NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
The NBA postseason is still very young, but we can already call a few first round series over already. While there have been some ridiculous surprises, there have also been some obvious victors. Let's breakdown some first round match ups that are already over.
I had Portland in 6, I expected Lillard and CJ to overpower the Pelicans, I was wrong. Last night the Pelicans pretty much ended the series by taking a 3-0 series lead. The Pelicans won 119-102 but this game was over by half time when New Orleans was up 64-45. Nikola Mirotic was on fire last night and torched Portland all night long to the tune of 30 points; Anthony Davis continued to shine as did Playoff Jrue. This series is done, especially with Game 4 being in New Orleans. Lillard and CJ have been shut off and the Blazers lack of a third punch is being widely exposed.
Miami gave the 76ers everything they could have handled last night. Goran Dragic was on fire and the Heat got something out of nearly everyone. Yet, the 76ers won by 20 points. Anchored by another ROTY deserving game by Ben Simmons and the post season debut of Joel Embiid, this series is over. There's something wonderful about seeing the 76ers finally remerging as a powerhouse, but on the other side it's sad to see this being the last of Dwyane Wade.
Toronto has reminded the East of how good they are and we're being reminded how quickly Washington has crumbled. If Game 3 starts the way Game 2 did, with the Raptors putting up 44 points, they might as well just end the game after the first quarter. The Raptors finally feel like this is their year and this series is over, there's just no chance Washington can go toe to toe with them.
I called this series in my last article, this series has probably been over before it even began. Karl Anthony Towns is missing in action, Jeff Teague appears to have turned off, Wiggins and Butler don't mesh well, and Derrick Rose is basically the best Minnesota player on the court. Houston meanwhile has looked like the same juggernaut they've been all season; this first round series is more like a tougher practice rather than an actual series.
This one hurts the most, as a healthy Spurs squad is the only team that have shown they can go toe to toe with these Warriors. Sadly we've been stripped of another year of this due to Leonard's injury as well as Curry's injury. The former being the more pressing one as the Spurs are basically “LA12 and friends” without him. San Antonio lost game 3 on their home court last night and it's safe to say they can get ready to hit the golf course soon.