Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Warriors vs. Cavaliers: 3 Things You Might Have Missed

There are 3 things that may have slipped past unnoticed during the Golden State Warriors’ Game 5 NBA Finals eradication of the Cleveland Cavaliers:

1. Irving Really Played Defense

Kyrie Irving really did play defense; it was just to no avail. The Cavaliers required that Irving outplay Stephen Curry if they were going to take Game 5, and it must be acknowledged that the point guard came very close. He was avidly hunting for steals and generally getting in the face of the 2-time Most Valuable Player winner as much as he could, and Curry almost did himself in by dribbling the ball into traps set by the Cavs more than once, but Irving’s A-game was just not good enough this time around.

2. The Appalling Officiating Went Two Ways

The dreadful officiating extended both ways, and although many felt that it may have favored the Golden State Warriors, it ultimately did not. Throughout the first quarter of the game it seemed almost like the game was fixed, especially if you were following social media reports.

Fans all over the world thought that the Cleveland Cavaliers were seeing too many benefits from the whistle because the NBA wanted Game 6 to go ahead, as the referee seemed to be ignoring the fact that they were drawing fouls thanks to the fact that the Warriors seemed to be consistently put out of position. The calls did eventually even out though, and although this game was not a well-officiated one, it was an equally badly-officiated one, and this factor did not play a part in the eventual triumph of the Warriors, as punters making use of NZ betting sites to bet on the game may have feared it would.

3. The Cavaliers and Warriors Busted Out Medium Ball

Everyone knows about the much vaunted small-ball belonging to the Golden State Warriors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are able to use it as well. Everyone is also well aware of the Cavaliers’ ability to stay big versus the Warriors, thanks to their conventional starting line-up. During Monday night’s game, however, something in the middle of these 2 examples was discovered…
Early on in the game’s 2nd quarter, Draymond Green was the shortest player on the baseball court, with Kevin Durant and Tristan Thompson being the only tall players for both the Warriors and the Cavaliers. Furthermore, neither of the 2 teams had a true point guard player until Curry managed to check in after a few possessions, ruining the startling fun of such an unconventional stretch. Positions had become worthless, and there were suddenly just 10 top athletes on the court playing the game as well as they could.

While it could well be termed the medium-ball, it could also quite easily be called the future of the NBA, since this does seem to be where the Association is headed.

Players like the almost 7-foot tall point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo are taking their places alongside centres like Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Kristaps Porzingis, who are able to connect the ball to the fall, shoot 3s, and anchor the defence, to varying degrees, and it is wonderful to watch.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Golden State Warriors Are Bad For The NBA. And Bad For Sports. And Bad For America, Basically.

Last night, it looked like the Cavs might just find a way to avoid the broom. Leading by 6 with 2 minutes to go, it seemed like the Warriors were gonna have to close out the series at home. Then, KD went Super Siayan, the Warriors ripped off an 11-0 run, and a 3-0 lead was on the books. It's still possible the Cavs have enough pride to steal Game 4, but make no mistake this series is over. Honestly, this series was over last October during training camp.

Short of signing their own Kevin Durant in the offseason there's just nothing the Cavs could have done to win this series. The talent disparity is too deep. Lebron is Lebron. But Kyrie's showing himself to be nothing more than a one dimensional combo guard who finishes at an elite level but does nothing else particularly well. And Love looks like the lost 3rd wheel who can't do anything without Lebron setting him up. Then there's Thompson, whose Cinderella ride is over. He looks like the pre-Lebron TT again. Nobody else on that team is worth mentioning.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have 4 first ballot Hall of Famers. The oldest of that crew (Curry) is only 29. The others are in their late twenties. All of which means they're either in the midst of, or just entering their primes. Curry will be resigned this summer, as will KD. The other guys already have their money, which is a nice way of saying that minus some devastating injury, this unit's going to have 3-4 more solid years in which there really won't be a viable challenger. Lebron is already 32, and he's been in the league since age 18. His inevitable decline is on the horizon, and the Cavs, as currently constructed, wouldn't even scratch .500 without him.

As far as other "challengers" go, the Clippers might be broken up soon, no free agent in his right mind wants to live in OKC, the Rockets got exposed already, the Spurs are old, the Celtics have the draft picks and cap flexibility to be a contender in 2020 and my Wizards are still run by Ernie Grunfeld.

There is no competition on the horizon. None.

This isn't good for sports. No other league depends on individual stars as much as the NBA does, and a team with 4 All Stars in their primes means the championship is already predestined every year. That's not healthy for fans of other teams, or fans of sports in general. Sure, the ratings and attendance are through the roof right now, but at some point people will tire of predictable finishes. It's why Empire is one season away from cancellation and why I barely bother watching any NBA games that don't involve my beloved home team.

Anyways, enjoy the run Warriors fans.

Question: Is the Warriors' domination bad for the league?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Golden State VS Cleveland Is Inevitable. Who You Got?!?

Since my beloved Washington Wizards were unceremoniously dumped from the NBA playoffs last week, I haven't watched a minute of basketball. The wounds are still too fresh, the pain is still there. To come thisclose to the opportunity to get disemboweled by the Cavaliers in 4-5 games and lose because some Canadian guy with short arms and a man-bun had his best game since middle school is just too hard to accept.

The Cavs looked like an unstoppable force until the other night when Lebron James inconveniently decided to have the worst game of his life. Nobody's calling Lebron a choker like they did John Wall and James Harden when both failed to show up in elimination games. And that makes sense. The Cavs simply lost a Game 3 on a miracle shot at the end of regulation. I don't see any way that series goes past 5, and I honestly am hoping the Cavs stomp a mudhole in the Celtics as a manner of by-proxy getback. Because I dislike Cleveland, but I really, really, really hate Boston. The city and the team.

Either way, regardless of what's happening in the Conference Finals, the NBA Finals are slated to begin on Thursday, June 1st. Smart money has the Cavs facing off again versus the Warriors in what might actually be an interesting series, something this year's playoffs have seriously lacked (BOS/WAS notwithstanding).

I'm not a betting man, but William Hill offers the best NBA betting opportunities, and if I were to put money on a team, I'd roll with the Warriors. They wouldn't have blown last year's 3-1 lead had center Andrew Bogut not gotten injured, and this team's squad has added Kevin Durant, plus has homecourt advantage, which is no small thing in the NBA. Some could argue that the Cavs coulda won the championship the prior season had they been fully healthy, which does make sense in a way.

Still, I say Warriors in 6 (hopefully) entertaining games. What say ye'.

Question: Who will win this year's NBA Championship?!?