You've heard it mentioned numerous times before: teams that win Game 1 usually end up winning a seven-game series.
Well, in an exciting and physical round of Game 1s, some very important precedents were established over the weekend.
Cleveland welcomed Shaq back and the big fella looked motivated and surprisingly agile. If O'Neal plays that well on a nightly basis, the Cavs will crush not only Chicago but the rest of the East.
UPDATE: Saddled with foul trouble, O'Neal was less effective in Game 2 but the Cavs won anyway.
Atlanta's frontcourt did whatever they pleased against the Bucks bigs. Brandon Jennings returned the favor by galloping right past the horrifically bad defense of Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford.
Boston decided to start doubling Wade in the second half and the Heat predictably folded. The Cs would have had major momentum going into Game 2...but then KG had one of his rabid spells and got himself suspended.
Steve Nash cannot guard Andre Miller. The Blazers have now won 16 of 20. They're a different team with Camby. Still, the Suns missed so many wide open shots, shots they usually make in their sleep.
Speaking of snoozing, the Bobcats are probably seeing Dwight Howard in their dreams. The dude blocked nine shots against a team that wasn't even going inside most of the game. Ridiculous. Anyone who doesn't vote Howard for DPOY should be shot in the face.
Dirk scored at will over all of San Antonio's power forwards, none of whom were Tim Duncan. Why no Duncan on Dirk, you ask? Because Duncan plays center and doesn't guard power forwards. Because Duncan isn't a power forward, despite what it will undoubtedly say on his tombstone. Yeah, I went there. Again. Tim Duncan. Center. Suck it, Hall Of Fame.
And of course, Ron Artest put his stink all over Kevin Durant. Welcome to playoff basketball, kid. It's gotta be kind of rough having Artest be the guy to bust your playoff cherry. Hopefully KD isn't too traumatized by the mauling Ron Ron put on him.
While we're on the subject of defense, the Jazz played none of it. Carmelo Anthony scored more easily than Tiger Woods at a strip club. Or a roadside diner. Or a hotel party hosted by Michael Jordan. OK, I'll stop.
Back to basketball...gotta maintain focus...focus...focus...shoot the shot the same way...
UPDATE: Jazz play better D, win Game 2 on the road. Yes, the Jazz won a road game.
Back to my original point. History says that whoever throws the first punch usually wins. However, it's hard to forget the Dallas Mavericks blowing that commanding 2-0 lead in The Finals against Wade's Heat a few years back. Sometimes a game is really just a game.
Pictured: best record in the L and a 2-0 lead. And Keith Van Horn.