The Atlanta Hawks signed Dwight Howard. This is huge for the organization. Not only do they upgrade, but they get him to play for his hometown Atlanta. The Hawks have a center in the middle who will maintain a presence, both offensively and defensively, in the middle.
Kevin Durant is being courted by several NBA teams and one only wonders where he’ll go. Will he make Golden State a better offensive team?
Serge Ibaka was traded to the Orlando Magic on Draft Day. It’s clear that Oklahoma City is rebuilding. What happens to Russell Westbrook?
Luol Deng has signed a deal to play for the L.A. Lakers. Puzzling move for the Lakers organization.
Oklahoma City is really going ahead without much of its core from last season as Kevin Martin is gone and Jeremy Lamb steps in. The Thunder aren’t making much moves, but without the due of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, they are expected to make much more impact with their basketball play as time goes on. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha are expected to carry on the duties as role players as they help OKC continue their run for their first NBA championship. New younger players step in as the forefront of the Thunder’s future. Players like Steven Adams and Perry Jones III and Nick Collison will strengthen the Thunder bench, but how long will it keep OKC from suffering another devastating loss in the playoffs? They have made lots of moves in the past offseason and in previous years, but the Thunder have failed to attain a goal of obtaining an NBA title.
The Knicks are clawing back against a balanced Indiana Pacers squad. New York is down 3-2 against Indiana and are forcing the Pacers to play a Game 6. What gives? Why are the New York Knicks giving the Indiana Pacers a fight in their playoff series? The Pacers haven’t exactly solved containing Carmelo Anthony’s scoring neither have they played solid defense against New York’s streaky perimeter shooters. Indiana has allowed New York to shoot as many jumpers and three pointers as much as they can.
I saw clearly that Scott Brooks’ Oklahoma City squad had a tough time trying to handle the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies. These aren’t the Houston Rockets that the Thunder faced in round one. This is a Memphis team that is willing to back you to the basket and make you play their style of basketball. Oklahoma City tried to look comfortable playing basketball against Memphis, but it didn’t really show. We didn’t really see Serge Ibaka’s shot-blocking brilliance or Kevin Durant finding his way to the hole with easy dunks and baskets and shooting open jumpers. The Grizzlies’ best perimeter defender, Tony Allen found a way to get inside Kevin Durant’s head and Durant let it show to the referees that he wasn’t getting calls when he was getting hit by Tony Allen.
San Antonio showed Golden State what playoff basketball is all about. The Spurs played their brand of basketball as Tim Duncan showed an array of post moves as Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, Andris Biedrins, and Carl Landry all were trying to deny Duncan’s points. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker had their way around the paint as they got their points. The Warriors backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson couldn’t contain Ginobli and Parker.
In the Miami-Chicago series, I see that the Heat weren’t quite prepared for Game 1, despite the layoff they had between series against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and the Chicago Bulls in their semi finals. Despite losing Game 1, the Heat recovered and beat the Bulls four games straight. Miami beat Chicago on talent alone. Chicago doesn’t have anyone in Lebron James’ caliber star power or Dwyane Wade’s athleticism or Chris Bosh’s shooting. The Bulls are clearly missing Derrick Rose and they do not have anyone who can replace Rose with Carlos Boozer’s whose solid combination of perimeter shooting and rebounding are invaluable and Joakim Noah’s rebounding and defense are key to Chicago’s success.
The Indiana Pacers crushed the Atlanta Hawks 107-90 in their Game 1 behind balanced scoring from their players. The Pacers’ strong suit is having their guys play solid defense and have the ball passed around to the open person so the open guy can shoot. They did that well and that’s why the Pacers win Game 1. Manu Ginobli and the San Antonio Spurs saw to it that they play better basketball than the Los Angeles Lakers did and that resulted in a Spurs Game 1 win. The Miami Heat played outstanding basketball, because of Chris Andersen and Ray Allen. The play of Allen and Andersen helped Miami win 110-87 against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Oklahoma City Thunder crushed the visiting Houston Rockets at home in OKC 120-91 behind scoring efforts from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and Kevin Martin.
Serge Ibaka hits Blake Griffin in the groin
Terrible thing Ibaka did to Blake Griffin. Ibaka got fined for it.
I’m watching a live game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies. This is how you beat the Memphis Grizzlies. You neutralize Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies’ best post threat with athletic and lanky defenders like Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant. You make him jump for the basketball when Ibaka and Perkins go for it. I know I haven’t been writing basketball strategies and tactics like this for a long time. Maybe I’ll get more views for this. Ibaka and Perkins and Nick Collison have kept Randolph from scoring and getting rebounds on both ends of the court. I believe this is the reason why OKC is leading Memphis 86-71.
This was a close game from start until finish. The Americans held on and beat the Spaniards in a tough basketball game. Lebron James was the best player of the tournament. Kevin Durant was the Americans’ leading scorer. The U.S. definitely deserved the victory and the gold medal. Spain really gave the Americans a run for their money. If anything, the U.S. must still prove that they are on top of the basketball world again and again in future basketball events like this. I really thought Spain was going to take this gold medal game. The Americans hung on and kept resisting the Spaniards’ attempt to make it a low-post affair and kept Spain attacking the Americans in the middle where the U.S. lacks size there. For three quarters, the Spanish looked confident playing against the superior Americans at basketball, until Lebron James took over. Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol had their way physically and mentally against the Americans. Juan Carlos Navarro was playing splendidly. Serge Ibaka was tremendously effective. Size helped Spain and it hurt the Americans. The U.S. played well to overcome its own limitations and that’s what did the trick. That’s why they won this game and the gold medal. They played fast and up-tempo and had players like Chris Paul and Lebron James rush the fast break so they can score fast points. That’s game. That’s life.