Ok, the scene is set. Team USA was 7-0 and well on its way to a perfect 8-0 Olympic Games record and a gold medal. Vince Carter took it to a new level. I’ll let the video do the rest of the explaining:
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.
Kevin Garnett will reportedly retire after 18 NBA seasons.
According to YardBarker via The Juicy Online, Kevin Garnett has told close friends that he will retire from the NBA after deciding to undergo surgery on both ankles.
Garnett spent the first 12 years of his illustrious NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the last six with the Boston Celtics, winning the 2007-08 NBA Championship. He averaged 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks this season, as he and the Celtics were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Knicks.
For his career, Garnett averaged 19.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. His honors include:
2004 NBA MVP
12-time All NBA Defensive-Team selection including nine First Team honors
2008 Defensive Player of the Year
15-time All-Star (was named ASG MVP in 2003)
Nine-time All-NBA selection including four First Team honors
All-Rookie Second Team in 1996
Olympic Gold Medalist (2000 Team USA)
Led the NBA in rebounding each year from 2004-2007
KG was one of the first stars to successfully make the jump from high school to the NBA, as the Timberwolves picked him fifth overall in the 1995 Draft after he was named Illinois’ Mr. Basketball at Farragut Academy in Chicago.
Who knows the amount of truth to this rumor. After all, it is a rumor. If it is true, the NBA just lost one of the best and most intense big men of the past 20 years.
Follow us on Twitter for more updates on this developing story @GTDsports
Going The Distance’s list of the NBA’s top 30 centers continues today with No. 15-11. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find the previously posted rankings (No. 30-16).
15. DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings: There is no denying that Cousins has top-10 center numbers. There is no denying that Cousins has top-five center talent. But, there is also no denying that Cousins needs to grow up.
It may seem like a huge dock to rank him at 15 for being immature, but he hurts his team, and the team comes first in any sport. Cousins averages 17.2 points and 10.0 rebounds with 33 double-doubles and a triple-double (yes, he actually passed the ball ten times), which are certainly great numbers. He has strayed a bit from the “black hole” label he was given for rarely passing, which is also positive. But, he needs to learn to acknowledge double-teams and pass out of them to his shooters instead of forcing contested shots and then complaining about not getting a call.
Cousins has racked up 40 technicals in three seasons, including 14 this year to go along with four ejections. Once DMC calms down, he will climb this list in a hurry.