#2 at UCLA, #1 in the NBA Draft?

It’s become a novelty year after year for basketball fans to try and predict the next big college star. Sometimes, if not more than most, our predictions are met with disappointment as our elected “future star” fails to live up to the high expectations upon entering the NBA.

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Triple-Double Troubles

Westbrook has been dazzling fans all season, and so far it has equated to OKC sitting at 7th in the West with a winning record just below .600. So far, Westbrook’s stats have been nothing short of eye-popping and yet even with all the stats combined it begs the question of how long this can act as the band-aid to the real situation that Oklahoma City is currently facing.

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Bragging Rights? – Game 2 of 3

This week we’ll see Game 2 of the 3 game regular season match up between the Warriors and Cavaliers. As we’ve done since this rivalry started in 2015 each game has been magnified and broken down so much that we think it really has an effect on how the Finals will eventually end.

But does it really matter in the end?

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No Rose, No Wins, Nowhere.

The Knicks season started off with some excitement of what the team could accomplish which had Knicks fans hoping for the best and possibly a playoff seeding. As it turns out, it has been anything but that as New York continue to find ways to lose games and in some ways more embarrassing game after game. The Knicks are 1-9 in their last 10 games, bordering on being a .500 team and only 2.5 games outside of the 8th seed, giving them plenty of incentive to hold leads and beat the teams they should on the schedule.

Unfortunately it seems that the Knicks are a collective that are damaging themselves internally even with a healthy Carmelo Anthony, sophomore star Kristaps Porzingis and a contract-year Derrick Rose. Internal problems such as Carmelo calling his own isolation play in part frustrating coach Jeff Hornacek and vice versa when Hornacek draws up a play that Anthony gets caught on camera being visually disgusted with his coaches decision.

The Knicks appalling play has gotten so bad that reports of Derrick Rose abandoning his team following a reported “blow-up” with Hornacek, eventually resulting in the Knicks being unable to reach Rose before, during and even a while after the game had finished.

The last stretch of games and life in general for the Knicks has been anything but pleasent and when you suffer 2 losses on game winners it tends to sting a little more, causing heavy evaluation and reflection on how the team got to that point and why it’s not an isolated incident but rather a consistent shortcoming. It’s alarming when your franchise player releases this gem to the media regarding the target of the “blame game” in relation tot he Knicks performance:

Carmelo Anthony:

“When We Win, It’s Us. When We Lose, It’s Me”

The real question is just how the Knicks will handle this and with the trade deadline coming up its only a matter of time before the Knicks and its players begin to decide their fate. The Knicks aren’t the only team struggling right now, however they’re actions and behaviour while dealing with the losses are being projected far more loudly than any other team in the league.

Top 10 moments of the 2016 NBA season

2016 was a great year for NBA fans, especially if you were a Cavs fan, and maybe not so much a Warriors fan. Regardless, we saw some great basketball in the 2015-2016 season and the offseason that followed it. It wasn’t just some things that caught us by surprise, but rather everything about it caught us off guard.

Lets begin.

#10

Thunder lose in the Western Conference Finals, change NBA landscape forever. 

Kicking the top 10 off is OKC’s huge collapse in the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors. Preceding the dubs at their own fortunes, the Thunder blew a 3-1 lead over the former NBA champs after knocking off a Spurs team that was on it’s last legs mentally and physically after capturing a title just 2 years prior. The Thunder finally looked to be avenging their 2012 appearance in the Finals when they were still so young and promising, except this time with the departure of James Harden, the team of Westbrook and Durant looked primed to walk right into a Finals meeting with the Cavs.

In actuality however, it took a absolutely crushing Game 6 loss for the Thunder to finally see the writing on the wall. After Klay Thompson lit them up for 11 three’s in the game, with the Warriors not yet finished writing NBA history, Thompson’s playoff record setting shooting display propelled the Warriors to a Game 7 back at the Oracle for the nail in the coffin.

#9

Curry gets second MVP in consecutive years, this time unanimously.

Steph Curry set a new record for most-recorded 3-point field-goals in a regular season at 402, yes you read that right, accumulating over 1200 points alone on 3-point shots. That wasn’t the only milestone that he and the Warriors achieved but it does help add some insight into one of the greatest regular seasons from a player and team we’ve ever seen. Steph Curry led the Warriors through some of the most exhilarating games and at times himself appeared to be in his own world out on the floor. Some of the performances that Curry had last season were jaw-dropping and usually dominated media headlines for days on end.

And yet even with all of the praise and attention, there were still doubts about Curry receiving the award for a second time as some pinned him to be the shiny object that dazzled and swindled everyones vote. Well, even if that was the case the voters certainly didn’t seem to disagree as Curry made more history becoming the first player to be unanimously voted as Most Valuable Player.

#8

Toronto Raptors reach Eastern Conference Finals for first time in franchise history

The Raptors had a great run last season after they made a push to become the 2nd best team in the East, and ultimately reach their first Eastern Conference Finals in the franchises history. A huge deal for the Raptor fans who have been longing for some success for the last few years with their great tandem of Lowry and Derozan.

While the Raps looked relatively dominant throughout the season, they definitely kept their fans on edge once the playoffs began. Looking back at it now – I said it at the time – the Raptors had one of the most difficult playoffs and it was usually to their own detriment. Toronto found themselves in 2 Game 7 situations before even meeting with the Cavaliers and while it was certainly the hard path taken, it did give some entertaining basketball in the Eastern playoffs.

#7

Wade leaves Miami, Durant leaves Oklahoma City

Appropriately at #7 we combine 2 of the biggest moves in the NBA this past offseason, as if the Finals didn’t give us enough excitement, the moves made over the summer changed franchises and broke hearts.

Dwyane Wade was beloved in Miami (and still is) and its doubtful that will ever change after giving the franchise 13 years of greatness, including 3 NBA Championships. Sure he had to make room for both LeBron and Chris Bosh, but at the heart of the team it was Wade county through and through. After conversations broke down with Pat Riley, Hassan Whiteside receiving a max deal rather quickly and the franchises obvious pursuit of Kevin Durant it seemed as though Wade was pushed to the side in Riley’s list of priorities. Well for Dwyane, it was clear he was searching for more and was tired of being an afterthought, which ended up landing him in the windy city with the Chicago Bulls, or better known to Wade as home.

Kevin Durant was all the buzz throughout the entire offseason and for alot of us who weren’t Durant himself, Draymond Green, Steph Curry or his immediate family we were for the most part led astray that he would be considering any other team not named the Warriors. After the fact, it was clear that the courting from the Warriors players and the crushing defeat in the Western Conference Finals that Durant’s mind was made up – Oakland was the destination and it has been weird to see Durant in a Warriors jersey ever since.

#6

Feb. 27 2016 – Warriors vs. Thunder, the game winner for the ages

The Warriors dominance was in full force when they met up with the Thunder for just the second time in the same month of February. The Thunder and Warriors games were 3 of the best games of last season because it served as a preview to the Western Conference finals. Our post-All Star hangover was met with possibly the best regular season game of last season as the Warriors and Thunder dueled it out all the way into overtime.

The game itself was back and forth the entire time, leading all the way up to the wire which is what we wish every NBA game was like as it brings the best out of players. In a crazy finish that saw Kevin Durant cough up a costly turnover leading to the fouling of Andre Igoudala who stepped up and hit 2 massive free-throws to send the game into OT. Overtime was once again a back and forth fight until Russell Westbrook had the ball in his hands as the final 20 seconds ran off the clock. Westbrook’s attack led him to a shot of hope as hit attempted to lay the ball up only to watch it bounce off the rim into the Warriors hands. With the rebound secured, the ball found Steph Curry who dribbled it just past half court with around 2 seconds remaining – the rest is history.

#5

The Dunk contest heard around the world

If as picture was a thousand words then this top 10 list wouldn’t be enough to even begin to describe the high level of entertainment that the Dunk Contest brought fans worldwide back in February this year. Everyone’s seen it by now, if you haven’t then I don’t know what to tell you other than you’ve missed out on one of the best Dunk Contest’s since the battle between Jordan and Dominique back in 1988.

For years the Dunk Contest was losing it’s “wow-factor” and was forever being compared to the last time it truly took the NBA world by storm in 2000 by Vince Carter and company. That was until this years past All-Star Weekend where the seemingly unchallenged Zach Lavine was met head-to-head by Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon. The 2 made it to the final round without much competition, but once they began their final dunks it quickly turned into a “anything you can do I can somehow do inhumane-video-game-style better”.

For a moment in time we were in the trance of some of the most amazing stretch of dunks that I personally have ever seen. The best part about all of it is that it was everything that encompasses the Dunk Contest – mind-blowing dunks, 2 or more competitors battling it out and dunks being completed in less than 3 attempts.

#4

Kobe’s Finale in LA

In 2016 believe it or not there was another attraction in the league not named the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers Kobe retirement tour of the United States kicked off early into the 2015-2016 season and didn’t stop for anybody. The Lakers became a travelling spectacle purely for fans to get a final glimpse of Bryant that in turn took the Laker’s focus completely off of basketball and just through them into a sideshow all season.

Regardless, all good things must come to an end and given Bryant’s track record, his final game of his career couldn’t have ended any better being at home and giving a performance that was only fitting for Kobe to exit on. Unbelievably, the Warriors make another return into 2016 storylines as Kobe’s last game happened to coincide with the night that the Warriors were going for their 73rd win against the Grizzlies. However, in true Kobe fashion he stole the show by dropping 60 points against the Utah Jazz in a close game and eventually winning that game to much of the delight of the fans in Staples that night. It was truly Bryant’s showcase of everything his career was in LA and his loyalty to the franchise has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest Laker’s in history.

#3

Move over Chicago, there’s a new record in town.

The questions that eventually surrounded the Warrior’s completing the feat that was 73 regular season wins is something that will haunt the franchise for years to come. However to most people it’s debatable that this had anything to do with how the Warrior’s playoff run eventually ended.

The Warriors started off the season going on a 24-0 run on the league and had the NBA media in a frenzy from there onwards as they scrambled to try and explain just how dominant the Warrior’s were being and if it was fair on the rest of the league. As the season went on the wins began to pile up, they had stats that would almost begin to guarantee wins – unbeaten at home, up by 15 at any point they win etc.

It was incredible to watch and with all the hypothetical 1996 Bulls vs 2016 Warriors match-ups aside it now etches them into the history books, for a record that was seemingly untouchable, the Warriors proved that basketball had changed and was in a new phase of how the game will be played for decades to come.

#2

The big 3’s big moment

By now i’m sure you can guess whats coming at #1, but before that could even happen there was a series of events that deserve their own top 10 spot. The big 3 of Cleveland came together for one reason and like a previous LeBron lead team in Miami the beginnings were not so smooth and their trip to the Finals was not how they wanted it to turn out with injuries being a big part of their failures.

So how do you bounce back from a year of criticism as a team as well as LeBron shouldering alot of the criticism as he likes to do? In a 7 game series with the Warriors it all built up to one of the great 5 minutes of basketball in NBA Finals history. What will forever be tagged as “The Block, The Shot, The Stop” marks one of the greatest achievements in Cavaliers history.

The Block was one of the defining moments in LeBron’s illustrious career as he sprinted from half court to deny Andre Igoudala a go ahead bucket for the Warriors. The Shot was Kyrie Irving’s arrival to the grand stage, in one of the most gutsy isolation situations with so much on the line, it was too much Uncle Drew to handle. Lastly, The Stop which remains as one of the most underrated defensive plays to this day. With Kevin Love switched on to Steph Curry it was a true hold-your-breath moment as Curry danced on Love with several dribble moves, something that all year resulted in bigger players having a 3 drilled right in their face. This time however, Kevin Love re-wrote the script and challenged Curry just enough.

#1

52 years

Capping off this list was the biggest moment of 2016 for obvious reasons, and with fandom aside, no mater which team you back it’s difficult not to admit that the 2016 NBA Finals was something special. A series that boasted some of the biggest storylines and history between 2 teams in just 2 years. A build up that almost didn’t happen.

If you’d like to really dive deep into the #1 moment of 2016 then I urge you to read the breakdown of just how important these storylines were.

What a year and hopefully 2017 will bring us just as many moments if not more.

Courtside Review: Week 3

Another great week of NBA action, some games we’ve picked out this week were definitely must-watch games if you have league pass available. Game of the week would have to be the Suns vs. Blazers, but honestly its hard to pick just one so enjoy our little breakdown of each of the weeks best games!

 

November 7th


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Warriors 116 – Pelicans 106


The winless Pelicans came into Oracle and shocked everyone to start Week 3  and did so on a night that saw the Warriors, specifically Steph Curry, etch their name in the history books.

On the back of another superstar performance from Anthony Davis, the Pels actually had their other starters give AD the support he needed. The Pelicans did quite well to stick with the Warriors for the better of 2 quarters and after dropping down 16 points at one point managed to cut that lead right down as the 3rd quarter concluded.

However, The Warriors had Steph Curry coming of an 0-10 night of 3pt shooting in LA and bounced back to go 13 from 17 and secure the best single game 3pt performance in NBA history. It was a show within itself as Curry was firing from deep even if the ball bounced off of Draymond’s leg, Curry dribbled through 2 defenders to get tot he 3pt line – you name it he did it.

Unfortunately for the Pelicans it was this night that Curry decided to be lights out from deep, otherwise its possible that New Orleans could have stolen this one.

 

November 8th


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Trailblazers 124 – Suns 121


The first time these 2 teams met, with the Suns win over the Blazers I awarded Bledsoe with the best performance for that game. With this game being the exact opposite and the Blazers pulling out the win in another close game, the Blazers CJ McCollum showed up and showed out with a huge 33 points as well as his partner in crime Lillard finishing with 38 points for another massive game for Dame.

Even with the Blazers win, I have seen 2 instances now that have shown me that Eric Bledsoe is one of the best 4th quarter players in the league as of this moment. Both times these teams have now met it has been Bledsoe who has brought the Suns either close to victory or sealed it for them. With the Suns down 8 with 4 minutes remaining, Bledsoe took it upon himself to score 15 points in the last 4 minutes of the 4th. That is the type of performance that shouldn’t be swept under the rug, but with so little coverage of all the NBA teams, these are the things that get lost in the NBA media cycle.

 

November 9th


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Clippers 111 – Trailblazers 80


Clippers, Clippers and more Clippers.

This year the LA shadow team for many years to the Lakers has taken command of the ship and look to be in better shape than ever to contend for a title this year. With this win over the Blazers improving the Clips to 7-1, it seems like things are nothing but up from here.

This game was dominated by the Clippers from start to finish taking an early 20+ lead and never letting go. It seems a little bizarre that we would discredit the Clippers for dropping that series to the Blazers last year, however now we know why. One major part of this was injuries and as we saw in this game, the Clippers were simply too much for a Blazers team that had an awful night scoring from their starters.

Now this could have a lot to do with the fact that the Blazers had just played in a slug fest with the Suns the night before, certainly it had to have played a factor. It seems highly unusual that you’ll see the Trailblazers starters each individually score under double figures.

 


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Warriors 116 – Mavericks 106


Injuries aren’t wished upon anybody in the NBA (unless you’re an opposing fan in an NBA Finals game perhaps) but in some cases injuries allow bench players to get some shine and prove their worth and sometimes surprise teams and coaches alike.

Dallas may have lost this game, but by no means were they playing with a whole roster especially while Dirk rehabs his Achilles injury. The Mavs were also without Wesley Mathews, Deron Williams and JJ Barea which for a more veteran type of team is something that is more likely to happen as the season goes on.

However, as stated before, this spawned an opportunity for Seth Curry who so far has bounced around from a few teams as of late. Seth had 10 points on the night but was also undertaking the assignment of guarding his brother Steph and by no means is that easy in itself and even harder when the other brother is trying to school you at any chance he gets.

On a night that celebrated the return of Barnes and Bogut its unfortunate that the Mavericks couldn’t have enough of the roster to compete, however if these 2 teams are to meet in the future with full rosters then perhaps the story might be different.

 

November 10th


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Bulls 98 – Heat 95


It’s kind of funny looking back at everything that went down with the Heat and Wade this past summer and thins game was a bit more added proof  that perhaps the move to Chicago was both good for Dwyane and the Heat. On the very surface of it all the Heat were clearly in a position where they wanted to begin a rebuild with the big 3 era evidently over and Wade didn’t feel like doing anymore favours for the Heat.

For Dwayne this move couldn’t have placed him in a better situation, this game specifically showed that even with Wade having an emotional game where stars usually make it a point to play very well. It was the Bulls who carried Wade to the victory on his return to Miami, and of course Wade had his moments but ultimately this game wasn’t really what most expected it to be. At this point I don’t think that it was Wade’s mission to return and drop a 30+ game to remind the fans what their missing as that damage was done as soon as he left.

Courtside Review: Week 2

Week 1 provided some great scoring performances and had us wondering who had entered this season with a new purpose. As we regathered ourselves from the opening week hangover, some teams dropped games while others started gaining some traction.

The second week of the NBA lead with the Golden State Warriors having an overwhelming week of games as well as media coverage that stayed at the forefront for most of the week. However, there were some other teams that deserved to be mentioned with some notable games that captured our attention.

November 1st



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Jazz – 106 | Spurs – 91


Just when you thought the Spurs looked to be ready to go on a run on the league, the Hayward-less Jazz stepped up to the plate and handed the Spurs their first loss and it just happened to be on San Antonio’s home floor.

By the end of the first quarter the Jazz had run up a 10+ point lead on the Spurs and didn’t look to be letting that go anytime soon. Utah gained the lead thanks in part to some very solid 3 point shooting, something that if the Jazz can find some consistency in will make them a threat as the 3 point shot becomes more and more valuable. The Spurs had a different idea as the second quarter started, dashing Utah’s lead of 15 at one point in such quick fashion that it had Patty Mills trying to break the hardwood with his towel.

The last 5 minutes was something that I hope the Jazz continue and should even increase their success once Hayward is included back into the starting line-up. It was their unselfishness and finding the best shot available, and making the shots they found. George Hill kicked it off for the Jazz and eventually with things going so well a Trey Lyles 3 pointer made an appearance. The execution that the Jazz displayed throughout this game looks very smooth for a team that has gained a few new addition, and it is because these additions of Hill and Johnson that they don’t need time to fit into the Utah system.



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Warriors – 127 | Blazers – 104


After a win over the Suns and Pelicans coming off of their embarrassing loss to the Spurs the Warriors had the Blazers in their sights as one of the better teams they’ll face this year.

This game had the expectations of a close game and as far as analysis goes, it was anything but that. The Dubs looked reasonably calm from the start and something that stole the show was the Warriors bench and a little bit of crazy Steph shooting. One player that stepped up for the Warriors was back-up point guard Ian Clark who dropped in 22 points from the bench and was seemingly everywhere for Golden State.

On the Blazers side of the ball, they just let the game slip too quickly, as they kept the game close for the most part of 3 quarters, by the time the 4th quarter started the Warriors had begun their margin of separation. One of the biggest “lightning in a bottle” moments was Blazers rookie Jake Layman who stepped into garbage time and dropped 5-7 from three and in just an 8 minute span tallied 17 points. So who is this Jake Layman guy!

November 2nd



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Suns – 118 | Blazers – 115


Taking my early vote for the best back and forth, bucket-trading game of the season was the Suns defending homecourt against a pissed off Blazers team who were coming off a loss at the hands of the super-team of Oakland.

It was quite a shock to see just how much better the Suns have been this year with a huge improvement from TJ Warren and guards Bledsoe and Knight. The team still seems to be finding offensive cohesiveness, but in the meantime they can still crush poor transition defensive teams, which caught the Blazers a few times here and there.

In a huge “monkey off my back” moment Brandon Knight threw down a momentum shifting dunk that may have slightly removed him from the NBA doghouse – but who are we kidding, even Brandon knows he’s never going to shake off the run of lowlights he accumulated over the last few years.

I was actually watching this game as it happened and the ending was so worth it, after PJ Tucker got gifted a trip to the line he missed his second free throw to win the game and couldn’t have set it up any better. I was anticipating a Dame Time moment – ok I’ll admit I had some money on the game – but nonetheless it was all set up for the moment.

Well that moment never came and as Lillard fumbled the ball the Suns went back to the other end producing a Bledsoe running banked layup. As I sank into my seat realising it was all too late the man named Meyers answered my prayers.

Overtime was a whole ‘nother beast and that beast was Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe contributed almost half of the OT point scoring and they were the most important 7 Phoenix could have asked for. The Suns have something cooking and what I once thought was a team full of guards, it seems now that the roles have been assigned and everyone knows what their role is on the team.

November 3rd



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Warriors – 122 | Thunder – 96


The game that everyone was waiting for in Week 2 arrived with no shortage of media coverage and speculation of what team would do what and who would shake whose hand.

Westbrook’s photography vest shade throwing aside, The Thunder entered the game hot with a 4 game winning streak with the only noticeable win over an oddly distracted Clipper team the previous night.

The game kicks off and the Thunder kick off with great energy getting a headstart on the Warriors by a few points here and there. Almost instantly the team was being questioned and Russ was being elected as the most energetic and hungry player on the floor. By the end of the first we actually had a game, a Jeremy Grant dunk on Durant and a block by Westbrook good enough for a Sportscenter top 10 highlight.

Their were 2 possibilities to how the Warriors came out for the second quarter – either somebody gave transcripts of the hot-takes being given across twitter and halftime shows or Kevin Durant made it his goal to destroy the Thunder’s chances and every other Warrior just followed in his footsteps. It seems that whatever it was Durant made it his mission to get the W before heading back to OKC where I’m at least hoping for a more fired up Thunder team.

November 4th



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Knicks- 117 | Bulls – 104


The Bulls hosted the Knicks in spectacular fashion as longtime Bulls Noah and Rose returned to the place that they managed to build back in 2010 but then struggled to maintain for the years following. That struggle was evident as the fans rained down on Rose as he was introduced with a mix of cheers and boo’s.

As for the game, Rose looked to be in his element, in fact, all the Knicks seemed to be playing extremely well almost as if they finally had a purpose to be competitive. It was exciting to hear Noah audibly screaming at every move to the hoop by his teammates which is something that him a Carlos Boozer should be reunited just to keep me entertained and locked into a Knicks game.

Honestly speaking, even with the loss the Knicks seemed to have the inability to stop Dwyane Wade as he got anywhere he wanted and showed off the type of shooting that will have you rubbing your eyes to make sure you’re not seeing someone else.

My biggest take away from this game – GIVE PORZINGIS THE BALL!. The Latvian phenom was everywhere and it’s crazy to see someone his size, with his skill set not being exploited more in the Knicks offense.



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Lakers – 117 | Warriors – 97


Before I even mention the game, we must take a second to acknowledge the Lakers throwback uniforms that they chose to bust out on the ESPN game night. The Lakers went all the way back on these ones and in a way I’d like to think it gave the young Laker team a little more juice that night.

Theres no analysis or detailed breakdown for this one unfortunately, but it had the feeling of a Warriors team that was starting to get rolling and a Laker team that was still getting things in place. I’m not sure what it is about Lakers games, but this is now the second time that the Warriors have been upset by a young and fairly inexperienced Laker.

A lot of Laker fans on twitter throughout the game were quick to appoint Luke Walton the “real coach of the Warriors” making jabs at Kerr during his time spent away from the team when Luke assumed the interim spot. Honestly, it was getting hard to argue the point after seeing the baby Lakers producing great ball movement, cutting, screening which were all things that we see the Warriors do to this day.

With all that said however, this was not the reason the Warriors lost this game.

The Dubs lost this game on multiple defensive lapses, poor rebounding and one giant shooting slump that plagued both Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. Thompson hasn’t really looked right to start the season, and this game was no different as the Warriors continued to try to find the 3 point shot but to no avail. The single slump was so bad that it broke Steph Curry’s streak of 3 point field goals in consecutive games of 157!

Call it what you want, perhaps the Lakers got a break and compounded that with great play and the Warriors simply had an off night. Either way everyone should panic as we watch the super-team go down in flames.

 

Courtside Review: NBA Week 1

It’s been incredibly easy to dig in and be consumed with some great NBA action this past week. Opening week can sometimes show the ugly side of professional basketball as teams come out of training camp and begin to get into the coveted “mid-season” form.

I’ve heard a few people say it but coming into this season it hasn’t been easy to forget what occurred just a few months back in June – and so far – becoming a faint cloud over this current NBA season.

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first week definitely triggered an onslaught of hot takes that only exist to drive conversation among the “sports talk” groups. However there were some things that stood out to us at the CC staff post-discussion before the season began.

October 25th



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Select any team to face the Cavaliers in the first game of the season and with the Knicks being scheduled it would seem they drew the short straw. From the first play however the Knicks appeared to have a tiny boost in their step as the newly acquired Derrick Rose drive to the hoop finishing with his signature gather-jump lay-up. As the game progressed the Knicks stayed relatively close to the Cavs right up until the 3rd quarter where the Knicks became the Knicks and the C’s rolled them over and into an eventual 29 point loss.

The game was a direct reflection of a team that stayed together for the majority and have entered the season in great condition physically and mentally. Physically the Cavs are not a question as long as LeBron is at the helm, but the mental advantage this team now has will more than likely land them right back into the NBA Finals for the 3rd straight season. The release for everybody on this roster made everything they’d been through as a group making their bond stronger than simply winning a championship together.



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Down in Oregon the team that was once a very promising payoff team is now a scary playoff team being lead by one of the most underrated players in the league. Coming off an All-Star worthy year last season, the Lillard lead Blazers are hungry for more.

It always amazes me how Blazers head coach Terry Stots constantly improves the offense around Lillard and McCollum. They run great PnR’s with Plumlee, Davis and Aminu who can also play dynamically and shoot from range. They always seem to get great energy from their shooters in Crabbe and Harkless who can deadly from doing the simple things while the defense is preoccupied with Lillard and McCollum.

On the other side, the Jazz are deserving of a playoff spot, and so far they seem to have a clear direction for how they want to attack this season. They’ve treated themselves to a good point guard in  George Hill who is more than capable of scoring but will also keep the ball moving. If you only saw the boxscore and thought that Joe Johnson’s 29 was a typo, you need to watch the second half of this game as the rebirth of Johnson seems to have engulfed him in Salt Lake City.

Utah was missing 3 of their key pieces in this game of Hayward, Favors and Burkes which could have been a factor in this game being a possible W for the Jazz. It’s clear they missed the offense these 3 can bring and will be something to re-visit once they do finally return to the starting line-up.



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I’ve finally given in to my hubris and still refuse to believe that #35 is actually Kevin Durant in a Warriors jersey. It’s become so bad that I find myself shaking my head in disbelief as soon as the Dubs take the floor… EVERYTIME!

Pre-season storyline, here we were with our first meaningful look at the Warriors and against who else but the San Antonio Spurs (thanks NBA schedule makers!).

The Warriors looked incredible during the pre-season but on their home floor on opening night that quickly turned into shaming from fan of the 31 other NBA teams. Everyone tuned in to see a great game which in almost no time at all turned into a thumping by the Spurs and ultimately making it one of the greatest games of the season so far.

The Warriors were met with an onslaught from both Kawhi Leonard and Lamarcus Aldridge along with some great contribution from gamer of the night Jonathan Simmons. The Spurs never once seemed to lose control of the game and the Warriors looked like they were still playing a pre-season game. * It’s only on game but…* the Spurs look ready to top the West and in the meantime continue to encourage Leonard to go after any award or achievement he damn well pleases.

October 26th



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On a bit of a hectic day of NBA action with 10 games being played, most casual fans would have been patiently waiting for the Rockets v Lakers game to begin. Well if that was you then you may have only found out later that this game was both amazing and awful.

The Nuggets are relatively the same this year and while they continue to build team chemistry and grow their young core they showed quite the fight against the Pelicans. The Nuggets survived one of the greatest stat lines in recent NBA history and did so as a team. The eye-popping figure that gave the Nuggets the W was their rebounding with 58 boards and 47 coming from the defensive side of the ball Denver was everywhere the Pelicans weren’t.

Alright, so the Pels lost the rebounding battle (eventually losing the game in the process) but they had one huge positive by the way of Anthony Davis. Davis has been injured for what seems like forever a this point, so much that it cost him millions in contract money. On the Pelicans opening night game however, Davis reminded the city and the league why we all jumped at the chance to crown him an MVP candidate just a season ago. With a 50Pt-15Rbd-5Stl statline he appeared to be unstoppable but none of that meant whole lot when only 2 other players on your entire roster cracked double figure points, 4 scored more than 2 points and 3 others scored 0.



houlal


When I saw this game on the schedule I didn’t need a second longer to decide if I was in wholeheartedly to see how this would play out.

First of all, I (Jordan) lead the charge against CC staffers Tom and Rob that James Harden would be my clear-cut MVP winner for this season, and after this game it wasn’t easy to argue. Although, with all that said, Harden’s MVP chances require he have nights like these against LA, putting up 30+ points and 10+ assists. Harden is quite capable of these accolades with his new supporting cast and they didn’t disappoint as new acquisitions Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon dropped 33 points combined.

The Lakers scoring scope was a lot wider than that of Houston’s – they shared the wealth and managed to keep up with the Rockets the whole 48 minutes. This game made it very difficult to gauge  both teams when they combine for 29 turnovers each and play the equivalent of an all-star game allowing 134 points combined in the first half!

It was for this reason however that this is my pick for most entertaining game of the week, and here’s hoping that for the Lakers fans they’ll continue to see Clarkson and Russell have these types of games more often.

October 27th



porlac


Theres 2 teams that the Blazers play every season that will continue to grab my attention and I don’t need to question if the game will be anything short of pure entertainment. Whenever the Clippers or Warriors roll into the Moda Center it almost always feels like a rivalry playoff game and the competition is always at its highest.

The Clippers are finally at full health to start another season and with some minor additions to the roster all systems appear to be good but whether or not that will last…. we’ll find out. CP3 and Blake gave the Clips huge games respectively, along with 15 a piece from Speights and Crawford to help give the Clippers the win. It appeared the Clippers were happy to let Damian Lillard try to win the game for the Blazers even when Harkless poured in 23 for Portland, and yet I feel like this was a big red flag for the Blazers.

Going forward, the Blazers won’t need to worry about Lillard’s offense as it will require guys like Harkless, Crabbe and Vonleh to provide the spark and scoring that will push this team higher up the Western Conference ladder and make them even more of a threat than past seasons.

 

October 28th



torcav


This was amongst the many games played over the first weekend in the league and while its still early in the season the Raptors have a lot to prove this season. This rematch with the Cavs was a good way to kick off the Raps season and it didn’t disappoint.

DeRozan looks to be in a new mode coming into this season and if it remains consistent then not only will his contract seem reasonable, but would likely get the Raptors back in the Eastern Conference Finals. In a game that the Raptors could have won, the Cavs were too much from outside and what they gave the Raptors inside the paint – much like any Warriors statistic – the 3pt shot will do more damage.