After game two of the first round against the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics looked like they were headed for an early exit. An exit that would've been truly devastating after such a magical regular season for a Boston team that felt disrespected as a #1 seed entering the playoffs. Everyone knew the circumstances weren't normal, obviously the death of Isaiah Thomas' sister played a bigger role than could meet the eye. Not even necessarily his performance, but the team's was certainly effected. After Rajon Rondo couldn't play in game 3 and the Celtics won regaining momentum, everyone knew the Celtics were going to win this series again after they had looked so outmatched in the previous two games. Slowly but surely the Celtics started looking like the team that got them there as the #1 seed and by game 6 of the series it was evident by their play on the court that they were back.
Today, they took on the Washington Wizards in game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Isaiah Thomas took an elbow to the mouth early, one of his teeth popped out, and he continued to play like nothing happened. The guy is clearly as tough as nails. He then proceeded to torch the Wizards defense like he did to the Bulls leading them to victory. Celtics won 123-111 behind a huge game from Isaiah Thomas, who had 33 points on 47% shooting. The Celtics expect Thomas to play that way every night though, he's not the difference in the game, he's just the reason they're in the game to begin with. The reason they win games is because guys like Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder contribute on both ends of the floor. Throw in Al Hortford getting buckets and boards while the bench has a couple scorers in double digits and this team is tough to beat.
The Celtics aren't flashy, as a matter of fact they're quite the opposite, they're more like the Spurs than anything. They just get players that can play within a system and build around one star. The Celtics are a machine and when everybody does their job it runs very efficiently. When someone isn't doing their job it means someone has to do twice the work, meanwhile they can't due to their lack of ability, and then they fail miserably. In order for the Celtics to continue this run they're on the little guys are going to have to continue to play at a high level, and I don't mean Isaiah Thomas because of his height, I mean little guys in terms of their roles. The fact this team is doing so well and having playoff success is a testament to what Brad Stevens has done here and how good a head coach he truly is. The Celtics were too much for the Wizards despite spotting them a 16 point lead at the start, should be really concerned if you're a Washington fan right now. Celtics are done playing games, IT on a mission, and him and his boys are out here tryna get it.
As the Clippers have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, Paul "The Truth" Pierce's Hall-of-Fame career has come to an end. One of the greatest players and competitors of this generation, a staple for the Boston Celtics franchise for 15 seasons, and a 10-time All-Star. After 19 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and finally the LA Clippers, "The Truth" will finally be calling it quits.
Pierce was drafted 10th overall by the Boston Celtics in 1998 after playing 3 seasons at Kansas, and made an immediate impact for the Celtics, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting for the '98-99 season, and he only continued to get better. He stuck with the Celtics through some of the worst seasons in franchises history, and is regarded as one of the greatest Celtics ever. Averaging 21.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds a game, 3.9 assists a game and 1.4 steals a game during his 15 seasons in Boston, and helped lead the Celtics to an NBA Championship in the 2007-2008 season with the original "Big-3", of him, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, earning the NBA Finals MVP award.
Paul Pierce is a true warrior, and the only story that needs to be told to prove that is his 2000 stabbing incident, where Piece was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck, and back while breaking up a fight in a club in Boston, and was rushed to the hospital where they thankfully were able to save his life. He had to undergo lung surgery to repair the damage, and yet was still the only the player on the Celtics team that year to start all 82 games.
Pierce is one of the last true competitors in the NBA, and has never been afraid to speak his mind on the lack of competitive spirit and winning desire that still exists in the NBA. The NBA will absolutely miss Paul Pierce, and as Shaq put it in a 2001 interview after Pierce dropped 42 points on 13 of 19 shooting against the Lakers, that led to Pierce receiving the nickname "The Truth", "My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is The Truth".
I hope he enjoys retirement, and the NBA will certainly miss him, as he is a true legend. With his retirement, there are now only two players left from the 1998 NBA Draft, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki.
Doc Rivers, NEEDS to be fired. Say what you want about him being a legendary head coach or a Hall of Fame head coach, this guy has had so many opportunities in LA that have amounted to absolutely nothing. Once again, the Clippers have been eliminated from playoff contention before reaching the Western Conference Finals. Even worse, they lost in the first round for the second straight year. Doc Rivers just isn't a very good coach come playoff time. In the playoffs he's basically a .500 coach, 82-78 lifetime postseason record. He did win a championship, but c'mon now, I could've coached that Celtics team to the Finals. He's blown a lead in four straight series in a row, he just can't finish the job come playoff time, after many oppurtunities to do so. The team has had injuries, however you can't just keep making excuses for a coach that is supposed to elevate his team to a whole other level, which clearly Doc has failed to do.
The Clippers big 3 with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan is finished, over, goodbye. Time to break it up, Chris Paul and Griffin are going to opt out of their deals and hit the market this offseason, with that being said the Clippers will definitley want to bring one of them back, so they can just try to regroup quickly instead of rebuild. They should let Blake Griffin walk, bring Chris Paul back, and somehow maneuver a deal to get Paul George. This would be a way better big 3 than the previous, then they'd actually be able to compete in the west if they could fill out the bench nicely. If they're going to do this transition and try something new, bring in a new head coach to do it because I'm sure Doc Rivers message in that locker room is already stale.
Doc Rivers one NBA title that Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo won him, earned Doc a lot of tenure in this league. I don't want to minimize his accomplishments, but at a time when there were no super teams he had one with 4 stars. One of the better teams I've ever seen assembled for that matter. He lucked into a great situation and benefited greatly because of it. I know some people will refuse to believe that, oh well sometimes the truth hurts. It's time for a change in LA. Can't keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, that's the textbook definition of insanity. Exactly why it would be insane to not fire Doc Rivers.
One day you're pulling up to the NBA offices in a customized Pacers Indy Car, and the next you're stepping down from your role as president of the team, something's not right here. Larry Bird, wasn't fired, he stepped down, for reasons still unknown. I'm sure we will discover more in the following days as more information is let out, until then we can only guess. Which is exactly what we will do because I got a couple theories of what is going on in Indiana.
First one, Larry Bird is thinking of going elsewhere, obviously, everyone will say Boston. My only problem with that is I think Boston is happy with what Danny Ainge has done and isn't willing to fire him just to bring in Larry Bird, who has proven nothing as an executive. If he's not going to Boston, he's not going anywhere else. Born and breed in Indiana, Larry Bird wouldn't just leave for just any other gig, it'd have to be somewhere special like Boston. So that puts a pin in that one, if he's not going to Boston, he's not leaving for a new job.
Second theory, maybe Paul George already told the front office he was leaving after the season, so Bird just said you know what, I'm done, and is calling it quits for good. I doubt he wants to start over all again, he's got his money and his legacy, why damage it by destroying the Indiana Pacers as an executive. He had a decent run at it, nothing incredible, but nothing awful. Just end it before it gets worse because he already gave it his best shot. He's getting pretty old, maybe it was just finally the right time to say goodbye to the sport of basketball for good. Might be hard to accept, although that could be the reality of the situation.
Last one, it's a bit of stretch, so don't kill me for it. Paul George goes to ownership says only way I stay is if Larry Bird is gone. How do the Pacers look if they fire an Indiana legend though, especially after another year in the playoffs. Ownership pays Larry Bird off to just say he steps down so the fans don't kill them for firing him and Paul George gets his way. Win for everyone involved and no ones feelings get hurt, except Larry Bird, but he can cry while laying with millions of dollars.
That's all I got. Who knows, maybe there's a different set of circumstances, and then I'll be totally off. I'm pretty confident however that one of the scenarios above will hold true. Either way Larry Legend will no longer be calling the shot for the Indiana Pacers.
One of the NBA's most famous fans just received a huge honor, as the NBA has announced that rapper Drake will host the first ever NBA Awards Show come June 26th. Drake is one of the NBA's most prolific fans, a modern day Jack Nicholson the way he supports the Raptors, just how Nicholson has supported the Lakers' for decades.
This NBA season has been a historic one, with guys' like Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Lebron James and Kawhi Leonard all producing MVP-caliber seasons, its been one of the most anticipated races ever.
My only complaint about this award show has nothing to do with Drake, it's the fact that we have to wait all the way until June 26th for it. What??? Has the MVP always been announced so late? This is absurd, in a season with SO much MVP drama and so many differing opinions, these guys are still going to make us wait almost a month after the season has ended? Ridiculous. Get it together Adam Silver.
This NBA Award Show will definitely be cool, and it will be a cool tradition going forward from now on, but waiting this long for the announcements is incredibly annoying. Just give Westbrook his award!!!!!!!
Oh how the tables have turned. The Clippers must've been drooling in game 1 when Rudy Gobert went down 15 seconds in. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were going to just dominate the paint and the Clippers would have a free pass to the second round. Too bad even without Gobert the Jazz managed to steal game 1 from the Clippers. Games 2 and 3 the Clippers were able to win, however they still weren't quite dominating the Jazz like they had expected. Clippers took a huge blow when Blake Griffin was ruled out for the playoffs after suffering a toe injury in game 3. To add insult to injury, game 4 Gobert returned and the whole series changed.
Immediately his defensive presence was felt, he was disrupting shots inside, forcing DeAndre Jordan to work much harder, and he was another viable scoring option on offense. Gordon Hayward had to leave the game after the first half due to illness. Once again the Jazz aren't at full strength, didn't matter though, they had played the entire series like that, so it was nothing new. Gobert continued to do his thing on the defensive end of the floor while Joe Inglis and Joe Johnson were running the show on offense. The Jazz went onto win the game 105-98, tying the series up at 2 games a piece.
Chris Paul should honestly be ashamed of himself. To call yourself a superstar point guard, one of the best in the league for the last 10 years, yet somehow he still hasn't figured out how to take over a playoff series. The fact the Clippers lost that game last night is embarrassing and everyone needs to lose their job after they lose this series. The Clippers let an old washed up Joe Johnson turn back the clock on them and cook them all night long for 28 points on 70% shooting. The Jazz best scorer and biggest offensive producer, Gordon Hayward, was an entire non factor, and the Clippers still lost. I understand Chris Paul has little to no help, although Jamal Crawford did provide 25 off the bench, no one else did much. Isn't Chris Paul supposed to get the most out of his teammates surrounding him though, regardless Clippers and Paul should be ashamed.
The Jazz on the other hand have a big things ahead of them. Gobert's impact on the defensive end is actually insane, the Jazz were +22 in the paint last night compared to -42 in games 2 and 3. Not only does he stop the other team from scoring inside, he also gives you another decent scoring option around the basket. Joe Ingles, can't say enough about this guy, plays hard defense, does the little things in order to get wins, and he was quite the dimer last night raking up 11 assists. At the end of the day, Gobert made all the difference, 15 points, 13 boards, and 2 blocks set the tone for the Jazz in game 4. I'm sure he'll continue to do the same for the rest of this series as I now see the Jazz as the favorites.
The First Series:
The Rockets jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the series in a blowout win over the Thunder. James Harden shines, cant be stopped on the offensive end all night long. The Rockets look like a well oiled machine ready to destroy the one man army of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook didn't have his best stuff in game one, as we all know though, Russ never gets discouraged by letting his past performance affect his next one. Game 2 the Thunder were rolling, late in the 3rd quarter they had a 15-pt lead. The Rockets are never out with their ability to put up points in bunches, they hit a barrage of 3's while the Thunder went cold. The 4th quarter is a whole new ball game, Russ has one of his worst performances ever, the epic collapse is complete, and the Rockets take a 2-0 series lead. The Thunder are back home for game 3, with the crowd on their side and desperation setting in, the only option was to win. Russell had a huge night racking up a triple double, leading the Thunder to victory bringing them back within one game. Game 4 was going to make or break the series for the Thunder, they needed to win this game to have any hope of winning this series. Russell Westbrook posted video game type stats, the thunder were was once again rolling in the third, up by 14. The Rockets storm back and sneak out a win despite the best efforts of Russell Westbrook. Rockets now lead the series 3-1.
Media Takeaway from First Series:
The Second Series:
The Rockets jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the series in a blowout win over the Thunder. James Harden shines, cant be stopped on the offensive end all night long. The Rockets look like a well oiled machine ready to destroy the one man army of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook didn't have his best stuff in game one, as we all know though, Russ never gets discouraged by letting his past performance affect his next one. Game 2 Westbrook goes off, he scores the most points while recording a triple double in playoff history. The Thunder steal game 2 on the road over the Rockets as Russell Westbrook has one of the greatest performance ever in playoff history. The Thunder are back home for game 3, with the crowd on their side and confidence setting in, the only option was to win for the loyal hungry fans. Russell had a huge night racking up a triple double, leading the Thunder to victory, bringing them back within one game. The Thunder are leading 2-1 with game 4 at home, things are looking great, and they were looking even better after Russell Westbrook finishes the first half with a triple double. The Thunder jump out to a big lead in the 3rd quarter and they don't look back from there. Thunder have now one three straight taking all momentum in this series going back to Houston with a 3-1 lead
Media Takeaway from Second Series:
Just like that the whole narrative changes. You change two quarters in that series and the Thunder are up 3-1 with the Rockets in panic mode. That's just not the way it worked out, instead the Thunder blew leads just like in last year's western conference final. Is it Westbrook's fault, not necessarily, you can't expect the game to have the greatest playoff performance ever, but that's what it probably would've taken. He has a better 4th quarter in game 2 and 4 we are having a whole different conversation. Now, we are going to talk about how he defended his teammates from a reporter and how he's such a leader for it. Frankly, I didn't care for all that, kinda seemed like an act, but whatever. I'm here to defend Russ not bash him. If two quarters go the Thunder's way a little bit more than they're up 3-1 and Russell Westbrook is being viewed as an NBA God. Impressive that one man is carrying an entire team, he gets some perimeter shooters around him I truly believe they could've won this series. Does Russ need to improve in some area, yes, but so does everybody. At the end of the day Russell Westbrook has almost willed his team to a series win over the Rockets in a series that they have no business being in. Quite remarkable actually. Westbrook has cost his team the series, only because he didn't have the greatest playoff series performance ever, which is completely understandable for not accomplishing. I'm excited to see how great Russ truly is when he finally gets some help around him again.
In Friday night's game against the Thunder in OKC, Patrick Beverley didn't only lose the game, he also lost $25K. Before I go into my unconscious rage about how worthless the NBA is I'll give the back story. The Rockets guard was going for a layup, hit the floor, skidded across the hardwood to where the fans sit, and landed at the feet of a Thunder's fan. As Beverley is on the floor the Thunder fan proceeds to get in Beverley's face screaming derogatory slurs. Beverley didn't do anything in response while the game was going on except try to get referees attention to the matter. Following the game after the fan faced no consequences whatsoever, Beverley decided to walk up to him and exchange a few words.Beverley just wanted to make it clear to the fan that he was a man just like him and that he had no problem standing up for himself, basically wanted to show the fan that he can't just say whatever he wants and expect Beverley not to defend himself. The cherry on top to this whole story is that the guy yelling at Beverley, is one of the Thunder's minority owners sons. The league reviewed the situation and felt Beverley's actions warranted a $25K fine.
I hate the NBA, no other sport can the fans literally touch the players throughout the game because they're so close to the action. These fans take it for granted, pretty soon I guarantee they'll be some sort of barrier between the players and fans, all because of assholes like this. Not like it matters to any of us, only the wealthiest of the wealthy can afford court side seats, exactly why it was the owners sons sitting there. If the owners son can't control himself at a basketball game then who can. Beverley was well within his rights to do what he did, he shouldn't have to pay a fine for not being a bitch, anyone talks down to you in that way for absolutely no reason they deserve to be confronted about it. If the NBA isn't willing to protect the players they have to do it themselves, that was Beverley's reasoning for going after the guy. It honestly amazes me that the NBA views Beverley as the bad guy in this situation when they were the one's that failed to kick the fan out after acting way out of line. I wonder what fine the owners son will have to pay, probably none.
The fans are going to piss and moan when they change the way the fans have to sit court side due to incidents like this. Just know they were the ones to ruin it, can't act appropriately, then you don't deserve that privilege. Honestly the fan should've just been kicked out and all of this would've been avoided, but apparently if your a fan sitting court side you can just act like a complete animal. Fuck this fan and fuck the NBA, Patrick Beverley never change you savage.
Memphis Grizzlies Giving the San Antonio Spurs All They Can Handle, Should Kawhi Leonard and Company Be Worried?Read Now
Who would've thought that the Spurs vs Grizzlies series would gives us the best game of the first round. After the first two games in San Antonio it looked like this series was headed for a quick sweep, but after two games in Memphis the series is all tied up. Memphis has always given the Spurs a tough time in the first round of the playoffs. A few years back when the Grizzlies were an 8 seed and the Spurs were a 1 seed the Grizzlies pulled off the unthinkable upset winning that series, so why not this one.
The Grizzlies turned the ball over 23 times, however beat the Spurs in almost every other team statistic. On the boards the Grizzlies dominated, they shot the ball at a higher percentage, they killed the Spurs on the fast break, and at one point in the game they went on a 23-4 run, somehow the Spurs only lost on a buzzer-beater in OT, though. The reason the Spur didn't lose by 20, Kawhi Leonard. A man unconscious, Kawhi Leonard carried the Spurs out of this huge hole and brought them back into the game. In the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter Leonard had 16 points, the rest of his team had zero. He was literally carrying the Spurs back single-handedly, no one could stop him, and he forced OT. On the other side of the court Mike Conley was also having a career night living up to the massive $150 million contract he signed this offseason. Conley finished with 35 points, on 13/23 shooting, and he dished out 8 assists. Kawhi would finish with a playoff career high 43 points, on 14/30 shooting, hitting 7 three pointers in the game.
Kawhi was hitting every clutch shot in OT. The Spurs looked down and out, they were playing the foul game, and Kawhi hit every shot he needed to keep the Spurs alive. Unfortunately, he left a little too much time on the clock for the Grizzlies to run a final play. Conley had the ball looking like he was going to go iso for the win since he had the hot hand all game. Conley passed it off to Marc Gasol though, a move I absolutely loved, Gasol dribbled up to the top of the key, put up a fadeaway jumper over LaMarcus Aldridge, buckets, Grizzlies win. All that effort from Kawhi Leonard for nothing, guy has an all time great performance and losses, that has got to suck. I still give the Grizzlies a 1% chance at winning this series, but it's cool to see a team that's been together forever with this rookie head coach giving the Spurs all they can handle. Would love to see Fizzdale upset Pop, even though that'd take a minor miracle, the Grizzlies have done it before, can they do it again.
The Clippers-Jazz series just got a whole lot more interesting. With Rudy Gobert out for the Jazz the advantage and momentum of this series shifted to the Clippers. It showed in the last two games as they were able to win 2 of the first 3 games of this series. Last night, Blake Griffin was injured in the win over the Jazz, Griffin suffered a toe injury and will miss the rest of the postseason. Just like last year, when it matters most Blake Griffin suffers an injury, and the Clippers are left to dry. Will this change the outcome of the series. Have we seen Blake Griffin's last game in a LA Clippers uniform? All things to take into consideration following this news.
The Clippers still have the distinct edge in this series even after losing one of their best players. When the Jazz lost Gobert they lost their entire interior defense essentially, not necessarily a helpful thing when the other team has Deandre Jordan, who can only score within 10 feet of the basket. The Clippers losing Blake Griffin means they lose their second scoring option and a mediocre defender, I guess. In a series against a team with more fire power I'd say the Clippers should be a little more worried, and if they are to get to the next round they'll run into that problem, but for now they should be just fine with Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan running the offense. Let's be real, we all knew the Clippers weren't going to the conference finals anyway, they never do, so Blake Griffin is the perfect scapegoat for Doc Rivers to use when they face their usual early elimination.
I'm beginning to believe Blake Griffin is more and more of a fraud superstar with every passing season. For starters this guy is the most injury prone player in the entire league. Throughout the regular season he misses time with nagging injuries. Ever since 2013, his best season in the league, he's never been the same player. Past 3 seasons he's failed to play more than 67 games in a season, he has missed the past two postseasons, and his numbers are headed in the wrong direction. It doesn't make much sense to me, Griffin should've developed his game into so much more. He's got this shitty jumper now that is supposed to make him more of a perimeter threat even though everyone knows it's a bunch of bologna. Griffin is a free agent this summer and if I'm running the Clippers organization I let him walk. Too many headaches, too many injury problems, and not enough winning, what reason would you have for keeping at this point.