The Larry O'Brien trophy isn't the only thing driving this year's playoff field. There are deeper driving forces beneath the surface, and Derek has uncovered them all just in time for tip-off.
The Miami Heat have had several opportunities over the last few weeks to lock up the first seed in the Eastern Conference. But they didn't get a damn.
Lance Stephenson was nearly an All-Star this season. Let that sink in for a second. Four years ago, he fell all the way to the second round of the draft, where the Indiana Pacers made his night by picking him up with the 40th overall pick.
Paul George is #360Slammin in a new music video based on his dunk.
If he's not playing against the Miami Heat, odds are that Roy Hibbert isn't going to bother you too much on the offensive end of the court. On the season, the former Hoya is averaging 11.8 points on 9.6 field goal attempts per game.
Over the past 13 games, the Portland Trailblazers have completely fallen apart, giving up 108.4 points per 100 possessions. You can't mimic Indiana's conservative defense when your starting point guard hasn't met a screen that hasn't smushed him. Robin Lopez has provided the Blazers with a defensive foundation, a solid backdrop on which they built their philosophy. But Roy Hibbert he is not.
People do the weirdest things to get a shout-out on Twitter. Some go down the "I love you, you're my favorite player" route, which may get you a retweet or follow depending on who that person is. Others go down the "Hey, you! Yeah, you. You're terrible. I know what I'm talking about" route.
Joe Johnson hears it from the Indiana Pacers' home crowd on Saturday night.
This is how you unhinge yourself.
The Corner Three: Paul George's Struggles from Mid-Range
In The Paint: James Johnson's Influence and PJ Tucker's Payday
Long Twos: Suns Out-Of-Bounds Play, Scary Good Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal's Awkwardness at the Rim, Kevin Garnett "Da Kid", Chris Bosh Pump-Fake, Typical Detroit Incompetence