The playoffs have been defined by lopsided first-round series and calls to abolish the Hack-a-Shaq strategy from NBA fans across Twitter to this point. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder – who failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2009 – made news recently by firing head coach Scott Brooks. The move was made with a long-term view to hopefully retain franchise cornerstones Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Both players were taken selected in the draft, which is only
Can I have last weekend back? I mean, seriously. The playoff games were duds, almost all of them. And the one game that went to overtime happened so early Saturday afternoon, lunch was not even finished. Watching playoff games should never feel like a chore, but it sort of felt that way the past two days. The second-most compelling thing I saw on video was Blake Griffin posterizing Aron Baynes twice in a row, and technically that did not happen over the
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
It’s difficult enough to try to integrate an injured star player at any point during an NBA season. It’s even tougher to ease back a star during the season’s stretch run and adjust during the playoffs. This is the challenge the Chicago Bulls face once again in bringing point guard Derrick Rose back into the fold. Four games into a comeback from his most recent knee injury, the Bulls are very pleased with Rose’s progress and optimistic that they are coming together just in
Who will end up where? What happens if this team loses and that team wins, or vice versa, or any other combination of outcomes? The NBA has provided the following primer: Entering Tuesday’s action, 12 of the 17 games left on the schedule have the potential to affect playoff seedings. Here is a look at some of what remains undecided with the playoffs set to start on Saturday. The Spurs, Clippers and Rockets are all tied for the second-best record in the West at 55-26