Can't decide if the Clippers really have any chance of hanging with the Thunder and the Spurs in the West. One unknowable is to what extent Chris Paul has been holding back, waiting for the playoffs. To that end, in Game 1 he busted out 23 points on just 11 shots, to go with seven assists and two rebounds, making him arguably the best player of the weekend. Meanwhile, things didn't get any easier for the Grizzlies when Paul took a seat. His backup, Eric Bledsoe, made all seven of his shots to go with six rebounds and four assists. All told that's 38 points on 18 shots from Clipper point guards, to go with 11 assists, eight rebounds, two steals and just two turnovers. Serious.
Ethan Sherwood Strauss on WarriorsWorld, talking about life without David Lee: "In a vacuum, the injury is awful news for an already thin team. There is opportunity in destruction, however. Something may be gained by GSW resorting to guerilla tactics. Mark Jackson has been averse to using a small frontcourt. I don’t have many criticisms of Jackson, but this is one of them. On account of his size and athleticism, Harrison Barnes should be a prototypical stretch four. That hasn’t happened yet, even though the Warriors might reap rewards from spreading the floor with four three-point shooters."
Maybe what was wrong with the Lakers offense was the Spurs defense.
NBA owners still not totally convinced the would-be Sacramento Kings owners can come up with the cash.
What about bringing Joe Johnson off the bench? Jeremy Gordon of Brooklyn's Finest: "Joe Johnson had such an easier time getting his points when he was playing with the second unit that the Nets might consider using him as more of a bench asset. He’s their best iso scorer, regardless of your unreasonably positive feelings re: Andray Blatche, and it might be better if he’s able to conserve his energy for when the reserve offense needs to get going."
Devin Kharpertian of the Brooklyn Game: "Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans dribble-drove before lofting a lob to Andray Blatche, throwing down the dunk to put the Nets up 80-56 in the third quarter of a playoff game against the Chicago Bulls. This is a real sentence, with no typos or lies or mistakes or anything."
The Rockets need more Patrick Beverley and Omer Asik, and a better version of Jeremy Lin, writes Rahat Huq on Red94: "Jeremy Lin, for his part, was particularly atrocious, going 1-7 from the floor with 4 turnovers. His more glaring flaws were on greater display as he forced crosscourt passes when pressured, was out of control, and discontinued any usage of his left hand."
There's a lot of fine print at the end of this ad. I think it might say "no, you don't actually get to party with Kevin Durant."
James Harden explained the Rockets' loss by saying his young teammates were "shellshocked." Kendrick Perkins reacts, according to Daily Thunder: "Sounds like a personal problem." Also, a great thought from Royce Young: "You know how Rick Pitino motivated his team by telling them he’d get a tattoo if they won the title? If OKC wins it all, I think Russ should get to pick Scott Brooks’ wardrobe for all of next season. Or at least the season opener."