Warriors, Clippers Exciting Game 1 Reactions

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The NBA Playoffs have started.

The first game of the day on Saturday saw the Toronto Raptors give the Brooklyn Nets a 1-0 lead in the series between the 3- and 6- seeds in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors committed 17 turnovers in a seven-point 94-87 loss. It was a physical contest, marred by 42 total fouls.

However, if you thought the officials let loose with the whistles in the first game, you may have missed the second game.

Game 2 of the day featured the Golden State Warriors in Staples Center to face the 3-seed Los Angeles Clippers—two teams that don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. The officials were all over the place, with four players having three or more fouls in the first half. Blake Griffin and Andre Iguodala were both limited to 19 and 20 minutes respectively, both fouling out in the fourth quarter.

There were 51 total fouls called in the Western Conference showdown that saw Golden State walk away with a 109-105 victory. For as many calls that were made, there was plenty of physical play—much of which could have merited another blown whistle.

A prime example of a non-call, Chris Paul’s sixth and final turnover, which enabled Harrison Barnes to, in turn, get fouled and make 1-of-2 free throws to stretch the Warriors’ lead to three. Paul was clearly fouled by Draymond Green as he rounded the elbow, the resulting contact caused him to lose control of the ball as it went out of bounds.

Over the course of the final 13 seconds, Golden State missed 3-of-4 free throw attempts, Los Angeles just couldn’t capitalize. It was a compelling and exciting game to watch.

Many in and around the league were watching as well.

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SH Blog: David Lee defends his case as a good player for Warriors, Bogut seemingly has higher praise for Green than Lee

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DavidLee1SHThere has been plenty of drama surrounding the state of the Golden State Warriors for the past month or so, mostly involving the front office and the coaching staff.

Will there be some new drama when their injured starting power forward makes his return at some point this season? Tim Kawakami of Mercury News has long been an advocate of the idea of not over-utilizing David Lee, and his recent article suggests that the defensive-minded Draymond Green may need more playing time – even if it means at the expense of Lee. Most that watch the Warriors on a regular basis would probably agree with that notion – yours truly included –  but Mark Jackson has never accepted the idea of bringing Lee off the bench or playing him anything less than 35 minutes in most games.

At the same time, Green has been such a phenomenal player (although you’d never know it from looking at his stats alone) for the team, and it has come to recent attention that he actually fits in quite nicely with the starting unit. There have been no holes on the defensive end, and Green’s ability to set bruising screens (yes, they are more effective than Lee’s screens) against the opposition has really helped open things up for the offense. Green can also guard multiple positions, space the floor better than Lee,  and is also more of a willing passer (at least partly due to his own ineptitude in getting his own shots) and a really good one at that, so it appears to be within reason to wonder what really happens when Lee returns. 

Nowitzki, Conley, Dragic, Stoudemire key for NBA Teams Chasing Final Playoff Spots

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With one week left in the NBA regular season, the pressure is on for two Eastern Conference teams and four Western Conference teams fighting for the final playoff spots. Millions will intently watch what transpires over the next seven days as teams face must-win games, and the effort and intensity pick up.

Each of these half-dozen teams have a player who will greatly impact the fate of their clubs the rest of the way.

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SH Blog: NBA reacts to Phil Jackson hire; Kerr denies interest in Knicks; Cuban says Dirk will never be traded

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photo (2)Phil Jackson was officially introduced as president of the New York Knicks on Tuesday during a press conference held at Chase Square just outside of the newly renovated Madison Square Garden.

Jackson was introduced by the enigmatic James Dolan, who both offered a great deal of insight and explanation into how this power relationship materialized, from which we learned began a few months ago. 

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How to Beat the Heat: Opposing Players Spill the Secrets

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lebron-wade1How you gonna beat the Miami Heat?

For the last three seasons, that was the most important question for the other 29 NBA teams — and it remains the case this season, too.

But the Knicks and Nets did it on successive nights, which shows it is not impossible.