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Scores and Series Updates:
Toronto 105 – Cleveland 116 (CLE -6.5)
Cleveland leads 1-0… Game 2 @CLE… TNT Wednesday 7:00
Houston 126 – San Antonio 99 (HOU +5.5)
Houston leads 1-0… Game 2 @SA… TNT Wednesday 9:30
Takes, Takes, TAKES:
1) Folks more like LeBeer James I’m sorry I hate myself.
Nothing days NBA basketball like a robust red.
I will say… the lack of concern Lebron has against this Toronto team is flat out disrespectful. Faking beer sips, laughing it up on the free throw line, calling for off backboard alley oops with two defenders right there. And this is all coming off the heels of him laughing off the idea of Toronto winning the series when it was tied 2-2 last year.
I mean, there’s no reason to be concerned. Cleveland owns, OWNS Toronto. They know how to defend them and nobody can stop LeBron. It’s really that simple.
But there’s no other team that LeBron just toys with like the Raptors. Against the Celtics he’ll go emotionless and cut their throats. Against Washington or Atlanta or Indy or whoever, he’ll be locked in and intent on just winning the game.
Against Toronto he’s really out here just clowning around. And not clowning like not trying. Clowning like yeah I’m killing you and enjoying it while I do.
It’s one game. This is still the best Raptors team they’ve ever had, and maybe it just takes them a game to adjust. But I don’t know how they can beat LeBron.
2) I’m throwing out that Spurs performance.
It was one game. I know I just said that above but this time I really mean it. One game is one game. The Spurs roll players were as bad as they could be. The Rockets roll players were as great as they could be. We watched these two teams play four games this year decided by 2, 6, 2, and 2 points. They are as close as it gets when they both play their typical game. Last night was the worst and best case scenario for each team, and that won’t happen again this series, let alone in the same game.
Now there are FOR SURE some concerns for San Antonio, particularly these two.
– Houston absolutely torched their bigs defensively. Aldridge, Gasol, Lee. Those guys just can’t handle Houston’s offense. They need athleticism in the front court and their only real option in that case is playing Dewayne Dedmon at the five and Kawhi at the four. Pop is Pop, so I’m sure he’ll figure it out. But he’s pretty limited in his options there.
– Someone on this Spurs team needs to do something offensively. Kawhi just has no help. And if those big men can’t play big minutes offensively they’re going to need two or three throwback offensive games from Parker or Ginobli, PLUS Mills and/or Green getting hot from three just to keep up with the Rockets offensively.
Again, Pop is limited in his options here. But I trust him.
I trust him and I trust Kawhi and I trust the Spurs infrastructure. I’m tossing that game out and knowing full well in my heart that Game 2 will be a nail biter and the series will get back on track after that. There’s no need to panic. Even though… well… there’s actually a lot of reason to panic.
3) The MVP results are going to look really bad in retrospect.
I’m expecting we see Russ, Harden, Kawhi, Lebron in that order. And I’m not saying it should be different. But if these playoffs counted towards the vote that list would be flipped on it’s head. Lebron is so unquestionably the best player in the world that it’s laughable to suggest someone else. Kawhi carried this pretty awful Spurs roster to sixty wins – a remarkable feat after what we saw last night. Harden made his teammates significantly better than Russ. And Russ is really only winning the award because Lebron rested, Kawhi is “boring”, and Harden had two less rebounds per game. I’m not saying Russ shouldn’t win. Or that Russ is bad. Russ was unreal this season. But in the light of the playoffs these results are gonna look pretty, pretty, pretty interesting.
Things got TESTY in the fourth
JR’s been very quietly getting that championship swag back these last few weeks. If this team gets peaking JR right around Finals time we might really have to reevaluate who the favorite is. The Pipeman Cometh.
Are you mad Dwayne? You seem mad.
When your friends dad is yelling at him in front of you.
No joke I think this might be the first time I’ve ever seen Shump finish a dunk down the lane.
Around The Association:
2 Chainz gets buckets
La La showed out for the Met Gala last night and at this point is just running up the score on Melo post-separation. There’s a joke to be made here about the irony of Melo using 7’s for L’s in his hashtags despite taking continuous L’s in his life. And that was the joke. Hope you enjoyed it.
The Warriors complained that there’s no nightlife in Utah. Not an outrageous claim to make. You know, seeing as it’s a fact. But still enough to maybe get the juices flowing and some tempers flaring.
Schedule for Tuesday, May 2nd:
Washington @ Boston (BOS -5)
Boston leads 1-0… Game 2 @BOS… TNT Tuesday 8:00
Utah @ Golden State (GS -13)
Series tied 0-0… Game 1 @GS… TNT Tuesday 10:30