I want to thank the NBA for giving us this brief 20 second timeout during the playoffs. With no games yesterday, I was finally able to come out of my man-cave to see my family and shower.
This also allows us to take a look at the four series before they resume tonight. I heard a stat on Mike and Mike and they stated that this was the 1st time in NBA history that all 4 2nd round series were tied at 1-1. Not sure how accurate that is, but I’ll run with it. Each series has been entertaining, but once again, the best series are in the West. So lets start there….
Spurs (2) vs Warriors (6)
These playoffs have been the coming out party for the young Warriors. I didn’t think they were ready to beat the Nuggets in the 1st round, but they pulled it off. They should be up 2-0 in this series, but they had a serious meltdown at the end of game 1, allowing the Spurs to steal that game.
Most young teams would’ve folded after a heartbreaker like that, but credit Mark Jackson for keeping his team in it mentally. They played even better in game 2 and when the Spurs made that run that we all knew was coming, the Warriors handled it. It helped to have Klay Thompson on the floor during crunchtime. His absence during game 1 was a lot bigger than people believe. I’m going on record as stating that Thompson has the prettiest jumper in the league. It is textbook and pure beauty. I see the rotation on the ball and I get emotional, its that pretty.
Now the scene shifts to the Bay where the Warriors have a fantastic homecourt crowd. I’m trying not to jump on the bandwagon, but its hard not to when they have rookies like Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green playing great. Jarrett Jack has been amazing, allowing Curry to play off of the ball. And Bogut has given them that physical inside presence they hoped for when they traded Monte Ellis. I want to say the Warriors are going to win this thing, but I think Popovich is going to make the necessary adjustments the Spurs need to make.
Namely, they need to get off to better starts. You can’t spot a good team 15-20 points and expect to come back all the time. Granted, these aren’t your father’s Spurs, who won on defense and had guys like Bruce Bowen to lock up your star. But they need to put forth a better defensive effort earlier, if they want to win this series. I can’t wait to see the next game. Let the coaching chess match begin.
I think the Spurs win this in 7 incredibly entertaining games
Thunder (1) vs Grizzlies (5)
Kevin Durant is playing the way LeBron played during his Cleveland days. He’s showing me things I’ve never seen him do. Rather than cry about having to do more, he seems to have embraced the challenge and his numbers have been stoopid good. He’s always been a scorer, but now he’s flirting with triple-doubles every game. The same way the Warriors are coming of age, I think KD is having a breakout performance as well.
Like the Spurs, OKC got lucky and stole game 1. But you saw in Game 2, Memphis is the real deal. They’re so balanced and Mike Conley has improved so much. We already know what Z-Bo and Gasol are going to do, but the wildcard is Conley. He had 26 pts and 9 asts and made every clutch shot down the stretch. On a side note, you love to see guys improve. When Conley came into the league he couldnt shoot. But you can see that he’s worked on that shot. He’s not Curry or Thompson, but leave him open if you want to. You will pay the price.
The match-up between the bigs hasn’t been much of a match at all. I’m sorry, Kendrick Perkins is HOT GARBAGE…
The talk on Twitter after game 1 was his one defensive play, which caused the turnover that helped seal the win for OKC. But he’s getting that work the rest of the game. I know OKC didn’t pay him all that bread to make 1 defensive play a game. Plus if he ever shoots another jumpshot, he should be banned from the arena. Ibaka hasn’t been much better. I thought he would’ve been a better offensive player by now. He seems to hit that jumpshot pretty consistently, why not run some pick and pop with him. See if you can open up the middle a little bit.
I’m loving this series and anytime I can watch Z-Bo jab step somebody too death and shoot that jumper, thats a good day. I just feel that KD has to be super human for OKC to stay close, while the Grizzlies kill you with their balanced attack.
Grizzlies win in 6, but KD takes that huge leap forward becoming that complete player.
Stay tuned for my eastern conference review…
– N.D. Face