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…]

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…]

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: more fan than owner

Mark Cuban

Most NBA owners are your typical everyday-businessmen, usually very conservative with their money, but yet they sip on $5 coffees from Starbucks six days out of the week. They also sit in a luxury box during home games and occasionally will make the trip to away games. They are laid-back at games, rarely showing any emotion almost stoic, acting like they don’t care whether or not their team wins or loses. Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban is not like most owners.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that Cuban is the most interactive, hands-on owner in all of sports. [Read more…]

NBA Western Conference Playoff Preview

It’s been wild out in the West but the playoffs are finally set and there are several great matchups. Much like the East, the first round could be very unpredictable and the best teams may not be in the Finals. The fifth seeded Denver Nuggets have looked outstanding since the Carmelo trade, yet they must play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round.

The Thunder are the young, exciting team that most people think are ready for a breakout year after taking the Lakers six games last year in the first round. Los Angeles is the second seed and is hoping for another three-peat, but they are limping into the playoffs, losing five of their last seven. Dallas has never fared well in the postseason and nobody is giving them much of a shot and then there are the San Antonio Spurs, sitting atop the bracket with the number one seed.

Like always, it seems the Spurs are the forgotten team for some reason despite posting the best record in the West.

[Read more…]

Denver Nuggets Still Looking Dangerous Post Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony Knicks

Just in case there were any doubters out there who didn’t think the post-trade Denver Nuggets could make some noise in the playoffs, they should be convinced now. The streaking Nuggets won their sixth consecutive game Sunday afternoon. And it was the most impressive win of the season.

Heading into Los Angeles to face a Lakers team that had won nine consecutive games and were looking to track down the San Antonio Spurs for the top-seed in the Western Conference, this figured to be a good litmus test for Denver.

And the Nuggets passed that test with flying colors, beating the Lakers 95-90 and stunning the L.A. crowd.
[Read more…]