50 Most Astonishing Photos of the 2012 NBA Playoffs

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIMay 24, 2012

50 Most Astonishing Photos of the 2012 NBA Playoffs

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    The 2012 NBA playoffs sure haven't failed to disappoint.

    From Kevin Durant game-winners to memorable 40-point performances by LeBron James, the playoffs have provided fans with plenty of memorable and exciting moments.

    Rather than writing on and on about how incredible the playoffs have been, I'll let pictures do the talking. I mean, pictures are worth 1,000 words aren't they?

    Ahead are the 50 most astonishing of the 2012 NBA playoffs. 

Honorable Mention: Someone Remind Me Why This Is the Orlando Magic's Mascot

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    The NBA certainly isn't known for having the most creative or sensical mascots, but this one is just way too odd, even by league standards.

    How does a massive blue, flying cow equal the Orlando Magic? Maybe that's why they aren't in the playoffs anymore. 

Honorable Mention: Spurs Fan Gets Tim Duncan's Boring-Looking Face on His Head

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    I love Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, but there's no way I'd ever get a haircut of his likeness on the back of my head. I guess that's why I'm not a super fan, though.

    Props to the barber who was able to do that, though. It certainly is ridiculously realistic, which is somewhat terrifying.  

Honorable Mention: San Antonio Spurs Super Fan's Tony Parker Head Shrine

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    There must be something in the water in San Antonio. This is the second guy who got a Spurs player etched into his hair.

    Kudos again to the barber on the great job, though, aside from Parker's eyes being a little crooked. I don't think his eyes are off-center like that in real life, are they?

LeBron James Reading "The Hunger Games" Before Epic Game 4

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    It doesn't matter to me what LeBron does before pivotal playoff games to get motivated, so long as he puts together 40-point, 18-rebound and nine-assist performances.

    If I were a struggling NBA player, I'd probably try and read The Hunger Games before my game now. If it worked for LeBron, it could work for anyone.  

Please Metta World Peace, Spare My Life

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    Is it just me or does everyone in the background of this picture look scared at what Metta World Peace is about to do?

    It looks like World Peace is about to drop a flying elbow on JaVale McGee—Macho Man Randy Savage style. 

The Most Terrifying Dunk Attempt I've Ever Seen

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    I just can't get over this picture. Ty Lawson, who's 5'11'' and 195 pounds, looks like a little kid on his very first dunk attempt. The rim also looks ridiculously oversized, too, doesn't it?

    It looks like the thought going through Lawson's mind is, "Crap, now how do I get down now?"

Kobe Passing the Torch to the Young Guns of the West

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    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Kobe did all that he physically could to help the Lakers to beat the Thunder, but this time it wasn't enough.

    It's time for a new powerhouse in the Western Conference—the Oklahoma City Thunder.

So What You're Saying Is There's a Chance I Can Play with You Next Year?

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    It's amazing that Kobe Bryant (16 seasons) has been in the NBA three more years than Andre Miller (13), isn't it?

    I can just hear Miller leaning over to Kobe and saying, "So, is there any chance that I can be the point guard of the future in LA?"

    They would make a dynamic duo, that's for sure. 

Hey Larry Bird, Are You Sure the Pacers Are S.O.F.T?

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    Larry Bird called his Pacers team soft after their 32-point loss in Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat.

    Bird must have been out buying a hot dog and a soda when Tyler Hansbrough drew first blood on Dwyane Wade. If Bird calls this soft, I don't want to see what he expects the Pacers to do in Game 6. 

The Rare Double Chewbacca Yell, Courtesy of Kenneth Faried and Pau Gasol

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    I can't tell you how many times I've seen Pau Gasol have this look on his face. I've seen it so many times that I've coined it as the "Chewbacca Yell."

    Kenneth Faried was nice enough to pose for this classic double Chewbacca yell, and I've got to say, he looks a little more intimidating doing it.  

I Believe I Can Fly

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    Listen Tony Parker. I know you and your San Antonio Spurs buddies are really good, but come on. Trying to fly is just absurd, and you should know that.

    The way I've seen the Spurs play this postseason, though, I wouldn't be shocked if someone from the Spurs started flying. Yep, that's how good they are. 

I'll Get You Next Time Fire Extinguisher

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    It was a rough year for Amar'e Stoudemire.

    Let's take a look back at the top three failures of Amare's 2012 NBA season.

    1.  Thought it would be cool to rock cornrows.
    2.  Helped the Knicks get knocked out of the first round.
    3.  Lost a fight with a fire extinguisher. 

Chris Paul Gets Choked by Z-Bo

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    I'm not an NBA referee, but it certainly looks like Zach Randolph is fouling Chris Paul on this one.

    Well, Paul does play for the Clippers, though, so he could just be flopping. 

Hey Remember That Time the Pacers Thought They Could Beat Us?

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    After putting together a memorable 70-point combined performance, I can just hear LeBron and Wade saying, "Can you believe the Pacers thought they could actually beat us?"

    I wonder what LeBron was looking at in this picture. He was probably just double-checking the scoreboard to make sure his 40-point performance wasn't a dream.  

Storm Troopers Take over the Amway Center

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    I'm amazed at how many people in the front row don't appear fazed by the fact that storm troopers have taken over the Orland Magic's home court.

    Here's to hoping that George Lucas was actually filming a scene for Star Wars XIII, or whichever Star Wars movie is next. 

Wait, What Just Happened?

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    There's not too much to say about this photo other than the fact that it's pretty hilarious.

    I wonder what this photographer was originally trying to capture. Maybe his job title is actually, "Photographer of potential nut-shots."

    If that's his title, he was certainly on his game that night. 

Sweet Chin-Music, Dirk Nowitzki Style

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    Nick Collison is known for his lockdown defense and tenacity on the boards. With his defense on Dirk Nowitzki, he took "tenacious defense" to a whole other level.

    I don't know exactly how this played out, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended with a standing 10-count. Nowitzki with the KO. 

Come on Kirk, They're Called Contact Lenses

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    It's like Kirk Hinrich just saw himself in the mirror and realized how goofy he looks with those rec-specs on.

    Someone needs to buy Hinrich a pair of contact lenses and throw those glasses in the trash. They certainly aren't doing anything to help his game. 

Oh Man, I Don't Think I'm Close Enough

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    Whether Blake Griffin shows it or not, this is how he feels every time he gets fouled and heads to the free-throw line.

    Griffin should just work on jumping from the free-throw line and dunking the ball instead of messing around with trying to improve his foul shot. 

Come on in for the Hug K-Mart

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    Kenyon Martin isn't known as being the nicest player in the NBA, but it looks here like Marc Gasol is trying to change that by hitting him with some bro-love.

    Come on, K-Mart, don't fight it. Just hug Gasol and get it over with. 

The Man, the Myth, the Legend...Russell Westbrook

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    While the Oklahoma City Thunder's domination of the LA Lakers was a team effort, there's no doubt that Russell Westbrook was a big part of that dominance.

    From circus shots to his 25-plus point performances, Westbrook has elevated his game in the playoffs, and the Thunder faithful are certainly happy for that. 

Are You Making Fun of My Mask, Ref?

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    Is it just me or does Hedo Turkoglu look like a giant here? The ref looks like a young child and the rim in the background looks smaller than Turkoglu's head.   

    Maybe it's the mask he's wearing that makes him look so vicious here. Either way, it's certainly an epic playoff photo. 

The Final Moments of Baron Davis' 2012 Playoff Run

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    Nothing funny about this one, but it is impressive that Baron Davis was able to smile and wave to the crowd after he dislocated his knee cap.

    Good luck on the recovery Baron. Let's hope you haven't played in your last NBA game.  

You've Got Something on Your Cheek Timmy

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    Maybe this is why the Utah Jazz got swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Instead of focusing on the game, Al Jefferson was mesmerized by Tim Duncan's face.

    Not sure what Jefferson saw on Duncan's face, but he certainly looks infatuated with it.  

There's a New Big Three in Town Folks

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    James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the new "Big Three" and there's nothing the rest of the NBA can do about it. 

    While we knew this trio was truly great, I don't think most of us knew that they would be this good so early in their careers.  OKC has a bright future to say the least. 

Did You Hear How Many Rings Kobe Has?

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    I guess this is what you do on the bench during playoff games when you're absolutely crushing your opponents night in and night out.

    Parker and Duncan are probably laughing at someone's joke about them actually having to play a Game 5 at some point.

LeBron James Gets in Touch with His Inner Hipster

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    LeBron's channeling his inner-Kurt Rambis here with the solid black glasses straight from the '80s.

    The only difference between LeBron's glasses and Rambis' glasses is that the ones Rambis wore actually had lenses in them. The hipster movement in the NBA is officially out in full force.   

Good Job, You Found Your Face Blake

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    It looks like Blake Griffin either just found his face for the first time or he finally realized he needed to shave his beard.

    At least Griffin will have time now to figure out whether or not to shave his beard this offseason, since his Clippers are now free.

I'll Just Go Move My Things out of My Office

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    No, Vinny Del Negro isn't getting fired or asked to leave. Well, at least to my knowledge he's not.

    After getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs, though, he better keep his things in a cardboard box, because he's officially on the hot seat for next season.  

Wait I Thought You Had Him

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    It looks like every member of the Boston Celtics team had no idea that Elton Brand was going to throw down this thunderous slam on them.

    It's a little thing called defense KG.  You're actually pretty good at it. 

Wait, so We Have to Play the San Antonio Spurs Next?

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    After winning a thrilling seven-game series against the Memphis Grizzlies, the LA Clippers found out who they had to play next.

    This would have been my response, too, if I had to face off against the mighty San Antonio Spurs. Yep, they're that good.  

    Even CP3 and Blake Griffin are scared of them. 

Old Friends Reuniting

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    When the L.A. Lakers decided to trade Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant lost a long-time friend and that certainly wasn't easy to cope with.

    In the Lakers series with the Thunder these friends got to reunite.  Unfortunately Fisher got the better of Kobe.  Well, actually the Thunder got the better of Kobe, not just Fisher. 

Now That's What I Call Bench Production

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    The Miami Heat, specifically LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, were looking for some increased bench production in Game 4 against the Pacers.

    Well, Udonis Haslem stepped up and gave them just that. He also drew a nice elbow from Pacers' big man Louis Amundson.

I Just Don't Understand Why They Call Me Chewbacca

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    Gasol:  I wish they'd stop calling me Chewbacca.  I don't even know what that means.

    Bynum: Wait, you've never seen Star Wars?

    Kobe (somewhere in the stadium):  These are the guys that are supposed to win me championships?    

Ewwww, Guys Don't Touch That Ball

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    It looks like there's something pretty nasty on the ball. Oh wait, it's just the remnants of LeBron's disgusting 40-point, 18-rebound performance against the Pacers in Game 4 of the EC Finals.  

    Hey, maybe that's why the guys on the Heat other than Wade, LeBron and Haslem stay away from it.  

This Is What We Call a Lack of Help-Side Defense

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this right here is one of the reasons why the Dallas Mavericks got swept by OKC.

    I spy with my eye, something that's white. Yep, you got it. It's four Mavericks defenders standing around watching Russell Westbrook knock them out of the playoffs.

Classic Kevin Garnett

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    Well here's why the Boston Celtics knocked the Atlanta Hawks out of the first round of the playoffs. Kevin Garnett knew everything the Hawks were doing.

    If a player tried to do this to Garnett, I'm pretty sure KG would just straight up knock him out.  

An Inside Look at the Clippers 2012 Playoff Run Going Up in Smoke

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    There's two possibilities here. Either this is an inside look at the Clippers' 2012 playoff run going up in smoke, or this is the Clippers coming out of the locker room after their "halftime chat."

    I'm pretty sure lighting up in the locker room at halftime doesn't help you win playoff games. 

The Knicks Still Don't Understand the Concept of "Defense"

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    This is exactly why the New York Knicks weren't able to beat the Miami Heat this postseason.

    Standing around watching LeBron torch your team isn't legitimate defense. In a related note, Amar'e did more damage to that fire extinguisher than he did to the Heat in the playoffs.

Wow, That Oklahoma City Thunder Team Is Really Good

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    This is the exact moment when Dirk Nowitzki realized that he wouldn't be able to carry the Mavericks past the first round.

    Yes Dirk, the Thunder are really that good. 

Are You Sure You Won't Take $20?

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    The Memphis Grizzlies were extremely close to knocking off the LA Clippers in their first-round series, but unfortunately the refs wouldn't help them out by taking a little bribe.

    Either that, or Marc Gasol is trying to explain the concept of "flopping" to a ref who apparently doesn't understand what it is.

I Just Saw a Durantula

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    Metta World Peace apparently didn't understand Kevin Durant's nickname.

    When the PA announcer yelled out: "There's a Durantula in the building", World Peace freaked out because he's deathly afraid of spiders.  No worries, Kobe quickly calmed World Peace down. 

2012 NBA Playoff Bodybuilder Competition, LeBron Wins

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    It's cute how Darren Collison wants to be like LeBron James. Unfortunately, LeBron looks quite a bit tougher because, well, he has about 100 pounds on Collison.

    Maybe next year's NBA playoff bodybuilder competition will be a little more competitive. One can only hope.

Wait, You Mean I Have to Step Now?

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    With Dwyane Wade playing like he never played basketball before, and Chris Bosh on the bench, the Heat needed LeBron to step up his game in a pivotal Game 4.

    Luckily for the Heat, LeBron channeled his inner MJ, and torched the Pacers for 40 points.  It's good to be the king isn't it?

A Historic and Memorable Night in the City of Brotherly Love

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    This is how the Sixers players and fans reacted when they found out that both Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah would be out for the remainder of their Round 1 series.

    Too soon, Bulls fans?

No LeBron, You're Not Supposed to Actually Do What Those Signs Say

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    In case you missed it, LeBron James clank two clutch free throws against the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semis.

    Who can blame him, though? He was just doing what everyone's sign in the arena told him to do.

That's What We Call a Basketball Metta World Peace

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    This was the moment when Metta World Peace realized that he wasn't actually a UFC fighter, and that he was a professional basketball player.

    Q: Hey Kobe, what's this?
    A: It's the thing you use to help me win NBA titles.  

All by Myself...Don't Want to Be, All by Myself

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    The bench is such a lonely place to be after you've risen from obscurity into the ranks of stardom in the NBA. Poor Jeremy Lin had to ride the pine, or metal, for the New York Knicks' first-round series against the Heat.

    It was probably for the best, though, as he might have punched a fire extinguisher after getting humiliated by the Heat again, too.

Glen "Big Baby" Davis Getting Ready to Deliver a Child

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    Either Glen Davis missed the ball or he's ready to deliver Paul George's baby mid-game.

    I mean, the look on Davis' face certainly looks as grossed out as I'd expect him to be if he were trying to deliver a newborn. 

Stop It Guys, Santa Claus IS Real

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    In a last ditch effort to save their season, the New York Knicks told Shane Battier that Santa Claus wasn't real.

    Unfortunately for the Knickbockers, it didn't work, as Battier knows that Santa is real because he always takes his cookies on Christmas eve. 

Stop Calling Us Flop City!

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    Apparently the whole "Flop City" nickname isn't growing on Blake Griffin. Hey Blake, if you don't want to be called that, then stop flopping. It's a pretty simple solution.

    Look how far Blake went for the flop on this one. He cut his own lip to make it look more realistic.   

I Wonder What's out in the Stands That Scared Taj Gibson so Much

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    Taj Gibson looks like he just saw a kitten get drop-kicked in the face in the stands after his dunk against Philly.

    Actually, I just figured out what he saw in the stands. It was that gigantic 76ers super-fan. I can't blame Gibson, I'd be pretty shocked, too. 

Dwyane Wade's Response to Russell Westbrook's Hipster Outfits

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    Apparently, Dwyane Wade isn't buying into the whole hipster movement in the NBA. Just look how disgusted D-Wade is of Russell Westbrook's silly fish-hipster polo.

    I can't believe it either, Dwyane. Westbrook's wasting his new $80 million contract on hipster shirts. Real shame. 


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