By Rob Mahoney
April 22, 2013

Kendrick Perkins assisted Serge Ibaka on 25 field goals in the regular season, none of which bore even a passing resemblance to the highlight-reel connection the two made on Sunday night.

Perkins is rarely more than a mere witness to the Thunder fast break, but on this occasion he took advantage of a Russell Westbrook deflection and save to push the ball up-court on his own. What resulted sincerely must be seen to be believed; not only does Perk keep a secure dribble as he romps into the open court, but upon drawing the commitment of the lone Rockets defender in position (Jeremy Lin), he throws a line-drive oop to Ibaka, who finishes after swooping in from the left. These are the NBA playoffs, and they are strange days indeed.

A little less bizarre was the sight of another big man initiating the transition game for the Spurs on Sunday. Tim Duncan ranks as one of the NBA's great outlet passers, but in Game 1 against the Lakers he collected a rebound off a Dwight Howard miss and immediately triggered the action himself:

Befitting Duncan's style, this play is more conservative; there is no lob to be seen, merely a safe pass to an open shooter. Yet this particular sequence is so casual as to be awesome in its own right, as no Spur flinches even for a moment as Duncan begins his up-court canter. They simply fill their lanes, run to their spots and take advantage of a defense that Duncan has put on its heels.

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