Early Offense: Vol. 6
Collision Course. The first round of the NBA play-offs had the feel of the opening weekend of March Madness: there were storylines (Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas), potential upsets (a number of lower seeds taking commanding series’ leads over their higher seeded counterparts), and the proverbial coming out parties of talented players and coaches (Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale respectively). But as we have moved to the second round, the superior teams are separating themselves, most notably the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. The Cavs finished off the Toronto Raptors by a score of 109-102 on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre, completing a sweep of the undermanned Raptors, who were without all-star guard Kyle Lowry for Games 3 and 4. The Warriors are up 3-0 on the Utah Jazz, with a sweep looking like a forgone conclusion. Unless something drastic happens between now and June, we are headed towards Cavs/Warriors III, which may be old hat for some fans. But let us not forget that Hulk Hogan headlined like the first 10 Wrestlemanias, and all those turned out awesome. So, should we get the rubber match in the NBA Finals, let’s just sit back and enjoy these two titans collide.
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble. Not to be outdone by the dominance of the Cavs and Warriors, the match-ups on the other end of each bracket have made for some compelling basketball as well. In the East, the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics are locked in a grudge match with the series tied at two games apiece. There is no love loss between these two, as evidenced by a Game 3 “kerfuffle” between Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk and Wizards forward Kelly Oubre-- the Battle of the Kellys --which resulted in a Game 4 suspension for Oubre. The hatred between these teams has a mid-90s feel and the series has all the makings of going the distance. Out West, the battle for the Texas state championship between the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs has also been entertaining. After the Rockets dusted the Spurs in Game 1, the Spurs responded by winning Game 2 and recapturing home court advantage with a win at Toyota Center in Game 3. The Rockets responded with a 125-104 win in Game 4 behind 28 points, 12 assists and 5 rebounds from MVP candidate James Harden. Now, in a best of three series, the Spurs will look to answer in this series ,and the rest of the 2017 postseason for that matter, without the help of guard Tony Parker, who suffered a knee injury in Game 3 and is out for the season. As always, the NBA Outlet Podcast has you covered with a recap of all the second round action here.
Draft Day. Believe it or not we are already on the clock to the 2017 NBA Draft. The lottery selection show is scheduled for May 16th in New York, with the draft to follow on June 22nd. Off the Glass will be covering the draft needs for each team, division by division, in the weeks leading up to the draft. Mike Guido gets us going with his preview of the draft needs for the teams in the Atlantic Division.
Welcome Back! The Off the Glass crew are fans first, so like the rest of the basketball community, we were saddened to see the TrueHoop podcast series end as part of the highly publicized ESPN layoffs. However, our sadness turned to joy as we learned that the TrueHoop podcasts are returning under the new banner, The Basketball Analogy. Welcome back, fellas and looking forward to some new content.