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LEADING OFF

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Photograph by Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports

Tastes Like Chicken Bucks guard J.J. Redick got a mouthful of Chris (Birdman) Andersen when the Miami forward closed him down during Game 3 of their playoff series, last Thursday in Milwaukee. Signed for his defense and rebounding, Andersen proved to be an offensive weapon against the Bucks: He made 13 of 16 shots as the Heat swept Milwaukee.

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Photograph by Greg Nelson For Sports Illustrated

Power Serge In case he somehow forgot, Houston's Ömer Aşik was reminded who the top shot blocker in the NBA is: Serge Ibaka. The Thunder forward, who averaged a league-best 3.0 swats per game, sent Aşik's dunk attempt flying (and perhaps made a little contact on the follow-through) in the third quarter of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. Ibaka had six blocks in OKC's 105--102 win.

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Photograph by Jason Szenes/EPA

Halo Defect Perhaps hampered by a wayward sweatband, Boston's Paul Pierce struggled to find his scoring touch in Game 2 of the Celtics' series with the Knicks. Pierce was just 8 for 19 as New York won 87--71. The veteran forward got back into the groove on Sunday, scoring 29 points as the Celtics staved off a sweep with a 97--90 overtime win in Game 4.