Posted: Wednesday May 10, 2006 1:28AM; Updated: Wednesday May 10, 2006 1:28AM
SI.com's Marty Burns looks at the best and worst of the NBA Playoffs each night
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Rasheed Wallace, Pistons
As he likes to say, "It's all about the 'ships'" (i.e., championships). Wallace helped his team take another step toward that goal in Game 2, pouring in a game-high 29 points to go with nine boards and two blocks as Detroit dominated Cleveland again to take a 2-0 series lead. The 6'11" power forward hit 10 of 17 shots, including five-of-eight from 3-point range. Defensively, he contributed to a team effort that effectively contained LeBron James. Detroit's Tayshaun Prince (20 points), Rip Hamilton (17), Chauncey Billups (15) and Ben Wallace (10 points, 15 rebounds) came up big as well, but on this night 'Sheed led the way.
Manu Ginobili, Spurs
Is he hurt? Or just suffering from a Ron Artest hangover? For the second straight game, Ginobili didn't create any of his usual South of the Border disorder as host San Antonio got routed at home by the Mavs to fall into a 1-1 tie in their series. The Argentinian All-Star finished with a respectable 13 points, but most came in the second half after the Spurs were already out of it. Meanwhile he had just two rebounds, one assist and zero steals. To add insult to injury, Ginobili got busted in the chops trying to stop Devin Harris on a drive and wound up with a bloodied lip.
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The Lil' General's gambit
Seeking to speed up the game, Dallas coach Avery Johnson inserted second-year point guard Devin Harris into the starting lineup for Adrian Griffin. The move paid immediate dividends as the quicker Mavs forced the Spurs into four first-quarter turnovers en route to a 26-22 lead that eventually mushroomed to 20 points at halftime. With Harris (20 points) to push the ball and pressure a sore-legged Tony Parker, Dallas controlled the tempo and ran up a decisive edge in fast-break points. It also set a more aggressive tone for the Mavs as Josh Howard (27), Dirk Nowitzki (21) and Jerry Stackhouse (19) attacked the basket all night.
The Heat have endured a bumpy ride so far in these NBA playoffs. They struggled against the Bulls in the first round and now find themselves down 1-0 to the Nets in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. Miami can't afford to lose again at home in Wednesday night's Game 2 (8 p.m. EST/TNT) or it will be in serious trouble. Can Dwyane Wade (right) rescue Shaq from his endless foul trouble and keep the Heat's title hopes alive? In the nightcap, Elton Brand and the Clippers try to even up their series with the Suns when they invade Phoenix for Game 2 (10:30 p.m./TNT).