Stephen Curry MVP: The Clincher

By now, everyone interested has heard all of the arguments for and against Stephen Curry and James Harden in the MVP discussion. I don’t intend to rehash all of that. I just want to tell you the precise moment in the season when it became crystal clear to me who is the real MVP of the league.      

The clincher for me was watching Harden in his games against the Warriors, and particularly in the highly anticipated midseason showdown between the two teams on Harden’s home court, when Harden’s offensive game was completely taken away by Klay Thompson and the brilliant Warriors scheme. What did Harden do? Did he back off his own offense and concentrate on leading and setting up his teammates, as Curry has done many times before, including and especially in the playoffs?

No. As I remarked after that game, Harden simply starting forcing. And his team went down in flames as a result. That’s the difference to me between a real leader and MVP, and a pretender.

This difference in leadership between the two players is strongly reflected in the difference between their efficiency stats. Curry balances the choice between looking for his own offense, and setting up his teammates in the team offense, almost perfectly. Probably better than it has ever been done before in NBA history, by such a gifted scorer.

I don’t think these two linked attributes, leadership and efficiency, have been mentioned enough in the MVP discussion.

Stephen Curry wins in a landslide.

63 Responses to Stephen Curry MVP: The Clincher

  1. Very well said. I wouldn’t trade Klay for Harden, let alone Curry.

  2. I’d probably hate Steph with a passion if he didn’t play for the Warriors. Because he’s so small, wholesome, and GOOD- he’d singe ’em and leave you cursing him. The ultimate compliment you can give an opposing player.

    There’s an article at SI.com on ex-warrior Mookie Blaylock. He was stoned the majority of his NBA career. Growing up in 1970s SF I could relate to this, not the NBA part, but the hoops after inhaling part. My friends and i weren’t exactly members of the Glee Club. I never really considered marijuana a performance-enhancing drug, but the piece pointed out Mookie finished 11th all time, in steals I think. Fun-enhancing, perhaps, though not for everyone. Mookies currently incarcerated after a tragic car accident. He was also a big fan of Crown Royal..

    I do wanna say I don’t feel there’s anything inherently wrong with the weed. It’s what’s it’s inherently wrong with people that always causes problems. Do I want my nieces experimenting with weed? God no.

    Every now and then I’ll make it a Randy Moss blue-moon nite while watchin a Dubs game. But my hay fever goes nuts. Go Dubs

    • The early 80s had some terrible GS teams, but one benefit was you could walk up and purchase a ticket from some helpful soul, I remember getting in for 10$ (game underway) and watching JB Carroll, Sleepy, and the Molester get destroyed by Isaiah Thomas and Laimbeer. And World B. Free was still chuckin em up, in a limited role.

      There was a seriously thick cloud wafting through the nosebleed seats at the coliseum Arena that night. I can’t see stuff like this occurring under Lacobs reign, including all the empty seats. It wasnt the best organization culture. Drafting Chris Mullin was the first wise/lucky move the team made in the 80s, followed by hiring Nelson and drafting MRichmond.

      If the Warriors won a title and whomever organized a parade, I don’t think it would be egregious to have it in San Francisco, Moto. You have to pick somewhere, it’d be either Oakland or, maybe SF would be better because of logistics and the Market St route.
      I don’t think SF is all that. My best friend of 30 years is an Armenian purebred, also a native, and whenever we get together it’s not stop griping. Used to be the girls were too stuck up, now it’s the techies and hipsters. But we’re old.

      • we can be fairly sure that the majority of the 15,000 on the waiting list for season tickets want as little to do with oaktown as possible. and your reaction is probably what the lacobites anticipate, their marketing has prepared us all for it.

        Mark Spears is yahoo sports’ writer covering alta calif del norte, and he gives a brief tribute to oaktown’s considerable contributions to the n.b.a. in his article about the current high school phenom from the ‘hood (literally from the internal organs of east oakland, where his mother has a soul food eatery with specials named after great black musicians), Ivan Rabb. but the culture that produces the players is rather distinct from where most of the paying customers come from or feel at ease. that’s why Ind fans have their reputation, and how the former Atl owner got caught addressing his marketing problems.

        • Really, moto, that’s enough of your automatic assumption of racism.

          You conflate a reasonable concern for personal safety (“feel at ease”) with racism (“former Atl owner”), which is, in fact, unreasonable.

          Stop it. You’re brighter and more sophisticated than to assume that affluent people are all racists. Aren’t you?

          • not for me to say if the ex owner of Atl is a racist ; it did seem he was speculating whether part of his customer demographic was comfortable at his venue. if it helps you to project generalizations into my thoughts, can’t stop you. ’twas you after all who came up with ‘reasonable concern for public safety’, which applies to many parts of both oaktown and SF (including tourist districts) at varying times of day. my comment did not specify skin color as the basis for feeling at ease or not.

          • moto, I grew up in Detroit, a war zone, not even recognizable as America. For various reasons I’ve also lived in Flint, Oakland, and East Palo Alto, some of the rest of the most dangerous cities in America.

            You’re right, you didn’t say why Warriors fans would be more comfortable in safer locations, you never say things like that outright, you just imply, and your disapproving tone is palpable.

            Despite the right-wing noise machine we all read about, most Americans are decent people, opposed to racism and ethnocentrism in all its forms. That’s a fact evidenced by every unbiased poll ever taken.

            At the same time, anyone who feels entirely at ease in Detroit or Flint or downtown Oakland is a complete idiot. That’s a fact too.

            So please, go easy on the disapproval, and consider this: The city of Oakland could have offered an even better deal for the Ws than SF did, but they chose to let them get away instead. If Lacob holds his victory parade in SF, he’s not insulting anyone. He’s running a business, not a [fill in the blank] city pride event. And the Golden State Warriors are going to be SF’s team as soon as they can arrange it.

            It just so happens that SF is safer than Oakland, too. That’s a fact, too.

        • moto, My 2 cents on paying customers. Most paying customers are from SF Bay area, not SF alone and not Oakland alone, and care less for where the game is played except that Oakland would have been more comfortable commute wise for east bay fans.

          SF Bay area is remarkedly different from Atl and Indiana.

  3. In the post game interview, Kerr took none of the blame for the Griz reducing the lead on the bench guys from 31 to 7. Yes, the players were at fault. This has happened quite a few times. Isn’t it the coaches responsibility to make the needed corrections? Kerr says its a matter of execution. Then maybe the bench guys need something else to execute.

  4. Can’t sleep. Maybe if I get this off my mind.

    I agree David Lee has been used in a borderline ignominious fashion this season, and to his credit hasn’t rocked the boat. But has it occurred to people that he just isn’t that good a player anymore? Ten years of wear and tear in the league, and in his limited stints this year he hasn’t shown his old level of skill consistently, no matter how much blame you want to put on Kerr. When a guy who was never a great defensive player starts to lose his legs, he becomes a detriment, unless he’s really lighting it up on O. I’ve always liked David, just haven’t seen the old version yet this year. He may just be a decent role player at this point of his career, not someone you want to pin your title shot on. Hope he contributes in the postseason because there’s still along way to go. But maybe the coaching staff actually knows more than us on this one.

    • When in doubt, check the numbers. On a per-minute basis, Lee is just as he ever was on offense, even while playing with the 2nd-stringers. On defense, he’s better than he ever was.

      What he’s not is Draymond.

      Why just ask questions when the answers are so readily available?

      http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2772/david-lee

    • I agree, he’s looked terrible, nothing like his old self. So has Kevin Love. So did JR Smith and Iman Shumpert in New York, in the triangle. So has Jeremy Lin, under Byron Scott. So has Monta Ellis, since the Rondo trade. And so has Shaun Livingston, compared to his year under Jason Kidd.

      How much of it is the player, and how much of it is the system he is in?

      Not always an easy determination, particularly when, as in Lee’s case, you’re looking at an aging player coming off a recurring injury. But until we see a coach pay Lee the respect of trying to use him correctly, we’ll never know for sure. I’m willing to guess, though, that he’s still capable of a level of play close to his Allstar form. For how many minutes and how long is another question.

      • See my reply.

        Even though Lee isn’t being used in a system that favors his abilities, he’s still scoring and rebounding at the same per-minute rate as always. Whether he could still maintain that level of performance with more minutes is a different question, still unanswered. I suspect he could, as long as he doesn’t go back to leading the league in minutes played among bigs. That should never have happened in the first place. Injuries were one reason. Another is that his per-minute performance and his defense had to suffer too.

        Lee might be an even better player than we’ve ever seen. He’s gone from too many minutes to too few – in the wrong system.

        As for why Kerr chooses to play some variation of the triangle with the 2nd unit, I’ve begun to wonder if the thinking is to intentionally slow down the game play.

        With Livingston and no Curry on the floor, the pace literally drops by half (per NBAWowy). If the 2nd unit can’t really score well, then they can slow down game play to minimize the damage on the other end of the floor. It won’t win games, but might help the 2nd unit avoid falling behind by too much.

        To me that seems like admitting defeat, simply accepting that the 2nd unit can’t score. But assuming Kerr & co. aren’t idiots, it’s the only thing that makes a sort of strategic sense out of the 2nd unit’s offensive schemes.

        • Some players don’t do well off bench and in limited role. Lee need to feature on offense to produce and not going to happen in a system that emphasizes constant ball movement. Green is doing very well, DPOY level and Barnes is stretch 4 that Lee is not, so Lee is not going to get minutes at PF. At C, his main competition is Mo, who won few games for dubs and stats aside is more physical on defensive end. Lee was afforded Mo’s minutes few games but didn’t make the same impact as Mo.

          Lee still has couple of years left but his time is up with dubs.

          • If Mo doesn’t get in shape, his time with the Ws is up too.

          • Nice theory, but it doesn’t hold up. The 2nd unit doesn’t feature constant ball movement. The pace is far slower with Livingston playing, and there is less passing. Do your homework, harry.

            Mo is bigger than Lee, but if you think he plays D, check his fouls per minute. Or should I say per second.

            On offense, note that the 2nd unit’s offense suits Mo’s preferred playing style and favorite shot spot more than Lee’s. Of course he’s going to do better than anyone thought he would. Like Barnes, he’s getting his best possible looks. That doesn’t mean he’s “better” than Lee. In reality, play Mo anywhere on any team and he’s not a season-long 20-10 guy or an all star. Never has been and never will be, no matter how well his team’s offense serves up his favorite shots.

    • And maybe Barnes is better than we think he is?

      The beauty here is that the way Lee’s been played this season—or not—there’s little evidence to contradict such a conclusion. Yet the few times he’s played with the starters, he’s done quite well. We worried about injury, maybe still a concern, yet he looks like he’s motoring well. Jim Barnett made a comment one of the last games about how well he ran the court when he followed up Curry on a fast break. One thing we know about Lee, injured or not, is that as long as he’s on the court he will fight.

      But if you want to make Lee look bad, like he’s over the hill, you couldn’t do a better job than Kerr has done the rest of the games—wrong system, weak players. While that may not be Kerr’s intent, the effect is the same. Having Lee play extended minutes in garbage time is the ultimate insult.

      And not once has Kerr experimented with the best way to use Lee in games where they have built huge leads, during a season they have been able to glide through. But what was Kerr doing forcing Lee in this midpost nonsense? Did he still believe that Lee might yet be able to help provide some sub minutes during the playoffs? The evidence is dismal. And he’s certainly not getting Lee ready for next season, whom the organization has decided is expendable and who will want to be shipped.
      Then again, the organization hasn’t done anything to showcase him for such a trade.

      This takes us back to the minds of the brain trust, a slippery foray. Obviously they believe Barnes is the future of the organization and are committed to him. And it was Barnes who pushed Lee out of the serious rotations. The brain trust thought they could get Dwight Howard. They probably believe they can trade Lee and his contract.

      • The other thing Lee has not been given is constant repetition to get into shape and rhythm. Only 6 shots a game this season, many of these forcing them up out of the post.

        I’m sure his play is justified by some statistical analysis the FO has made.

  5. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    The legend of Steph Curry grows. He made an amazing 77 straight 3 pointers in practice yesterday and 94/100. I would bet that 95% of NBA players could not hit 77 free throws in a row. Klay Thompson said the most he has made in a row is 36.

  6. hat,

    Nope, I didn’t mean to say Mo is better than Lee, just that Mo is better suited to play backup C than Lee while Green and Barnes combo is better suited to play PF, and the results does confirm that.

    I can point to few games Mo made huge impact but Lee didn’t off bench or starting. Mo’s huge body allows him to be physical against Cousins, Blake, Jordan and Bo and I have seen him do that. He also #4 in charges taken, drawing offensive foul.

    http://hoopsmanifesto.com/articles/nba-stats/nba-charges-drawn-total-201415.html

    Look, I am not saying Mo is all NBA defender, but just having a bigger body and charges he is taking and being more physical against opponent bigs adds more value as defender than Lee. That plus Mo’s outside shot makes him better player in limited role than Lee. You can point to system for Lee’s struggles(if you admit to his struggles) but no one is going to cater their offense for a bench player in limited role, that is what he is this year, not when you win at this rate.

    In a bigger role which Lee is better player than Mo. But, you wouldn’t replace DPOY with Lee, frankly I think it will be even stupid to consider moving out Green from where he is excelling.

    • Right the discussion is not about Lee v. Green. The starting 5’s entire game centers around Green’s maniacal defensive coverage, which triggers the open court offense they thrive in.

      But when you say “Lee’s struggles,” please do your homework.

      I already posted a link to Lee’s ESPN page, which shows he’s scoring and rebounding at the same rate he always has. If blocks count for anything, it shows he’s better on D than he ever has been, too. A better defender than Mo, actually.

      Sorry, but flopping doesn’t count as defense in my book. It only works half the time, and it takes you out of the play 100% of the time.

      • Ok, for April Lee is shooting 40% from field while averaging 3.8 ppg in 13 mins and , and shooting <60 % from FT in March (and April). In my book, i it is struggling. So, yes, I do my homework and I change my opinion when facts change. For example, I couldn't imagine offensively limited Green doing so much better than borderline all star Lee.

        • If we’re cherry-picking stats, I can demonstrate how everyone on the team sucks.

          I know you want to stick with your narrative, harry, but Lee is hardly washed up. On the season, Lee’s points per minute and rebounds/min. are at his career levels. If/when Lee gets meaningful playing time again, he’ll do fine.

          • Hat, I am not saying Lee is washed up nor am I saying Mo is better than Lee as a talent. Given opportunity where he averages 30 plus minutes he might get back to form but not with the best team in the league(*in regular season) and not very good in limited role, some guys just don’t adapt well to limited roles, that is just the way it is, in my humble opinion.

  7. it appears that SA’s loss to NO resolves two seedings that directly affect the lacobites — eighth place, and SA falling into the same half of the bracket as GS, which makes a second round match probable rather than the conference finals.

    • Mem eliminates Ind ; in doing so they also push SA back down to sixth. so Mem and Por will have the longest travel in the first round (Hou vs. Dal the shortest, NO-GS second farthest), and get to share the same part of the draw with the favourites. if GS faces SA, both will have to pass two rounds of tests.

      • Are you sure about this ? I thought warriors would play winner of 4-5 seeds.

        • Mem vs. Por as 4/5 are in the same half of the draw as your woeyrs, the favourites. my initial post about SA falling to fifth was made before Mem won and bumped them to sixth. SA might need to advance without enjoying home court advantage in any round, which no champion has done in decades.

          • moto, just an observation. when you said, ‘your woeyrs’, are you not warriors fan ? I thought everyone here is a warriors fan. I get you don’t like owners and Barnes but I thought you are a warrior fan. Interesting to see someone send so much time talking about warriors fan but not warriors fan.

          • harry, my personal attachment to the franchise started to break down after they encouraged barry to leave the second time. and was fond of robert parish, whose career was just beginning to blossom when they traded him. at that point, lived in NY which made following the iconic LA team with abdul jabbar et. al. much more enjoyable on the national broadcasts. after returning to the area they again became the easiest team to follow in any detail, but avoided attachment.

            was a fan of nelson since he was a player. my spouse’s paternal side were a poor farming family in the midwest, so his life story as much as his hoops story fascinates me. as time goes on my time on the planet diminishes so less of it should be wasted on commercialized sports in general, and a strict diet is much simpler and easier in the absence of sentimental attachment.

          • sorry, by ‘they again became the easiest’ refers to GS.

    • NO may have given a clue as to how to beat the Spurs: come out firing.

  8. 39 wins at home, wow !! Just, Wow !!

  9. Incredible time to be a Dubs fan. Looking forward to hopefully many a late night here in DC!

    I was planning on waiting until this summer to get my Green jersey, but the time may be now?

  10. Not having to face OKC with a returned Durant is an incredible break. But having to face that same team first round would have been a horrible break, as would have facing the Spurs in the second. The way the standings fell, the Warriors got the best road to the finals they could have wanted, and they have a chance to progress in even steps. But it is also a fair representation of the relative strengths of the western conference.

    Their record earned them the right to meet NO, and it will give them a chance to find their tournament legs. Don’t be surprised by a few stumbles. Don’t be surprised by a sweep.

    • It would have been unfair if warriors after winning 67 games have to play healthy OKC team in 1st round, and not incredible break, if OKC were healthy, they wouldn’t be in 8th place. May be that is what you were wishing, but it would have been unfair.

  11. Good news bad news. Spurs aren’t invincible but the Dubs are playing the team that exposed them and not the team with the Most Valuable Stat Padder on it. Watched the Spurs-Pelicans game live and replay to see how the upset transpired. I can’t believe I’m saying this but there is something the Warriors do better than the Spurs: defensive switching.

    It seemed like the Spurs’ switching scheme was implemented on the fly to catch up with the recent trend started by the Bucks (or Warriors, don’t remember). The switches weren’t smooth and the Spurs looked like they had to manually point out each new defender they were to pick up. Leonard and Green definitely read the scouting report as they went under every screen set for Evans and fought through screens for Holiday. In general, they dared the Pelicans to shoot and it almost paid off.

    I noticed a curious move by Pop late in the 4th. After Evans burned Belinelli on 3 straight possessions, Pop called timeout. You would expect Green to come in for Belinelli, but Ginobili was the sub. Hmm. Ginobili was 1-7 with 2 TO prior to the substitution. Pop made Leonard cover Evans and Ginobili would pick up Gordon, so I’m assuming Pop doesn’t really respect Gordon’s game. A few plays later at the 5:10 mark, the Pelicans run a play called “25” (courtesy of Monty Williams) which isn’t the least bit creative. Gordon (the “2”) would set a down screen (misdirection I’m guessing) for Davis (the “5”) who would then screen for Holiday. Then Gordon would flash to the 3 point line for the supposed open 3. The play isn’t complicated and simply hopes that the defense forgets about Gordon when Holiday and Davis run PNR. Well it worked since Ginobili didn’t communicate with Leonard to switch onto Gordon, who nailed a huge 3 to essentially put to the game away. Why play Ginobili, who had been hot garbage the whole game, over Green? And why implement a switching defense right before the playoffs?

    The Spurs do struggle against mobile bigs who can shoot and I think the Warriors have the same problem. Durant, Ibaka, Griffin when he’s hitting his jumpers, and now Davis.

    • Thanks for spurs recap.

      Warriors did okay guarding mid range shooting bigs like Zach Randolph and Aldridge. Davis is going to get his but hopefully warriors make his life tougher.. Only question I think would be guarding RAndersen. Green and Barnes have to stretch their D all the way out.

    • green and leonard are younger and much more physically capable of executing the defenses at wing than ginobili and belinelli (he’s had lower body injuries the past four or five seasons). z.lowe on grantland put leonard on his all defense first team, green (SA) on his second team ; bogut and d’mond were on his first all defense team. butler was also on his first team, and it will be interesting to see where he signs this summer, because a western contender might look to neutralize the curry/thompson tandem defensively.

    • Thanx for the info. For sure AD gives the Warriors a headache. I think Holiday and Evans match-up well against the Warriors too. Felt thinks the Warriors will sweep the Pels? If Green has a sore back, he will be tested by AD and that big center.

      • I am certain the Warriors won’t sweep. Things have changed since the Pels got destroyed in Oracle. Babbitt, Fredette, and Ajinca will never play a meaningful minute this series.

  12. Not good when Warrior fans glad we’re
    avoiding playing certain teams in playoffs.,
    Do you feel we’re best team in West or not?

  13. moto,

    Thanks for sharing your sentiments about the team.

  14. What’s your schedule, Feltbot? (I have a feeling you’ve retreated deep within a monastery in Vegas to contemplate the playoffs.)

  15. Pretty sure my reactions arent what the lacob bites (that’s auto correct!) are expecting Moto, but you never know. I was just expressing my own self centered and selfish opinion on any potential parade. The one I got

    I don’t think Lacobs a bad dude. Just kinda oblivious to some of this stuff. That nite he usurped the mike during the Mullin ceremony and started pontificating about himself was cringe-worthy. And fascinating spectacle. I was 25% mortified by the booing and the rest, pure enjoyment. He brought it upon himself that evening
    I was hoping that Rabb would stay home. I’ve already mentioned how I wish USF could snag a few top prospects. But there haven’t been any coming out of the city lately, while Oaklands had a lot. Some of the formerly proud SF pub schools, like Mission , Balboa, and my alma mater (for one year) Washington actually have hard times filling out a complete roster. Another thing to lament about SF. But change is inevitable

    The football field bleachers at Washington HS, by the way, have a postcard perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Pretty unique.

    Hope you haven’t lost all your sentimental attachment for the Wubs. I’ve jumped off the couch and let out more whoops this season than any other. Surely while Klay went for that 12 minute 37, or Steph nailed a late 3 to culminate a comeback, you had to at least gave a fist pump and and a yip

    • of course anyone who appreciates good hoops play enjoys seeing those feats, but they don’t mean something special for me by virtue of the coloring of the player’s apparel. enjoyed watching nash in his prime as much as curry, and he was always toiling for a ‘rival’, no. also appreciate the guys who compete hard and intelligently on both ends, whose skills aren’t as refined as curry, like leonard or d’mond. those two disrupt so many of the opponents’ possessions defensively, their contributions on balance are at least equivalent to the fancy shooters.

      did you have a chance to watch Por much when they had their top six all healthy ? not quite the same skill level as GS, but very good team work, unselfish play, high effort play. they had an overtime game when lillard shot absolutely cold, made just one shot in fifteen or more attempts, atypically committed a handful of turnovers, but still helped them win with his single goal scored in the overtime, and seventeen boards to lead his team.

  16. “The Golden Voice…….How announcer Jim Barnett sweetened an overdue NBA dream season” (Lots of great photos embedded within the article)

    http://mashable.com/2015/04/15/nba-warriors-jim-barnett/

    • cosmicballoon

      Thanks for posting. Rare to find a warm and fuzzy that I actually enjoyed reading.

    • I’m not sure I could have made it through the season without Jim. And what a reward he’s been given by being asked to stay on—a record year.

      He is everything a broadcaster should be—knowledgable, supportive, yet realistic and critical.

      Mashable reposts stuff. Do you know the original source?

  17. cosmicballoon

    Harrison Barnes had a career year in year 3 in the NBA. 10 pts and 5.5 rebs with 1.4 assists, .7 steals and .2 blocks.

    He showed some improvement as a three point shooter, but his ball handing still sucks and he can’t make a contested jump shot. Also, boneheaded defensive rotations kept him off the floor in crunch time. What is his ceiling statistically? And does he compare to anyone else in the NBA over the past 20-30 years?

    • Has anyone in the NBA ever, at least for a playoff caliber team, with such limited skills had so much support by the other players, who open up the shots for him, and been given so many minutes?

      http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/6578/harrison-barnes

      What you see in his game log is his inconsistency. The averages are misleading. He’s had so many games where he just disappeared. He is .176 on 3s for April, btw.

      One key to the series may well be how short a leash he has—I’m sure he’ll start. Another will be whether or not Iguodala can step in and score, another question mark.

    • Barnes D on RAndersen can hold key for the series to the lieu of 4-2 series win to 4-1 or 4-0 because that would allow Green to guard ADavis for a good chunk. And on offense, he is stretching the floor. Hope Barnes shows some consistency and just be a 3 and D player that the team needs, not much needed, less is better from him.

    • To add, Iguodala is going to get most minutes at SF and Green at PF. Barnes, even if he starts is going to be second fiddle for both and Iguodala will finish the game at SF. Only way Barnes will finish game would be if Kerr wants to finish with Green at C for few possessions of a close game or if Green gets fouled out, a possibility if he has to guard A Davis.

  18. Felt, are we getting any predictions?

    • Can’t speak for Felt, but here are The Hat’s predictions:

      Warriors > Pellies. Steph scores until Pellies make him stop. They won’t. Jrue is still recovering from injury, and Tyreke doesn’t have a prayer.

      Spurs > Clippers. Leonard on Paul, Duncan on Griffin, constant rotation of fresh Spurs bodies, Clips offense grinds to a standstill no later than game 3. Spurs offense can’t be stopped, not by the Clips.

      Rockets > Mavs. “Playoff Rondo” is a distant memory, Mavs D still sucks. Even short-handed, Houston is the better team.

      Grizzlies > Blazers. Blazers playing shorthanded, Grizz not so much. Probably the tightest contest in the first round of the Western Conference.

      2nd round: yadayada, things happen, Warriors and Spurs line up for conference finals. Spurs go to the NBA finals.

      Eastern Conference: yadayada, blahblah, then it’s Cavs v. Hawks (sorry, I just can’t seem to get excited about a bunch of bottom-feeders). Cavs take it. Truth: we still haven’t seen the Cavaliers play their best basketball. They’re still coming together, figuring things out – while destroying everything in their path.

      Once again, its Spurs v. “LB James + whoever.”

      Spurs World Champs.

  19. Barkleys really being stubborn. Kinda like Mr. feltbot and DLee. Seriously though, he’s insisting a “jump-shooting” team can’t win 4 playoff series. Don’t know how many warriors games he’s watched, or how closely, but he’s starting to sound like an obstinate old fool. He did hedge his bets a bit by picking the Warriors over the Pcuns. And he said Anthony Davis would be the best player in the league in three years, when LeBron gets a little older. But these are pretty safe..

    There’s a pretty a good pull-out playoff preview section in todays Chronicle. I’d recommend it. This is gonna be good.

  20. Kenny Smith is getting his own reality TV show? If this is for real there are way too many channels. The question that popped into my mind was simply Why? And who’s gonna watch? But then I noticed his daughters. I’ll probably pass. My years on this sphere are winding down also

  21. Here’s a really cool graphic of Steph’s 3-point shooting this season, compared to other 3-pt leaders, starting in December. The y-axis is 3-point percent, x-axis is 3-point makes, bubble size is 3-point attempts.

    http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–P3Ko4g81–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/ep50ylbjm6i1xtc4rnni.gif

    If that link doesn’t deliver a moving gif, here’s the article:

    http://regressing.deadspin.com/steph-curry-even-looks-fast-on-a-chart-1698504467

  22. My vote goes to Curry but Harden made the damn thing interesting.

    Two things.

    Would love your take on this…

    http://sportschump.net/2015/04/25/warriors-come-play/15437/

    And am interested in exchanging blogrolls if you are.

    Oh, and a third thing.

    Best of luck the rest of the way out.