Early Offense: Vol. 7
Western Conference Finals. For all the mediocre basketball fans endured during the playoffs, their faith was rewarded with a thrilling Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. Actually, for about three and a half quarters, the game wasn’t a game at all, as the visiting Spurs imposed their will and got up on the defending Western Conference champs by as many as 25 at one point. But as fate would have it, the fortunes of both teams literally turned on a misstep of Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Leonard’s tender left foot landed on Warriors’ center Zaza Pachulia’s foot after a shot attempt about four minutes into the third quarter. Leonard appeared to aggravate his injured ankle and was done for the afternoon. His absence coincided with a barrage of Warriors’ offense, and the Dubs took Game 1 by a score of 113-111. This series had all the makings of an entertaining match-up, but if Leonard is hobbled, then we may be back to the inevitable of Warriors/Cavs in the Finals. After you get your fill of Pachulia slander/conspiracy theories courtesy of basketball Twitter, check our math on our predictions by reading this series preview by Théo Salaun, where he calls Warriors in six games. Joseph Thiel breaks down the Spurs chances in his piece. After that, give a listen to the NBA Outlet pod for a preview of both the WCF and the upcoming Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Speaking of Celtics/Wizards….
Game 7. Possibly the two best words in sports: Game 7. After the Washington Wizards got boat raced by the Boston Celtics in Game 5, the Wizards responded with a Game 6 victory thanks to some late game heroics from all-star guard John Wall. Wall, in a performance that surely made Colin Cowherd proud, capped off a night with a game winning bucket to force a Game 7 back in Boston. As mentioned above, the Outlet pod has its prediction and Kyle Zwiazek tells you why, flanked with more talent, Wall is taking the next step in his career.
NBA Draft. The NBA Draft is approaching us with the lottery taking place on May 16th and we’ve got you covered. Mike Guido continues our draft preview by looking at the team needs for the Central Division. Click here for our coverage of the Atlantic Division here. More team previews to come as the draft draws near.
LeBron Watch 2017. Our own Jonathan Ebrahimi is keeping tabs on all the historical milestones King James achieves in this postseason. Given how hot the Twitter streets have been over the topic of who is the greatest, the MJ hive will undoubtedly be salty over us tracking LeBron’s postseason accomplishments. But it could be worse. We could have called it the “Bron Index” and had Jonathan move to Ohio and track every time LeBron ate at Steak ‘N Shake. Actually, we don’t have anywhere near the budget for that kind of stuff. Jonathan’s tracker is still pretty dope though. Check out his first entry here.