By Cameron Heffernan
We take a look at the second-round landscape, as well as other stories around the Association.
After a weekend that saw five game-7s, a game-winning three and a game-winning block. It’s safe to say that these are hands down, the most entertaining NBA playoffs. Ever. There have been 13 of the 16 total series decided by 3 points or less, a total of 126 minutes in “clutch time” according to the Elias Sports Bureau, and a bevy of over-the-top plays, like Blake Griffin’s acrobatic 360-degree layup and-one that all but sealed it for the Clippers.
Let us run through the action and information:
1. Kevin McHale, supposedly, is to keep his job:
After what was an amazing game-winning three with .9-seconds left for Damian Lillard, you assumed that McHale would be on his way out the door in Houston. According to reports from ESPN on Sunday, this is not the case. Surprisingly enough, they hope to give him another year with Howard and Harden (And Lin?). We’ll see how this plays out next year, seeing as Houston is on an extended vacation due to the antics of one, Damian Lillard.
2. Damian Lillard is a BEAST:
He hit this sweet game-winner with .9-seconds left in a do-or-die game six. ‘Nuff said.
3. Maybe it’s about time we lay off Dwight and start asking about Harden?:
It came down to .9-seconds. That’s all the Rockets had to get through to force a game seven. As you see in the section above, they didn’t make it. Afterwards, even though he put up 26 points and 11 rebounds, the 34 that Harden put up seem to put him the the clear.
Yes, Harden scores a lot, and the guy has great handle and awareness with court vision and all that cliche’d mumbo-jumbo. We ask the hard hitting questions here, though. All we’re saying, is yes, it’s great that Harden scores 30-or-so any given night, but he doesn’t play defense. And I don’t mean, “oh, he’s like Kobe and gambles way to much with trying to jump passing lanes.” No, I mean, if you drive on Harden, there’s a 100% chance he’ll let you blow by him. This was why Dwight was wrecked by the end of this series. He’s literally on an island by himself, attempting to defend ever player that the league’s worst perimeter defense allows through. Imagine you’re a cat, but not just any cat, a cat trained to stop mice from getting in the house you protect (imagine you’re a family with mice problem too). Now, say there’s an endless supply of mice just driving in towards this house all the damn time, cause there’s no outside protection. Granted inside the house, you protect, but outside, where the problem is coming from, there’s no one there. And you’re left to wallow with no help and all the mice in the world freely coming into your house. That’s what Dwight Howard has had to deal with with every team he’s been on.
4. Game 7’s galore:
On Saturday we saw the Thunder take game 7 at home in domination fashion, against a Z-Bo-less Griz team, that for sure will be a contender next year. This was rather unfortunate, cause the hater part in me wanted the announcement of Durant most likely winning the MVP to fall on the same day he was eliminated by a seven-seed. We saw the Clippers overcome all adversity and put a kabosh on the Warriors season (as well as maybe Mark Jackson’s coaching career.). And we saw the Pacers get their shit together to take out the eighth seeded Hawks. Sunday saw the Spurs trounce the Mavericks and the Nets win on a blocked shot by Paul Pierce on Kyle Lowry. Drake cried on the sidelines. But don’t worry, they were already home. (It may take a bit, but that’s a play on Drake’s song “Hold On, We’re Going Home”.
5. The Clipper Mess:
We won’t dwell, we just would like to share this: In an interview with Barbara Walters, V. Stiviano said this about Sterling, “I know he’s not a racist in my heart.” Sterling made comments too which were not as endearing: “I wish I had just paid her off.” – Donald Sterling, not going down quietly.