Scores and Series Updates:
Toronto 103 – Cleveland 125 (CLE -7)
Cleveland leads 2-0… Game 3 @TOR… ESPN Friday 7:00
Houston 96 – San Antonio 121 (SA -5.5)
Series tied 1-1… Game 3 @HOU… ESPN Friday 9:30
Takes, Takes, TAKES:
1) Folks I don’t think Lebron respects this Raptors team
There was a point in time where I thought the Raptors might be able to give the Cavs a series. Lowry and DeRozan have only gotten better. Ibaka and Tucker were really smart additions. Valenciunas would be back. The bench is playing better.
And then the series started.
You want to know why Lebron has no respect for the Raptors? Because there’s nothing to respect about them. They didn’t come to play. They haven’t shown any fight. And there seems to be no repercussions coming for Lebron throwing down warm up line dunks and half finished beers in their face.
Shit, half of me thinks LeBron is disrespecting them like this just to get a rise out of them. And even that isn’t working.
Do something, Toronto. At least get swept with a little bit of dignity.
2) Lebron – Kawhi is the series we really deserve
Cavs-Warriors Part III will be awesome. Absolutely awesome. As good as basketball gets.
But god damn what I’d give to have these two battle it out in the Finals. There is no better one-on-one matchup in the game right now. There’s no better individual rivalry. They’re the two best players in the game. The two best two-way players in the game. The single best offensive player. The single best defensive player. The loud, brash leader. The quiet assassin. The yin and the yang of basketball stardom.
Seven games of them going back and forth on every possession would be the best one-on-one matchup the game has ever seen. Ever. And it’s not even really close.
I get why we won’t get it. And I’m as excited for the Cavs-Warriors game as anyone. But man what I’d give to see these two play more than twice a year.
3) I told you the Spurs would be fine.
Game one was an aberration. We got the best possible Rockets and the worst possible Spurs.
Game two? Game two was probably an aberration too. We got the reverse.
Now we’re really going to get a series. These two felt each other out, took the other’s best punch, surrendered their own absolute stinker, and now it’s on.
Now we know we’re getting more Kawhi-on-Harden. Now we know we’re getting more small ball on both sides. Now we know the Spurs are going more athletic and younger in their rotations, especially now without Parker. And now we know the inside will be a lot more open for both teams as the defenses try to limit the number of threes. These next five…yes, it’s going seven… these next five games are going to be AWESOME. We might have to deal with blowout sweeps from Golden State and Cleveland. But between this and what I think will happen in Washington tonight, we’re in for two seven game battles.
This is fucking insane. If he really can stay on Harden all series while maintaining this level of offensive production against a very good defender in Ariza then we really might have to reevaluate some things as a league.
Tony Parker is out for the Playoffs and that sucks.
Patty Mills can play. Patty Mills will undoubtedly do an admirable job filling in for Tony Parker. Especially if he’s doing this…
But the ceiling of this already limited Spurs offense just plummeted down with one awkward fall.
Those few games where Tony looks like the old Tony? The Spurs desperately needed those to survive against this Houston offense. Now that’s gone. And now an even greater share of the offensive load is on Kawhi’s shoulders.
The Cavs deep-threat depth is insane. You look at their nine man rotation and there are six guys there that you HAVE to run out on. Kyrie, Love, JR, Korver, Frye, D-Will. And that doesn’t even include Lebron when he’s feeling it. At any point in time on the court Lebron can be surrounded by three dead eye shooters. And while, yes, the Warriors still have a slightly higher offensive peak and significantly higher defensive peak, the Cavs have the luxury of knowing that they really only need two or three of those six guys to get hot around Lebron to become an unstoppable offense.
And Lebron was so dominant last night that all they really needed was Frye hitting five threes.
GROWN. ASS. MAN.
Smart Business decision Norm
Around The Association:
Shoutout to Michelle Beadle’s dad. Courtside in the Hawaiian chomping a Cuban is the only life I’ve ever wanted to live.
Schedule for May 4th:
Boston @ Washington (WAS -5.5)
Boston leads 2-0… Game 3 @WAS… ESPN Thursday 8:00
Utah @ Golden State (GS -12.5)
Golden State leads 1-0… Game 2 @GS… ESPN Thursday 10:30