Stakes are high for Golden State and Houston in Game 7

Stakes are high for Golden State and Houston in Game 7

In Eastern conference finals, Cleveland dominated the series 4-3 against the Celtics and are now well on their way to yet another championship. Meanwhile, stakes are pretty high for Warriors and the Rockets as we all get to witness it unfold tonight in game 7 in the west. I honestly didn't think the Cavs would make it this far - all things considered - yet here we are. 

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NBA Playoffs Western Conference Recap: First Round Awards

NBA Playoffs Western Conference Recap:  First Round Awards

We already got through the first round of the NBA playoffs and reviewed what went down in the East.  In both conferences, there were plenty of entertaining games for basketball fans to enjoy and a few unexpected subplots that played out in front of our eyes.  Some teams are considering their futures after exits, other teams earned the respect of the league, and eight teams are heading into the second round with a chance at a NBA championship. 

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NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Recap: First Round Awards

NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Recap:  First Round Awards

The first round of the NBA playoffs is finally over and what a round it was.  There were plenty of entertaining games for the world to enjoy and a few unexpected subplots that played out in front of our eyes.  Some teams are considering their futures after exits, other teams earned the respect of the league, and eight teams are heading into the second round with a chance at a NBA championship. 

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NBA Game of the Week: Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards

Brian Babineau/Getty Images. image source. 
Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards 
5/16/17 - TD Garden

Disclaimer: It's my intention to bring back weekly content for Games of the Week, as well as Tidal Wave Wednesdays to #TheSkyBoxSuite, but I know I really have to work on consistency in that department. Perhaps, it will be a little easier to focus on one thing at a time as summer approaches and NBA finals begin, but we'll see how it goes.

What a whirlwind of a playoff season it's been thus far...

First, let's start with last night's thriller Game 7 match up, which was Boston Celtics literally coming up against the Washington Wizards. Just as predicted in last week's preview of game 7, it was yet another home court victory for Boston. Although John Wall didn't show up with the same energy and obnoxious attitude he carried in Game 6, their loss last night didn't happen without a fight from both sides. Wizards' end was lead by Bradley Beal with 28 points, 24 of which were shot in the second half. The final score of 115-105 {BOS} reflected the fierce competition that was absolutely there, despite what other key scorers failed to do this time around.

Surprisingly enough, it wasn't solely Isaiah Thomas who ultimately stole the show and received all the praise on Boston's side. Instead, Kelly Olynyk's stellar off bench performance was the highlight of this game and he was able to shine in all his unexpected glory. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown had a pretty tough run as well. 

Both teams had incredible seasons leading up to this point. John Wall and Bradley Beal, by far my favorite on court duo since the Durant-Westbrook era, have equally proven to not be underdogs anymore, a category that I placed them in not too long ago. As hard as it's been to choose a solid playoff team to root for, simply because it really would've been great to see Washington get that opportunity to move on to the next round since they haven't in a while, I really do believe this is Isaiah's golden moment and it's going to be really difficult to take that from him at this point.

As mentioned before, these athletes only have one, maybe two shots, to confirm or invalidate themselves and what they are capable of. If they miss, they never live to see the day that particular moment isn't brought up. Thomas has played such a key role post season, averaging at least 30 points every game, and coming in clutch at the most pivotal moments, which most of the time, occurs in the fourth. The jersey no.4 is super fitting for him, as he is deemed Mr. King of the Fourth for a reason. 

The show is still going. Tomorrow night, for the first time since 2012 when Doc Rivers was still head coach in Boston, the Celtics are now on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will face the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden, 8:30pm ET. Everyone seems to think it will be a 4 game sweep in favor of the Cavs, which-as much as I hate to admit it-is a pretty fair calculation, considering what the climate looked like the last time these two met up. Despite what looks good on paper, my faith is still standing firm on the Celtics to at least push to a Game 6, because #ItsNotLuck...it truly isn't...and I'm wishing them success moving forward.

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

NBA Playoff SZN is Fully Loaded: Game 7 Preview + Predictions

Photo credit:  Patrick McDermott/Getty Images via SB Nation

Game 7 it is...

The Washington Wizards definitely put on a show last night in their match up against the Boston Celtics. John Wall and Bradley Beal-2 of my picks for top 10 underdogs in the NBA, no less - shut. it. DOWN! However, I'm still rooting for Boston to take the series and considering they've won every home game against Washington this series, there's a pretty good chance they'll dominate game 7 Monday night. Of course, winner will face Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern finals, which start Wednesday, May 17th. My money is on Boston all the way through. 

Bye-Bye, Rockets!!!

Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports via SB Nation
Although in the moment I was ready to discredit James Harden in game 6 against the Spurs, he's had one helluva season. The somewhat unfortunate thing about the playoffs-sports in general really-is there is all this build up to one big moment. If you don't show up in that particular moment such as a game like this, it either confirms or invalidates how spectators measure your performance. 

The Houston fiasco is similar to what Kobe went through during game 7 of the 2006 playoffs against the Phoenix Suns. To this day, as amazing as an athlete he's been his entire career, has not been able to and will probably never be able to live that down. Needless to say, job well done to Harden, but...Russell Westbrook is still my MVP pick, because even in a loss like the hit Harden and the Rockets took last night, he would not have gone down without a fight, especially without the opposing teams' MVP.

"I always say that Popovich is the Belichick of the NBA." 
-Erica Renee Davis | @EricaReneeD  

Everyone is counting on San Antonio not to win against Golden State next week, but I'm not counting them out just yet. I'm predicting at least a 3 run this season.

Road to the finals...

Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are the top contenders for the NBA Finals and I'm not betting on either team to win this year. Both teams have had it pretty easy in the first round, if we're being perfectly honest, but I still think fans have put this on a pedestal based on historical context. It's not that I don't think either team is capable of making it that far, I just think it makes for more interesting basketball when the unexpected teams dominate. That being said, my finals prediction at this point is San Antionio Spurs vs. Boston Celtics. 

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

Playoff szn: What We Know About the NBA Playoffs So Far {Game 3 Preview}

image source via SI.com

Summary: 

east series: 


  • Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics
  • Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks
  • Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

west series: 


  • Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers
  • Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz
  • Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
See full schedule here +


In the east, Chicago, Cleveland, and Washington are taking the lead at 2-0 in their respective series with Bucks and Raptors breaking even at 1-1. If we head west, Warriors, Rockets, and Spurs dominate at 2-0, Jazz and Clippers tied at 1-1. It's still too early-in my opinion-to make any rash decisions in terms of how this will unfold.


Highlight teams + Key players:

It's a rather interesting dichotomy that's happening right now. For instance, Celtics seem to be choking a bit, as everyone isn't playing the same way they were playing all season. We're haven't seen their normal hustle and grind from these effort teams; even the on court chemistry seems to be off. The best player being Isaiah Thomas, unfortunately, personal tragedy is hanging somewhere in the balance where his mind isn't totally there. All of this is giving Bulls a sort of advantage over them. Boston will really need to switch gears moving forward.

Photo credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Despite the Bulls looking like the better team right now and although Bulls' veteran: rookie ratio with D.Wade and Bobby Portis is entertaining to watch, I definitely see Celtics taking control of this series. Game 3 will either confirm or invalidate this. I will say though-if they do win and Wizards come out on top vs. Atlanta, which I presume they will-that will be a completely different monster to face for Boston.  

Bucks is a young team under a young coach with outstanding potential, especially with key players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, a rising star who is essentially at his peak right now, rocking the scoreboards. and both teams have a lot to offer on their rosters. This is one series I'm not exactly invested in per se, but I think Milwaukee has a fair shot at dominance over the Raptors.

Kawhi Leonard is the same way for the Spurs and I can see them flying past the Grizzlies. Again, it's too early  to really know and that opinion is probably a bias, simply because I think San Antonio is a better playoff team, historically.

Photo credit: Bill Baptist/Getty Images

As far as probably the biggest rivalry this year is OKC vs. Houston. It's pretty obvious that basketball fans and sports analyst are way more concerned with Russell Westbrook producing astronomical numbers than the team itself, him being the primary focus of MVP headlines and all. One blow out game and one close one against the Rockets, both games in Houston, there's no follow through on Thunder's end and Harden is absolutely taking advantage of the opportunity as much as he can. Regardless, I still think Westbrook is deserving of MVP; I just need his team to get it together while it still matters. 

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA