I was wrong. Kinda. The Rockets looked good. As much as I Iike PJ Tucker, you can’t expect my man to score 22 points. He and Eric Gordon certainly came to play. Beyond just pure stats- which I don’t think will hold up in terms of Tucker and Gordon outscoring Klay Thompson and Steph Curry- the difference from the Rockets standpoint was ball movement. Plain and simple. There are statistics that prove that ball swings, which is the ball moving from one side of the floor to the other within the same possession, improves shooting percentages and offensive flow. It doesn’t take a basketball aficionado to see that getting the basketball to the open person improves any team’s offense. Going further, players don’t need to necessarily shoot the ball, they just want to touch it. They want to feel involved. The Rockets did a much better job of that in Game 2.
Saying all of that, I still have the Warriors in five. Yep…FIVE. Here’s why: role players play better at home. No matter how great Klay is, he’s a role player. He needs screens and kick outs. In the league, number one offensive options can get a bucket by themselves. Since he has been slotted into the third scoring option on this powerful team, he is ultimately a role player. He will play better. Also, Steph must snap out of it at some point, right? I know he isn’t healthy, but this is just not the Steph we know and love. Oracle Arena will help with that. Let’s not even get into Draymond. Let’s just not.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 17, 2018
In terms of the Eastern Conference Finals, I was WAY wrong. I either severely underestimated the Celtics or overrated the Cavaliers. It’s probably a mixture of both. These young guns for the Celtics are full blown beasts. They have absolutely no fear. In fact, they have so little fear that it has mutated to pure cockiness. And I love it. Not to mention, Brad Stevens is a HELLUVA coach. He gets the absolute best out of every player he has. As a basketball nerd, my man’s ATO (after time out) play calling is second to none.
Per the conversation above, the Cavs will pay better at home. Heck, they may even win both games and come back to Boston tied up. If that is the case, it would be a moot point except the Celtics have homecourt. If the trend is to win at home, the Celtics have the upper hand.
I’m shocked. I thought for sure the Cavs had hit their stride and would cruise to another Finals appearance. Now? I don’t know man. I just don’t know. I’m seeing body language and reactions that are cause for pause, but that’s another blog post for another day.
If the Celtics win, it’s bigger than a series win. It would symbolize the end of an era and the dawn of a new one. Sounds hyperbolic, but it’s real!
This weekend will be interesting.