With Game 2 between Oklahoma City and Golden State Warriors coming on TNT in a few hours I couldn’t help but realize that this will be one of those high scoring, ankle breaking, dunk a thon type of series. Those days of an 85-82 games in the playoffs are over with respect to this Golden State and Oklahoma City series. Besides having 3 of the top 5 in the NBA if you want to reach 5 out of the top 20 players in the NBA on one floor shooting one ball vying for a chance to represent the Western Conference for the almighty Chip there are other storylines that will propel this series to all-time great level.
The battle of the point guards will be a constant reminder throughout the series as you have 1A and 1B with Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook battling for point guard supremacy. If this was a Game of Thrones parody would Curry be Khalessi because when he gets on fire watch out and would Russell be Ramsey Bolton because when he wants to ball out and do something crazy that makes you say wow look no further. Is there a boat battling the Midwestern winds of Cleveland saying what about me, it’s me Kyrie. I wish Steph and Russell would defend each other but I already know Klay Thompson would be defending Russell more than Steph but expect ridiculous numbers for both Steph and Russell. During their regular season matchup, Curry average 35 points a game while shooting 45 percent from three whereas Russell averaged 26 and 11. Needless to say they are about to get busy. I predict Curry will average close to 40 and shoot about 42 percent from three while Russell will have 4 triple doubles because in my heart of hearts I have this series going 7.
We watch a NBA that features many the players playing the 1 2 and 3 with some sprinkles of the big men especially when you talk about DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins or Andre Drummond. Despite the firepower that both teams present in the backcourt it will be rebounding that will prove to be pivotal in the success of the winning team. For example, if OKC get 5 more offensive rebounds than Golden State that could easily generate 15 extra points and vice versa. I see OKC with the rebounding advantage because they can rotate three big men in Adams, Ibaka and Kanter. Kanter may win you mustache of the year as well as get you some offensive rebounds. He’s averaging about 4 to 5 offensive rebounds a game and that can bring in huge dividends as this series goes on.
The X-factors in my opinion for both teams are Draymond Green and Serge Ibaka. They are both big men who can score whether it’s inside or outside. They can get rebounds and create a defensive impact which could swing momentum in either team’s direction. Draymond is teetering on superstar status and a good series can only cement his legacy. A bad series from Ibaka will have the OKC brass second guessing their decision to get rid of James Harden in order to keep him. I just hope if Ibaka misses his three point attempts that he goes back to the basics and go inside and generate points that way because if he can create foul trouble on Green then that could change the complexity of this series.
Let’s face it Golden State will go down in the record books as one of the greatest regular season teams in history. I mean you broke the wins record, three point record and you have the MVP 2 years in a row. With your backup coach you started 24-0. You hit me more threes than the average coworker would hit using paper trash and the only thing that would make this complete would be a championship. If they don’t win the championship is this an epic failure. As the Old Spice commercial goes, “anything less would be uncivilized”. I recommend they do an ESPN 30 for 30 and have Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy narrate it.
Hov said it best: “Nobody built like you…you design yourself” and if that doesn’t refer to Russell Westbrook then I don’t know what does. Russell Westbrook only competition is himself. Some games he’ll shoot 40% for the field and other games it’s in the 20% range. It’s like he started off on the rookie level in 2K and by the 4th quarter it went to Hall of Fame and then it was like “oh shit this is harder than I thought”. When his jump shot is flowing he is unfuckwitable; however when it’s off and he’s trying to get it back on track it begins to stagnant the OKC offense and make Durant do more work to keep them in the game. This has to be proven over the course of his career but dammit if I had to start a team and I had the 2nd pick in the fantasy draft I’m taking Russell. The better Westbrook utilizes his driving ability the better OKC runs and that’s a scary thought because I haven’t even talked about Durant yet.
Steph Curry has garnered a lot of criticism as of late because quite frankly he’s better than what 2K can make him and he might be the next guy to be inducted into the illuminati. I know Steph put in the work in and has earned all of his accomplishments but his latest accomplishment of MVP with a unanimous vote has had all the sports radio, barber shops and GroupMe groups discussing what is valuable. Why him as unanimous and not MJ or Kobe or Shaq or anyone else that has dominated the league. So every game Steph Curry has a target on his back and part of me wants him to battle the Cavs again just because LeBron has thrown some shade toward the young man and that battle would be epic. It would be the NBA equivalent of the new Captain America movie so pick a side. Even with 2 MVP’s Steph will have to prove to any doubters why he was the MVP again.
I want this series to go 7 games and I pray that it does and to be honest I want to see the upset where OKC wins this series. Would it really be an upset though…? I guess if you ask someone in Vegas? But this will be an entertaining barring any silly shit and I’m just glad I paid the cable bill this month.