Norman Powell adds a spark to the Raptors lineup when they need it most. He’s the go to guy off the bench, and hardly ever disappoints. This was evident in the series against the Bucks where he opened eyes with several impressive performances, especially in Game Five when he dropped 25 to lead the Raps to a big win over Milwaukee.
Basketball talking types have recently engaged in a debate regarding the best young big men in the league. Karl Anthony Towns plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves and he is a very good player. Nikola Jokic plays for the Denver Nuggets and he is very good. People debate which of the two is better. People debate who is the better young big man to build a team around? Some people point to KAT’s statline — 25 points, 12 rebounds, 35% from three — on the year. Some people point to Jokic’s passing ability which hints at the paranormal. This is a real debate real people with real eyes and real brains have.
The NBA Playoffs are in full tilt, and the action is as intense as any of us could have expected. Although there are those match-ups that are just as scintillating as they were advertised to be, such as the Rockets/Spurs and the Celtics/Wizards series’, there are also those that are somewhat disappointing. Although it is still very early in the series, this could already be the case for the Warriors after an easy victory in Game 1 against the Jazz. As we look ahead a bit to the finals, and assuming that the Golden State Warriors go on to finish off the Jazz, which team between the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs has the best chance at beating them? The answer will probably shock you.
In today’s NBA where “small ball” is all the rage, just how “small” is big enough to be a great player? There isn’t quite a right answer as there are many teams who seem to find themselves lost in the shuffle between tradition and being unorthodox. This is no more indicative than in the fact that teams are now looking and searching for the “big” hybrid guard, who primarily acts as the ball handler, sort of like Russell Westbrook or D'Angelo Russell. Especially in light of the fact that these very same teams are looking for “3 and D”, “swingman”, general forward types who can man the 3, 4, and perhaps a little of the 5 if need be in this wide open era of basketball. The kicker to this part is the fact that these players are generally in between the heights of 6’6–6’9, which leads to another conundrum when considering the “Greek Freak” or Giannis Antetokounmpo, who probably grew an inch while I was writing this, who plays every position and handles the ball the majority of the time. With this considered, it makes you wonder exactly what is the “ideal” size for any player, how big do you want certain positions to be, and what is too small for an NBA player? Well, the first two aren’t exactly questions that can be answered in today’s ever-evolving NBA but the last one is certainly being answered before our eyes.
Although some, such as Stephen A. Smith, would have you believe the NBA season was “ruined” before it ever even started due to Kevin Durant’s sudden defection to Golden State, that is absolutely not the case. Although the Warriors look like the odds on favorite to win the West and more than likely win the entire NBA championship, the play has been surprisingly competitive and thoroughly entertaining. What has been even more entertaining, however, is everything else that has been occurring around the league this season.
If you are living and in any way a fan of the NBA, there are currently two rumors circulating around the league. Ironically enough, they both involve the Cleveland Cavaliers. The first situation revolves around the team itself and how they seem to be missing a few pieces — especially if they expect to defend their 2016 title. LeBron James is no stranger to using the media to pull strings. In fact, he recently began to let Dan Gilbert know (through the media) that he is not happy with the Cavs current state of affairs. The irony at this point is too hot to handle — since, as many know, LeBron is the team’s unofficial GM. The Cavs current state of affairs involves losing 5 of their last 8, including a disheartening overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Add this with a struggling Tristan Thompson, an injured J.R. Smith, and an unacclimated Kyle Korver and what do you get? A recipe for some Cleveland drama.
Mike D’Antoni’s feared “seven seconds or less offense” and the Phoenix Suns ran into Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs three times in their four playoff appearances during his tenure. All three series resulted in a San Antonio dub.
The No. 8 seeded Chicago Bulls are off to a shockingly good start in the playoffs, ringing off two straight victories against the top seeded Boston Celtics. Even more impressive is that both wins came in Boston. Considering Celtic’s Star Isiah Thomas’s recent and tragic loss, he's performing up to par, averaging almost 27 a game. To be quite honest, it isn’t anything at all that the Celtics are doing or not doing that could prevent whats happening. What is happening here is what happens when fresh cabbage meets a brand new food processor — cole slaw. Too deep? A simpler explanation is that when you run into a finely tuned machine operating at peak performance, it’s hard to beat it.
Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Washington Wizards, 127–115. In the game, the Wizards scored 71 points in the second half. With the loss, the Cavaliers moved to 47–25 on the season. The Boston Celtics are now 0.5 games behind the Cavaliers in the race for the No. 1 seed. Fire away the “CAVALIERS ARE IN TROUBLE” hot take cannon!
Can a mayor be impeached? That might be a question buzzing around Chicago as the Bulls continue to flounder their way through the first half of the NBA season. Seriously though, they seem to be in real trouble and to be quite honest, it comes down to levels of the organization: Front Office, Coaches, Players. Let’s take a look.
He’s already averaging 34.5 points per game through two games in the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard is the backbone of the San Antonio Spurs. In fact, Leonard has scored in double figures in 22 straight playoff contests. Talk about clutch.
As we near Thursday’s NBA Finals Game 1 tilt between the Warriors and the Cavaliers, many already have the writing on the wall for the defending champion Cavs. From the many pundits who think the Cavaliers will be lucky to come away with one game, to the aficionado’s known as Vegas Oddsmakers, everyone seems to think that the Warriors have this thing in the bag. Well, not quite everyone. Here are three reasons why the Cavaliers not only CAN but WILL win this year's NBA Finals.