Missed the chance to write about the 2022-2023 season, to be fair I didn't really tune in enough to write something interesting. I think I've made it up for this playoffs. It has been quite the watch and there has been some very surprising results. As of today, the Conference finals will kick-off tomorrow.
I'll kick it off by writing about my team the Timberwolves. I was a bit optimistic when I thought they could beat the Nuggets in the first round. I think the team needs another season to get know each other as that Gobert trade was very surprising as having two big men is not ideal in today's NBA! With all the speed and shooting, it is hard to have two big and not the quickest players on the court. Ant is the future and I hope they surround him with the right pieces. For some reason I counted out the Nuggets and thought that Murray would not show up and Gordon and Porter Jr. would not be contributors too. We got what we expected from Jokic, if not better - 30ppg, 13rpg & 10apg on great efficiency? Yeah, I thought it it was only Jokic who was going to show up from the Nuggets and we had a good chance. Maybe next year, Ant said he's going to fly to France this offseason and workout with Rudy.
I don't really want to talk about the Clippers that much as Kawhi was one of the players I loved watching but he's a part-timer now. I think his body just is not used to playing a game every 2nd or 3rd game. Hoping he could play more games going forward so his body gets used to it again, unless his body just isn't there anymore. However, I still love watching Russ and that photo is the coldest NBA photo (not in the playoffs lol) I have ever seen.
This is a good segue to the Nuggets against the Suns. Another series I thought that was going to 7 games. I wonder quite a bit on how different it would have been if CP3 played. Basically, only the DBook and KD showed up for the the Suns and the lack of depth and lack of Ayton really showed up. Again, surprised by how Murray showed up big time in the series and Jokic has just been insane.
The Kings and the Warriors was the one series where deep down I wanted the up and coming team to win but I knew that the experience would overcome. It was a good series; stomping, suspension, 50 bombs! Sabonis got beaten up by Green and Looney and when it really mattered Curry showed up. Why does it feel like whenever the game is on the line, Harrison Barnes gets the shot for the Kings? I hope the Kings keep the core together, maybe get a better PF and SG. Otherwise, light the beam!
Lakers vs the Grizzlies has become somewhat of an afterthought for myself as I didn't think they had enough offensive firepower and they were missing Adams and Clarke. Ja had a hand injury and Jackson and Bane are just not the ideal Robin to Ja's batman (on offense). Here's hoping Bane and Jackson develops more on offense and they get a bucket-getter for a sixth man next season. I lowkey believe in the Lakers to win it all - they scrappy players and person have depth - someone you don't expect can pop off on any given night. One thing I noticed in this series, is that LeBron is happy to play off-ball, set screens which makes the Lakers even more hard to guard. Shoutout to Austin Reaves.
Lakers vs Warriors was a bit disappoint to me. Only Curry really showed up for the Warriors, Klay is a shell of his old self, Draymond did alright, Wiggins is not the ideal number 2 and Poole was nowhere to be found. I was not too convinced by the Lakers defense but the Warriors just couldn't score. Too many isolations for Curry and the ball movement we used to love and see wasn't there as usual. Very interesting to see what happens this offseason for the Warriors. It's good to see that the core for the Lakers have been consistent for most games and there is that random night where Lonnie Walker would pop off on Steph, yet Lebron couldn't score on Steph.
I think as long as AD, Lebron, D'Lo, Reaves all have their usual nights as per the playoffs and another guy catches fire - the Lakers have a good chance of going through. The heart and mind does say Nuggets in 6 or 7 but would not be surprised either way. I hope AD and Murray keeps the play up. I think the lack of another reliable big for the Lakers may play against them as you can't really expect AD to guard Jokic the whole game and hope he scores 25. Jokic might lowkey cement his spot as the best player of the playoffs.