With no games on Thursday night (How did this happen? David Stern TROLLED on us over this), the NBA will be taking a backseat to baseball for the night, I guess. But here, the NBA never takes a day off. Every series is tied at one game apiece, and here are some questions that I have about this weekend’s games.
Is this really a make or break weekend for NBA teams?
It depends on which way you look at it. In my opinion, it’s a make or break weekend for the San Antonio Spurs, and New York Knicks. The Spurs have let the Golden State Warriors outplay them for these first two games, and heading to the Bay for these next two games, where Golden State’s crowd is probably the best in the NBA (Okay, it’s the best), good luck. The Knicks are in a different situation. We know the Knicks are good. But at the same time, which Knicks team will show up? The team that went on a 30-2 run for about 13 minutes in game 2, or the team that looked sluggish in game 1?
One thing is true, Earl Smith the III hasn’t shot the ball well since returning from the
club suspension. I feel tempted to call him J.R. because this is getting out of hand. He’s shot 15-57, and even when the Knicks won big on Tuesday, he still shot 3-15. Hey, Earl. You can’t be in the club if you’re shooting 26 percent (Well then again, maybe “hanging out” with Rihanna will cure his shooting woes. Or make them worse). If he fails to shoot well, Carmelo isn’t going to shoot 50 percent until November 4th, 2013 (You like my shade, there?). The Knicks are gonna need Iman Shumpert, and Raymond Felton to become scorers (Which as of right now, they’ve been their best players, which is……. funny to me), and maybe have Tyson Chandler produce something. The Knicks’ bench without Smith has been a major sigh, and if they don’t get it together, well……… nope nope. I won’t go there (But others will).
What should be make about Miami’s 37 point win?
That they are 37 points better than the Chicago Bulls when they play like they should: the best team in the league. But will they continue to beat Chicago like this? I highly doubt it. Chicago got blown out by Brooklyn in game 1, and bounced back to win game 2, and eventually, the series. I’m not saying Chicago will win the series, but they’ll make Miami work for everything like they did in game 1. Miami did a great job in adjusting, and while LeBane (He’s really Bane man) James didn’t score a lot, he got everyone else involved. Miami battled back as Chicago bullied them in game 1 (LeBane got bullied in game 1. Don’t get upset LeBane stans), and going forward, this series will be chippy.
Should Derrick Rose return for the series?
Does Derrick Rose want this to happen right now?
Or does he want this to happen in the future?
Training camp. Come back for that, Derrick.
How good can the Warriors be in the future?
Watching the Golden State Warriors is the best decision I’ve made all season long. Here’s a young basketball team growing up before our eyes. I’ve been a Stephen Curry fan since about late 2007 when he was at Davidson. I figured he’d be a good NBA player, but this? Steph Curry is a pro’s pro. Everyone knew he was a shooter, but now, he’s not just a shooter. He’s a point guard who happens to be the best shooter in the world, and he’s on the next great team in the playoffs.
Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are elite jump shooters. Yes, I said elite (This will be last time I say elite in any situation). Last night, Thompson had 34 points, and shot 8 of 9 from three point range. That’s not a typo. Everyone is gushing over Curry’s performance, but Klay carried the Warriors last night to a much needed win (First time the Warriors have won in San Antonio since February 97. I was 4 when this happened. How time flies, man). Barnes is finally starting to look like the guy we all thought he’d be out of high school before he committed to North Carolina. Put it like this: Harrison Barnes will be a very, very, very good pro. Barnes is averaging 15 pts a game this postseason, and as of right now in this series, he’s averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds as a rookie.
With their young studs on the perimeter, and then with two more rookies in #Draymond Green, and Festus Ezeli, and then combine All-Star David Lee, and then veterans in Jarrett Jack, Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry, the Warriors could make a lot of noise in the future, and the league is on full notice. If the Warriors beat the Spurs in this series, they’ve arrived.
(Sidenote, Mark Jackson is becoming one of my favorite coaches. This is his 2nd year as a head coach, and he’s growing with this team. The way he got them to respond after blowing the big lead in game one is remarkable. These guys believe in him, and he believes in them. I love it.)
Can we blame Kevin Durant if they lose to Memphis?
In this series alone, Kevin Durant is averaging 36 pts, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists a game. I haven’t seen numbers like that since Lebane went all-superhero mode in the 2009 conference finals against Orlando. The problem with the Oklahoma City Thunder isn’t Kevin Durant. The problem with the Oklahoma City Thunder is that Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka aren’t as good as Memphis’ strength (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol). The problem is that when they lose, Kevin Martin plays terrible in these losses. Durant is doing all he can, but sadly, people will call him overrated because he lost his sidekick in Russell Westbrook.
Should Memphis be the favorite to win the West?
I feel like Memphis is the best team left in the West because even though they don’t have a wing scorer (Rudy Gay wasn’t that, neither. Let’s not act like he was, now), they have two guys in the paint who can get easy buckets in Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph. They have a point guard in Mike Conley, who’s playing great at the right time of the year. Tony Allen is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Jerryd Bayless, Darrell Arthur, and Quincy Pondexter are playing well off the bench. Plus, Lionel Hollins is lowkey underrated as a coach. If they get passed OKC, I think the west is theirs to take.
Should we believe in the Pacers?
I like the Pacers, and like I said in my 2nd round preview, that they were Memphis-East. The problem that the Pacers are facing is that can they keep the ball and not turn it over. Indiana had 21 turnovers, as their best player Paul George had 7 of them alone. Turnovers lead to runouts and easy points for the Knicks. It’s only one game in the series, and I doubt that they’ll get blown out the rest of the series. Indiana loves to play with size, and with Hibbert controlling the paint, and David West being a bully on the block, they can get easy buckets. I still believe in the Pacers, and I think they can still win the series as long as they can limit the turnovers.
Who’s the worst dresser between Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade?
Give me Wade in a heartbeat. Jesus, that jacket is NOT dope at all.
Who wins these crucial game threes?
Miami by 5. Golden State by 10. Memphis by 7. Pacers by 4.
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