“Shooting Hoops-Here & There”
We’re marching towards the NBA finals, and there are fast break stories everywhere on the floor.
GOLDEN STATE….Back comes a healthy Steph Curry, and the blowout wins start all over again. Teaming with his ‘Splash Brother’, Klay Thompson, the Warriors seem headed for another title. Those two plus Kevin Durant and the big play talents of Dramond Green and Andre Iguodala, no one seems able to matching up with them.
HOUSTON….You knew they were going to score, the question, could they play any type of defense to not be an upset victim. James Hardin and Chris Paul lead the firepower brigade. It’s an odd night when they might shoot 40% from the floor and lose, but they are a collision course to face Golden State. That will be a challenge.
SAN ANTONIO…A long hot summer is coming, and this is not related to the weather. It’s about the 1-on-1 game between Kawhi Leonard and coach Greg Popovic, or it might be about Leonard vs the Spurs ownership. He has one year left on is contract, but also has one major injury issue with a quad issue that has lingered since this time last year in the playoffs. Do they offer him a 210M max contract? Do they shop and trade him rather than lose him a now from now? How serious is the damage in the relationship with Coach Pops? Stay tuned.
OKLAHOMA CITY…An awful end to the Thunder season, Russell Westbrook taking 43-shbots in the final playoff loss, with Paul George and Carmelo Antony standing around watching. Bad chemistry, an indictment on a coaching staff that failed to make all the pieces of a so-called dream team fit, and the big question, how do you fix all this?
BOSTON….A good cross section of young players, teamed with grizzled veteran center Al Horford, this is a pretty good team And they are playing on headed to the finals. GM-Danny Ainge worked long and hard to put the pieces together.
CLEVELAND….Not the top of Cavaliers season you would expect, but come game night, LeBron James is willing his team to wins. James may be headed to free agency, the roster needs to be overhauled, and someone needs to make a decision as to whether they have the right head coach. When the playoff ends, the waiting for answers there will come.
NEW ORLEANS…To go this deep in the post season is a credit to coach Alvin Gentry and the growth of monster big man Anthony Davis. Losing DeMarco Cousins at mid season should have killed this team. They were still playing this weekend. Get Cousins back and wow, what a frontline next year.
PHILADELPHIA….It’s a process, tanking, rebuilding, ending the losing and starting the winning. A very young team, led by Ben Simmons, and Robert Covington, got to experience the playoffs. This year’s learning experience will serve them better a year from today too.
NEW YORK KNICKS….David Fizdale is the next guy trying to make something out woeful big money team. Owner James Dolan is still there, the losing seasons are still there, and nothing seems right at Madison Square Garden.
LAKERS….It was a season of improvement with a young talented team. We still don’t know how complete a player Lonzo Ball can be, because we saw flashes and then disappointments sandwiched around three different injuries. Everyone is waiting to see if Magic Johnson can convince a marquee star to take a max contract and join the kids. An alternative would be to trade Julius Randle for the Spurs Kawhi Leonard, both in the final year of their contracts.
CLIPPERS…Ownership tore the roster apart, missed the playoffs, and now wants to re-sign coach Doc Rivers. Interesting to watch if consultant Jerry West can be the magnet to draw a max free agent there in a rebuild season.
PHOENIX…Once upon a time, a great franchise run by a brilliant businessman Jerry Colangelo, now a franchise in disrepair. Bad trades, bad coaching hires,and a likely long road back in a once proud market.
BROOKLYN…..Russian oil money hasn’t made a difference to a team that used to be in New Jersey. New building, same old mess. No progress and don’t know if anyone cares either.
SACRAMENTO….CHICAGO….CHARLOTTE…..Will the Kings ever win? When will the Bulls start to win? Is Michael Jordan capable of winning?