Early Offense: Vol. 8
Celtic Pride. The Boston Celtics did not have a lot going for them heading into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loan Arena last night. They were without all-star guard Isaiah Thomas, who is out for the remainder of the postseason due to injury. The Cavaliers owned the Celtics in Games 1 and 2, with Game 2 getting so out of hand, that TNT had to tag it with a TV-MA rating. But in a performance that would make Hondo proud, the Celtics showed true grit in Game 3, withstanding an onslaught of Kevin Love three pointers to come away with a win by the final score of 111-108, ironically thanks to an Avery Bradley last second three-point shot. The Celtics actually moved the ball pretty well and looked sharper on defense than in the previous two contests. It is doubtful that Cavaliers forward LeBron James will have a similar off night in Game 4 and even more inconceivable that the Cavaliers will lose this series. But the Celtics proved that there is still some fight, and a little magic, left in them.
Last Stand at the Alamo? The San Antonio Spurs did not fair as well in their Game 3 match-up against the Golden State Warriors over the weekend, falling to the defending Western Conference champions 120-108 in front of the home town AT&T Center crowd. The Spurs just aren’t the same team without all everything forward Kawhi Leonard, who they lost late in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Now, instead of getting the highly anticipated series everyone wanted to see, basketball fans are looking at a Warriors’ sweep tonight in Game 4. While you wait on evitability, Off the Glass has you covered with playoff coverage. Liam Griffin tells you why Chef Curry is starting to cook in these playoffs, while Joseph Thiel breaks down what the Spurs are missing without Kawhi Leonard. In the Eastern Conference, Matthew Shear tells us why LeBron James, in Year 14, is still great. And because it’s never a party until the NBA Outlet podcast rocks the mic, check out the latest addition of the pod here where we break down the respective conference finals, and talk All-NBA teams.
Jackpot. The NBA Draft Lottery took place last week and the Boston Celtics landed the first overall pick. Much to the delight of Lakers fans around the world, the Hollywood franchise was able to keep its pick when it was revealed that Magic Johnson and Co. will be selecting second in this year’s draft, a pick the Lakers would have forfeited to the Philadelphia 76ers had it fallen out of the top three. Washington Guard Markelle Fultz has been projected as the number one overall pick for two years, but as the playoffs have demonstrated, it will take more than a rookie guard to defeat the Cavs in the East. Do the Celtics keep the pick and build around its young core or deal and make a move to topple the King? Check out the Off the Glass Draft Page for player profiles, mock drafts, and team needs. Draft time also means free agency is around the corner. Russell Schmidt lets you know which free agents are flying under the radar this offseason. Because there are two draft boards NBA fans will be thinking about this offseason, Matt Sinkewicz tells you the best possible free agent destinations from a fantasy perspective.
LeBron Watch 2017. Be sure to follow Jonathan Ebrahimi’s LeBron Watch 2017 as he tracks King James’ various milestones and accomplishments during this latest title run. Something tells us that Jonathan will have even more accolades to add to his tracker after Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.