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2015 NBA Playoffs

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  • New Thread for offseason

    New thread is up for the offseason and the draft with 10 days left until draft day. Please keep this thread for playoff talk only




  • Possibly written my last 2 articles on the NBA, Pundit Arena head honcho has been in touch to let me know they are discontinuing their coverage due to lack of interest. It is disappointing, but I was delighted with the opportunity PA provided me. I've enjoyed it, thanks to any on here who may have read some of my ramblings.
    I had to fight to get my last 2 articles published, I had them written before I was informed of the decision, so would appreciate anyone and all who give them a look.

    The first is a in depth look at game 4, and how The Warriors have managed to wrestle back momentum in this series. Includes some interesting stuff on JR Smith's career.. http://www.punditarena.com/basketball/comahony/nba-finals-game-4-deep-dive-game-won-lost/

    Second is a lighthearted look at the many weird moments in game 4.http://www.punditarena.com/basketball/comahony/nba-finals-weirdest-moments-far/
    It's quite obvious the editors decided not to even bother their arses doing a quick edit, so apologies for some errors in syntax.




  • This could turn into a fantastic game if JR keeps this level of play up!




  • Story so far has been Cavs protecting the paint without Mozgov, thanks to J.R. Smith & James Jones. Haha




  • So we are a quarter and a half in and LeBron's statline is already insane, 17-7-6. No you didn't misread that. He has been super efficient also.


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  • it's getting to a point where LeBron is almost certainly going to get finals MVP regardless of outcome of the series. Winning this with Kyrie and Love out and with JR Smith and Delly as the top supporting cast would be amongst the greatest acts of carrying a team seen in the playoffs.

    Edit: He has 20-8-8 at the half and we're not exactly blown away by it, says it all really.




  • Yeah LeBron is lighting up the stats but it will all count for zero if they don't win and that looks likely now in either 6 or 7. I've said all along that I suspect GS are quite happy to let him do so as long as they win and I think they'll continue to do so for whatever remains of the series. He had 34 shots last night, that's a huge load to carry consistently. I'd not be surprised at all to see GS win on Tuesday in Cleveland and end the misery then.




  • it's getting to a point where LeBron is almost certainly going to get finals MVP regardless of outcome of the series. Winning this with Kyrie and Love out and with JR Smith and Delly as the top supporting cast would be amongst the greatest acts of carrying a team seen in the playoffs.

    Edit: He has 20-8-8 at the half and we're not exactly blown away by it, says it all really.

    Curry should get it if Warriors win. Don't really see how a losing team would have their player get it, no matter how good he's playing.




  • titan18 wrote: »
    Don't really see how a losing team would have their player get it, no matter how good he's playing.

    Why not? It's the most valuable player of the series, cavs without lebron <<<< warriors without curry




  • titan18 wrote: »
    Curry should get it if Warriors win. Don't really see how a losing team would have their player get it, no matter how good he's playing.

    Because he's been by far the best player in the series and it's not even close he's having possibly the greatest finals ever I can't see how he Dosent get it


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  • From memory I think it's only once gone to a player on the losing team (Jerry West) but even that may be wrong. This is the US, it's all about the winners. If GS win (as I think they will) it'll go to a GS player.




  • Thoughts on game 5...

    - Good game, Curry's best game of the series, great in the 4th quarter.

    - The Cavs countered Golden State's small lineup with going small themselves, and taking Mozgov out. Seemed to work well for the most part.

    - David Blatt has had a good playoffs, both with that adjustment, and the defensive performance over the 5 games. Listening to Doug Thonus' podcast last night and he speculated if the Cavs' improvements on defense, and the absence of Irving & Love wasn't totally coincidental.

    - Dellavedova's a dirty *****. Did a move on Draymond Green where he hooked his arm and dragged it hard to the ground. I thought it should've been a flagrant-2 and ejection. No place in the game for that, intentional, potential to cause injury. If you're going do things like that, you shouldn't be on the court.

    - I liked Jeff van Gundy's admonition of Mark Jackson when he began to compare Lebron playing at the 5 in the small lineup to Magic starting at centre in the 1980 finals. As soon as he started, van Gundy started shouting 'DON'T DO THAT! DON'T DO THAT!'. He was right, totally different starting at centre against a traditional starting lineup to playing against the Golden State small-ball lineup. Jackson tried to persist, but van Gundy kept repeating 'DON'T DO THAT'. Eventually Jackson saw sense and backed down.

    - Pity Klay Thompson isn't playing in these finals, the Warriors could do with someone like that. (Didn't he get a max contract?)

    - I thought Igoudala might be a candidate for Finals MVP, although missing all the free throws last night probably didn't help him.

    - Anyway, it was all about Curry last night...





  • Yeah LeBron is lighting up the stats but it will all count for zero if they don't win and that looks likely now in either 6 or 7. I've said all along that I suspect GS are quite happy to let him do so as long as they win and I think they'll continue to do so for whatever remains of the series. He had 34 shots last night, that's a huge load to carry consistently. I'd not be surprised at all to see GS win on Tuesday in Cleveland and end the misery then.

    LeBron is shouldering an unbelievable load but I would be slow to criticise him about taking 34 shots. This is the weakest team, man for man, to make a Finals in years. The fact that they have won 2 games, and came within a hair of winning game 1 is an outstanding achievement on it's own. There is no consistent offense outside of LeBron, J.R might get hot for a half like he did last night, but he didn't score in the 2nd half. Thompson gets you some putbacks off offensive rebounds.

    Mozgov was totally nullified by simply doubling him on the entry pass into the post. Zach Lowe had flagged it coming in that Mozgov is a poor passer out of the post and panics when surrounded with defenders. He is a nice player, has a working midrange game and a soft touch around the rim. In game 4 he saw Draymond Green who is 6 foot 7 and on single coverage was able to just back into him turn around and score. Same for when Lee guarded him, Lee is taller but notoriously poor defensively. But he isn't at a level where he can get the ball and coolly find the man left open due to the double team on him. He turned over the ball 3 times in a row early, and consequently sat for most of the rest of the game.
    Shump might hit a 3 here and there, but he is on the court primarily to defend.
    Delly is not a good offensive player, he had a crazy game 3 but that was a one off. His handle is shaky for a point guard, he struggles when he sees a second defender on pick and rolls. His defense on Curry has been vital, but really all you want him to do on offense is shoot the 3 when open or else pass the ball. He throws the ugliest lob passes I have ever seen, and isn't good at kicking out the open guy on the perimeter when driving. Last night I saw a stat which said Delly has 15 baskets and 13 turnovers in this series.
    Jones might hit an open 3, but has gone scoreless in 2 games already. The Cavs only play 7 players, Miller saw about 3 mins last night.

    The Cavs have become a great team because of their defense. That has come about because their 2 weakest players defensively have been injured, Love and Irving. Ofcourse they would prefer to have Love and Irving out their, and the Cavs offense has struggled mightily without them, but the defense has been off the charts in their absence. I would still take having Love and Irving out their and having the d take a hit because of what they give you in offensive production, but flair play to Thompson, Shumpert etc who have been huge defensively.
    Many NBA analysts see their offense and instantly pan them. They forget that the important stat is not how many points you can put up, it is points differential. So if you have an elite defense and a passable offense you can do well. Similarly, when The Mavs won in 2011 they had great offense, but the defense was only just above average, with Tyson Chandler carrying them on that end. The games The Cavs have won this series, they held the Warriors to under 100 points, while they didn't crack 100 themselves in either of those games.




  • buyer95 wrote: »
    LeBron is shouldering an unbelievable load but I would be slow to criticise him about taking 34 shots. This is the weakest team, man for man, to make a Finals in years. The fact that they have won 2 games, and came within a hair of winning game 1 is an outstanding achievement on it's own. There is no consistent offense outside of LeBron, J.R might get hot for a half like he did last night, but he didn't score in the 2nd half. Thompson gets you some putbacks off offensive rebounds.

    Mozgov was totally nullified by simply doubling him on the entry pass into the post. Zach Lowe had flagged it coming in that Mozgov is a poor passer out of the post and panics when surrounded with defenders. He is a nice player, has a working midrange game and a soft touch around the rim. In game 4 he saw Draymond Green who is 6 foot 7 and on single coverage was able to just back into him turn around and score. Same for when Lee guarded him, Lee is taller but notoriously poor defensively. But he isn't at a level where he can get the ball and coolly find the man left open due to the double team on him. He turned over the ball 3 times in a row early, and consequently sat for most of the rest of the game.
    Shump might hit a 3 here and there, but he is on the court primarily to defend.
    Delly is not a good offensive player, he had a crazy game 3 but that was a one off. His handle is shaky for a point guard, he struggles when he sees a second defender on pick and rolls. His defense on Curry has been vital, but really all you want him to do on offense is shoot the 3 when open or else pass the ball. He throws the ugliest lob passes I have ever seen, and isn't good at kicking out the open guy on the perimeter when driving. Last night I saw a stat which said Delly has 15 baskets and 13 turnovers in this series.
    Jones might hit an open 3, but has gone scoreless in 2 games already. The Cavs only play 7 players, Miller saw about 3 mins last night.

    The Cavs have become a great team because of their defense. That has come about because their 2 weakest players defensively have been injured, Love and Irving. Ofcourse they would prefer to have Love and Irving out their, and the Cavs offense has struggled mightily without them, but the defense has been off the charts in their absence. I would still take having Love and Irving out their and having the d take a hit because of what they give you in offensive production, but flair play to Thompson, Shumpert etc who have been huge defensively.
    Many NBA analysts see their offense and instantly pan them. They forget that the important stat is not how many points you can put up, it is points differential. So if you have an elite defense and a passable offense you can do well. Similarly, when The Mavs won in 2011 they had great offense, but the defense was only just above average, with Tyson Chandler carrying them on that end. The games The Cavs have won this series, they held the Warriors to under 100 points, while they didn't crack 100 themselves in either of those games.

    Not disagreeing with anything you wrote there, which again backs up the "let LeBron get whatever he wants and wait for the rest of the Cavs to beat you" logic I've had with this series. If I was GS that's what I'd do. Hell, get 60 a game for all I care as I know if you do the rest of the team ain't doing enough to win. GS are just too deep and too good a TEAM to let one guy beat them on his own, and in fairness to Kerr and the coaching crew, they understand this. I do think they got a little stage fright early in the series (understandable really as it's the first Finals for the team) but now they're in a groove and rolling.

    I'll write more about this in the morning (going to bed now) but it's deeper than LeBron taking 34 shots - it's the kind of shots he has to take. There's too many iso-plays where he has to do all the work from set up to shot. He's not getting easy fast break lay-ups (dunks) or easy open jumpers coming off a screen - he's having to work for everything. And in a funny way, he's part of the problem on this (more on this tomorrow). If you're Blatt, you don't want him taking 34 shots, you want better distribution across the team, but the reality is no-one is stepping up.




  • An unbelievable effort by Lebron again last night, he is really out of this world at the moment. If they go back to Cleveland and win then this could come down to who has the biggest balls and to be fair I wouldn't want to back against Lebron then. Golden State are by far the better team the fact it's gone to 6 games is singularly down to Lebron, a remarkable MVP performance over the series win or lose in my opinion.

    GS do seem to have figured out a way to win though and it seems a long time ago that the Cavs led 2-1. All in all it has been a great playoffs with lots of great series and thoroughly enjoyable match ups.




  • I think Blatt should roll the dice and give Shawn Marrion some minutes in what will be his last ever NBA game. He is washed up, but Marrior in 3-4 minutes spurts might be able to slash and drive to the ring. The Cavs offense struggles to such an extent that they need to try something. They only go 7 deep, and with Shump hurting his groin in the last game I think they need to give the likes of Marrion and Miller a look tonight. If they crash and burn Blatt can just yank them, it's win win.

    The news that Scott Foster is lead official tonight does not bode well for anyone who is hoping that we see a game 7. I saw Hardwood Paroxysm(a great follow on Twitter) tweet that the away team is 11-1 when he officiates. Expect LeBron not to get many calls tonight.




  • buyer95 wrote: »
    I think Blatt should roll the dice and give Shawn Marrion some minutes in what will be his last ever NBA game. He is washed up, but Marrior in 3-4 minutes spurts might be able to slash and drive to the ring. The Cavs offense struggles to such an extent that they need to try something. They only go 7 deep, and with Shump hurting his groin in the last game I think they need to give the likes of Marrion and Miller a look tonight. If they crash and burn Blatt can just yank them, it's win win.

    The news that Scott Foster is lead official tonight does not bode well for anyone who is hoping that we see a game 7. I saw Hardwood Paroxysm(a great follow on Twitter) tweet that the away team is 11-1 when he officiates. Expect LeBron not to get many calls tonight.

    Expect him to get injured in the warm up and Joey Crawford to step in and eject Curry in the first minute for dribbling the ball.




  • I think the Warriors are going to close it out tonight. Interesting bit I picked up from the Dunc'd On podcast....Kerr anticipated the Cavs going to Mozgov down low early in game 5 to try and punish the small-ball lineup. Kerr had his guys prepped, and they doubled Mozgov straight away (probably for the first time in his career), causing 2 early turnovers, forcing Blatt to take him out of the game. Might be interesting to watch that one early in the game tonight (or if Blatt even starts Mozgov).

    I'll watch the game tomorrow morning. Feels like the Cavs have played all their cards, but will be interesting to watch all the same.




  • padraig_f wrote: »
    I think the Warriors are going to close it out tonight. Interesting bit I picked up from the Dunc'd On podcast....Kerr anticipated the Cavs going to Mozgov down low early in game 5 to try and punish the small-ball lineup. Kerr had his guys prepped, and they doubled Mozgov straight away (probably for the first time in his career), causing 2 early turnovers, forcing Blatt to take him out of the game. Might be interesting to watch that one early in the game tonight (or if Blatt even starts Mozgov).

    I'll watch the game tomorrow morning. Feels like the Cavs have played all their cards, but will be interesting to watch all the same.

    You didn't need to listen to Dunc'd On to pick up that nugget Podge:pac:

    buyer95 wrote: »

    Mozgov was totally nullified by simply doubling him on the entry pass into the post. Zach Lowe had flagged it coming in that Mozgov is a poor passer out of the post and panics when surrounded with defenders. He is a nice player, has a working midrange game and a soft touch around the rim. In game 4 he saw Draymond Green who is 6 foot 7 and on single coverage was able to just back into him turn around and score. Same for when Lee guarded him, Lee is taller but notoriously poor defensively. But he isn't at a level where he can get the ball and coolly find the man left open due to the double team on him. He turned over the ball 3 times in a row early, and consequently sat for most of the rest of the game.




  • My brain says the Warriors win it all tonight but personally I want to Cavs to win just so we can delay having no basketball for another few days!


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  • Congrats to the Warriors, they were the better team over the series. Cavs can hold their heads high, without Love and Irving it was a big accomplishment to win even 2 games in the finals. Replace LeBron with any other player in the league on that Cavs team and they get swept. To paraphrase Churchill, "Never in the world of basketball, was so much owed, by so many to one person." Cavs will be better next year, and won't be far away either. Rumours abound that David Blatt's job could be under pressure, which is crazy to me, I like Blatt and hope he survives. He will only improve as a coach.
    Again congrats to The Dubs, they deserve it, most consistent team over the course of the season.




  • Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes BABY
    Brilliant, well deserved, can't believe it, been here 10 years and nevet thought it would happen.
    Delighted for iggy, where as lebron was clearly the best player, no one can deny the effort and effect iggy had on this series, immense.
    So happy for the likes of iggy and lee, they are true team players, well deserved.
    Roll on friday baby, parade time !!!




  • Congrats to the Golden State Warriors, the best team won and deserved the series :)

    LeBron put up insane number all series but Iggy was unbelievable matching up on him. Defence wins Championships so good call to give him Finals MVP.

    Gotta say though, I'm damn proud of my Cavs this season. Those mid season trades for Shump, JR and Moz changed our season completely. Lost Love in the First Round and Kyrie, who was only at 60% for the playoffs, in Game 1 of the Finals and still made a series of it.
    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes BABY
    Brilliant, well deserved, can't believe it, been here 10 years and nevet thought it would happen.
    Delighted for iggy, where as lebron was clearly the best player, no one can deny the effort and effect iggy had on this series, immense.
    So happy for the likes of iggy and lee, they are true team players, well deserved.
    Roll on friday baby, parade time !!!

    Enjoy it mate, ye deserved it:)




  • Congrats to the Warriors and unlucky Cavs.

    The fact that the Cavs even made a series of that really is testament to them (well, LeBron I suppose :)). They'll be back even better next season for sure and it's already hard to see past them reaching another Finals.




  • Congrats to GS totally deserved as previously mentioned the best team all season.

    I do think Lebron should have got MVP but delighted for Igadola as he was GS best player throughout the finals.

    Cavs will win one with Lebron though so chin up D2D!




  • A fitting read over 3 years and now 1 championship later:

    http://grantland.com/features/how-annoy-fan-base-60-easy-steps/




  • leggo wrote: »
    I'm tempted to back the Cavs for tonight (I just want a second bet to parlay it with to get some value if anyone has any decent shouts).

    I think Kyrie's injury rules out a legitimately competitive series, as I think the wear-and-tear of going it alone against the Dubs D will tire LeBron out by the end of the series (like last year against SA). But as a one-off, FU-game where he goes insane trying to prove a point like he did against Boston a few years ago, I think tonight is a good shout with the news of Kyrie fresh in the mind. You could also see Golden State taking their foot off the gas a little assuming it's sewn up, before copping on and getting back to business, ala the Rockets series.

    I still think GSW in 6 with LeBron winning another game in Cleveland.

    Don't say I never get anything right. :p:pac:




  • Paully D wrote: »
    A fitting read over 3 years and now 1 championship later:

    http://grantland.com/features/how-annoy-fan-base-60-easy-steps/

    Bill Simmons is so excellent.




  • Paully D wrote: »
    A fitting read over 3 years and now 1 championship later:

    http://grantland.com/features/how-annoy-fan-base-60-easy-steps/

    Simmons is a very talented writer, and the NBA Finals has been less fun in his absence. Since news of his departure from ESPN broke there have been no BS Reports, or Ball Don't Lie Podcasts. Similarly he has not written one article for Grantland, the website that he himself established, with the backing of ESPN. Simmons has removed himself totally from the world of sports journalism, as we await his next move. You have to imagine it tortured him not to even write 1 tweet on his feelings during the Finals. But Simmons is stubborn, and obviously decided he wasn't going to even send a measly tweet, if he was leaving ESPN, he was going to do it his way.

    I think we all should be thankful for Simmon's, during his last contract negotiations he made it clear that he would't sign on with the website again unless they gave him his own website(ESPN would own it, but he would share some of the revenue, have full editorial control and also be the biggest name writer.) Many doubted Simmon's ability to put together a team of writers capable of writing insightful long-form articles on Sports and pop culture. Simmon in the years since Grantland has launched has proved all the naysayers wrong, and created the most interesting American Sports website out there.

    Simmon's made some amazing hires, taking gambles on obscure names like Zach Lowe, who worked for a small time Boston Sports newspaper before Grantland. Lowe has been a revealation, changing the way NBA reporters write about the NBA.
    What I really appreciate about Zach Lowe is that he very clearly works hard to produce analysis that is actually valuable. He's not content with lazy narratives like "player x missed/made a big shot, so they are now a choker/clutch", he actually digs deep into the gametape and takes a look at what's actually happening on these plays.

    I have learned more from reading Zach Lowe over the past few years than I have from reading anyone else. That is just one example of Simmon's ability to hire the correct guys.

    Below is Simmon's first post on Grantland, outlining his hopes and dreams for it.

    "I would love to tell you that this website will work, that we’ll entertain you five days a week and blend sports and pop culture successfully. The truth is, I don’t know for sure. This site will keep changing over the next few months just like Jimmy’s show kept changing in 2003, hopefully for the right reasons and not the wrong ones. We are still hiring people. We are still finding writers. We will eventually have a sports blog and a pop culture blog (launching next month), user comments (later this summer), a podcast network (ditto), a quarterly publication we’re doing with McSweeney’s (four a year, starting this winter), and who knows what else. You figure out what works, you figure out what doesn’t work, you keep moving. That’s the next nine months for us. Eventually, we will evolve into what we are. Whatever the hell that is.
    We had four goals for this site. The first was to find writers we liked and let them do their thing. The second was to find sponsors we liked and integrate them within the site — so readers didn’t have to pay for content, and also, so we didn’t have to gravitate toward quantity over quality just to chase page views. The third was to take advantage of a little extra creative leeway for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.12 And the fourth was to hire the right blend of people — mostly young, mostly up-and-comers, all good people with good ideas who aren’t afraid to share them."

    I think we can safely say he achieved what he set out to do.


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  • D2D wrote: »
    Congrats to the Golden State Warriors, the best team won and deserved the series :)

    LeBron put up insane number all series but Iggy was unbelievable matching up on him. Defence wins Championships so good call to give him Finals MVP.

    Gotta say though, I'm damn proud of my Cavs this season. Those mid season trades for Shump, JR and Moz changed our season completely. Lost Love in the First Round and Kyrie, who was only at 60% for the playoffs, in Game 1 of the Finals and still made a series of it.



    Enjoy it mate, ye deserved it:)

    Thank you, warriors season couldn't of gone any better really, not only did they win but they did it without any drama or distractions.
    Next step is going to be to keep the team together, curry will get his pay day of course but joe lacob will have to pay the fines to keep greene there. They should have plenty of revenue from the new stadium and new tv deal to absorb it I would think.

    Lebron still has a lot left in the tank for a number of years, they are definitely favs for next year with a healthy squad.
    As big a fan as bogut as I am, I would like to see a more active big man, festis looks like he is coming into his own which would be fantastic but someone like jordan would be perfect


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