Raja's Return

At first glance, the numbers don't jump out at you: nine points, four boards, three assists in 31 minutes. What does jump out at you is that Raja Bell was jumping (and running and playing) at all.

Tearing a page from Playoffs past, Bell pulled a Willis Reed in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals after pulling his calf muscle in Game 1. While Tuesday's contest wasn't a Game 7, Bell hit his first two shots and inspired his teammates, much like Reed did, to win. In this case, a 106-86 thumping of the Mavericks, which helped even the series at 2-2.

Even two-time MVP Steve Nash finds Bell's energy engaging.

"Half our team is a bunch of quiet guys," Steve Nash told the Arizona Republic. "He gives us another guy who opens his mouth once in a while and gives us some toughness and bravado. I just can't say enough about how much his personality means to our team."

And sometimes, inspiration counts as much as perspiration.

Watch The Video Now: Raja's Return

If the Western Conference Finals do reach a Game 7, having Bell on your side is a good thing. Bell is 5-0 in Game 7s throughout his career.


Performance Score
Vince's Vindication 8.99
LeBron's Debut 8.76
Marion's Monster 8.64
Tim's Time 8.10
Prince of the Palace 7.84