D'Angelo Russell Future Star

D’Angelo Russell Future Star?

When young players enter the NBA, fans expect them to become stars immediately. If at 19,20 or 21 years old they aren’t dominating the game, many people start to think of them as busts. The fact is they need time to gain experience in the professional game. It requires patience that many fans don’t have.

Players must go through the long, draining NBA regular seasons that last from October to April. These players are still kids barely out of college and usually aren’t ready for full NBA seasons until they have experienced a few.

One of the players often mentioned as not living up to his potential has only been in the NBA two seasons. That player is Los Angeles Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell.

Laker Nation

D'Angelo Russell Future Star

(Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org)

The Lakers’ fanbase is one of the most impatient in all of sports, but for good reason. The Lakers franchise was founded back in 1947 in Minneapolis and moved to Los Angeles in 1960. In their franchise’s illustrious history, the Lakers have played in 31 NBA Finals and captured 16 championships, which is second most all-time.

Los Angeles is used to great players and winning teams. The team has had some of the most legendary players in the history of the game like Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Winning is all the Lakers have ever known, which is why they have such an impatient fanbase. From the 1948-1949 season until the 2012-2013 season, the Lakers had only missed the playoffs five times. It is absolutely incredible to think about that level of consistency over six decades.

The recent Laker seasons have had nothing to do with winning. Over the past four seasons, including this one, the Lakers have gone 84-225. L.A. will miss the playoffs four consecutive seasons after this one. In their first 65 years, they missed the playoffs five times and are now about to miss the playoffs four straight. It is understandable that Laker fans are frustrated.

The departure of Kobe Bryant has left the Lakers searching for a star to carry the franchise. They do not have to look far for that star because they have already drafted him.

star Point Guards in their early years

D'Angelo Russell Future Star

(Photo Credit: http://sportige.com)

D’Angelo Russell, also known as D-Lo, is already off to a great start to his young career. Russell is going to be constantly overshadowed by Karl Anthony-Towns, who was the first overall pick in the same draft class.

Towns has gotten most of the attention due to his unbelievable play so far. However, Russell’s first two seasons in the NBA are right on par with some of the NBA’s star point guards.

To really understand the projection Russell’s career should take, we must look at how he compares to these star guards in their first two seasons in the NBA.

The first comparison will be to Damian Lillard. Lillard averaged 19.9 points, 6.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 37.2 minutes per game in his first two seasons . Lillard is one of the best guards in the league now and was off to a great start due to the high minutes he was playing.

The next comparison is MVP candidate Russell Westbrook. After two seasons in the league, Westbrook averaged 15.7 points, 6.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. Just as Lillard averaged high minutes, so did Westbrook with 33.4 minutes per game.

The last guard for comparison will be Wizards star John Wall. Wall averaged 16.4 points, 8.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Wall’s minutes were right on par with Lillard’s as he averaged 37 minutes per game.

These three guards are all considered top guards and leaders of their respective teams. How close is D’Angelo Russell to following in their footsteps?

D’Angelo Russell: The Future Star

The first thing noticeable about how Russell stacks up with these other guards is in minutes played. D’Angelo Russell is playing far fewer minutes than the other guards mentioned above. Russell has averaged just under 28 minutes a game (27.8) in his first two seasons. Compared to Wall and Lillard, that is 10 minutes less per game.

D'Angelo Russell Future Star

(Gif Credit: http://thedoublescreen.com)

Considering he is playing far fewer minutes, his stats are still pretty similar to theirs.

This season, Russell is averaging 14.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. Per 36 minutes, those numbers jump to 19.7 points, 6.4 assists and 4.9 rebounds. If Russell was playing more, he would be averaging around the same numbers as these stars were in their second seasons.

Along with the solid numbers, Russell has proven he can hit big shots. He has made the saying “ice in my veins” famous all because he pointed to his arm when he hit a clutch 3-pointer as you can see in the gif to the left.

Russell not only has the pressure of living up to the hype of the second overall pick in the draft, but also has to follow the legendary Kobe Bryant. He is taking over a franchise that for the last 20 seasons was led by a man who won five NBA Championships.

There is a long list of stars to live up to in Hollywood, but Russell just needs more time. He is just 21 years old, but the future looks bright. The current star point guards in the NBA were once doing exactly what he is doing now so be patient and don’t worry Lake Show. D’Angelo is on his way to becoming the next Laker star.

 

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Who Can Knock Off Cleveland

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Threats in the Eastern Conference

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the clear-cut favorites to win the Eastern Conference and make it to the Finals. It makes you think: Who can knock off Cleveland in the East? Most assume that the Warriors and Cavaliers will meet for a third-straight Finals but that assumption could be dangerous. There are teams who could beat the Cavs and mess up everyone’s dream matchup.

The first version of this short series looked at who could knock off Golden State. If you haven’t read it you can check it out here.

LeBron James has led his team to the Finals for six straight years. It is safe to say the road to the Finals goes through Cleveland. Because it has been so long since a team not featuring LeBron has been to the Finals, it is hard to see anyone beating Cleveland in the East. Here are a few teams with the shot to dethrone the Eastern Conference Champions.

Boston Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers Threats

(Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Boston is just three games back of the Cavaliers for the number one seed and have one more game remaining against the Cavs. Getting that first seed could be the all-important factor in the Celtics’ chances of upsetting Cleveland as the home team has won every game this season. The Cavs have won two of the three games but all have been close contests.

In all three games, Isaiah Thomas has scored 30 points or more. They match up well all along the wing with valuable minutes coming from Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown. Boston’s depth gives them a shot at the upset.

To beat Cleveland in a seven game series, Boston will need its frontcourt to play well. It is the weakest area of the team and they have the fourth worst rebounding differential (-3.6) in the NBA. In their recent win over Cleveland, they won the rebounding battle 47-41.

Getting home court can be helpful but the key to Boston upsetting Cleveland will be in the frontcourt play and they will have to win that rebound battle with a healthy Kevin Love who did not play in the last matchup.

Toronto Raptors

Cleveland Cavaliers Threats

(Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

Like a few other teams in the NBA, the Raptors are dealing with injuries. Kyle Lowry is a key player for Toronto and without him the Raptors have no shot at upsetting the Cavs. With that said, Lowry should be back in time for the playoffs.

Last season the Raptors faced the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals but lost the series 4-2. The Raptors struggled in the front court in that series.

The addition of Serge Ibaka was one of the most important in-season deals this year. Ibaka not only gives the Raptors a presence in the frontcourt, but he can stretch the floor on offense. He is a shot blocker on the defensive end and has lots of playoff experience.

Another addition that will help the Raptors chances of upsetting the Cavs is the addition of P.J. Tucker. Tucker provides a spark off the bench and impacts the game in multiple ways. It remains to be seen where this team will finish in the standings but this team should not be taken lightly. DeMar DeRozen needs to be a superstar for them to win a series against Cleveland as well.

They got off to a horrible slump against the Cavs last year but with those two additions they are a better team then they were last season. The Cavs cannot take them lightly or this season the Cavs will be sent home early.

Washington Wizards

Cleveland Cavaliers Threats

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

John Wall and Bradley Beal are both having their best seasons of their careers. It can be argued that they have the best backcourt in all of basketball. Yes, as good as Golden State’s backcourt. Wall is second in assists per game with 10.9. Both guards average 22 points per game. These two stars carry the Wizards but the role players are they key to upsetting the Cavs.

Marcin Gortat is a veteran who plays big inside the paint. He could give the Cavs problems in a seven game series. Along with Gortat, the Wizards get big contributions from Markieff Morris, Jason Smith, and Kelly Oubre Jr.

The Wizards are also getting a career year out of Otto Porter who is averaging a career-high in minutes (33.8), field goal percentage (52.6%), three-point percentage (45.7%), free throw percentage (80%), rebounds (6.6), steals (1.6), blocks (0.6), and points (14.1).

This team has been playing well, especially at home were they are 25-9. Washington also signed veteran point guard Brandon Jennings will have a big impact off the bench when giving Wall some rest. They also traded for Bojan Bogdanovic who has played in five games with Washington and most recently dropped 27 points on the Raptors. As he finds his role with the Wizards he will become a valuable player. These two additions together will be huge in their pursuit of the Eastern Conference Championship.

It will take a team effort but with how well the Wizards play at home all they need to do is steal a game on the road. If they steal a game in Cleveland and John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter continue their amazing season they will upset Cleveland.

 

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Who Can Knock Off Golden State

Who Can Knock Off Golden State?

There seems to be a consensus that the Warriors and Cavaliers will be meeting in the NBA Finals. Whether it is actual analysis or just what people want to see, it is hard to find fans who believe it will be anyone else. Why would it be anybody other than those two teams? They have played against one another in back to back finals. Both teams have gotten even better this season. Most fans also want to see the grudge match considering both teams have beaten the other once. On paper, everything looks nice but basketball isn’t played on paper and there are teams who can upset the world and make it to the finals. This first edition will look at who in the west can upset the Warriors in the playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs

Who Can Knock Off Golden State

(Photo Credit: http://jordansdaily.com)

This isn’t really going out on a limb. The Spurs are the most obvious answer to who can beat the Warriors in the playoffs although they seem to be forgotten when it comes to finals talk. The Spurs are an amazing 45-13 and only four and a half games back of the Warriors. Mathematically they could even get the number one seed still. San Antonio also leads the season series 1-0 and there are still two more games to play against the Warriors.

Gregg Popovich will have this team ready come playoff time, and everyone in that locker room believes they can win the title. The Spurs have the second-best defense in the NBA holding teams to just 98.3 points per game. They also hold opponents to 44 percent shooting. It is going to take a good defensive team to beat the Warriors. What the Spurs do defending the three-point line is what gives them the best opportunity to win. San Antonio holds opponents to 34 percent shooting behind the arc. Keeping Klay Thompson and Steph Curry off the arc is the key to beating the Warriors.

The Spurs are extremely experienced in the playoffs. Their players know what it takes to win and have the mentality that they are overlooked and underappreciated. Kawhi Leonard may need to be legendary during their playoff run but they are one of the teams that can upset Golden State.

Houston Rockets

Who Can Knock Off Golden State

(Photo Credit: http://topbet.eu)

The Rockets are an interesting team. They played the Warriors in the playoffs last year as an eighth seed but only won one game in the series. As crazy as this sounds, the formula the Rockets have for beating the Warriors is trying to outscore them. They are probably the only team in the league who is comfortable playing the Warriors shot for shot. They have also split the season series each beating the other once with the Rockets winning the most recent contest.

Mike D’Antoni’s philosophy has been tremendous for Harden and the Rockets, as they are averaging 115.2 points per game this season. James Harden will need to play out of his mind for the Rockets to do pull off the upset, but he is capable of doing so. If the Warriors go cold Houston can shoot them out of the gym. It will take a group effort to beat Golden State but Houston has a team capable, even if it isn’t likely.

Utah Jazz

Who Can Knock Off Golden State

(Photo Credit: http://www.sltrib.com)

The Jazz are one team nobody really talks about. Most talk about the West involves the Warriors, Spurs, Rockets and Clippers. Interesting enough the Jazz sit at fourth in the Western Conference. Utah isn’t a high scoring team, they average about 100 points per game, but they shoot a high percentage. The Jazz rank 10th in field goal percentage shooting 46.4 percent per game.

What makes the Jazz good is that they are the best defensive team in the NBA. They hold teams to an average of 95.6 points per game. They are third best in defensive field goal percentage (43.8 percent) and 13th in defensive three-point percentage (35.7 percent). The Jazz play great defense and can slow the game down. In a series against the Warriors, they would need to play their best defense of the year and hope the Warriors go cold for one or two games. If they do that the Jazz could find themselves upsetting Golden State in a seven game series.

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Kyle Korver Trade Gives the Cavs Much Needed Depth

Somewhere in the depths of suburban Ohio, David Griffin will be sleeping a little bit easier tonight. This is of course due in no small part to his signing of Kyle Korver today.

Griffin is no stranger to big signings. Two season ago Griffin traded for Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Timofey Mozgov in the offseason. After signing Lebron, Griffin traded Andrew Wiggins to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. Last season, Griffin acquired Channing Frye.

The litany of moves made by the GM over the past few years have transformed the Cavaliers into the dominant force they are today. His latest acquisition of Kyle Korver, for what is reportedly Mike Dunleavy and a first round pick, could make them the outright favorite to repeat for the NBA Championship.

Kyle Korver

Kyle Korver should have many open looks in his new offense. (Photo: Zimbio.com)

Korver has been one of the best three point shooters in the league since he was drafted in 2003. He’s hit 41% of his looks this year from beyond the arc. More importantly to the Cavaliers, he’s hit 48% of his looks when he’s open. When it comes to playmaking, the Cavs have a once-in-a-generation talent in Lebron James. Needless to say, Korver is going to get his looks this year.

In the bigger picture, this solidifies Cleveland’s chances of representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Championship. The Raptors pose a threat, especially if they can obtain Paul Millsap by the deadline. The Celtics also pose a threat if they can strengthen their team with a deadline trade. Ultimately though, the Cavaliers should ride their star power and depth to an Eastern Conference Finals victory and a third straight Finals appearance.

The most likely scenario remains a rematch with the Warriors. Ever since the signing of Kevin Durant, the Warriors have been the heavy favorites to take the championship. The Warriors’ biggest weakness however, continues to be a strength for Cleveland. Simply, their lack of depth.

Despite what is most likely the strongest starting lineup in basketball, the Warriors bench is the weakest of any contender. Andre Iguodola has struggled compared to last year, and they have minimal depth in the frontcourt.

The Korver trade strengthens the Cavaliers bench and makes them even deeper than they were before. Mike Dunleavy was barely playable for the Cavs, and Korver can immediately bring a scoring presence to this lineup.

The Cavaliers already had Channing Frye, Kyrie Irving, J.R Smith and Kevin Love raining threes. On top of that, Lebron is having one of his best seasons from beyond the arc at 37%. The addition of Korver makes them one of the deadliest teams from long range in the entire league.

This trade makes the potential Warriors-Cavs rematch even more interesting as the amount of offensive firepower continues to grow between the two teams. The deal should boost the Cavs odds of taking the title, all with another deal on the horizon. The Cavs are reportedly in the market for a backup point guard, which could give them an edge on the Warriors. Either way, this will hopefully kick off one of the more eventful trade deadlines in recent years.

 

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The Drought Is Over

(photo credit:By: Ryan Phillips)

(photo credit:By: Ryan Phillips)

Cleveland, it is time to Celebrate. The wait is over. 52 years of pain and suffering in the world of sports has come to an end. Cleveland is more than Believeland tonight. It is home to champions.

It all started six years ago LeBron left the Cavaliers organization and the city of Cleveland for the Miami Heat. The city and fans were devastated, heartbroken. His jersey was burned, and he was hated by his hometown. What made matters worse is that he won two championships for the Heat. The city of Cleveland was hurt, and believed those championships should have been theirs. In 2014 LeBron came back and promised he would bring his hometown a championship.

Last year he led the Cavs to the finals but lost to the Warriors in six games. Kevin Love got hurt in the first round and Kyrie Irving got hurt in game one of the finals so many people said the Warriors win was a fluke. Many said they would not have beat the Cavs if they were healthy. The Cavs also fired David Blatt in favor of Tyrone Lue. The pressure was mounting for Cleveland. This year they got a rematch with both teams healthy and this time LeBron delivered on his promise.

This game seven was one of the best games I can remember. The game went back and forth. There were countless ties and lead changes. There were breath taking moments. It was captivating. Epic. Entertaining. Riveting. Legendary. It had everything you could want in the final game of a championship.

The series had games that were blowouts but the series was still as close as it could ever get. After 27 quarters of the finals the total score was Warriors 686 points and Cavaliers 685 points. With two minutes and 50 seconds left in the game the score was 89-89. The game was tight.

At halftime the Warriors led 49-42 and were led by Draymond Green who had a first half to remember. He had 22 points and went 5-5 from the three point line. Steph Curry had a sub par showing for his standard and so did Klay Thompson. In the end Draymond Green’s performance wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers became the first team to come back down 3-1 in NBA Finals history.

LeBron finished with his usual stat line of 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and got his seventh finals triple double. He was consistent with his play but Kyrie was the game changer.

It all started when Kyrie Irving took over in the third quarter scoring 12 points and bring the Cavs back into the game. After that the game was a nail biter the rest of the way. He also hit the game changing three pointer with 53 seconds left in the game that ultimately sealed the deal and helped deliver the city of Cleveland a championship.

Cleveland your time to celebrate is now. The drought is over.

One For The Ages

(Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

(Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

The stage has been set. Game 7 of the NBA finals. One game to determine the NBA champion. Will it be the Golden State Warriors who won a record 73 games? Will it be back to back titles vs the same team? Will Steph Curry set the Warriors up for a potential three peat and begin to make a case that he will be one of the greatest players ever?

Or will it be the Cavaliers who’s city, Cleveland, is looking for its first major title since 1964 in a major sport. Will LeBron become a hometown hero and win it all for his city. Will the Cavaliers be the first team to ever come back down from a 3-1 deficit in the finals? There are many questions that will be answered Sunday in a historic game seven.

Before we get into the game and what might or might not happen we need to just pause and realize the great moment in sports history. This game seven will go down in history as one of the greatest sports moments of this generation and maybe even in all of American sports history. A team with 73 wins vs. a team trying to end a city’s 52 year championship drought. It may be a long time before we see a game of this magnitude again.

If you were old enough to remember Super Bowl XXXIV (34), when the Rams beat the Titans and on the final play of the game, Kevin Dyson, of the Titans, reached his out stretched arm as far as he possibly could and fell just one yard short of winning the Super Bowl.

We all remember when the Red Sox famously came back from a 3-0 deficit to their archival Yankess in the 2004 American Legaue Championship Series and eventually ending an 86 year championship drought.

Just last year we witnessed American Pharaoh win the first Triple Crown in 37 years in horse racing.

These three examples are all extremely historic moments in American sports. We can think about exactly where we were, or what we were doing when they happened. As they happened we couldn’t believe our eyes. It all seemed impossible and gave us goosebumps. That is what will happen Sunday in game seven. We will witness a historic moment.

This game is intriguing for many reasons. The Cavs are the first team in 50 years to force a game seven in the finals when trailing 3-1. The Cavs and Warriors enter game with with both scoring 610 points. This is the first time in history that two teams enter game seven of the NBA Finals with scoring the exact same amount of points. This is the type of game that you remember and talk about for decades.

LeBron is coming off of back to back 40 point games. Curry is coming off a 28 point performance before eventually fouling out and being ejected. It is easy to tell both players want this badly. It means a lot to each player’s personal legacy but to win this game seven it isn’t what LeBron or Steph do that will determine the out come. It comes down to the roll players.

LeBron and Kyrie will have their handprints all over this game but they need Tristian Thompson to get a double double. They need J.R. Smith to hit three or four threes. If Smith and Thompson have great games the Cavaliers will win their first ever championship.

Just as we know LeBron and Kyrie will get theirs, so will Steph and Klay. The Warriors also know they can count on Draymond Green to make a big impact as well. Andre Iguodala’s back will be of major concern because if he can’t contribute defensively then nobody will slow LeBron down. The x-factor in this game will be Harrison Barnes. Harrison Barnes has had wide open shots in games five and six but has only shot 2-22 from the field, and 1-12 from beyond the arc. In game six he didn’t make a single shot going 0-8 from the field and 0-5 from three. If he is able to score between 12-15 points in game seven the Warriors will repeat as champions.

This game is a tough one to predict and with taking everything into account I just can’t imagine the Warriors losing three straight games, in which two of those games being at home. The Warriors are a historically great team. A game seven win will cement the legacy of this 73 win team as one of, if not the, greatest team of all time. I think Steph scores at least 35 points and the Warriors win their second consecutive championship 104-99.

Don’t Sleep When There is Thunder

All of the talk of the NBA season has been about Kobe’s last year and the Golden State Warriors. Even secondary to these topics, the San Antonio Spurs were the huge topic of conversation due to their chance to go undefeated at home during the regular season. If people still couldn’t find anything to talk about they would shift to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference in these NBA Playoffs. There is one team that everyone has been overlooking, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder boast a talented roster that has been overlooked all season long. Photo courtesy thunderclutchpoints.com.

There has been many different ways the Thunder have been disrespected this year, and not just by what people like to talk about when they think of the NBA. Enes Kanter got snubbed for the Sixth Man of the Year award, which was given to Jamal Crawford. Crawford averaged 14.2 points per game and 2.3 assists per game, while Kanter averaged 12.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game, which is a staggering number considering he was coming off of the bench. The Sixth Man of the Year rarely goes to big guys, but this is surely a case where Kanter should have won the award.

Russell Westbrook is a superstar. Photo courtesy youtube.com.

Another way the Thunder has been disrespected came at the hands of one of the most vocal owners, Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks. He said that Kevin Durant was the only superstar player on the Thunder after his Mavericks lost to Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs. This was clearly a knock of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook had a great season this year and probably would have won the MVP if Stephen Curry wasn’t hitting three-pointers from every corner of the gym. Westbrook has averaged 23.5 points per game, 10.4 assists per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, to complete a historically good season. While people haven’t been paying much attention to Durant because of the talk of the other great teams in the league, Westbrook has also been overlooked because of these teams, giving both players a gigantic chip on their shoulders.

Why is everyone sleeping on this team? The Warriors, Cavaliers and Spurs have shown that while they are good they aren’t unbeatable. The Thunder won 55 games this season and should be getting a little more credit for that. The only thing people bring up when talking about the Thunder is there inability to close out games late. This is a huge issue, but they managed to get the three seed in the difficult Western Conference despite these struggles. Durant has shown over his career that he is more than capable of being clutch.

With all of this criticism and disrespect shown towards the Thunder this year, there is a giant chip on their shoulder. Durant and Westbrook are still one of the best combinations in all of basketball and can beat any team when playing in a seven game series. Throw in other quality players such as Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Anthony Morrow, Dion Waiters, Nick Collison, Kyle Singler, Randy Foye, Nazr Mohammed, Cameron Payne and Enes Kanter, and you have a team that creates huge match-up problems. With those players, it really takes some nitpicking to criticize this team.

Anyone who says Kevin Durant doesn’t have heart, doesn’t know basketball. Photo courtesy nba.com.

The Thunder are down 1-0 due to a terrible loss by 32 points at San Antonio in their first game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Then they got shown more disrespect by the national media. Durant and Westbrook are not players that I would want to make angry. Westbrook plays with enough ferocity that he doesn’t need any more motivation. Durant has been criticized all year, with ESPN’s Cari Champion saying he didn’t have the heart to be a top five player in the league. Anyone who would say that hasn’t followed the NBA or Durant’s story well enough, and that’s putting it in a nice way. Now is the time that he will step up, along with Westbrook, and lead the Thunder to victory. So Spurs, Warriors and Cavaliers, don’t get rattled when the thunder booms.

Can the Golden State Warriors Win a Championship Without Curry?

Credit: The Associated Press

Credit: The Associated Press

How far can the Warriors go without Curry? Can they beat Portland or Los Angeles? Can they win the Western Conference? Can they win a championship without Curry? There is a simple answer to that question that I will answer with another question. Could the Chicago Bulls win their six championships with Jordan being out or hurt? No. The question is able to be answered because Jordan retired and played baseball and the Bulls did not win a title until he came back.

The Warriors are a great team with or without Curry but great teams don’t always win a title. The Warriors did a great job finishing off the Houston Rockets but that was the worst team in the playoffs. They will get a few days of rest as the Trailblazers and Clippers have to finish their series.

Even though Curry got hurt, the Warriors caught a break when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin went down with injuries because this Warriors team would not beat a completely healthy Clippers team. They can however beat a full strength Trailblazers team. The Blazers are a good young team but they can not match the Warriors ball movement and depth in a seven game series even without Curry.

The Warriors will advance to the Western Conference Finals and meet either the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder. The least likely opponent would be the Thunder. If they were to play the Thunder they would struggle to match up against Westbrook. He would be able to dominate both sides of the ball. I don’t think the Warriors are good enough without Curry to advance past the Thunder.

The same goes for the possible matchup against the Spurs. The Warriors are good but not good enough. The Spurs are dominant on the defensive side and without Curry the Warriors would struggle to create open looks against the Spurs. The Spurs are just as good offensively as they are defensively. They won 67 games for a reason and the Warriors without Curry would be no match for the Spurs.

Without Curry the Warriors are still a competitive playoff team but not a title contender. He is going to win the MVP for the second straight year and was the scoring champion. He means so much to the Warriors and without him they cannot defend their title. If Curry is unable to return and fight with his team there will be a new NBA champion.

The Game Haus Play Of The Week – 3/28/16

Although March Madness focuses on the NCAA, we must not forget the professional level of basketball and that is the NBA. Without the NBA, athletes from top basketball programs would not be able to work toward a lifelong dream of playing for such a team to further expand their career. Needless to say, these NBA teams are currently playing for a playoff spot that will begin April 16, 2016 for a chance to reach the NBA Finals.
Sure, these athletes of the NBA are highly talented individuals and are very skilled at what they do. However, most of them are very cautious on the court to not only prevent themselves from injury, but from blocking a shot that is well out of their range. After all, sometimes a particular shot by a player is more than just points on the scoreboard. In fact, it is a sense of trash talking that is very well respected by players and fans that continues to add further appreciation to the sport of professional basketball.
Without further adieu, The Game Haus Play of the Week is just that. It involves two athletes who are utilizing their athletic skills to the best of their ability. One player is trying to increase their teams’ lead while the other is trying to prevent that exact revelation. Nevertheless, it makes for an extraordinary play. Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves came out of nowhere down the lane to simply land a dunk on Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Wiggins was successful as Gobert stepped back to accept his fate. It is without a doubt an impressive dunk.
In case you missed it, here it is:
https://youtu.be/nDAcxvH8pek
If you would like to talk more about this amazing dunk, come meet me and others in the forum.To nominate a play of the week, please post your entries on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram Pages. Perhaps your selection will get chosen for next week’s “Play of the Week.”

Congrats to Carter McEachern for choosing this week’s play of the week.