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
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
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,
What do James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James have in common? They’re all legitimate MVP candidates, of course. But what else does that Awesome Foursome have in common? In a potential playoff series against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, they can all expect to see an individual matchup with Kawhi Leonard. In case you’ve been transfixed by March Madness, the Spurs are looking like a championship contender. Again. If you want some perspective, my son Andrew was born
First place in the Southwest Division changed hands again last night as the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a three-game slide by defeating the Sacramento Kings while the Houston Rockets lost to the Toronto Raptors. So Memphis is back on top, but with only a half-game lead over Houston. The winner of the division is likely to get the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, and that means a matchup with the No. 7 seed. And although nobody can say with any degree of
Rajon Rondo is now in his ninth NBA season. He has led the league in steals once and in assists twice. He is second among active players in triple-doubles. He has made the All-Defensive Team twice and the All-Defensive Second Team twice more. He is a four-time All-Star. And he has a championship ring from 2008 with the Boston Celtics. And he still can’t shoot. That’s the biggest gripe with Rondo, other than the fact that he can be more than a
Thursday night was a rough night for the Portland Trail Blazers. The team may have won the battle, having soundly beaten the Dallas Mavericks 94-75, but they suffered a crushing blow towards winning the war. Starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews went down after playing only 18 minutes in the game. The NBA on TNT announcers, Marv Albert and Brent Barry, both seemed to have suspected something as simple as an ankle injury, as Matthews tumbled to the court while receiving an outlet
Why is the trade deadline different from all other nights of the year? It’s not. The West just got tougher. In the East, where there’s no life-or-death importance attached to getting better, the top teams sat this one out while the bad teams—your Knicks and 76ers—dumped, shut down or otherwise disposed of their best players in order to tank more definitively.