Today is the NBA’s first day off since the playoffs began. So, in the spirit of an off day, let’s regroup and discuss the winners and losers of the playoffs so far.
Golden State’s backcourt: Stephen Curry is playing out of his mind and is capturing the attention of the nation’s basketball fans. He set records this season, but his coming out party is currently in session. Curry is averaging 26.5 points in the playoffs to go along with 8.9 assists and 2.0 steals. He is knocking down 46.3 percent of his shots and 43.1 percent of his three pointers. Curry has owned the third quarter, and not to mention, he led the sixth-seeded Warriors to a first round series victory over the Nuggets and has stolen home court advantage from the Spurs.
Klay Thompson’s value to the Warriors has been on display in the first two games of the second round. In game one, he fouled out, and then the Warriors collapsed. In game two, he notched 34 points including 29 in the first half. Thompson is averaging 17.6 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 47.9 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from downtown. His effectiveness allows Mark Jackson to play him at small forward late in the game, so Jarrett Jack and Curry can pair in the backcourt. This creates a much quicker lineup, which is much more difficult for San Antonio to contain.
Don’t forget Jack. He is shooting an even 50.0 percent from the floor in the playoffs, averaging 17.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds. His veteran leadership and knowledge of when to slow down the offense has benefitted the Warriors all playoffs, especially Wednesday night when they almost collapsed again.
The Grizzlies made it a series again, the Bulls earned a true Chicago-style grind-it-out win, and Brandon Jennings still thinks the Bucks will beat the Heat in six, despite being down 3-0. Here’s a quick look at the x-factors from last night’s games.
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Everyone lists his potential playoff surprises. Everyone predicts his round-by-round winners. But seriously, how many times can someone hear “Heat in five?” I’ll leave that to the ESPN guys and let them ruin the fun of it.
Nobody wants to sit there and read big, long game wraps either. That’s why I have decided to do the shortest playoff game write-ups on the web. The first awfully cheesy, bolded pun previews the key stat or event in each game that paved the way for the winning squad. The second awfully cheesy, bolded pun previews the player that had the greatest impact on his team. Don’t forget to read the cheesy pun in the title.
Yes, I will be controversial. Yes, you will disagree with almost every opinion I have. So, feel free to rip into me in the comments section. Or, if you’re feeling generous, agree with me in the comments section. Either way.