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Playoff Prospectus column archives.

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May 1, 2012

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Close Calls

by Kevin Pelton

If NBA Playoff games were horseshoes or hand grenades, the Dallas Mavericks would be in a lot better shape after two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

April 30, 2012

Playoff Prospectus: Crazy Comeback

by Kevin Pelton

The Los Angeles Clippers did the unthinkable Sunday night, rallying from a 24-point deficit in the last nine minutes of their win in Memphis. The Grizzlies built the lead in unsustainable fashion.

Playoff Prospectus: Learning Lessons

by Bradford Doolittle

It wasn't a pretty game for sure, but there was plenty that happened in Game One between Boston and Atlanta that the combatants can learn from. But if Rajon Rondo gets suspended, will it matter?

April 29, 2012

Playoff Prospectus: Key Switch

by Kevin Pelton

Moving Kendrick Perkins on Dirk Nowitzki, along with an aggressive Kevin Durant, helped the Oklahoma City Thunder stave off an upset bid from the Dallas Mavericks in Saturday's Game 1.

Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: An Injury, a Blowout and an Upset

by Bradford Doolittle

Three games with distinctly different storylines marked the first day of action in the Eastern Conference bracket.

June 13, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Unheralded Champions

by Kevin Pelton

Doubted throughout the postseason, and overshadowed in the course of the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks may never have thoroughly dominated their opposition but they still put together an impressive run that culminated Sunday in the first NBA championship in franchise history.

June 10, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: On the Verge

by Dan Feldman

After knocking off the Miami Heat with another strong fourth-quarter effort in Game Five of the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks are a win away from an elusive championship.

June 8, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Plan of Attack

by Kevin Pelton

By showing a zone defense, Rick Carlisle was able to change the tone of Game Four of the NBA Finals and help the Dallas Mavericks rally against an uncertain Miami Heat offense.

June 6, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Slim Margin

by Kevin Pelton

The two-point difference between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat in Game Three of the NBA Finals might be explained by the second quarter rather than the final minutes.

June 3, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Don't Call it a Comeback

by Kevin Pelton

Down 15 with seven minutes left, the Dallas Mavericks rallied to win Game Two of the NBA Finals because the Miami Heat was unable to run effective offense while trying to take time off the clock.

June 1, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Miami Strikes First

by Kevin Pelton

Following a familiar script from the last two rounds, the Miami Heat hung even with the Dallas Mavericks for 40-plus minutes before ripping off a game-ending run down the stretch.

May 26, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Mistakes and Misfortune

by Kevin Pelton

In a tight game, a handful of plays cost the Oklahoma City Thunder--some of them the result of poor decisions by the Thunder but others a case of the ball bouncing the Dallas Mavericks' way.

Playoff Prospectus: Best Shot

by Bradford Doolittle

The Heat outlast the scrappy Bulls in an overtime classic, thanks in no small part to having more shot makers. But the Bulls' coach has to take some of the blame as well.

May 24, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Heat is on the Bulls

by Bradford Doolittle

After beating Chicago on both ends of the floor in Game Three, Miami is in the driver's seat in the East finals, leaving Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau scrambling for answers in time for Game Four.

Playoff Prospectus: Coming Up Short

by Kevin Pelton

As the Oklahoma City Thunder blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of Monday's Game Four, Scott Brooks failed at the primary task of a coach: putting his players in position to succeed.

May 22, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Bad Lineups

by Kevin Pelton

The Oklahoma City Thunder's difficulty putting the team's best players on the floor together and inability to connect from beyond the arc added up to a home loss in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals.

Playoff Prospectus: Onus on the Offense

by Bradford Doolittle

Big Three or not, the Bulls have proven they can limit Miami's offense, but can they score enough for it to matter?

May 20, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Driven by the Bench

by Kevin Pelton

For nearly the entire fourth quarter, the Oklahoma City Thunder surrounded Kevin Durant with four reserves. The second unit helped the Thunder hold the host Dallas Mavericks at bay to even the Western Conference Finals.

May 18, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Unparalleled Efficiency

by Kevin Pelton

Behind Dirk Nowitzki's historic night, the Dallas Mavericks managed to find a new level of offensive efficiency in their Game One win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

May 16, 2011

Playoff Prospectus: Opening Statement

by Bradford Doolittle

The Bulls dominate the Heat on the boards and seize the early advantage in the East final with a convincing win at the United Center.

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