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Hidden Subplots of the 2014 NBA Playoffs

Photo: Flickr/Mat Sadler

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.

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Risk Management in Rip City

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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.

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Open Shots (1/15): On Paul George’s Struggles, James Johnson’s Influence, PJ Tucker’s Payday and More

via flickr | Serge Melki

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