UK in the NBA playoffs: Mohammed, Teague help Bulls advance


The Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng hugs teammate Nazr Mohammed (48) after he made a game-sealing basket late in the third overtime against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs first-round series at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago won in triple overtime, 142-134. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

By Brett Bibbins | @BBibbins_Kernel

[email protected]

The first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs have come to a close and eight teams have fallen at the first hurdle.  However, that leaves eight other teams who move on into the second-round of postseason action.

At the start of the playoffs, a total of nine former Cats were in the playoffs, and as the second round begins, four remain.

The Western Conference had a total of five former UK players taking part in the opening round.  Three of those five were eliminated in the first round, leaving two moving on to round two.

Former Cat DeAndre Liggins and the Oklahoma City Thunder progress following a series win over Terrence Jones and the Houston Rockets.

Liggins played six minutes per game, while averaging 1.3 points, two rebounds and 0.7 assists.

For the Rockets, Jones played only two of the six games in the series, but he played an average of 17.5 minutes in his two appearances.

Jones scored four points, pulled down 7.5 rebounds and blocked 0.5 shots per game.

The Thunder move on to play the Memphis Grizzlies in round two.  Memphis knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.

In the first round for the Grizzlies, former Cat Tayshaun Prince started all six games of the series, averaging 8.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.83 steals and 0.67 blocks per game.

For the Clippers, former UK player Eric Bledsoe played all six games off the bench as the backup point guard.

Bledsoe played 16.2 minutes per game, scoring 6.5 points, pulling down 2.5 rebounds, dishing out three assists and blocking 0.5 shots per game.

The fifth and final former Cat who played in the first round was Jodie Meeks of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs and Meeks was only able to play one game of the series, as a sprained ankle forced him to sit out the remainder of the games.

Meeks scored four points, grabbed two rebounds and had a steal while playing 20 minutes in his lone performance.

In the Eastern Conference, four former UK players were in the first round of the playoffs, but only two remain in the second round.

In the Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets series, the injury-laden Bulls bested the Nets in seven games.

For the Bulls, former Cat Nazr Mohammed’s role diminished as the series progressed, as starting center Joakim Noah recovered from plantar fasciitis.

Mohammed averaged five points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.83 blocks and 0.7 assists in 12.3 minutes in six of the seven games.

Also for Chicago, Marquis Teague played three of the seven games, averaging 1.3 points, 0.3 assists and 0.33 steals in 2.7 minutes per game.

As for the Nets, Keith Bogans featured in two of the seven games, but played 11.5 minutes per game in those two outings.  Bogans totaled two rebounds and two assists in his time.

The Bulls move on to take on the top seeded Miami Heat in round two.

The final former Cat in the first round was Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics.  Rondo did not play in the playoffs due to his torn ACL, and the Celtics lost to the New York Knicks in six games.

Round two of the NBA playoffs begins on Sunday. Here is a look at the schedule for round two.

Western Conference


No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder (DeAndre Liggins) vs. No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies (Tayshaun Prince)

No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors

Eastern Conference

No. 2 New York Knicks vs. No. 3 Indiana Pacers