It’s all been leading up to this moment, and it’s clear the NBA is on cocaine. Not like in the 80s when NBA players were actually on cocaine. The playoffs have been fast-paced, and that’s putting it mildly. The game has been progressively getting faster for years, but the playoffs are usually played at a slower pace. Not this year, this year even game 7’s have been played at a fast pace. Which is never the case.
For example, the Knicks are a team that played old-school, and with a slower pace. But when they played in the playoffs, they were playing at a pace that was unrecognizable to Knick fans. When the Clippers and the Mavericks played in the first round every game was at a fast pace, then a game 7 was forced. Usually, a game 7 means both teams will be more deliberate, and slow. Not this game 7, this game was played with a furious pace, the fastest pace game of the entire series.
The Nets are a team that is known for their offense, not for their defense. So when I watch them I don’t expect a game that feels long, I expect a game that will feel fast because the offenses will battle it out instead of the defenses. So far the Nets-Bucks series has been pretty good, game 3 was the definition of a gritty win for the Bucks. Other than game 3, it has been a slugfest between the offenses. In-game 2 the Nets won by 41 points, that game felt fast for Net fans, but for everyone else, it felt like a 5-hour game. That game felt like a nightmare that we all wanted to be over, we all wanted to press a button that would take us to the end, even the Nets wanted that by the fourth quarter. Game 4 the Bucks turned the table on them, oh how the turntables have turned-Michael Scott. The Bucks started the game with a pace that made me wonder what they put in their coffee, sign me up for whatever it was. Because the Nets couldn’t match their fast pace to start the game, and once Kyrie left the game all hope was lost. The game dragged in the 4th quarter because it became KD vs. the Bucks, and to nobody’s surprise, KD has announced he’s leaving the Nets for a new superteam.
The Jazz and Clippers have had a very interesting series so far. The series has been a tale of two stadiums. I believe the sole reason the Jazz are up 2-1 is that they had the home crowd for the first two games. That stadium was shaking the first two games in favor of the Jazz, but once the Clippers gained home advantage the stadium was shaking in favor of the Clippers. Donovan Mitchell isn’t the best player in the league, he might not even be a top 10 player in the league. So when he has a capacity crowd rooting him on, he’s going to feed off that. But once he plays against a capacity crowd rooting for his demise, he’s not going to score 45 points. Kawhi Leonard couldn’t care less if he has a crowd rooting for him or not, that’s why he’s so successful in the playoffs even when Playoff P isn’t. That brings me to my next point, Paul George sucks. I hate Paul George. The second he became a Clipper I started to like him less because it was clear loyalty wasn’t his thing, but then I started to hate him when he took no responsibility for losing to the Nuggets after being up 3-1 last year. Instead of saying I needed to play better, he said that the team didn’t have enough time together to gel, a poor excuse. Anyway, this playoff series has proved he can’t be expected to show up when it matters most. He can’t do multiple things at once, if he’s shooting all he will do is shoot, if he’s grabbing rebounds then all he will do is grab rebounds. He’s not a talented passer so all he can do is shoot and rebound. In this series, the only way he has been able to get points except for two games has been to shoot free throws. I’m sure Kawhi Leonard is real appreciative of that.
The 76ers-Hawks has felt like a slow-paced series the whole way through because of its unwatchability. We all know the 76ers are going to win that series, so why is Trae Young doing the ice in the veins celebration in the first quarter? I don’t think there is any other player who whines more to the refs but does the most tough talk in the league. Young’s lob buddy Clint Capela is being neutralized by Embiid, and Collins is being neutralized by Tobias Harris. That means Trae Young’s worst fear has come true. He will have to win a game all by himself, no lobs, no ridiculous passes, it’s Trae vs. the 76ers. I’m sure he’ll live up to the challenge, and he will definitely not complain to the refs every other play instead of getting back on defense, which he’s trash at anyway. Young plays at a fast pace, but the 76ers do not. That has obviously thrown the Hawks off their rhythm and will make them lose the series eventually. Why the hell didn’t the Knicks play at a slower pace to neutralize the Hawks? Why?!!
Suns-Nuggets is not even a series, it’s an obligatory set of games the Suns have to go through to make the NBA Finals. It’s not even Suns vs. Nuggets, it’s Suns vs. Nikola Jokic. Poor Jokic, his prime is being wasted on a team that is in desperate need of a backup center, a point guard, a shooting guard, and a power forward. Usually, good teams need those positions to be filled with real players, not glorified G-Leaguers. This series convinced me the Suns are going to make the NBA Finals. Going into the playoffs I wasn’t sure how far the Suns would make it, was Chris Paul going to show up or Cliff Paul? Chris Paul has been showing up big time. Devin Booker proved he can play when the spotlight is on him, and Ayton has been serviceable throughout the playoffs. The Suns check every box for a championship, they have a good coach, a good bench, a solid starting five, and insane fans. Phoenix Suns Arena has been the loudest of all the capacity crowds by far, it’s official the Suns have home-court advantage, there’s no alienating that crowd. The Nuggets have to surround Jokic with good players, not role players, period.
These playoff games have been very good so far, they’ve all been fast-paced, and that’s why I believe the NBA Playoffs might just be on cocaine.