In Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series between the Clippers and defending champion Spurs, San Antonio was overwhelmed by the energy of the home team. Los Angeles, even when making mistakes in defensive rotations, did so with so much speed and commitment that it often didn’t matter. The Clippers, with an assortment power dunks from Blake Griffin and power spikes from DeAndre Jordan, had the capacity crowd at Staples Center in a frenzy all night. The Spurs didn’t have an
It’s been less than a month since Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale laughed at media questions over additional playing time for rookie big man Clint Capela. In fact, exactly three weeks before Tuesday’s Game 2, McHale said the idea of meaningful postseason minutes for Capela would mean that “a lot of guys are hurt”, adding that the Rockets would be “in trouble” if that happened. Yet there Capela was on Saturday night at Toyota Center, running the floor like a gazelle while playing
A funny thing happened on the Clippers’ way to continued ignominy. Imagine finishing the season on a 14-1 surge that takes you to the third seed in the brutal Western Conference and finding yourself facing the sixth-seeded booby prize, the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, who are favored in the series opener on your floor. What else is new? As one buzzard said to another, “I’ve been having Clipper luck.” Oh, you say the Clippers won? Fairy tales can come true; they just
How many of the 16 teams in the NBA playoffs have a legitimate shot at the championship? It is a fair question, and it was posed to me this morning on NBC Sports Radio by host Erik Kuselias. Just to give you a preview, I did not answer “Trail Blazers,” “Pelicans” or “Celtics.” But I did give an answer that reflects what an odd situation we have on our hands after the first two days of the NBA playoffs. Clearly, the Los
I’ve used this line before, but I’ll use it again because it is a good one: Predictions are like armpits; everyone has them, and most of them stink. One exception would be our chief blogger, Jim Park (@SheridanBlog), whose preseason predictions included Stephen Curry as MVP and Steve Kerr as Coach of the Year. My own latest prediction is that Curry will receive 65 percent of the first-place votes in the MVP race, although he did not get mine. James Harden did.
This is what we have been waiting for since Halloween. The strength of the Western Conference was as good as advertised and has provided a first round of playoffs that should have NBA fans salivating. The best series appears to be the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the San Antonio Spurs, whom you could argue were two of the league’s three best teams coming down the stretch. And approximately two weeks from now, one of those teams will be headed to its offseason,
Everyone knows that the Eastern Conference is nowhere near as good as the Western Conference. But that doesn’t mean that the first round of the East playoffs won’t be compelling. As everyone knows, all you need is one road team to win to make a series interesting. Can the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks rediscover their rhythm? Did the Boston Celtics build confidence with two late-season wins over Cleveland? Is Chicago’s Derrick Rose returning to form or just an accident waiting to happen again? Do
Adam Silver has been commissioner of the NBA for 14 months now. He has been forceful on one issue — the lifetime suspension of Donald Sterling, which led to the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to billionaire Steve Ballmer. It is time for Silver to stand a stand again, and this time it has to do with reformatting the playoffs. I wrote an open letter to Silver about this very issue less than a month ago, and it is certain to