A sad but somehow fitting way to end this injury-marred season. I hope neither Harrison Barnes nor Andrew Bogut are badly hurt, and wish them both as rapid a return to health as possible. That obviously goes for David Lee and Stephen Curry (and Brandon Rush) as well. This Warriors team left absolutely everything on the court, and they and Mark Jackson can be very proud of what they achieved this season.
I’m not sure I even need to recap this game, as the game itself seemed to recap most of this blog’s major themes of this season, and of seasons past. I’ll take a few days to reflect before I decide on the form of my next post.
A word on the upcoming conference finals, in case I don’t post before they start: I don’t think the Spurs will even be competitive against the Grizzlies. I think we all saw what happened to Tim Duncan in this series. I can’t even imagine the price a completely healthy and rested Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will exact from him. And I cringe at the thought of what Mike Conley will do to him in the pick and roll.
Manu Ginobili also appears to be at the end of his effective career. And the still hobbled Tony Parker is running on fumes. In my mind it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this proud Spurs franchise will get swept.
The best Conference Final will be in the East. The Pacers are built a lot like the Bulls, only better. Dwayne Wade is once again playing on one leg. And the Pacers have a blossoming superstar of their own in two-way small forward Paul George. What he has done defensively to Carmelo Anthony in one on one coverage has been incredible. He should give LeBron James every bit as much trouble as Luol Deng gave him last year.
That series is going to be a war. Playoff basketball at its best.
The two year run of Nellieball NBA champions is about to be put to a severe test. Two superb conventionally-built teams, manned in the middle by two of the best two-way seven-footers in the league, are lined up and ready to take their turns trying to pound the vulnerable Heat to a pulp.