Two games into Thunder-Warriors, we don’t know much

The Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors feels… oh, what’s an apt expression for the series right now… ah, I got it: up in the air. The series is as “up in the air” as Stephen Curry’s body is in the cover photo for this story. To be […]

Jeff Hornacek and the NBA coaching carousel: so many plot twists

The arrival of Jeff Hornacek as the new head coach of the New York Knicks certainly qualifies as a surprise relative to expectations… and hopes. Any Knicks fan who had become resigned to the idea that Kurt Rambis would be the permanent head coach in New York is happy in the wake of this development. […]

The Warriors’ good shot-bad shot dilemma

It will be a relevant tension point as long as basketball is played: good shot-bad shot. What’s a good look at the basket, and what’s not? The Golden State Warriors, now down 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder, know they gave away too many possessions with turnovers (some of them […]

Thunder-Warriors: Steven Adams was the MVP of Game 1

Steven Adams isn’t the best player on the floor in the Western Conference Finals between his Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. He might be the most important player, however. Monday night in Game 1, Adams picked up where he left off. The work he did to change and define the West semifinals […]

OKC repeats the Spurs series by solving its “12-minute problem”

If you thought the Western Conference semifinals between the OKC Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs would not carry over to the Western Conference Finals, Game 1 on Monday night in Oakland gave you reason to reconsider your position. A sluggish first half. A pre-halftime quarter (first or second) with at least 27 points allowed. […]

Playing Portland could help the Warriors against the Thunder

Playing Portland — it could have been viewed as the easier path for the Golden State Warriors when the 2016 NBA Playoffs began. Yes, a date with the Trail Blazers ceased to be the easier path when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both went down, but even then, the reigning NBA champions did not figure […]

Oklahoma City’s remarkable opportunity

The Oklahoma City Thunder, should they lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, would absorb another memorable disappointment. The franchise would have to face another stinging setback, a moment reminiscent of the 2012 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Another failure against LeBron James — after rallying to defeat the San Antonio […]

Oklahoma City’s 10-game upset is unique in the 21st century

The 10-game upset is a term which isn’t firmly embedded in your mind. This marks the perfect time to internalize the term, and to begin to absorb a specific part of NBA postseason history. The 10-game upset is something the Oklahoma City Thunder have already achieved in 2016, and will try to replicate in this upcoming […]

For the Heat, honorable defeat and an ocean of uncertainty

The Miami Heat died honorably on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat pushed up the hill as long as they could. Having trailed by 17 points midway through the third quarter, they sliced their deficit to six in the early stages of the fourth quarter. They were right there, somehow […]

The Raptors reach their goal after an arduous journey

The Toronto Raptors spent much of the past month — much of two fortnight-long series against the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat — fumbling, bumbling and stumbling. They watched DeMar DeRozan shoot them out of games in their losses, and into more precarious positions in their wins. The erosion of DeRozan’s game, relative to the […]

Heat-Raptors Game 7: the coaches and tactics

Game 7 of a messy, cluttered Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors doesn’t merely give every player a last chance to get it right. Game 7 offers one more opportunity to each head coach, one more chance to leave a positive imprint on this series after six erratic games over […]

Heat-Raptors Game 7: the players

The words “Game 7” might not stir the soul on Sunday afternoon in Canada as much as they ordinarily would in a second-round NBA playoff series, but the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors won’t care. They shouldn’t. The reality of sports contains an always-present disclaimer: An event might not live up to the hype or […]

There’s no compelling reason for Tim Duncan to retire

It is easy — very easy — to think or say that any argument advocating Tim Duncan’s return for another NBA season is selfish and emotional. That’s undeniable and inescapable. When a giant of a sport comes closer to the end of a decorated career — a two-decade-long journey which established a remarkably elevated standard […]

The Spurs lost because they’re old? Don’t let them off so easily

The Spurs lost because they’re old. The Spurs are done. The Spurs couldn’t match the athleticism of the Oklahoma City Thunder. All of those statements have been uttered before. The first two have already been refuted multiple times. The third is reasonable and fundamentally accurate, but it still doesn’t tell the whole story of another […]