Home Authors Posts by Marc Calumba
None conventional schedules are a norm primarily due to the pandemic but the NBA and the NBA Players Union agreed to let the next season roll before the year-end… and the timelines and key dates will be very tight.
I am just happy that our league is back on its feet after a long hiatus after being interrupted in March early this year. Let’s check how teams are holding up this season.
The ultimate concern that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs to resolve is how and when to open the new season.
It was smooth sailing for the Lakers from that point on. They just had to hurdle the Denver Nuggets and the Heat, both young teams who couldn’t simply match the depth and playoff experience of the Lakers crew.
With them being one win away from the crown, Lebron James is but 1 game away from building his resume as the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All-Time). If the Lakers win it all this season, Lebron would win an NBA championship on each team that he played for in his career (the first 3 came from his stints with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers).
It seems the Pat Riley culture continues to weave magic as protégé head coach Eric Spoelstra got the better of the equally talented Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. Miami has made the most of their big 3 in Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. The three stars are expected to continue leading Miami against the Lebron James and Anthony Davis (AD) superstar duo.
Fatigue was a factor in the Nuggets loss in the first game but game 2 was a closer match with LA’s Anthony Davis saving the Lakers with a game winning three point shot.
So what happened to the Clips? Is there any truth at all to the Clippers jinx? I personally find it surprising to see Kawhi Leonard struggle through the stretch. He typically shines in moments like these and is a very reliable closer. I expected him and Paul George to make the most of their series lead and close Denver out. Instead, Jokic muscled his way at will against Ivica Zubac and the Clippers never adjusted defensive stance. They alternate Zubac and Montezl Harrell in matching up against Jokic.
In a major upset, the Heat surprisingly pulled the rug over the regular season leaders Milwaukee Bucks 4-1 behind the solid play of backcourt tandem Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler. It’s a totally different semifinal series for the Boston Celtics, however, as they had to go through the gauntlet in an exhausting 7 game stretch with the defending champions Toronto Raptors whose relentless winning culture kept them going despite the departure of last season’s playoff MVP Kawhi Leonard who is now leading the charge for the Los Angeles Clippers.
After being labelled a heavy favourite to make it to the NBA finals this season, the Bucks got outplayed in the first 3 games of the series. In the aftermath of a disappointing early playoff exit, the big question of WHAT IS NEXT for the Bucks will definitely take the front end in the days and weeks to come.
So what went wrong for the Pacers? Other than the fact that the Heat are playing one of their best basketball in recent years, I think Oladipo is still not 100% and young big man Myles Turner didn’t really step up when Sabonis went down. Granted that injuries were beyond McMillan’s control, the rest of the roster underachieved and pretty much-made things easy for the Heat and this may have caused management to make the painful decision to let the Pacers head coach walk.
With a roster stacked with the likes of Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Al Horford, expectations were high for the City of Brotherly love.