The conversation should be centered around LeBron putting another chapter in the Legacy book (intentionally incorrectly capitalized) after a simply ridiculous performance; dominant, clutch, timely, epic, but the conversation instead is centered around the further wimpification of the NBA. Al Horford was tossed from the game after, I guess, shoving Matthew Delavedova to the ground after the got tangled. Apparently Horford thought Delavedova, who has been involved in a few questionable plays already this postseason with Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver, is quickly gaining a reputation as a borderline dirty player. Personally, it’s not warranted, but he is becoming the much needed agitator and is giving some surprising edge to a Cavaliers team that desperately needed it.
Because of LeBron’s heroics (and Delavedova’s surprising run at Best Supporting Actor), the NBA now finds themselves in an awkward quandary. The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin on June 4th. Today is May 25th. The Warriors could very well close out their series tonight (more on that below) and the Cavaliers have a chance to close out the series tomorrow night, at home and facing a broken Hawks team who have injuries stacking sky-high. That would mean a momentum-crushing and interest deflating EIGHT DAY layoff of hoops action. There is some talk the NBA could bump the start to June 2nd, but that is unlikely, and STILL means a SIX day absence of action before what is shaping up to be one of the coolest star-studded Finals matchups in ages. The newly minted MVP and new (baby) face of the NBA against its brightest star and universally recognized BEST player, The King, LeBron James. I personally can’t wait. And wish, for the sake of the best interest of the sport, the NBA wouldn’t make me…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Golden State Warriors -4.5 at Houston Rockets (Total: 213.5)
Well, no sense sugar coating it. I’ve been getting clobbered in the Conference Finals, dropping ‘em all after amassing a 60%-plus run since the All Star Break. It’s been rough, but there’s no time like a closeout out game to close out a long losing streak. Just when I had buried the Rockets, they showed so much heart in fighting back on the road in Game Two that it seemed like there was a little professional pride in this ballclub and maybe, just maybe, we could have a quality series. Um, that hope was dashed in Game Three with the Warriors absolute assault in Houston.
If you are keeping score at home, the Warriors are now 7-0 against the Rockets this season and even with a few close games to open this series, still own a double-digit average margin of victory. I think they close the series out tonight. I think the series was officially over the moment Steph Curry boxed out Dwight Howard for a one-armed offensive rebound. The Warriors were already the more skilled offensive team. They were already the better overall team defensive unit. If they are also going to play noticeably harder than the Rockets than there is nothing left for Houston to hang their hat on. This series is donzo. Tonight just makes it official. Lay the five, take Steph and company.