Over the last month marching towards the playoffs and potential NBA Finals rematch trilogy, Cleveland have made some Cavalier moves, whilst Golden State have armed up by adding more Warriors.
Don’t dub this Ali/Frazier of the National Basketball Association ‘Cavs/Warriors 3′ just yet. The triple-double of James Harden’s Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder (Why Not?) and even Isaiah Thomas’ Boston Celtics have more than just an outside downtown chance of chipping away at Larry O’Brien’s legend. But when it comes to all the King and Kevin’s men. It’s a safe bet to put your money on big numbers like 3 and 4 when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors making it to the NBA’s big dance as partners for the next couple of years.
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, versus Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. It hardly seems fair, bit after the loss of some big names some former All-Stars have been given the call up to these roster roll calls.
We need to talk about the Kevins. Because not only have the Cavs got a lot of Love lost right now, the Warriors are without their big free agent ticket and new leader Kevin Durant who will be out for the rest of the forseeable season and future…if not some of the critical playoffs.
So the Dubs brought one of their old dogs back in dynamic defensive dynamo Matt Barnes. Returning to the house he called home back in the J-Rich/B. Diddy, lightning bolt logo, hero days. When Curry was just korma hot and those iconic trams ran only in the future franchise of Francisco and not the G.S.W. classic jerseys taking it back to back in Barry Bay day.
Barnes is bringing back anything but bad news to the Dubs who needed a good story once Durant’s was bookmarked and shelved for the rest of the campaign. His defensive presence is more than just a fill in job whilst Kevin is on the trainers table. He’s a certified champion. You remember his days alongside D legend Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) and doberman Kobe Bryant as a Los Angeles Laker? You can be sure former Warrior Derek Fisher does! Speaking of the Lake Show, Golden State have been moving so many gold standard players lately that after claiming Spanish legend Jose Calderon off their California neighbors they cut him after just one day to make room in the kennel for Barnes. But in saying no way to Jose they still left him with 415k in the bank for a days work and a bunch of Calderon Warriors jerseys for his family and friends. Not a bad 24 hours in the office for a back-up whose a good pick-up for anyone.
Meanwhile whilst defending the land, the reigning champion Cavalier have added so many more league pass household names to the back of their jerseys, that just a couple of years ago these initials and Monica’s would have guranteed them the title…if not now.
First Atlanta Hawk dead-eye shooter Kyle Korver came aboard before the All-Star break to offer some arrow assist to the King from his castle in downtown Cleveland. And he’s been helping break franchise records ever since…against his old team nonetheless. Then Korver went even further than his stroke, convincing his former Utah Jazz running mate Deron Williams to join The Land of the King. Just after LeBron seriously stressed the need of a playmaker following a ‘Bron botched Kevin Love trade to New York for the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony that James hated. Now the former best Point Guard in the league D-Will is back to his old ways backing up the most underrated top P.G. in the league, Kyrie Irving. And if that wasn’t enough, the former Dallas player is bringing another Maverick with him in the form of sought after big man Andrew Bogut. Not just a former Golden State Warrior…but the Dub that everyone in Oakland argued that would have been the championship and contender difference maker had he not been injured in last years finals. But Bogut in a deja-vu twist of fate suffered another season ending injury just minutes into his Cavalier career. So Cleveland have agreed to bring in yet another big man in former Milwaukee Buck standout Larry Sanders, who left the league a couple of years back to focus on his mental health.
Yet both these would be dynasties have big names across the board. From Shaun Livingston, JaVale McGee, Zach Pachulia and David West in Golden State, to the Cavs’ Richard Jefferson, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, James Jones, Channing Frye and dunking Derrick Williams. But when it all comes down to the one game and play that matters will it be the Chefs pot or the Kings throne?
Watch this space. And the battle for the top. Only a Warrior can take the Kings crown…a real true one.
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.