Tag: basketball betting blog
Sure enough the San Antonio Spurs are getting old, but the core of this team has been together for many years now, they’ve stick together through so many games and situations that they really now how to keep their cool and stay focused on the big prize. The Spurs came out a bit slow in their NBA Western Conference Semifinal series against the Golden State Warriors. They gave one game away at home, but came back and won on the road to even the series at two games a piece. But little else changed and as the Warriors were doing what they could to cope with injuries and the ailing ankle of their point guard and sharp shooter Steve Curry, the Spurs just keep on fighting and they managed to win the last two games of the series, including this latest 94-82 win at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California.
It seems that the Spurs know exactly how to manage their times, their tempo, how to wear off an opponent, slowly but surely. Veteran Tim Duncan had 19 points and six rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and 10 rebounds to help shape this outcome. This was a good performance for the veteran Spurs. “They’ve got great character. They’re competitive. They know there’s not a million chances to do this sort of thing. They wanted it,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said to the press about his team’s character.
The Spurs built a lead in the third quarter, and then held on to the furious rally by the Warriors in the fourth quarter, and took this win to earn a ticket to the Conference Finals. They will face the Memphis Grizzlies, the 5th seeded team that defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the next round. Should they managed to dominate that series as well, the Spurs will make it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007, when they swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The dream is now over for the Indiana Pacers. I can’t help but to wonder what this series could had been if the Pacers came along with a much better health. Stephen Curry, the Pacers offensive weapon of choice was a bit off. He shot 10-of-25 from the floor to score 22 points, but did so on an ankle on which most mortals wouldn’t dare to walk on. Jarrett Jack had 15 points as well, but the injury-saddled Golden State finally gave in. Harrison Barnes, the rookie player who’s a key part of the Warriors defense, also suffered a head injury in the second quarter of the game. Sure enough, he returned in the third and made a couple of plays, but he was sidelined in the last 12 minutes with a strong headache.
The Warriors season is now officially over. But they should be proud of their play. “It’s inspiring to think of what we were able to accomplish this year and the foundation that has been laid,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. The team has sted positive. Even the injured Curry looks at this as a learning experience. “It will take a minute to realize the accomplishments we have made, for a Warriors team to be in this position – he said to the press-. “It’s a good thing, and we can build on this for next year.”
It was not a great shooting night for Stephen Curry, the Golden State sharpshooter, who was brilliant in game one at San Antonio in a hearth breaking double-overtime loss on the road. The Warriors had dominated throughout the second half of the game. As a matter of fact, they build a 16-point lead going into the final four minutes of the fourth quarter but they failed to close in the final seconds and gave the Spurs the needed space to make the final shot and force the first of two overtimes. The Golden State head coach Mark Jackson, however, insisted that this loss would not diminish the spirit of the team, but would only fuel them. And even when Curry finished with only 22 points and 4 rebounds despite shooting 2 of 6 from the three point line and 7 of 20 from the field. But it was enough to hold off the Spurs and their fierce comeback to take a very valuable 100-91 win on the road.
The Warriors got plenty of work from Klay Thompson who went on to finish the game with 34-points and 14 rebounds to guide the Warriors to their first win at the San Antonio in their last 30 visits there. “I truly believe the trials and tribulations are transportation for where you’re going,” Jackson said after his team took the win. “Game 1 made us better. We didn’t panic. We made plays. That’s a heck of a basketball team that’s extremely well-coached and has no quit in them. We don’t have any quit in us, either. The bottom line is we made the plays we needed to make.”
The Spurs got plenty of production from their regular stars. Veteran Tim Duncan chipped in with 23 points and 9 rebounds while Tony Parker had 20 points and 6 rebounds but it was not enough to beat the Warriors and Golden State put an end to the Spurs 5 game postseason winning streak. Argentinean Manu Ginobili, who took the winning three-pointer in double overtime on game one, finished the night with 12 points and 4 assists coming off the bench. Kawhi Leonard was the only Spurs to end the game with double figures as he finished off the night with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Many fans and sports commentators believed that it was the young Warriors inexperienced which ultimately cost them game 1. Argentinean Manu Ginobili begs to differ. “What happened in Game 1 wasn’t about their inexperience,” Ginobili said to the press after game 2 loss at the AT&T Center in downtown San Antonio. “It’s one of those things that happens very rarely. We shouldn’t have won that game. They came out hungrier and with more determination. They just did a much better job than us.” And he might be quite right, for all we know this series could have been 2-0 Golden State for all we know. Curry dominated from the start and if he can get the sort of support he’s receiving from Klay Thompson throughout the rest of the postseason, these guys could prove to be very hard to beat.
For the first time since 1967, the LA Lakers were swept from the first round of the NBA Playoffs. It is very hard to asses what this lost meant to the Lakers as a whole. It has only helped to sever the case that at it’s very core, there is something significantly wrong with this team. Sure enough things seemed to be a little bright for Los Angeles as long as Kobe Bryant was in the field. It wasn’t perfect, but by playing over 35 minutes per game, the 36-year-old veteran was keeping this boat from sinking.
Now that he is gone for at least 8 more months, it is clear that there has to be deep processes of rebuilding this team from scratch. Make no mistake, that’s exactly what the organization tried to do when they hired veteran Steve Nash and they brought home Orlando Magic’s hottest player, Dwight Howard. But that trade has been an utter disaster. Nothing seems to be going right for the Lakers, and particularly for the Lakers sans Kobe. And that’s a hard fact they are going to have to deal with one way or another: Bryant is not going to be here forever and a it has become imperious for a big change to come.
Tony Parker guided the San Antonio Spurs efforts with 23 points and 3 rebounds while the visiting team also got 11 points and 6 rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs. The Spurs will now get plenty of rest, something the not-so-young squad would appreciate greatly before facing the winner of the series between the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors. Truth is that the Spurs had it easy in the first round. Sure enough the Lakers were playing without three of their regular starters, but even when it came to ball handling this team was an utter mess.
“Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged. After all his team is on good health and proved to be too much for the weakening Lakers. “When you’re a competitor, you want to compete on an even basis, and the Lakers weren’t able to do that. … Even though it wasn’t a fair fight, we still want to win the series, and I’m glad we did. Our focus was great.” He shouldn’t be too worried about having to compete on an even basis. The Nuggets or the Warriors are certainly going to give this team a real test before even hoping to clinch the Western Conference.
It has become very clear that changes need to arrive. I’m willing to beat that after last night’s game, someone from the organization has already taken a flight to the mountains to try to find Phil Jackson somewhere in Wyoming. And perhaps, it is clear that this is going to be Howards final trip with the Lakers. After all was said and done, it seems as if Kobe is going to need to find himself another successor. Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing. Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Laker, who got very little help from anyone else.
A team’s ability to overcome difficult situations, particularly when it comes to the final minutes of the fourth quarter is what ultimately make a difference on whether one team wins or losses a game. Clutch performance is of key importance in the NBA Playoffs and, and a team such as the Oklahoma City Thunder has plenty of it. In their second home game of the NBA postseason, the Thunder were hosting the Houston Rockets as they were trying to take on a 2-0 lead in the best of 7 game series. Now, the visiting team, on the other hand, needed to fight this one out with all their spirit. Despite holding their next two games at home, the Rockets needed to steal a win on the road against the Thunder if they expected to extend their run into the next round.
And for a moment there, it seemed as if these guys were going to pull it off. For the better part of the game, the Oklahoma City Thunder held a comfortable lead over the Rockets. Despite trailing by as many as 15 points in the game, the Rockets kept on fighting and in one heck of a suppressive run in the fourth quarter, Houston took the lead. It wouldn’t last long. Kevin Durant had phenomenal first quarter, but sort of drifted away for the rest of the game. That was until his team really needed him. And he delivered. He finished the night with 29 points, including a lead changing three pointer in the final minutes and 9 assists, including an open pass for Thabo Sefolosha who made another three-point basket to put it away and give the Thunder a 105-102 win on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Russell Westbrook finished the night with 29 points and 5 rebounds to round up the Thunder performance. Sure enough they gave up the lead, but in clutch time, they kept the boat from sinking and were able to turn the game around one more time. “It’s fun. During this time of the year, as a team we’ve got one goal and we can’t let nobody get in the way,” Westbrook said in the postgame press conference, before walking back to the locker rooms. “That’s how I feel and that’s how I want my team to respond as well.”
The Rockets gave a great fight. They not only turned a 15-point deficit into a 4-point lead late in the 4th quarter, they also proved that they might just have what it takes to win the next two games at home. James Harden guided Houston against his ex-teammates with a great performance that included 36 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Shooting guard Carlos Delfino had a chance to take a 3-pointer to tie it but his desperation shot was just not right. Still, he finished the night with 11 points and 3 boards. Chandler Parsons chipped in with 17 points for the Rockets. Now, they are going to have to defend their home court with all their soul and body to keep this series alive for at least another 3-4 more games.