GREENVILLE – It’s absolutely delightful to watch the best players in the world scrap for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
This year is no exception—in one of the more exciting NBA years—the game just seems to evolve, gracefully. After a week of sifting the game’s greats, here are eight observations that stand out in all eight NBA playoff series.
Cavs/Pistons: (series 3-0)
The Cavs are clearly playing the role of Muhammad Ali in that they seem to wait for a specific opponent tendency, then, when it’s time, they strike. The only way to explain it: the mind of LeBron. Simply put, Cavs are better at shooting, rebounding and defense—the end.
Raptors/Pacers: (series 2-2)
Amid the resurgence of his NBA career, Paul George is reminding NBA enthusiasts he has the potential to be the best two-way player in the game, sentiments of Frank Vogel. However, the tough-minded, nitty-gritty, Villanova’s own, Kyle Lowry, is a baller, and so is the high-flying DeMar DeRozan.
Heat/Hornets: (series 2-1)
With Chris Bosh’s absence, Joe Johnson has stepped in nicely, at times. Dwyane Wade seems to have conserved his energy over the year nicely, and now he seems to be consistently effective. Hassan Whiteside is a beast when it comes to blocks and rebounding, but he needs a consistent post-game. Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin are igniting the Hornets, causing players like Frank Kaminsky and Tyler Zeller to have a legitimate impact on the game.
Hawks/Celtics: (series 2-1)
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s little brother Isaiah Thomas is a fun, exciting guard to watch. Evan Turner is finding a way to contribute off of the bench. Meanwhile, this just in, Jeff Teague has been putting pressure on defenses for years. He is consistency at its finest, and so is veteran Al Horford.
Warriors/Rockets: (series 2-1)
The Warriors have a really deep team. It’s evident when they can rest their best player, Steph Curry, and win a ball game, as well as lose by one point to the Rockets on the road. The tissue-papered ankles will not let up right now. Still, the Rockets need to do something else besides let James Harden play one-on -five. Feed Dwight Howard in the post more.
Spurs/Grizzlies: (series 3-0)
Kawhi Leonard has emerged as the best player on the Spurs hands down, and, he has made the Spurs entertaining to watch. Plus, Tony Parker seems to be reestablishing himself as a championship point guard—opponents beware. Matt Barnes has no idea what he’s doing when he takes more than three dribbles, but he is a great defender though. NBA faithful should feel bad for Zach Randolph as his team is decimated with injuries.
Thunder/Mavericks: (series 3-1)
At times, if the Thunder are not up big, they find a way to squander fourth quarter leads. Conversely, they have calmed that down as Russell Westbrook utilizes Kevin Durant, even more. There is a Dion Waiters sighting! Sadly, the Mavs are not as good simply because Dirk Nowitzki is a shell of himself. UNC product Raymond Felton is reinvigorating that team.
Clippers/Blazers: (series 2-1)
Chris Paul is still making a case why he is still one of the top NBA point guards. After rehabbing from injury, Blake Griffin finally came back, and he still looks as if he is working his way back to being the Blake of old. J.J. Redick, the sharpshooter, might have the quickest release in the NBA. Jamal Crawford is the Hot Sauce of the NBA, as he always has been. Though, Damian Lillard, this generation’s Damon Stoudamire, with way more consistency, is constantly proving why he is among the league’s best point guards. With that being said, the 2015-2016 Most Improved Player, C.J. McCollum, is a Cinderella story.