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SBM Sports: The Four Headlines From the NBA Playoffs So Far

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Duncan is surprised

With baseball season still in its infancy, and Tiger winning only a non-major this weekend, the sports world still revolves around the NBA playoffs (apologies to hockey fans out there). There’s been a lot to watch, with games on just about every day. Here are the four things that have made the biggest impact on me thus far:

Animated .gifs

Besides p0rn, these are really the reason the internet and Twitter exist. A constant source of gold during the playoffs, even the NBA has taken part with their “Rapid Replays.” Shout out to @jose3030 and @sbnationgif for sharing these 6-8 minutes after they happen as well. Some of the Playoffs’ Greatest Hits so far:

Nazr Mohammed: King SlayerLink.

First of all, who knew Nazr was still in the league? Secondly, how do you say his name? NA-zur? NA-zee? Na-ZEER? I have no idea.

Joakim Noah: Your favorite troll’s favorite trollLink.

As Chris Bosh screams at Mario Chalmers, Noah comes in with an epic troll job. Not content to just clap, Noah turns it up with a scream hoping to draw someone’s attention. You have mine, Joakim, well done.

Kevin Durant doing things 7-footers shouldn’t doLink.

Seriously. Remember that 6’7 guy who made the high school basketball team just because he was tall? I’m sure we all thought we’d be doing stuff like this if we had that height. I know I did. The truth is, no one really can, which is one reason why Durant is incredible.

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Kendrick Perkins being Kendrick PerkinsLink.

Smh. At some point, Scott Brooks will realize Perkins is trash.

Stephen Curry’s Third Quarters –

…and by extension, Oracle Arena and the Golden State Warriors surpassing all of my expectations. Curry grabbed everyone’s attention when he led Davidson to the Elite Eight behind some truly amazing performances. While most moved on to the next Story of the Day, Curry stayed an extra year in college to sharpen himself into an NBA-caliber point guard. He more than doubled his assist totals and pushed his points per game total to 28.6. The Minnesota Timberwolves were unimpressed. They selected two point guards just ahead of Curry, one of which is now playing in Australia. Sonya Curry

In these playoffs, Curry has recaptured some of that Davidson magic. Despite being slowed by (another) sprained ankle, he’s led a balanced attack against the favored San Antonio Spurs. For whatever reason, his best has come in the third quarter. He’s averaging over 12 points(!), including 60+% from three-point range(!!!!!) in just the third quarter through the playoffs. Here’s one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AErklVhOjS8. Peep the bench reactions at 1:53 and 3:36. I have no idea why this is happening. I just want to see more of it.

Plus, his mom looks like Thandie Newton.

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New York Knick Fans –

Who went from “We’re gonna beat Miami!” to “If JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudamire, Tyson Chandler can get it together, we have a shot.” Big drop off. Bad job out of you guys.

In truth, the Knicks face a tough matchup in the Indiana Pacers just as the hot shooting that they took into the playoffs cooled off. You can’t ignore the fact that Chandler’s hurt, and Smith is sick. But who is 100% healthy this late into the season (besides Derrick Rose of course)? For Knick fans’ sake, I hope Kidd learns how to shoot again (0 points in his last seven games) and coach Mike Woodson finds a productive rotation. Otherwise we’re right back where we were with the Knicks and their fans: a season that gave us plenty to discuss and no title contention.

Old Guys –

Several veterans have made an impact this postseason, not always positively. While Nazr Mohammed reminded us he was alive, Rip Hamilton remains duct taped to the bench despite injuries to just about everyone else on the roster. It hurts to clown a former Detroit Piston, but we can officially rename him R.I.P. Hamilton. We’ll always have the ’04 championship.

Derek Fisher has given the Thunder some productive minutes in the absence of Russell Westbrook. Although the team overall doesn’t appear to have enough to overcome the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Tim Duncan looks like 2005 Tim Duncan. He had a productive season, but I figured his production would fade once May rolled around. Instead, he, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili have kept the Spurs in their tough series with Golden State. dwyane-wade1

Most notably, Dwyane Wade is showing his mortality. Great players never become bad per se. They just cease to be great. This happened in Boston as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce’s best couldn’t be sustained over long stretches. Neither played badly, they just needed a little more rest, a little more time to get going, and their “great” performances started to look like the “normal” ones of just a few years ago.

After Wade’s listless performance in Game 3 against Chicago, I started to wonder if we were seeing the same progression. Wade chalked it up to picking his spots in the flow of the game. But since when does the game come to a player like him? It’s easy to take a backseat when LeBron James and Chris Bosh are leading the team to victory, but Wade was conspicuously absent during the entire game. This series with a decimated Bulls team shouldn’t be close. Hopefully Wade makes me eat these words in Game 4 Monday night.

That’s what I’ve had my eye on so far in the playoffs, what about you? What’s stood out? Hit the comments below!

Comment(22)

  1. Yo Joe, the GIFS are hillarious!!! Nothing really has stood out except the fact that Golden State is truely balling!!! I have definitely been impressed. Other than that, MIA is the TRUTH like I said at the beginning of the year.

    1. It doesn't seem like Miami has really had to be dominant yet. They aren't getting consistent great performances out of anyone except LeBron. I hope Indy can push them just so we can see more interesting ball out East.

      1. I agree and I think Indy will push MIA somewhat, but let's be real, no one is competing with them boys down in Miami….

  2. What's happening in the east is a lil bit boring, I don't know where the Bulls from game 1 are; they sucked yesterday! And Miami is gonna win the serie. Even if Wade isn't consistent… About the Knicks… You said it all -_-'!
    So really it's all about the western conference for me, and especially watching the Warriors… They are impressive, and entertaining. When they play at home, to use TP's words "You don't wanna let them make that 3's, the arena will go crazy".
    And OKC… hum hum hum… Looks like they are missing Westbroke badly… Hum hum hum!!!

    1. I think the Bulls from games 2, 3, and 4 are closer to the REAL Bulls. They are missing three starters, and have injuries. This series should have been a sweep. I think taking one game is a compliment to Chicago's toughness. They took that toughness a little overboard in the next three games though, lol.

      This OKC series shows just how valuable Westbrook is. He's taken a lot of heat, but people are now seeing his worth. Nobody else on the team can step up to a championship level. I think OKC's biggest problem is the coach though. They need to replace Brooks.

      1. Lol if the team was healthier, Miami would have had more troubles… It's a shame, -_-'!

        I used to say that Westbroke needs to calm down, It's Durant's team… Well -_-'!… I'm sure Westbroke is happy they are not doing so well without him, his ego is that big. I agree about the coach!

  3. I think the Heat from Game 1 are closer to the real Heat. It's a damn shame what's happened to the Bulls. I ain't even a Chicago fan and that stings. They're trying to win without their whole team. I know that feeling very well.

    I actually don't think the Warriors will beat the Spurs, but that's a great series to watch.

    Looking like Pacers vs. Heat again… and if the Pacers face the Grizz in the Finals no one will watch. Expect Stern to have some things to say about this.

    1. I heard a good point about the Bulls/Heat series. The host was basically saying that the Bulls have forced the Heat to beat them in the most uncomfortable way possible. That would be with Norris Cole 3's and as few free throws as possible. Chicago just isn't in a position to take advantage given all their injuries.

      If Indy can do the same: keep Miami out of the lane and force the ball to non-Big-3 shooters, that's their best shot. They'll still need Hibbert to be dominant down low and Paul George to be at his best. I don't know if the Heat aren't that great, or if they just haven't had to be. It's now obvious Chicago can't bring that out of them though.

      I do know Indy/Memphis will draw ratings on par with the Crossfit Games on ESPN. Can't wait to see the conspiracy theorists come out if some calls go against Indy in the ECF.

      1. Eh…sounds good in theory…those are some pretty large "ifs". Even if Indiana is rather successful in doing that I'm still trying to figure out how they get enough offense to counter Miami's tough D.

        I think many people seem to overlook the fact that Miami isn't exactly real easy to score against. They're a very solid defensive team in their own right. Even if you can slow the big 3 down and make role players beat you how the heck are you going to be able to score against them when their star players are locking down YOUR stars? No one seems to be able to answer this or even bother bringing it up. I find this interesting.

        1. Well, I only said 'that's their best shot,' NOT that it would be the ticket to beating El Heat, lol. The whole case around beating Miami is a big IF. That's why their other needs are offensive. Herding Miami into the most beneficial shots is one thing, scoring enough for it to matter is a different story.

    2. "I think the Heat from Game 1 are closer to the real Heat."

      lmaooo….you're going to ride this whole, "The Heat won't win it all, they're not really that good" thing all the way out until when (if) they lose, huh? Then when and if they do lose it'll be, "see! I told you so!" lol.

      To me (at least back in his prime) this has a whole "Tiger vs. the Field" feel to it. Sure we all know Tiger's the best golfer in the world, but it's very possible he won't win every tournament he enters. The Heat being Tiger in this analogy. Sure there are a couple other teams capable of beating the Heat, but it doesn't negate the fact that the Heat have the best odds to win and most folks wouldn't bet against them…same way many didnt bet against Tiger in his hay day.

  4. What's stood out for me? The variation in my blood pressure while watching or reading about the Knicks. I'm no sports guru, but watching Melo or JR stand there dribbling does something to my overall health. I'm having trouble understanding why they don't get it. Trust? And with the way they're playing, I don't see them getting past Miami. If that turns out to be the case…

    I just want whoever will give Miami the most problems to make the finals.lol I don't see that being Golden State. I don't know that I even see that out of the Grizzlies, though they are more rugged…which may just mean more free throws for Lebron.
    My recent post Four Reasons You Keep Getting Rejected For Jobs

    1. Yeah, as a non-Knick fan with a pro-Knicks timeline, yall are hilarious. Such a range of emotions on my Twitter! Looking forward to more emoting tonight. Good luck to your boys, lol.

      I don't think the Warriors are coming out of the West. They are too shaky in the clutch. Plus Curry hurt his ankles for the 100th time. Seems like Memphis is best equipped to give Miami trouble. But the Heat are like 43-2 in their last 45 games. Looking like a repeat…no matter how much Dr. J wants to disagree.

  5. "Who went from “We’re gonna beat Miami!” to “If JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudamire, Tyson Chandler can get it together, we have a shot.” Big drop off. Bad job out of you guys."

    Lmaooo!

  6. I think the thing that is going to stand out to me is parity after this round.

    Whoever makes it out of the ECF and WCF won't be much of an upset or surprise to me.

    Sure the Heat have the best odds and best talent at the top, but in a defensive series with a Pacer team or a Knick team they can easily be pushed to the brink.

    Out west with MEM playing overly well and Golden State not backing down from any adversity I can see any of the teams out west in the Finals, too.

    Sure there are favorites, but none so clear cut I'd bet the farm on. Put a gun to my head of course I'll say the Heat. Sole reason being, and I said this before, there are more reasons I can think of for why they can win and less reasons for how they can lose than any other team remaining.

    1. Knicks are pushing Miami to 5 at this rate. Indy is more intruiging at this point IMO. My only point of contention.

  7. I was saying last night that for the first time in a while I’m not overly excited. Trolling Knicks fans is amusing but that’s about it. Not just saying this as a bitter fan but the Heat are just meh, LeBron is great but I’m waiting for that this dude is unreal game. All the stars are hurt (which should make Stern have a yolo decree to shorten the season), and the best team to watch (Warriors) play in the most inconvenient timezone.

    1. Yeah, like I kinda hinted at above, the Heat haven't really been pushed thus far. They are probably the best team to watch when they are going, and so far it's been weak out East.

      The best benefit of moving to Chicago is Central time. Saving that hour helps a lot when games go to the wire out west.

  8. I understand it's a match up thing when it comes to the knicks/pacers. Indy is bigger, more rugged, and healthier than the Celtics were. Problem is JR smith and 'melo have to get their heads out of their a$$es with this one on one isolation garbage. In game 4 last night they took a combined 45 shots and had 1 assist between the two. That's what separates him from guys like LBJ, shoot even pierce for that matter (as much crap as he's gotten) I'll say this Stern is not going to like or want a spurs/grizzlies series in the WCF that's for sure. In 10 games he has a measly 17 assists, in 9 games Smith has 10 assists with 390 shots combined between the two.
    My recent post Tell Me He Didn’t Just Do That!…Unspoken Rules Men Should Follow

    1. Man…those numbers are harsh. Sheesh. It's just as funny that Kidd has forgotten how to score. I wonder if he's making shots in warm ups these days.

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