The Los Angeles Lakers were ousted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs in a clear shift of Western Conference power from Kobe Bryant to Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers couldn't get the stops they needed to make Kobe's 42 points on 33 shots stand up and they are now done and moving on to bombastic claims and roster questions.
The Thunder won their series 4-1 which gives us the inevitable meeting of the two best teams in the West in the Conference Finals. The Spurs are well-rested, deep, healthy and even seem to be a little hungry. It should be a fun series.
In the East, the slog continues with both series destined to go long as no clear dominant team exists. The Boston Celtics took a 3-2 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers thanks to a huge performance from Brandon Bass. He dropped 18 of his 27 points in the third quarter to lift the Celtics to a 101-85 win. For a Eastern Conference team to break 100 is big news.
Here's the schedule for the 2012 NBA Playoffs for Tuesday:
With the series tied 2-2, the Heat will try and do what the Celtics did and take a lead over the Pacers but can they really count on 70 combined points from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade again? Indiana needs to stop taking so many outside shots and pound the ball inside to Roy Hibbert and David West.