Unprecedented Upsets The Talk Of NBA Playoffs

Apr 18, 2011
Originally published on April 18, 2011 6:41 am
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Hey, Mike.


LOUISE KELLY: So let me start with the Lakers, defending champions. They were not supposed to lose to the New Orleans Hornets yesterday. What happened?

PESCA: The Hornets won that game. If I was a Laker fan I wouldn't panic too much. They have a history - you know, they're two-time defending champions. Last year they lost a couple games in the first round to the Thunder. The year before that in the second round they lost their opening game against the Houston Rockets. They probably will be fine.

LOUISE KELLY: OK. So the Lakers are the defending champions, as you mentioned. Not so, interestingly, the top seed in the west. They're number two. Top seed are the San Antonio Spurs. And they also lost. What happened in that game?

PESCA: I mean, to give you an idea how good San Antonio is - Indiana made the playoffs this year. The Pacers had 37 wins on the entire season. San Antonio achieved 37 wins three months ago. But they've kind of fallen apart down the stretch. And that's why Zach Randolph especially was able to exploit them. The big center on Memphis had 25 points, 14 rebounds.

LOUISE KELLY: OK. So you mentioned Zach Rudolph, the great play by Chris Paul. Any other standout performances this weekend?

PESCA: Yes, there are - the guys who are going to finish one and two in MVP voting probably - Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard - had great games. Derrick Rose won his game. They just - the Bulls just beat the Pacers. Rose had 39 points. And Dwight Howard had a phenomenal game - 46 points, 19 rebounds. But his Orlando Magic weren't even close to the Hawks. So that was an interesting outcome.

LOUISE KELLY: Mike, let me ask you about another team, New York Knicks. This has been one of the worst teams in the NBA in recent years. They are in the playoffs, though, this year. First time in seven seasons. How did they fare?

PESCA: And you know what? We almost got through an entire NBA segment without talking about the Heat. But we're not going to break that streak. The Heat won, too.

LOUISE KELLY: Out of time today. All right. Thanks so much, Mike.

PESCA: You're welcome.

LOUISE KELLY: That's NPR News' Mike Pesca in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.