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From The Outside Looking In

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The NBA playoffs were wonderful this weekend, aside from the realization that I've become all too familiar with enjoying the playoffs without the Indiana Pacers involved.

Sure it's fun to relax, kick back and enjoy some intense playoff games, but I'd prefer to be worked up into a frenzy for one game involving the Pacers. Where you re-arrange all schedules to account for a three-hour window to watch the big game.

Where the tension has you on edge all day anticipating the worst but hoping for the best. Where you begging your team isn't on the wrong side of a blowout, but when the game goes down to the final possession it's almost unbearable to watch. Yet, nothing could divert you eyes.

This is the time of year that makes the NBA my favorite sport to watch. I just can't wait until my favorite team is involved again.

Now, if you didn't watch the games you may think yesterday's action was a snooze with the blowouts involved and only Andre Iguodala's heroics saving the day.

The Lakers/Jazz game went about according to plan, but the blowouts by the Atlanta Hawks and Denver Nuggets were fascinating. Josh Smith picked up where we saw him last, by putting on a show and continuing to prove he's among the elite finishers in the league. So the Hawks humble the Miami Heat which I can live with, but 64 points for the Heat? 19 points for Dwyane Wade?

How about Chauncey Billups running roughshod on Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets? Talk about a wild card. Billups can change everything if he can muster up that type of performance on command.

Early playoff games can quickly turn to blowouts when the trailing team realizes it ain't happening and they should just hoard their resources and live to fight another day. That's how I felt the Hornets finished the game and the Heat finished, well, the second half.

But they better show something in game two or even a return home may not be enough to save their playoff season.

NBA Playoffs Blog Coverage, Schedule and Scores - SB Nation