The ongoing NBA playoffs has been all about the New Orleans Pelicans flat-out dominating their higher-ranked matchup, the Cleveland Cavaliers looking like its 2007 version, and everyone calling Karl-Anthony Towns "soft."
Everything else was as expected—the defending champions and both conferences' No. 1 seeds are taking care of business, while the tightly contested Thunder-Jazz and Sixers-Heat rounds are turning out to be anyone's series.
If there's anything that has proven to be rather unpredictable in this hoops free-for-all, it has to be the players' postseason sneaker game. The kicks below defined the respective big-time performances of those who wore them.
Goran Dragic - custom adidas Dame 4
At least he did justice to his dragon-themed shoes. Dragic topscored (23 pts 8 ast) for the Miami Heat in Game 3, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Philadelphia 76ers from regaining a homecourt advantage, 128-108.
Jason Tatum - Nike Kyrie 3 'Mamba Mentality'
Perhaps this is Tatum's way of remembering their injured franchise player. The Boston Celtics rookie visibly struggled on offense (4 pts 2-9 fg 7 reb 4 stl 1 blk) against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2. Still, his side won, 120-106, to go up 2-0.
Russell Westbrook - Jordan Why Not Zer0.1
We may be looking at an exclusive colorway of his first sigs. Westbrook fell shy of a triple double (29 pts 13 reb 8 ast) in their Game 1 victory versus the Utah Jazz, 116-108. Too bad they weren't able to sustain it in the next match.
LeBron James - Nike Lebron 15 'BB4'
The #LeBronWatch pair is inspired by Vince Carter's Nike Shox sillhuoette. Before going supernova (46 pts) on the Indiana Pacers yesterday, The King almost got zero help (24 pts 10 reb 12 ast) in their opening match upset at home, 98-80.
Lance Stephenson - Air Jordan 9
Expect Born Ready to be right back at it again in style. Indiana's Stephenson rekindled his Heat rivalry with LeBron in their first-round matchup, while being efficient (12 pts 5 reb 17 min) off the bench against the Cavs.
John Wall - custom adidas Crazy BYW
Wall's aesthetic might be too loud for his own good. His ridiculous stat line (23 pts 3-5 3pt 15 ast 4 stl 2 blk) in Game 1 of the Washington Wizards-Toronto Raptors series went for naught, 114-106. The Wiz are now down 0-2.
Amir Johnson - custom Nike Kyrie 4 and Jordan Why Not Zer0.1
Talk about grabbing the chance to show off the goods. Johnson was solid as Joel Embiid's stand-in (averaged 4 pts 7 reb 4 oreb 3 ast), despite the Sixers splitting the first two games, before taking Game 3 on the road, 128-108.
DeMar Derozan - Nike Kobe 10 Elite '5 Rings' and Nike Zoom Kobe 7 'FTB'
He still doesn't deserve the nickname "Acne Kobe." After a subpar Game 1 (17 pts 6-17 fg 6 ast), DeRozan destroyed Washington (37 pts 14-23 fg 5 reb) in the next match, 130-119, to give the Raps a commanding 2-0 lead.