Photo by Keith Allison
NBA playoffs: the close second
The 76ers are facing the Brooklyn Nets, who do not have big names on their roster like other teams, but have shown repeatedly that they have a purpose being the playoffs.
A breakout player for the Nets this season has been Cam Thomas. After the Nets traded away Kyrie Irving, they needed someone to step up big time for a playoff run – and Thomas showed up. Thomas first gained the spotlight at the beginning of February by scoring 40+ points in 3 consecutive games (44/47/43). After that, his minutes per game shot up, but he still is not a full-time starter for some reason. It does not look good for Head Coach Jacque Vaughn to fail to make a guy who is scoring 23 points a game in which he plays 30+ minutes a starter. If they want a chance to upset the 76ers, the Nets need to unleash Cam Thomas as soon as possible.
On the other roster is James Harden, who has been averaging 20+ points per game for 15 consecutive seasons and is normally the best player on his respective team, but not this year, even though Harden is playing around the same for his entire career. Harden has a little different job than prior years/teams, which is sharing the ball more, a responsibility he has developed well.
Harden is averaging the second most assists in his career this season. With Harden’s 67 Pick and role assists to Embiid leads the NBA, with Chris Paul’s 55 pick-and-roll assists to Deandre Ayton ranked second, which shows that playing for two years with each other has been plenty of time for these two to build a connection.
One can never count out the Golden State Warriors under any circumstances even with injuries. The reigning NBA champions are led by Stephen Curry who is a 4x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 2× NBA MVP, and the NBA 3-point record holder is back and looking to defend his team’s title. Klay Thompson is averaging 20 points and 40% from 3 which is his career average and is looking to add another ring to his hand this year.
The Warriors are looking to repeat what they did last year vs the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, but they still have a while to go till they get there. The Warriors are playing the Sacramento Kings, who are finally back in the playoffs after 16 years and the city of Sacramento could not be happier.
The Kings are led by Point Guard De’Aaron Fox, who is averaging 25 points, a career-high for the 25-year-old out of Kentucky. The Warriors definitely have the offense in Curry, Thompson, and Jordan Poole to put up points, but the defense is a little shaky at times, so if the Kings can help out Fox and Domantas Sabonis, the Kings have a real shot at taking out the reigning NBA champions.
The Warriors’ head coach, known to many, Steve Kerr won three rings with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs as a player, and four with the Golden State Warriors as a coach, Kerr knows a thing or two about playoff basketball, so Warriors fans should have no problem trusting a 9x NBA Champion.