A conference finals series between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder could only be exciting. Each team possesses two of the best shooters in the game, and even though that’s where the majority of the points are coming from on both ends of the floor, it’s the battle of the big men that has allowed the Thunder to rattle the defending champions early in the series.
Wednesday night was the fifth game of the series between the Blazers and the Warriors in the battle to reach the Western Conference Finals, but you wouldn’t have known it by looking at this upstart Portland team. The stern focus and grit visible in the faces of their young players seemed to fade away as they were all smiles in their pregame warmups.
When the NBA season kicked off, almost every expert had Portland listed as a lottery team and struggling to win games. It’s now the second round of the playoffs, and the Blazers are taking on the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
This season the NBA world has been mesmerized with the Golden State Warriors, and rightfully so. They have been smashing records that we never thought would be broken, and have redefined the way the game has been played with their explosive offense. With all eyes on the Dubs, the San Antonio Spurs have been quietly going about their business and are right there in the Warriors’ shadow, waiting for their chance to pounce.
After 12 years in the NBA you would expect a player to start to slow down, but when your nickname is the ‘Brazilian Blur,’ that’s probably not going to happen. Finally playing for a championship contending team like the Warriors after years of toiling with lottery contenders, Leandro Barbosa seems to have mistaken himself for a bottle of fine wine and has improved with age.
This week marks one of the most exciting periods of the year for all Australians. Round 1 of the Australian Football League season kicks off. Even though the sport isn’t as well known in the United States, all Australians living overseas are still dedicated to following the game of their homeland, and that includes Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors.
As he took his place at center court for tip-off on Wednesday night against the Warriors, Sasha Vujacic knew he was going in for a battle. He made his name as a clutch shooter as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2000’s, playing as a teammate to Kobe Bryant, but now he’s lining up with a struggling Knicks outfit that’s fighting to stay alive in the Eastern Conference.
After tying the NBA record for most consecutive home games won last week by blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Golden State Warriors created history again on Monday by breaking the Chicago Bulls’ record from the 1995-96 season when they defeated the Orlando Magic.
Anderson Varejao is no stranger to Oracle Arena. He’s walked out onto this floor to take part in some of the biggest games of his career over the past twelve years, but Tuesday night was a different occasion altogether. As he came out to warm-up with his team mates, Varejao was greeted with cheering fans, rather than feeling like he’d stepped into a war-zone. Although he was picked up off the waivers by Golden State after being traded to Portland a few weeks ago, Tuesday night was the first time that the Brazilian walked onto Oracle’s hardwood as a Golden State Warrior.
One of the most exciting things about the 2015-16 NBA season has been the quality of the young talent coming into the league. Across the lottery teams from last season, the youth injection has given teams a huge boost that will ensure that their future will shine bright.