Anybody But Golden State

We’re nearing the end to another season, it’s that annual time of year where i trick myself into believing anybody but the Golden State Warriors will be standing atop the NBA World for another year. Maybe the Houston Rockets will finally put it all together? Or perhaps the Toronto Raptors? Nah. Let’s be real. It’s always Golden State. Once again playing in their malaise state for most of the season they’ve cinched up the number one seed thanks in part to most of the Rockets team regressing.

Of course, I begrudgingly have to admit the duo of Stephen Curry (probably will receive mild MVP considerations this season) and Kevin Durant are always a force to be reckon with, even if we don’t want to acknowledge how great Durant truly is, we have to.

This is the third season in the real-life cheat code that is the KD-era Warriors. We’ve seen them light the world on fire from beginning of the season to the very end. We also seen them sleepwalk with the occasional smackdown laying just to remind us who are the real sheriffs of these parts.

Still there is hope. Albeit, likely false hope. While the Oklahoma City Thunder on paper have the potential to eclipse the Mega-Powers exploding for WrestleMania V. I can’t put much faith in OKC given their previous history of shortcomings in the Russell Westbrook-era and Paul George’s nagging shoulder injury. Since January 26th George is shooting 40.6 percent from the field, a far cry from his 44.8 percentage prior to the injury. So the Thunder are a non-factor.

The San Antonio Spurs are a story I desperately want to happen. The narrative is too juicy to ignore. DeMar DeRozan’s history of playoff ineptitude lead to the franchise he trusted to trade him away for a superior superstar and is out to prove to everyone you can win the big one with him as your number one. There’s also the factor the curmudgeon Gregg Popovich, a noted critic of the NBA’s reliance on three-pointers, built this team in the mold fitting 2002, post-up and mid-rangers. And we’re shocked they haven’t cracked fifty-wins?

Currently the Spurs sit at 47-34 with one contest left on their schedule before the playoffs begin. If victorious against the 32-48 Dallas Mavericks the Spurs likely vault the Thunder for the sixth (Rockets and Bucks are left on their docket) and face Houston in round one. Historically, the Spurs have had Houston’s number and subsequently Mike D’Antoni’s. This year is no exception. San Antonio’s won three of the four contest this season. James Harden and Chris Paul were available for all but one game, which Houston won 108-101. For Houston, if they can overcome San Antonio I like their chances beating Golden State considering they’re largely the same team which took the champs to the brink before CP-3 got hurt. The cliche of “They are peaking at the right time” rings true for Houston. They are healthy, well-rounded and finding Austin Rivers on the scrap heap arguably saved their season.

As for San Antonio, the one ace they have up their sleeve is the old-school squads usually give Golden State issues. They went into last year’s series undermanned and fought valiantly against the Warriors. Add DeRozan into the mix they’ll surely garner ten or more points per game. Can they beat Golden State? No. They can take them to six-games though.

We know the stories with Utah and Portland. Utah’s second best offensive force is Joe Ingles, so they’re out. Plus, the Warriors have answers for Rudy Gobert. Portland only got swept because Maurice Harkless wasn’t healthy for the playoffs; the story is different this time around. If Harkless is healthy and can make his jump shots then Damian Lillard won’t be subjected to the punishment New Orleans unleashed on him. As for their prospects against Golden State, I’d like them a lot more of Jusuf Nurkic didn’t break his leg.

This leaves the Denver Nuggets. Here are my doubts: Nikola Jokic’s ability to not be a liability on defense in the playoffs and the team’s issues playing on national television. I like them a lot. I think Michael Malone deserves Coach of the Year considerations for the job he’s done keeping this team far above water when 98 percent of the roster began the season on the injury list. But the Nuggets simply aren’t ready.

My motto is simple… “Anybody but Golden State… and Philly… and Toronto…”

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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