Dirk and Prince are hot; LeBron and Bibby are not

Updated: May 8, 2006, 3:21 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
Man, it's tough being an underdog in the NBA playoffs, huh? Through 16 first-round games, the underdogs are a rousing 3-13, and a lot of the losses haven't been close. Half of the first set of games ended with the home team winning by double figures.

But while many of the first-round series aren't providing much in the way of excitement (Lakers-Suns being a glorious exception), we still have the game within the game to discuss.

One of the great things about the opening week of the playoffs is figuring out which guys have brought their A game for the postseason and which ones failed to dial it up.

Yes, we're working with small samples, but sometimes they can be telling. A number of players have, over the course of their careers, consistently outperformed their regular-season numbers in the playoffs (once you adjust for the slower pace, increased competition, etc.), while an equal number have taken their games in the opposite direction come April. Reggie Miller and Robert Horry would be obvious examples of the former group, while Damon Stoudamire and Clifford Robinson fall in the latter group.

So which players have come out strong this year, and which ones are lagging behind? It's time to answer that today with a playoff edition of who's hot and who's not. The computer printouts please: