Beard beats Jet every time.

(SB Nation Arizona, Seth Pollack) Monday's 2012 NBA Playoff schedule gave us two so-so games and one really fun contest. Not surprisingly, the really good game featured the Western Conference Finals rematch between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks. The Thunder took a 2-0 series lead with their win (102-99)

The game once again came down to the wire, with Jason Terry having two shots at tying the game with a made three-pointer. He missed both attempts. The Thunder have yet to shoot the ball well and are showing flaws, but they've been good enough to beat the Mavs, who lack enough punch. This series should go at least six games, however, unless the Thunder are able to find another level of play on the road.

In the other games, the Miami Heat took care of the New York Knicks (104-94) and took a 2-0 series lead, and the Indiana Pacers bounced back to tie their series 1-1 with the Orlando Magic (93-78).

The big story in the NBA from Monday's playoff action is the status of Amare Stoudemire's hand. He reportedly hit the glass door of a fire extinguisher case and caused himself some damage. Not the smartest thing Amare's ever done but we still don't have all the details. With the Knicks trailing the Heat 0-2 in the series, his availability for the next few games is unknown.

Here's Tuesday's schedule of playoff games.

Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on NBA TV. The Celtics will be without Rajon Rondo, who is serving a one-game suspension for bumping an official. The Hawks will need to stay focused (never a strong suit for that team) and hopefully get better shooting from Joe Johnson. If they do, they can take a nice 2-0 lead in the series.

Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT on TNT. The Bulls will begin their post-Derrick Rose playoff run Tuesday, but they still should be fine against the offensively-challenged 76ers. Rose missed almost half the season with other injuries and backup CJ Watson is playing well.

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT on TNT. The Lakers killed the Nuggets in the paint and there's no reason to think that will change anytime soon. The Nuggets will need to play VERY fast and try to wear down Andrew Bynum, and they'll need a ton of threes to win. Possible, but not likely.

For more 2012 NBA Playoff coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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Fans of the Phoenix Suns aren’t used to this feeling of uncertainty, one that metaphorically can be explained as a hole leading to the future that’s too dark to make anything...

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As we embark on yet another Sunless NBA playoffs, a lot of folks on the site have shared that they’ll be rooting for this or that ex-Sun advancing toward glory.

But I had not yet seen a comprehensive list of our former favorites (and not-so favorites) who are moving on with other teams in the 2012 race for a ring.

In an effort to rectify this, I have put together the following list of former Suns who are still in it to win it.

Ten of the 16 teams have at least one former Sun now in uniform. In fact, you could build an entire NBA roster -- and not a bad one -- just out of ex-Suns in the playoff hunt. I also included head coaches with strong Suns ties.

If I missed anybody, please correct me in the comments below as I’m working largely from memory here.

Feel free to share who you’re rooting for and why.

Despite their Game 1 drubbing at the hands of Miami and the loss of Iman Shumpert, I’m still pulling for our old friend Amare to make some noise in the playoffs.

To me, he’s still the big goofy kid we watched grow up, even though he now wears a different shade of orange. And out of all the players on the list, I think he’s the most critical to his team’s performance.

We’ll start with the East, which kind of ironically has a larger number of ex-Suns in competition.

Eastern Conference

1) Chicago – No known Suns presence

2) Miami – James Jones

3) Indiana – Leandro Barbosa, Lou Amundson

4) Boston -- Mickael Pietrus

5) Atlanta – Joe Johnson

6) Orlando – Earl Clark, Jason Richardson, Quentin Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu

7) New York -- Amare Stoudemire

8) Philadelphia – No known Suns presence

Western Conference

1) San Antonio – Boris Diaw

2) Oklahoma City – Kevin Durant (Just seeing if you’re paying attention, actually no known Suns presence)

3) Los Angeles LakersMatt Barnes

4) Memphis – Lionel Hollins (head coach, gets an honorable mention as ex-Sun because he was an assistant coach for us)

5) Los Angeles ClippersVinny Del Negro (head coach)

6) Denver Nuggets – No known Suns presence

7) Dallas – Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion

8) Utah JazzRaja Bell, Tyrone Corbin (head coach)


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The 2012 NBA Playoffs kicked off with a bang. The story lines out of the Eastern Conference Game 1's were dominated by the ACL injuries to Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert and a possible suspension for Rajon Rondo while on the court the level of competition was pretty miserable. Condolences if you sat through that ugly Boston vs. Atlanta game. What a mess.

In the Western Conference there were a few blowouts, but there were also the two best games of the weekend. The Battle of Clutch between Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant was epic and the Clippers fourth quarter comeback / Grizzlies fourth quarter collapse was one for the ages.

As always, you can find more about all of these series at SB Nation's NBA page.

Action continues on Monday, here's the full schedule:

New York Knicks at Miami Heat at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT on TNT. The Heat blew the Knicks out of the water in Game 1 and hold a 1-0 lead in the series. Miami held Carmelo Anthony to 1-9 and LeBron James was dominate on both ends. The Knicks have a lot of work to do to avoid a sweep.

Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on NBA TV. The Magic shocked the Pacers to steal Game 1 on the road. They shot the ball well and delivered a wake-up call to the highly-favored Indiana team. It will be interesting to see how the Pacers respond.

Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on TNT. This is clearly the game of the night and a rematch between Dirk's playoff greatness and Durant's growing legend. Frankly, the Thunder were damn lucky to escape with a Game 1 win. It will be interesting to see if they can do a little bit better in this game. If not, we're in for a long series.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Photo

The 2012 NBA Playoffs kicked off with a bang. The story lines out of the Eastern Conference Game 1s were dominated by the ACL injuries to Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert and a possible suspension for Rajon Rondo while on the court the level of competition was pretty miserable. Condolences if you sat through that ugly Boston vs. Atlanta game. What a mess.

In the Western Conference there were a few blowouts, but there were also the two best games of the weekend. The Battle of Clutch between Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant was epic and the Clippers fourth quarter comeback / Grizzlies fourth quarter collapse was one for the ages.

As always, you can find more about all of these series at SB Nation's NBA page.

Action continues on Monday, here's the full schedule:

New York Knicks at Miami Heat at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT on TNT. The Heat blew the Knicks out of the water in Game 1 and hold a 1-0 lead in the series. Miami held Carmelo Anthony to 1-9 and LeBron James was dominant on both ends. The Knicks have a lot of work to do to avoid a sweep.

Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers at 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on NBA TV. The Magic shocked the Pacers to steal Game 1 on the road. They shot the ball well and delivered a wake-up call to the highly-favored Indiana team. It will be interesting to see how the Pacers respond.

Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder at 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT on TNT. This is clearly the game of the night and a rematch between Dirk's playoff greatness and Durant's growing legend. Frankly, the Thunder were damn lucky to escape with a Game 1 win. It will be interesting to see if they can do a little bit better in this game. If not, we're in for a long series.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


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