TORONTO EVENS UP THE SERIES
After the forst 2 games in the Eastern Conference Finals it looked like the Toronto Raptors would be swept. Then came the surprise play of Bismack Biyombo in game 3 and the resurgence of Kyle Lowry in game 4. The series is now tied and will head back to Cleveland for game 5 Tuesday night.
While we still expect Cleveland to win this series they will be forced to play at least another 2 games. The Cavaliers need to get better play from its bench. LeBron James and company are still the favorites in this series and we look for them to win the next 2 games and move on to the NBA Finals.
OKC GOES UP 2-1 ON GOLDEN STATE
The Thunder throttled the Warriors on Sunday night by the score of 133-105. The star duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 33 and 30 points, respectfully. We believe that Golden State was in serious trouble before Game 3 happened. Westbrook has been too explosive for Steph Curry to handle and nobody on the Warriors can slow down Durant.
A big key to the Thunder’s success has been the play of young big-men Steven Adams and Enes Kanter. Adams has been especially impressive. He has provided toughness and physicality to a team which had been lacking in those areas the last few seasons. Golden State has to have Curry play better or the Warriors won’t win this series.
Draymond Green has struggled in this series and needs to play better. While we won’t count out a team that won an NBA record 73 games in a single season, Game 4 will be the most important game for Golden State all season long. It is a must win as they can’t go down 3-1 against Oklahoma City. Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr must find a way to slow down Durant and Westbrook while getting Curry easier shots. Curry seems a step slow, which is not a good combination when going up against Westbrook. We will see in Game 4 what the defending world champions are made of as the season is slipping away from them.
NBA DRAFT LOTTERY IS SET
The NBA teams selecting in the lottery finally know where they are picking. Last week the ping-pong balls went the Philadelphia 76ers way as they will have the number 1 pick in the June NBA Draft. The Los Angeles Lakers will be picking number 2. This years draft is thought to have 2 franchise players in it, LSU’s Ben Simmons, and Duke’s Brandon Ingram. While there are other talented players in the draft, these 2 are head and shoulders above the rest. Here is the order for the NBA Draft Lottery.
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Boston Celtics
- Phoenix Suns
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Denver Nuggets
- Sacramento Kings
- Toronto Raptors
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Orlando Magic
- Utah Jazz
- Phoenix Suns
- Chicago Bulls
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HORNACEK GETS KNICKS JOB
In a somewhat surprising move by New York general manger Phil Jackson, Jeff Hornacek has been hired to become the Knicks head coach. Hornacek did a really nice job with the Phoenix Suns 2 years ago, however was fired by the Suns after clashing with the Morris’ twins and having the team get decimated with injuries. Hornacek reportedly will not have to run the triangle offense that Phil Jackson wants his coaches to employ. This should be a breath of fresh air for players and fans alike. The former NBA veteran runs a high tempo system that likes to shoot 3-pointers.
Personally, we like the move. Jackson realized the triangle wasn’t working and made a move to get a quality head coach. Our only question is this. If Jackson hired a non-triangle coach, why didn’t he at least interview Tom Thibodeau and Frank Vogel? These 2 are more qualified than Hornacek. The Knicks don’t have a first round draft pick in this years draft so it is vital they get some quality talent in free agency if they want to make the playoffs next season.
FRANK VOGEL TO COACH ORLANDO
Former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel has agreed to a 4-year, 22-million dollar contract to become the next Orlando Magic head coach. We believe this is a phenomenal hire by Orlando, as Vogel has proven to be a very head coach. He was unexpectedly fired by Pacers general manager Larry Bird after Indiana’s first round playoff loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Vogel replaces Scott Skiles, who abruptly resigned. The 42-year old Vogel is a very good defensive coach and is known to relate very well with his players. The Magic went 35-47 this past season and have some nice, young talent already in place as well as the number 11 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo form a young and exciting back-court. Aaron Gordon and last years first round pick Mario Herzonja are 2 other young pieces that Vogel will have the chance to work with. Orlando also has a lot of money to spend in free agency this summer. Orlando fans have to be very happy with the hiring of Vogel. Now it is his job to get all the talented, young players to realize their potential.
HOUSTON COACHING SEARCH CONTINUES
It feels like the coaching search that just won’t end. The Rockets have interviewed 10 candidates for their head coaching position as of Monday, May 23, 2016. That number will grow to 11 as Spurs current assistant coach James Borrego will interview. General Manager Daryl Morrey has turned this search into a disaster.
It was rumored Mike D’Antoni was the front-runner just a few days ago. While we don’t believe D’Antoni would be a good fit, interviewing too many candidates can confuse the hiring process. Whoever lands this job will have their hands full coaching the team as well as massaging the egos of James Harden and Dwight Howard. Both are known for running coaches out of town. The new head coach must be a person who has thick skin.
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