THE BEST KICKS FROM THE FIRST ROUND OF THE 2010 NBA PLAYOFFS.
Keeping track of every sneaker and colourway that’s worn on-court during the 2010 NBA post season is like counting stars in the night sky or reciting every alias Shaquille O’Neal has ever gone by – in other words, good luck with that. Even the most intense sneaker fiends have a hard time noting every single release that’s laced up but because we love, we never stop trying. Rather than an exhaustive, clinical and boring 190 (or so) NBA player listing, we’ve elected to spotlight key athletes and their kicks because as anyone who has been paying attention to the 2010 Playoffs knows, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant have all come out to play… and shine.
While signature lines like the Nike KD II, Zoom Kobe V and LeBron VII P.S. are off-set by the Hyperfuse, Hyperfly and Hyperize, the Swoosh aren’t the only ones making noise on the NBA's post season timber. Adidas’ Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, Chauncey Billups, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Josh Smith have all been stamping their (triple stripe) marks (and kicks) on these playoffs in their TS Supernatural Commanders and Creators, respectively. Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Ray Allen and a host of others have been rocking their respective Jordan Brand releases while Reebok, Under Armour, Converse and Le Coq Sportif are all represented by All-Stars, rookies, role players and rising stars. Below are the first round match-ups and the kicks that have caught our attention...
EASTERN CONFERENCE. ROUND ONE.
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (8) Chicago Bulls
Cavs sneaker highlights from this series have included LeBron James notching his fifth career playoff triple-double in his signature Nike Air Max LeBron VII P.Ss. Interestingly, sparkplug Delonte West has also been torching defenders in the LeBron VII. Fellow backcourt gunner, Mo Williams, has been wearing the Nike Air Max Hyperfly while the daddy, Shaquille O’Neal, has been clogging up the lane in his signature Shaq Dunkman line. Recently acquired forward Antawn Jamison put up numbers in his TS Supernatural Commanders, in Cavs patent wine red / white colours no less. Speaking of adidas, their new prodigal son, Chicago native Derrick Rose has been slicing and dicing for Head Coach Vinny Del Negro in his TS Supernatural Creators, looking both fly and fearsome. Rose’s garden also sees the rooster, aka Le Coq Sportif, look as impressive as bigman Joakim Noah in his signature sneaker, the Pro model.
(4) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Miami Heat
Bean town bandits, aka the Celtics, are highlighted by their shot taking and shot making duo, heart breakers Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. While Kevin Garnett’s Supernatural Commanders and Rajon Rondo’s Nike Hyperfuse are great side orders, Allen’s plush green Air Jordan Six Rings and Paul Pierce’s Nike Air Legacy are coated with the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices. Throw Rasheed Wallace and his Nike Air Force 1 Highs into the deep fryer and you have yourself a tasty Boston serving of sneakers. Keeping it in the kitchen, the dials that give Miami’s oven their Heat, Dwyane Wade and Michael Beasley, have both been sporting their signature Air Jordan 2010 kicks and adidas TS Supernatural Commanders respectively. Adding to the temperature, swingman Dorrell Wright has taken to the post season timber in the ultra smooth Nike Air Penny III. Teammate Udonis Haslem has been seen patrolling the laneway in Converse Weapon EVOs and bomber Quentin Richardson has been lacing up the Air Jordan 2 Retros.
(3) Atlanta Hawks vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks
Atlanta Hawks point guard Mike Bibby has been seen trying to keep the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings in front of him while rocking his ever-so-popular Air Jordan 13 Retros. These kicks effectively carry the colourway from Atlanta’s road jerseys. Atlanta’s all Jordan Brand starting backcourt also sees Joe Johnson rocking the Jordan 6 Rings. Up front, the high-flying all court dominator, Josh Smith has been showing off his special player edition adidas TS Supernatural Commanders. At the other end, Milwaukee is highlighted by Under Armour endorsee, rookie Brandon Jennings and his Prototype 2 kicks. Young Money has been cashing in all season long and has carried that form into the business end of the season.
(2) Orlando Magic vs. (7) Charlotte Bobcats
In a first round match-up that has consisted of two of the league's savviest and stingiest defenses, the recently crowned Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard, has led his Magic act to a series sweep. Howard has been joined by sniper Rashard Lewis, who’s playing in Nike Air Zoom Barcelonas while Vince Carter is in his FA10 Air Shox. Interestingly, Stan Van Gundy’s playmaker, Jameer Nelson has been carving up the Bobcats in Blue / Black / White Reebok Talkin’ Krazy IIs. On the flip-side of the coin, it’s easy looking good in Jordan Brand, especially when Money himself is your boss. Point guard DJ Augustin and swingman Stephen Jackson both dressed to impress in their special Bobcats make-ups of the famed Jordan Icons series while Gerald Wallace rocked Jordan Flight Team editions through four games.
WESTERN CONFERENCE. ROUND ONE.
(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Oklahoma City Thunder
Kobe Bryant has been doing his thing in customised Nike Zoom Kobe V POPs. Teammate Pau Gasol, soon to be rocking his Nike Air Max Hyperize Pau Gasol PE, in both 'Home' and 'Away' make-ups, has been keeping the Lakers in check while Ron Artest has been trying to break match-up nightmare, Kevin Durant, in his new Peak signature sneakers. The majority of the remaining Lake show contingent have also been rocking either Kobe Vs or Hyperize kicks... Likewise, the entire Oklahoma City Thunder roster have been sporting all-black Nike KD IIs on the road and all-white KDs at home. It’s also not surprising to see these Lakers bullied by the upstart Thunder. The Thunder not only pushed the Lakers around during their regular season contests but there were a mere six wins dividing them as No. 1 and No. 8 seeds, respectively. More so, the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook match-up extremely well against the Lakers, look better in Swoosh sneakers and have helped the former Seattle Supersonics become the feel-good story of the post-season.
(4) Denver Nuggets vs. (5) Utah Jazz
Heavyweight scoring machine Carmelo Anthony has been trying to keep his McNuggets in the sauce with his 'Future Sole' Jordan Melo M6. Teammate gunner JR Smith has been hitting (and missing) in Nike Zoom Kobe V iDs; Ty Lawson has been trying to run the back-up unit in Nike Zoom Uptempo V iDs and veteran guard Chauncey Billups has been rocking the Nuggs colourway of his TS Supernatural Creators. In Jerry Sloan’s corner, Kyle Korver has looked sharp in his Converse Weapon EVO while cream of the crop, Deron Williams, who is making a case for first round MVP, has been tearing it up in his Utah themed Nike Hyperfuse.
NBA Photos by Garrett W. Ellwood / NBAE / Getty Images.
(3) Phoenix Suns vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers
The human Super Mario cart, Steve Nash, has been running and gunning in his Nike Cradle Rock’s while his pick and roll partner in crime, big man Amar’e Stoudemire has been wearing the Nike KD II. Former two-time dunk champ and owner of a 42 point outing, Jason Richardson, has been rocking his signature Peak sneakers. After joining the Chinese giants in 2010, J-Rich has already given them the perfect highlight reel for their next marketing campaign. Meanwhile, Channing Frye has been ballin’ in the Nike Zoom Kobe V iDs while other members of the Suns high octane offence have been racking up points in the Nike Hyperize and Hyperfuse, respectively. NBA glamour boy, Brandon Roy, has returned from his knee injury wearing a Portland colourway of the Nike Hyperfuse. Teammate Jerryd Bayless has exposed the Suns' swiss cheese D in his adidas TS Cut Creator while veteran postman Juwan Howard has been holding down the paint in his May 22 released Air Jordan 2 Retros.
(2) Dallas Mavericks vs. (7) San Antonio Spurs
While the Spurs’ backcourt duo Manu ‘not even a broken nose can stop me’ Ginobili and Mr. Eva Longoria, Tony Parker, have run riot on the Dallas plans in their Nike Zoom Barcelona and Hyperfly, respectively, bank manager Tim Duncan is patrolling the paint in his adidas TS Supernatural Commander alongside Antonio McDyess, who has been wearing the Jordan Jumpman Team Pro. Fittingly, Game Four hero George Hill has been wearing the Nike Sharkley while Richard Jefferson has woken from his season long slumber to make a certified post season impact in a pair of Nike Hyperize. Mark Cuban’s men attempted to survive the first round in Nike’s Hyperfly (Shawn Marion), Air Max Hyperize (Caron Butler and Dirk Nowitzki) and Peak’s signature athlete kicks. Speaking of which, Dallas’ playmaker Jason Kidd, a long time Nike head, switched stables from Nike to the Chinese brand and is now rocking his second signature kicks!