Like many nba fans I was extremely impressed with the performance of the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs. They were a great team to watch, and I couldn’t help but like them with supremely confident Mark Jackson at the helm. The team have been relatively busy in the offseason so far, with the big addition being former all-star Andre Iguodala. I’m sure that the Warriors taking out the Nuggets in the first round had some influence on Iggy’s decision to not stay in Denver as well.
However despite the new additions to a team that will have set their sights high for next season, I’m not really sure if the moves that they have made will actually make the team better. Carl Landry, and in particular Jarrett Jack, were essential cogs in the Warriors playoff run – both capable of getting tough buckets when Curry and Thompson were either off the floor or not red-hot.
Losing Jack and Landry will be even bigger if the Warriors have any serious injury troubles next season. It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility that Curry and Bogut are injured for large parts of the season. Even if Curry just gets a bit banged up in a game, being able to bring Jack off the bench was huge. If GS need offensive rebounds, there is no energetic Landry to insert into the frontcourt.
Another issue is what happens now to Harrison Barnes? Iguodala is a great two-way player, especially on the defensive end, but he is not someone who is really going to inject any offensive spark. Harrison Barnes had a great season and has absolutely massive potential, making huge plays and hitting important shots. Coach Jackson is going to have to choose between these two players for who is going to start – really it has to be big new signing Iggy, and then Barnes will become the injection of offense from the bench. It’s a big responsability for Barnes and he will have to adapt quickly to his new role. Jackson will need to keep the young forward motivated after a great season……in which he will now be rewarded with a bench role.
The other rookies for the Warriors last season will only improve – I would liked to have seen the core of this team stay together for at least another season. We will have to wait and see, but I’m really not sure that the offseason moves have actually made the team better – if anything, without Jack and Landry coming off the bench, they will be weaker.
With the NBA draft over, and the free agent frenzy in full swing, basketball fans are now looking ahead to next season. Some pretty big moves have happened already (D12 to Houston of course).The playoffs have been over for a while now, but in my first post I wanted to give a few thoughts on the finale of last season.
Although the Finals were shown on skysports this year (which I know not everyone has), as an NBA fan in the UK it isn’t easy to follow the playoffs. That is unless you are willing to pay-up for the NBA League Pass – in my opinion it is 100% worth the money, especially if you get it for the whole playoffs – and really it is the only way to properly watch the games and get caught up in the excitement taking place across the Atlantic.
For me I’d compare playoff time in the NBA to how many people feel about the 6 Nations in the UK. People may not watch rugby all the time, but come the 6 Nations loads of people watch it, and there is massive excitement over a short period of times about the games. Now I habitually check nba.com but I really can’t justify getting the nba pass for a whole season at the moment. So playoff time is my chance for a bball binge, getting to see teams and players I have only really watched highlights of during the regular season – and of course massive excitement over a relatively short period of time.
My little bro and I are pretty big nba fans, and we have some long debates/discussions about the nba – especially during the playoffs – (my brother particularly likes to give the refs a hard time) One such recent conversation was discussing the best game of this years playoffs. I’m slightly inclined towards Game 5 of the Finals……but it doesn’t quite make it into my top 3.
So in no particular order –
1. Indiana @ Miami – Game 1
Don’t give LeBron a lay-up!!!
I really wanted Indiana to win this series, and honestly they came pretty close in the end. There was some inspired play by Big Roy Hibbert, but it was always painful to watch when the Pacers put their second unit in. This game is in because it was exciting, it was close all the way and it came right down to the wire. The Paul George 3 to force OT was RIDICULOUS, I genuinely could not believe it! When Indy took the lead with a few seconds left it was incredible, they were so close to a great upset in an awesome game. It was such an enjoyable game overall. Then the Pacers game lebron a lay-up with about 2 seconds left. It still pains me to think about it now. Who know what would have happened in they had won Game 1…
2. Golden State @ San Antonio – Game 1
Manu for the win
Another Game 1 yes, but it’s another one that may well have changed the series if had gone the other way. Now let’s be totally honest the Warriors should have won this game – Steph Curry was incredible, the whole of Mark Jackson’s team played great. I loved watching GS in the playoffs this year, and even though I kind of wanted the Spurs to win their play was winning me over. The comeback was incredible, OT was amazing edge of the seat stuff. And Manu’s 3 for the win, coming moments after this ill-advised 3 miss from looonnng distance earlier, was icing on the cake of truly enjoyable game.
3. Brooklyn @ Chicago – Game 4
Late Great Nate
This game was ridiculous! Seeing is believing, I mean it is sort of difficult to explain how Nate Robinson played. Chicago were underhanded and down in the fourth…then Nate happened. This was an incredible triple-OT game, and I defy anyone to watch it and not accept that basketball is the one of the greatest sports/entertainments/things in the world.
There were plenty of great games as there always are, but these were the most instantly memorable for me.