Win or go home, the NBA playoffs are underway!
Its playoff time in the NBA again as the 2014 NBA Playoffs have commenced! The pressure is at an all time high. With adrenaline rushing in, teams are forced to give it there all or go home. Sixteen teams are in, only one can emerge as the victor and have the title as the 2014 NBA Champions!
With multiple exciting series ahead of us, I can certainly say that the Clippers/ Warriors series is probably my favorite! We have already seen dominating numbers by both teams and the level of excitement that is being displayed is absolutely phenomenal. With Game 6 set to take place tomorrow at 10:30 PM ET at Oracle Arena, we are in for a wild finish. As the Clippers lead the series 3 – 2, the next two games (or one game depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s game) will be filled with high excitement, and most importantly, a high level of emotion that will be shown through both teams during the game.
If you try graphing the consistency of the last 5 games, you are going to have a bad time. The ratio of blowouts to close games is 3:2 favoring blowouts. This is probably one of the most unpredictable series I have ever watched because you just don’t know what is going to happen! Players have been stepping up and putting their team on their backs.
Although the Warriors were without their best rebounder on the season, 7-foot center Andrew Bogut, they still managed to outrebound the Clippers, 68-50 in Game 1, which they won 109 – 105. After the game, Warriors Coach, Mark Jackson said “We had a tremendous will, but this series is far from over.” He was certainly right about that.
Warriors ended up losing Game 2 in a blowout, 138 – 98. The Clippers were hot from all over with a notable performance by Blake Griffin who went 13-for-17 in shooting and had 35 points on the night. I guess those Kia commercials have been helping him with his dunking because Blake took flight in Game 2 absolutely slamming a left handed dunk following a steal by Clippers point guard, Jamal Crawford.
Blake Griffin puts up a monster left handed dunk. (Credit: Richard Mackson, Reuters)
The Los Angeles Clippers fought their way to a 98-96 win against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3. Blake Griffin scored 32 points going 15-for-26 on his shots. DeAndre Jordan added 22 rebounds.
With a 2-1 series lead, the Clippers took advantage of the Warriors star rebounder Andrew Bogut‘s absence who suffered an injury of broken ribs before the series started. They took back home-court advantage after losing Game 1 at the Staples Center.
Chris Paul scored 15 points for the Clippers, eight in the final 3:18 of play, and added 10 assists.
Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points, 15 of them coming in the fourth quarter as the Warriors tried to climb their way back from an 18-point deficit midway through the third quarter before falling just short. Stephen Curry added 16 points and 15 assists.
Controversy came in the final seconds of the game when Stephen Curry thought he had drawn a foul on a pull up three in the last 4.44 seconds of the game. No whistle was called but Clippers point guard, Chris Paul, did in fact make contact with Curry as the ball came out of Curry’s hands. Should it have been a call? You be the judge.
Stephen Curry (left) shoots what would have been a game winning three. (Credit: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle)
Game 4 was a very emotional game for both teams and everyone around the NBA. TMZ reported that Clippers Owner, Donald Sterling, was the supposed voice in a tape that revealed the Clippers owner making racist comments towards what his girlfriend did and who she brought to the game. He basically stated that no Black person should be able to come to any Clippers game and that his girlfriend should stop bringing them. For the full story on that situation, go the link below (http://www.tmz.com/2014/04/26/donald-sterling-clippers-owner-black-people-racist-audio-magic-johnson/)
Before Game 4, Clippers players went to center court of Oracle Arena and took off their Clipper warm-up jerseys in an act of silent protest. This situation clearly effected their play as well as Warriors went on to win 118-97 evening their first-round Western Conference playoff series at 2-2.
Stephen Curry scored 33 points, 17 in a phenomenal first quarter, as the Golden State Warriors took an early lead Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena. In addition to seven assists, Curry set career playoff bests with seven 3-pointers and seven rebounds. Andre Iguodala came up with his best performance in this series with 22 points and nine assists for the Warriors, who led by 15 points after the first quarter. as their lead never went below nine.
Jamal Crawford had a team-high 26 points off the bench for the Clippers.
Hours before Game 5 started, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, held a press conference. The NBA had been reviewing the situation regarding Donald Sterling. In this conference, he banned Donald Sterling from every Clippers game and from the NBA for life. He also fined him 25 million dollars, the maximum the NBA can fine in these types of situations. He then went on urging the the 29 other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell his team as this can happen under the bylaws of the NBA.
This stand by the NBA and Adam Silver was just marvelous as it pleased everyone around the NBA and world! Celebrities took to twitter, thanking Adam Silver and the NBA for putting this through. Lebron James tweeted, “Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!!
#BiggerThanBasketball #StriveForGreatness” (@KingJames)
This sparked life into the Clippers! After it was announced that team owner Donald Sterling was handed a lifetime suspension from the NBA for making derogatory comments, the Clippers suited up for Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Golden State Warriors, feeling much better about their situation.
No one knew what to expect out of the Clippers, but they ended up witnessing the best game of DeAndre Jordan’s career. Jordan had 25 points and grabbed 18 rebounds! He was playing with high intensity and with great composure. He even went 9-for-17 on free throws which was phenomenal considering his average free throws made per game was 4 or 5. He became the first NBA player with at least 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots in a playoff game since Tim Duncan in 2008.
Chris Paul won another battle against Stephen Curry, as the Clippers put aside the emotions of the last four days to pull off a crucial 113-103 victory, giving them a 3-2 series lead heading back to Oakland.
Clippers fan's statement in response to the news of Donald Sterling life ban from the NBA. (Credit: Ted Soqui, Ted The Chronicle)
As Game 6 is set to start tomorrow at 10:30 PM ET at Oracle Arena, emotions will be running high. The Warriors fan base will be ecstatic as there team needs to win to stay alive. If Clippers can bring that same level of transition basketball that we saw in Game 5 and if they can increase their overall shooting percentage which was at 47% in Game 5, I feel that the Clippers will close out the series tomorrow. If the Warriors can have a high scoring night from Stephen Curry and limit their turnovers as they failed to do so in Game 5, I believe we could be headed for a Game 7! Either way, tomorrow night’s game is going to be thrilling. Stay tuned!