All-NBA Playoff Team: Week 1

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIApril 25, 2014

All-NBA Playoff Team: Week 1

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    The first week of the NBA playoffs is in the books, complete with late-game drama, overtime thrillers and even the foundation set for a No. 1 seed to be upset.

    The biggest surprise of the first week of the playoffs is the lackluster performance of one of the regular season's most entertaining teams—the Indiana Pacers.

    The Pacers have not been outdueled by any individual player, however, like the No. 4-seeded Houston Rockets have been by power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.  

    This is a look at those individual performances that stood out after week one of the 2014 NBA playoffs. The flavors of the week...enjoy.

Point Guard: Damian Lillard

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    The point guard field has been incredibly impressive in the first week of the NBA playoffs.

    Atlanta's Jeff Teague deserves a lot of credit for helping the eighth-seeded Hawks take a 2-1 series lead over the Eastern Conference's top team. Oklahoma City's explosive guard Russell Westbrook scored 23, 29 and 30 points in the first three playoff games for the Thunder. And the shootout in California between the Warriors and Clippers features two of the league's top point guards in Steph Curry and Chris Paul

    But Portland Trail Blazers floor general Damian Lillard has been the most consistent and impressive point guard in the first week of the playoffs. 

    In Houston, the Oakland, California, native dominated Game 1 with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists in an overtime thriller. He then contributed 18 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Blazers took a 2-0 lead in the series.  

Shooting Guard: DeMar DeRozan

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    Shooting guard is the only position where there is no clear-cut standout for the first week of playoff games. 

    NBA fans saw impressive playoff performances by J.J. Redick, Joe Johnson, Lance Stephenson, Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobili. 

    However, DeMar DeRozan dropped a game-high 30 points to help the Toronto Raptors seal an important Game 2 against the Brooklyn Nets. DeRozan's scoring was the difference after Brooklyn stole Game 1 in Toronto. 

    Toronto's impressive backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeRozan think of their team as a true "band of brothers," per ESPN contributor James Herbert, and will take that mentality on the road as the series moves to Brooklyn. 

Small Forward: LeBron James

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    The game's best player purely shredded the Charlotte Bobcats in the first two games of the series.

    In Game 1, LeBron scored a team-high 27 points and added nine rebounds in an 11-point win.

    In the second game, King James dominated from all over the floor with his 32 points, eight assists and six rebounds in an exciting four-point victory. 

    Another small forward who is impossible to miss is Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who has added some impressive numbers despite Oklahoma dropping two of three playoff games. Durant is the single key to overcoming well-rounded Memphis, which seemingly isn't fazed by Durant's 30-point explosions and superhero-esque clutch work

Power Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge

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    LaMarcus Aldridge has been without a doubt the most dominant player leaguewide so far. 

    Aldridge opened up Game 1 against the high-powered Houston Rockets with an incredible 46 points and 18 rebounds in a two-point overtime victory. Also, cheers to the Portland Police Bureau for one of the most epic tweets of the year following the Blazers' thrilling win. 

    In Game 2 of the series, Aldridge outdueled Rockets superstar Dwight Howard by contributing 43 of the Blazers' 112 points to take the second game of the series. 

    Another power forward to keep an eye on for week two of the NBA playoffs is Memphis Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph. Z-Bo led Memphis in points in both the first and second games of the series before adding a solid 16-point, 10-rebound performance in the Game 3 victory. Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is also playing great, scoring 67 points in his last two games combined.

Center: Dwight Howard

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    It is no surprise that Houston Rockets superstar center Dwight Howard has been the most dominant big man in the playoffs thus far. 

    Unfortunately for Howard, he finds his Rockets team down in the series after dropping the first two games at home to Portland. 

    Howard played incredible in both games, with 27 points and 15 rebounds in Game 1 and 32 points and 14 rebounds in Game 2. However his 9-of-17 free-throw shooting performance ultimately cost the Rockets the first game of the series, reinforcing the value of the "Hack-a-Dwight" strategy. 

    Other than D-12, the only other true standout at the position is Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who has averaged 15.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the three games against the favored Oklahoma City Thunder. Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordanwith his 12 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks per game—and Jonas Valanciunas, who is averaging 16 points and 16 boards per contest, are also worthy of some consideration.