The NBA Playoff semifinals have brought with them two extremely lackluster series: Utah-Golden State and Cleveland-Toronto, and two matchups that could go either way: San Antonio-Houston and Washington-Boston.
Luckily, each series brought with it a bunch of great performances. Here be the leaders (so far) for each team during Round 2 of the NBA playoffs:
Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James
Say what you will about James, but the man is straight up ballin’ during this postseason. And while he was electric during the Cavaliers' first round sweep of Indiana, he was downright mesmerizing in the second round sweep of Toronto. Check out these stats: 36 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block per game. He’s shooting 57-percent from the floor, 49-percent from deep, and averaging roughly 3.2 3-pointers per contest. That’s just downright nasty!
Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward
No one is really talking about G-time, probably because he’s on a Utah squad that’s about to get swept out of the playoffs by Golden State. No matter. This was the Jazz’s first foray into the playoffs since the 2011-12 season, and the experience is invaluable. Especially for Hayward, who has quietly put together an impressive playoff run with 24 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game during the first two rounds.
His numbers took a slight hit in the conference semifinals, especially after a lackluster Game 1 performance a week ago, in which he scored just 12 points. Even after that ho hum showing, Hayward is still averaging 24.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest. Those numbers are even more impressive when you remember he's responsible for covering Kevin Durant on the other side of the court.
Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas
No surprise here, but also a conundrum for Boston since as Thomas goes, so goes the team. In the Celtics' two victories over Washington, the 5-foot-9 wunderkind dropped 33 and 53 points. In the team’s two losses? Just 32 points combined.
Even so, he’s averaging 29.5 points and 5.5 assists per game, and shooting 50-percent from the floor and 48-percent from beyond the arc. Now if only he could get a little more help on the road from his teammates …
Washington Wizards: John Wall
Wall has been outstanding throughout the playoffs, and really stepped up his game in the second round. In four games against Boston he averaged 27.8 points, 12.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds, while shooting 42-percent from the floor. On the other hand, he’s shooting just 27-percent from deep and committing 5 turnovers per game — two more than Isaiah Thomas.
In Game 4, on Sunday, he posted 27 points, 12 assists and 5 steals. His team was a whopping plus-25 with him on the court. Not bad Wall. Not bad at all.
Golden State Warriors: Kevin Durant
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson may get the headlines, but Durant has led the team during this Utah series. In Game 3, the Splash Bros. struggled from the floor — they were a combined 7-of-29 and hit just 3-of-15 from deep — but Durant carried the load with 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting; 4-of-8 3-pointers, and 13 rebounds.
KD was on fire, and seriously pissed off at the Jazz mascot … and the Jazz fans in general. For those still wondering why the Warriors picked up Durant, well, this game answered that question with an exclamation point:
Houston Rockets: James Harden
The Beard continues to do his thing against San Antonio, though he hasn’t been quite as consistent in this round as he was in Round 1 vs. OKC. And by that I mean he had one mediocre game: Game 2 in which he scored just 13 points.
In the other three games, however, Harden has done his part and then some, including a bounce-back 43-point performance in Game 3, and a 28-point, 12 assist showing on Sunday night.
Harden is shooting 43-percent from the floor and 34-percent from downtown this series, and averaging 10.2 assists per game.
San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard
Finally, Leonard has almost single-handedly kept the Spurs alive this postseason, even after Tony Parker went down in Game 2 versus the Rockets. And while his 16-point showing against the Rockets on Sunday resulted in a Spurs loss (the man can only do so much!) he’s been spectacular in his team’s two wins, including a 34-point, 8 assist, 7 rebound performance in Game 2.
Leonard is averaging 24.2 points, 6.2 assists and 8.5 rebounds per contest, and shooting 53-percent from the floor and 50-percent from downtown.