Glimpses of the Showtime show of the future in Los Angeles was on dunking display and hand last night, as the young Lakers gave their city a Hollywood, script rewrite ending without their leading man.
Retiring Kobe Bryant was out again, resting a sore shoulder. But so was Suns’ star Eric Bledsoe who the Lakers have wanted in the past for their future. Even so the youthful revolt of the Lakers coming seasons still scorched the Suns, burning them above the rim from the outset and drying them out with a 97-77 blowout, 20 point rout.
Basketball Buzz, currently in California and waiting on the Warriors and Charlotte (and hopefully Curry), like Oklahoma City won’t hit town until their match-up with STAPLES (and hopefully Kobe) on Friday. But Thunder was already striking the baskets last night, raining and reigning in Southern California.
And we are not just talking about reigning Sixth Man of the Year Louis Williams game-high 30 points, to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a nice halftime buzzer beater. Even leading Sun Brandon Knight’s 25 couldn’t keep up. Meanwhile there was plenty of reasons for Lou Williams and young guard, sophomore and rookie duo Jordan Clarkson (12, 7 and 5) and D’Angelo Russell (7 and 4 off the bench) to dish those gorgeous gifts of delightful dimes.
In their Sunday whites on this Hollywood weekend night the purple and gold’s clean sweep, wiped out the Suns above the rim, doing more than just cleaning glass. And it wasn’t just former Phoenix Suns, Slam Dunk Contest champ Larry Nance’s son who was elevating like he does now by tradition every game. The rookie steal junior, who last night beat sophomore future Julius Randle in their power struggle for the starting forward position had 15 points, 14 rebounds and two dunks of the nights if it wasn’t for the contesting of his teammates like it was mid-February in Toronto.
Even Roy Hibbert (13 points) was putting it down as his fake, drive and slam was inspired, bringing the pace back to the former Georgetown, Ewing, Mourning and Mutombo, big-man following Hoya. Seeming everyone was catching iron…except Sun Tyson Chandler who kept clanging it. In one sweet story of redemption these raw Lakers were the ones rising like Phoenix’s at L.A’s sunset.
Especially Jordan, who like Mike put a dunk down so strong and sinister it must have been the shoes…or something else entirely. Since Kobe’s been gone, Clarkson and his new Lake Show have been undefeated in the New Year of 2016. Not con-Vinced? Then you need to look no further than the pointing kids face in the crowd behind the basket to know that Clarkson got it like Carter. Or an off the bench and on the floor Nick Young who needed to be resuscitated with mime heart paddles after all that swag.
Now the Lakers future in Lob City is really looking to take off like LAX.
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.