In Game 1 against the Nuggets, Andrew Bynum recorded the Lakers' first playoff triple-double in 21 years and tied an NBA playoff record with 10 blocks. "If he continues to play like he did," said L.A. coach Mike Brown, "we’ll be playing a long time." While Bynum has enjoyed a breakout season, consistency remains a problem. He had 30 rebounds in one game last month against the Spurs, then seven against the same opponent a week later. Denver can only hope Bynum gives less than his best in Game 2.
What will Boston do without Rondo?
As if losing Game 1 in Atlanta wasn't bad enough, the Celtics lost Rajon Rondo for Game 2 when he was suspended by the NBA for bumping an official while arguing a call. Rondo led the NBA in assists and was one of Boston's few bright spots in the playoff opener with 20 points and 11 assists. While Avery Bradley may move over to play point guard, the Celtics need Paul Pierce (pictured), who was awful in Game 1, to be their primary playmaker in Rondo's absence.
Can Ty Lawson get into gear?
Lawson was the leading scorer on the NBA's highest-scoring team this season, but Denver's point guard couldn't get himself or his team going in Game 1. Lawson didn't record his first basket until the fourth quarter and finished with seven points as the Lakers slowed the tempo and shut down the Nuggets. Denver's only chance is to pick up the pace in Game 2. That's Lawson's job.
Is the bloom off the Bulls' rose?
Chicago finished with the NBA's best record despite constant injuries to star guard Derrick Rose. So you can't completely dismiss the Bulls, who went 18-9 without Rose, now that the 2011 NBA MVP is gone for good with a torn ACL in his left knee. C.J. Watson (pictured) is a solid backup along with John Lucas III. But the trauma and finality of losing Rose in their first playoff game figures to be a hard psychological burden to bear for the Bulls.
Is J-Smoove really the best player in this series?
Josh Smith (aka J-Smoove) is an undeniable talent who can fill up a boxscore. Yet the Hawks forward has never made an All-Star team, partly because of immaturity, inconsistency and poor shot selection. Smith did brick a bunch of ill-advised jumpers in Game 1, as usual, but he otherwise dominated Boston with 22 points and 18 rebounds. If the Celtics can't contain him, they better hope he contains himself.