their style of play, with even shoot-first guys like Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith looking to make the extra pass. They now await the winner of the Houston-LA series, after breezing through their first nine playoff games.

As for Billups' former team, the Detroit Pistons? With Iverson's arrival, the Pistons went completely in the tank, becoming more disorganized than the set of the Maury Povich Show. Rip Hamilton got moved to the bench then brought back into the starting line-up, Rasheed Wallace went into full-fledged sulk mode, and Iverson was so bad that they actually shut him down for the playoffs. The Pistons were swept out by LeBron's Cavs, and now look as uncertain as ever heading into the off-season. We haven't seen a seemingly well run unit fall as fast as the Pistons since Adam Carrolla and Jimmy Kimmel left The Man Show.

Looking around the rest of the league, point guard play has never been a bigger factor in a team's playoff output:

In Boston, Rajon Rondo has put on an all-around display that's making Deron Williams and Chris Paul blush from their couches. The fourth year guard is averaging 17 points, 9.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists, while also playing phenomenal defense and getting two steals a game. Boston continues to win without Kevin Garnett, and if you think it's just Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, you haven't been watching.

Mo Williams has become the first second option in Cleveland to actually say, "You know what, this LeBron guy is pretty good. Let me help where I can, and otherwise, get the heck out of his way." Through a dominating eight games, Williams has been good but hardly great, playing the Ed McMahon to LeBron's Johnny Carson. Williams knows he's there to smile, laugh at a few of LeBron's jokes, and make open three's, no more, no less. He's done it perfectly averaging 14 points and 4.5 assists. And the Cavaliers haven't lost yet.

Despite Yao Ming going down, the Rockets are still alive in the Lakers series, and it's in large part due to Aaron Brooks. Brooks, who's graciously listed at 6'0 even, has sliced and diced through LA's backcourt, leaving tread marks on Derek Fisher's back in the process. He's averaged 16 points a game in the series, and if Houston wants to force a Game 7, needs a big night from their smallest guy.

Even though they lost their series with the Celtics, did anybody have a coming out party like Derrick Rose in this playoffs? He had 36 points and 11 assists in his first career postseason game, in the process starting the Boston-Chicago series on its way to the best 1st Round series in NBA history. Meanwhile, Rose also threw his hat into the debate along with Paul and Williams as to who will be the best point guard of the next decade.

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