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MettaWorldGeese's profile

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87 Messages

Tue, May 14, 2019 2:55 PM

Western Conference Finals

This is going to be fun.

 

For years, now, Lillard and McCollum have been hyped as the second-best duo in the NBA, behind Curry and Thompson - and now we get to see them go duo-to-duo. In that sense, alone, this series may actually benefit from Durant being out (for at least the first two games). Having that third piece removed makes this a true backcourt to backcourt matchup.

 

I think this series will be one of passion vs. execution. While I'm not saying the Warriors play without passion, I think that is nearly all the Trailblazers play with. Every bad shot that goes in, every bench player who steps up after being counted out of the NBA, every rebound Kanter pulls down with only on shoulder, the Trailblazers are that group of underdogs that ride their overwhelming passion to one improbable win after another.

 

The Warriors, on the other hand, are the most precise and well-executing team in the league. I was thinking, while watching Game 6 v. the Rockets, that it was amazing that every player - from Steph Curry to the 12th man off the bench - almost always made the right move. That move didn't always result in a score or defensive block but it was never due to a lack of execution. Every time they brought another player, who had barely seen any playing time thus far, off the bench - he knew exactly when to cut, he know exactly where his highest percentage shot would be, he knew exactly when to switch and he knew exactly how to defend Harden. The reason the game was close enough for Steph to take over, in the second half was the team's outstanding execution in the first half.

 

This may be the only series in the playoffs where not having Boogie won't hurt the Warriors. Bogut and Looney should have no problem with Kanter and I bet Golden State is going to pick and roll him right off that court - just as they did when he was with the Thunder. I'm also pretty confident thinking that GSW's backcourt can outplay Portland's without KD - just like they did before KD joined the team. Lastly, as much as it's been inspiring to watch the Trailblazers, I think they're simplay running out of guys. Kanter was noticably impacted by his injuries, by the end of the last round. Rodney Hood is out for, at least, the beginning of the series and there's only so many times they can count of someone like Evan Turner coming off the bench for an unexpected spark.

 

The Trailblazers have been the most exciting and inspiring team in the Western Conference playoffs, but I've got to think that this may be the point when execution outplays passion. I'm picking the Warriors in 5.

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87 Messages

2 y ago

Is it just me or did the Trailblazers look at how Utah "defended" James Harden and thought, "Let's try that with Curry!"

 

I mean, I knew Kanter was going to be a pick and roll liability but I kinda' assumed he'd, at least, pretend to cover Curry.

 

And - while I thought the key was GSW's backcourt outplaying Portland's - I have to think Dame and CJ are going to play better than that, going forward.

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87 Messages

2 y ago

How fun is it to watch the transformation of Andre Iguodala? He’s gone from a legit All-Star, in Philly, to GSW’s Robert Horry. 

 

They wrap him up in bubble wrap in October and unwrap him in April, when it’s time to start winning playoff games.

 

The good news for Portland is this game  showed that they can beat GSW. It’s not impossible. Not four times but, if they maintain this level, they certainly should get one of these games in Portland - likely Game 3.

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87 Messages

2 y ago

Have teams playing against the Warriors considered just locking their locker room, at halftime, so Golden State can’t play the 3rd Quarter?

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87 Messages

2 y ago

I really do hope Portland wins Game 4 (and not just because I called it for GSW in 5). What they’ve accomplished, both this season and (especially) this playoff run, has been too fun to watch for it to end in a sweep.

 

But the most worrying thing from Game 3 - more than their defensive lapses or Dame continuing to not figure out how to score against GSW’s coverage - was seeing Portland’s passion and confidence fade away in the second half.

 

Hopefully, they can locate that passion to get one win at home ... but I don’t think I’d put big money on it.

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87 Messages

2 y ago

And Miles Leonard couldn’t find playing time in this playoff run until game 3 of the Western Conference Finals because ...?

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87 Messages

2 y ago

As we’re about to go to the second conference finals overtime game in two days, can I just take a moment to say how much fun this year’s playoffs have been?!?

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87 Messages

2 y ago

You gotta feel for the Trailblazers. It stinks to be swept but there is no shame, imo, being swept by a team going to their fifth straight NBA Finals.

 

But to lose three heartbreaking games in a row that - for all intents and purposes - you really should have won has got to be killing them.

 

Still, good on Portland for fighting through the second half of the season, fighting through a myriad of injuries and making it further than anyone could have predicted.

 

Hopefully, they can build on this next season. And, now, GSW gets to rest up and wait for Milwaukee or Toronto. 

 

GSW in 4 (Prediction: GSW in 5)

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