NBA playoffs expansion: let in all 30 teams

Adam Silver

NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference at the league’s Vegas Summer League, and one of his topics was how to create more revenue. He spoke of an in-season tournament like many of the European leagues have. He also spoke about how much all of the league’s executives love coming to Vegas.

If he wants to add revenue by adding a few more games in a tournament format, while allowing the league’s higher-ups to have another entertaining trip to Vegas, the solution is fairly simple.

Let all 30 teams participate in the NBA playoffs.

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Up to the second updated NBA playoffs picture

NBA Playoffs

The 2013 – 2014 NBA playoffs are just about a week ahead and several teams around the league are still fighting for a better seed in either conference. Let’s have a look at the updated NBA playoffs picture as of April 12th. [Read more…]

How Derrick Rose’s injury ultimately impacted the NBA playoffs

Derrick Rose torn ACL

Now that Miami has clinched the NBA Finals with a decisive Game 5 victory, we can most accurately assess what impact Derrick Rose’s knee injury may have had in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.  Think back nearly two months ago, when Chicago (50-16) was the NBA’s top seed—holding the tiebreaker over San Antonio thanks to a head-to-head victory—with its star point guard seemingly back at full strength.  With minutes remaining in Game 1 against Philadelphia, Rose landed awkwardly and tore his ACL, ending his season and the Bulls’ chances at a title.

But would his presence have changed anything?  Would a healthy Rose have helped Chicago topple Boston and then Miami in the East?  Could the Bulls have handled the Thunder and actually taken home the title for themselves? [Read more…]

NBA Finals: Lack of execution late leaves Thunder in 3-1 hole vs. Heat

With the game once again knotted up late in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City choked.

Despite the league’s best player—the only guy who has shown the ability to slow down Kevin Durant, by the way—checking in and out of play with a leg cramp, the Thunder failed to execute on both ends of the floor, falling into a 3-1 hole in the NBA Finals with a third consecutive loss.

But unlike Games 2 and 3, where suspect refereeing helped the Heat slip away with two victories, OKC has only itself to blame for coughing up a crucial Game 4.

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Thunder pass Final test, erase 18-point deficit to oust Spurs

Could there have been a more perfect way for the darling Oklahoma City Thunder—an energetic bunch of youngsters who for years were described as “waiting their turn”—to make their first trip to the NBA Finals?

Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder have simply climbed the Western Conference ladder step by step.  After missing the playoffs in 2009, they lost to the eventual champion Lakers in Round 1 in 2010 before falling to eventual champion Dallas in the Western Conference Finals in 2011.  In 2012, they dominated the NBA’s last two champs in the Mavericks and Lakers, and have now dealt the league’s top-seeded Spurs, once winners of 20 straight, four consecutive losses en route to the NBA Finals. [Read more…]

Game 5 shockers in Conference Finals put Spurs, Heat on the brink

oklahoma city thunder

Anybody who saw this coming, please raise your hand now.  Just raise it up.  Raise it up nice and high.  Anybody?  OK…I didn’t think so.

With Oklahoma City winning in San Antonio Monday and Boston winning in Miami Tuesday, the NBA Playoffs have suddenly been flipped upside down.  After trailing 0-2 in their respective series, both the Thunder and the Celtics have done the near-impossible, winning Games 3, 4 and 5 to move within one win of creating an NBA Finals matchup that nobody expected. [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Predicting LeBron James’ game tonight

LeBron James

There is no denying the significance of tonight’s Game 5 between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in Miami. After winning the first two games of the series, the Heat dropped the next two and allowed Boston to bring it back to Boston, to either close the door on the Heat’s season or stave-off elimination. Tonight’s game will decide the situation. But know that LeBron James should have a big game, but it doesn’t mean the Heat will win.  [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Kevin Durant is a “closer”

Kevin Durant

I have said this many times and will continue to say it until people realize it: Kevin Durant is the best BASKETBALL player on this planet. Not only is he 6’10, long, and lanky, but he can score, rebound, take over and close games. There is a big difference between him and 3-time MVP LeBron James: Durant lives in the gym. There is no denying James’ talent, but I am taking a gym-rat over a gifted-athlete ten times out of ten.

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Back in the series? Spurs-Thunder will hinge on Game 4

San Antonio Spurs v. Oklahoma City Thunder

After falling down 0-2 to San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City continued its home court playoff dominance and ended the Spurs’ remarkable 20-game winning streak with a convincing 102-82 victory in Game 3.  The Thunder stomped San Antonio up and down the court by playing stifling defense and scoring in the paint at will, handing the Spurs their largest margin of defeat in a playoff game during the Gregg Popovich era and ending their perfect postseason start at 10 games.

But it’s not exactly time to break out the bubbly and get ready for the NBA Finals.  In actuality, down 2-1 in the series with another home game on its way Saturday night, now is the time OKC should be most worried.  Sure, they just dismantled the mighty Spurs, winners of 20 straight and 31 of 33, but such a thrilling victory could make Game 4 a perfect time for a Thunder letdown.  Only complicating matters, the Thunder will again be playing the NBA’s best coached and most balanced team coming off arguably their worst performance of the entire season. [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Refs giving Miami ‘stars’ all (well most) of the calls

LeBron James

I don’t like to put anything on anyone or anything in particular, especially if that any one or thing has no business in deciding the outcome of a basketball game, but I think now everyone has the right to speculate on what is really going on between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. [Read more…]

NBA Playoffs: Referees, put your whistles in your pocket

Dan Crawford

This is the second time now that I have had to write about the referees in the playoffs. And again, it’s about their lack of judgment during a game. What happened last night was an absolute atrocity. During Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, Boston was called for three (yes, I said “three”) technical fouls in the second quarter. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and head coach Doc Rivers were called for technical fouls. And all these techs have something in common: it was completely unnecessary.

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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat: everything you need to know

LeBron James and Paul Pierce

Well, here is the Miami Heat for the second year in a row: the Eastern Conference Finals. All of us know how last year ended for the Heat: a 4-2 NBA Finals loss to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. Last year, the Heat beat the Boston Celtics in the second round of the NBA playoffs, 4-1. But it’s a new year and, probably, the last time the Boston’s “Big Three + Rondo” will ever be together. So what are we to expect from these two teams with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line? Let’s take a look.

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