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2018 NBA Playoffs: 5 Superstars that Dominated the Opening Weekend

SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.55K   //    16 Apr 2018, 08:59 IST

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
The Rockets' Big Three came up big this weekend

The NBA playoffs have had an ominous start in the first 2 days, with an overtime game and several closely fought matchups. While the Warriors blew out the Kawhi-less San Antonio Spur at home and the Sixers took care of 6th-seeded Miami, the rest of these games were well-contested for the most part, and we saw a number of heroes emerging from the first round of games.

The likes of John Wall and Giannis Antetokounmpo, despite having great nights and leading their teams to what might have been upset wins on away ground, ended up with the L. For this reason, they have not been considered for our list here.

The following 5 players were mightily important to their teams' victories over the weekend, and to rank their performances, we take into account both their contributions as well as their irreplaceability. The list goes as follows:

#5 Klay Thompson

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors
Klay shoots celebrate after a shooting a 3 in Game 1

On a night when defense reigned supreme at the Oracle Arena, the Golden State Warriors managed to create separation from the San Antonio Spurs mainly due to their outside shooting, as chances in the interior came at a premium for both sides.

Klay Thompson, in particular, was on fire for the Warriors, as he led both teams in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting from the field. He made 5 out of his 6 attempts from downtown, helping the Warriors run out to an early lead which they never relinquished.

For the most part, Klay Thompson was a commendable defender on the night. His constant on-ball pressure helped the Warriors enforce a number of turnovers and 24-second violations, and his +/- of +22 was the highest for any player on the night.


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SENIOR ANALYST
Started as an Arsenal fan at the age of 6. Became a Ronaldo and a Real Madrid fan after the 2002 World Cup. Bandwagon Celtics fan this season, though I've watched the NBA with increasing frequency over the past 14 years or so. Played both games with my high school team at some of the highest levels there are in India. Played against East Bengal u-17s in college. A member of Mercurial FC, 1st division Amateur League team in Bangalore.
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