As the world turns
If nothing else, what’s a good story without a great deal of drama ? Well , this NBA postseason the fans are being inundated with a great deal more than expected. The defending champions the Golden State Warriors still appear to be in control of their series against the Houston Rockets , but with a niggling injury besetting their League MVP and best player, Steph Curry . There is now the belief the team and their fans could be entering uncharted territory. A Warriors’ team without Curry still remains competitive , but head coach Steve Kerr knows , as Steph Curry goes, then so does this team .
If the Golden State Warriors are now to make it to the second round (conference semi-finals) without Steph Curry for the remainder of their first round series, then it will be up to his teammates to up the level of their play against the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis for their part, have put up something of a spirited opposition to Golden State, but they have been unable to overcome their deficiencies during the contest. Rick Carlisle , his Rockets’ coaching staff and the team have been unable to come up with a strategy to overcome the league’s best offense throughout this series
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated .
By Ben Golliver , SI (Sports Illustrated)
Thanks to a wet spot on the Toyota Center court, the NBA playoffs now hinge on four unsettling words: Stephen Curry knee injury.
The reigning MVP returned to the court for the Warriors on Sunday after missing two games with a right ankle injury, only to see his night end early when he sustained a right knee sprain while slipping awkwardly just before halftime. Although Golden State went on to beat Houston 121–94 for a 3–1 series lead, Curry wasn’t able to return to the court in the second half and could miss two weeks.
• MORE NBA: Warriors’ title defense takes hit with absence of Stephen Curry
Clearly, the implications are massive for the 73-win Warriors, who are looking to repeat as champions. Curry’s value is monstrous and indisputable: he led the league in scoring, threes, steals, Player Efficiency Rating, True Shooting %, Win Shares and Real Plus Minus, and he’s the overwhelming favorite to be named MVP for the second straight year.
What’s known ?
Curry sprained his right knee while attempting to defend a Trevor Ariza three-pointer just before halftime. Curry’s left foot appeared to slip on the court first, causing him to lose his balance. With his right foot unable to plant, Curry’s leg twisted awkwardly at the knee as he fell forward to the court. Curry grabbed at his knee immediately before picking himself up and limping off the court.
After halftime, Curry attempted to go through a warmup routine but then retreated to the locker room, holding his head in apparent frustration.
The Warriors announced that Curry could miss two weeks for the injury after he underwent an MRI on Monday. Nevertheless, the initial reaction suggested that Curry’s absence during the second half was more than a simple precaution.
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Having won their most recent contest the series against the Houston Rockets , the Golden State Warriors will be looking to close , with a win in the next game between the two teams. A quick respite, allowing Curry and the team to recover fully , could be the best thing possible for Steve Kerr’s players before facing the winners of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trailblazers .
Damian Lillard of the Trailblazers are proving to be more than a handful for the Clippers , although Los Angeles currently has a 2-1 lead over their conference rivals . These two teams will meet on Monday night at the Moda Center , in Portland Oregon , for game four of their seven-game series. Doc Rivers and the Clippers’ team will be looking to make it all inevitable as to the final outcome .
Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs made quick work in dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in a four-game sweep . Kawhi Leonard coming off his second consecutive NBA Defensive Player of The Year Award has shown another aspect to his game with his offensive prowess . Leonard was the leading scorer for the Spurs during the series and he will be looking to maintain that momentum when the San Antonio Spurs meet the winners of the current series between the Dallas Mavericks (1-3) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) . Oklahoma head coach Billy Donovan has his team playing high intensity basketball , completely outplaying the Mavericks in every aspect of the game. This series is likely to be over , when the two teams meet on Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Center , in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma .
San Antonio Spurs’ forward Tim Duncan who this season celebrated his fortieth birthday . Duncan , combined with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli to win more games than any other trio in regular season (575) and playoff (124) history. NBA Photos ….
In the Eastern Conference the series have been competitive , though not necessarily thrilling for all of the participants involved . The Cleveland Cavaliers (4-0) led by LeBron James blew by their first round opponents the Detroit Pistons (0-4) without breaking much sweat on route to a four-game series’ sweep . It was a solid contribution from the Cavaliers’ players , with head coach Tyronn Lue having to be pleased with what he witnessed from his team. The Cavaliers will now await the winner of the series between the Atlanta Hawks (2-2) and Boston Celtics (2-2) , with a pivotal game-five being on the line when Atlanta host the Celtics on Tuesday evening.
Of all the series within the Eastern Conference , the most competitive appears to be the match-up between the Indiana Pacers (2-2) and Toronto Raptors (2-2) . Toronto came in as the higher seed of the pairing and with a better regular season record . All of which now seems to count for nothing as they have struggled to put together consistent performances during the series. If the team is bounced at this stage of the NBA Playoffs, then I believe the off-season could bring about some drastic changes among the roster .
Masai Ujiri , General Manager & President of Toronto Raptors , while being pleased with the regular season record of the franchise, has to feel somewhat perplexed with the fact the team has failed to show real competitive grit in this series. Dwayne Casey as the head coach of the Raptors , along with his coaching staff are being out-coached by Frank Vogel and his staff . Which begs the question , are the Toronto Raptors able to adapt and change course or will they continue as they are ?
It may well be too early to suggest , but I believe the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat (2-1) could very well be on a collision course , with the two teams likely to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals . Based on the current play seen during the playoffs and the results witnessed , Miami and Cleveland appear to be the two best teams playing within the conference. Granted , the semi-finals’ series have yet to be played , but I do not believe any of the other teams are capable of beating either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat over a seven-game series.
Erik Spoelstra will be seeking to win his third NBA title as the head coach of the Miami Heat. In their current series against the Charlotte Hornets (1-2) , the Heat are finding the Hornets to be a stubborn opponent. In the absence of Chris Bosh not being in the Heat lineup for the NBA Playoffs , it is being left to Bosh’s teammates , most notably the rookies who have been making major contributions to the team’s performances in this series against the Hornets. Game four of the series between the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets will take place on the 25th April at the Time Warner Cable Arena , in Charlotte , North Carolina.
In conceding the Conference Semi-Finals are still some way off , we can take note of the results seen last season during the NBA Playoffs of 2015. How it all plays out during the current playoffs will be determined by the performances seen over the rest of the schedule.
So there we have it folks, the Philadelphia 76ers for the second time inside of a decade , the franchise has finished with the worst record in the league . The fact the 76ers have been able to achieve this type of mediocrity can either be looked at as sheer incompetence or the fact the ownership down the years has been inept. I believe it to be a mixture of both ! Joshua Harris the current owner of the franchise has shown himself to be a buffoon , while the clear window dressing of bringing in Jerry Colangelo , is no real sign, things will change overnight. Colangelo might have an astute business and basketball mind , but he is not on par with Jerry West , whose considerable acumen has laid the foundations for the championship caliber status achieved by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. One should also bear in mind Brett Brown and his coaching staff remain completely out of their depth and then add in the fact this roster lacks depth , experience and has no one , who could be deemed a leader. Yet, somehow fans are expected to put up with such garbage ?
To understand how bad the Philadelphia 76ers just happened to be , you simply have to look at their record over their last fifteen games and then over their final thirty games of the regular season. Heading into the off-season and with the NBA Draft just around the corner , it will be interesting to see the choices made by the front office , as they seek to restructure this team and quite possibly the entire coaching staff.
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With NBA Playoffs still in its early stages which of the teams do you favor within either of the conferences to make it to the NBA Finals ?
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