Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers Highlight Odd NBA Final Four
The NBA Playoffs are the time when the superstars come out and play. The playoffs are where players get their reputation from. If your nice this is where you prove it, the regular season doesn’t matter anymore. Casual fans don’t go out and order NBA League Pass and check out every team, they usually just watch the playoffs and check out the stars playing on the biggest stage of the game. This is the time where random role players show out and prove they can actually play, this is the time where players prove there overrated by not delivering. More importantly this is the time where a champion is born and in recent years there have few power houses who dominate the game but this year it looks like new teams are proving they’re elite.
While historically elite teams (Boston Celtics and Los Angles Lakers) seem to be at the end of their elite status run, other lesser known teams are making their mark on the NBA playoffs. The Golden State Warriors shocked the world by beating the higher seed Denver Nuggets in the first round then gave the always amazing San Antonio Spurs a scare stealing two games of that series before ultimately losing the series. The Warriors were an after thought coming into the season and playoffs but proved that they can be a threat for years to come. Stephen Curry proved that not only should he have been an all-star but is one of the NBA’s young emerging superstars.
The Indiana Pacers are another story. While the Warriors win games with their hot shooting and amazing offense, the Pacers win their games through defense. When the Pacers leading scorer Danny Granger got injured at the beginning of the year it looked like the Pacers would struggle but instead they flourished. Paul George is another rising star, after leading the team in scoring this year and was selected as an all-star. He also won the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Although not a star yet, George is well on his way there. Like I said before, the Pacers win through defense with the 7 foot 2 center Roy Hibbert as the anchor. That guy is huge and has played huge throughout the postseason. In a perfect world the Miami Heat would face the Carmelo Anthony lead New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals but the Pacers shut down that idea early on by taking control of the series. Its weird to see the Pacers being the team as the last line of defense against the Heat, but not as weird as whats going on in the west.
OK, after all these years it’s officially cool to like the Memphis Grizzlies. Historically they haven’t been a very good team, not even winning a playoff game until the 2010-2011 season. They even won a playoff series against the Spurs that year but last year they fell out in the first round. They didn’t look like a bad team but they didn’t look like the dominate squad they are now. After letting OJ Mayo walk in free agency then trading away Rudy Gay mid-season, it looked like Memphis weren’t going to do anything, well I was wrong. Anchored by the “Grit-N-Grind” style of ball behind Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol the Grizzlies have been balling. Getting rid of Mayo and Gay ended up being great move as it let the team operate as a team and focus of defense. Now they’re squaring off against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. They ran threw the star studded Los Angles Clippers and made short work of the Russell Westbrook-less OKC Thunder.
With a lot of Heat haters and the Spurs always being considered old and boring (huge misconception) this postseason will definitely be a different one. Like they always says defense wins championships, I just wonder how these playoffs will pay out. I’m not betting on anyone as this was way to unpredictable for me.