How Important is Game 5 in a Tied NBA Finals?

As this goes to press, Game 5 is about to tip off between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals. The Celtics won Game 3 but lost Game 4, and while that’s not ideal for them the way taking a 3-1 lead back to San Francisco with them would’ve been (2016 aside, that’s pretty much an automatic win), it does put them into an absolutely critical Game 5. The winner of this series can afford to lose Game 6. The loser is going to have not one but two elimination games ahead of them if …

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Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith, and Eleanor Roosevelt

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt Kevin Durant and Stephen A. Smith got into a beef on Twitter last week over the former accusing the latter of ruining the NBA while the latter complained that the league’s shift toward marketing personalities—Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and every other star great and small—in the 1990s set the league up for its issues in the past couple of years where TV ratings fell off a cliff in as much time as it took LeBron’s Lakers to collapse. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics, a team that …

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Does the NBA Team That Wins Game 3 Win the Series? (Part 2)

Yesterday, we took a look at every series that went back to the underdog’s home arena tied 1-1 in order to determine whether Game 3 would, functionally, ultimately decide the series. What we mostly learned is that having home court advantage in the playoffs is so overpowering that even losing a game on their home floor doesn’t often stop the favorite. When the underdog wins Game 3 at home, they’re still only 6-11 when it comes to winning the actual series, a 29-53 pace over an 82-game season. When they lose? Only one team, the 2016 Thunder in their second-round …

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What We Learned from Warriors-Suns This Week

On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to 17 games, beating the Golden State Warriors 104-98 and in the process ending the Warriors’ seven-game stretch of success. After Phoenix disposed of Detroit to run that winning streak to 18, they headed up to San Francisco…and lost 118-96 to at last drop their fourth game of the season and end up at 19-4. In so doing, the Suns ended up in second place in the Western Conference, behind that 19-3 Golden State squad that now leads them by half a game in the standings once more. That’s right. …

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Golden State Warriors: 11 Wins, 2 Losses, 1 Enigma

The Golden State Warriors have two losses in 13 games so far in the 2021-22 season, and they’re the kind of losses that, when set against a team’s wins, tend to indicate a team that’s as good as their early-season surge. That is to say, after losing at Charlotte Sunday to drop to 11-2, the Dubs’ combined margin of defeat in the two losses is just seven, while 10 of their 11 wins were by at least seven points and eight were by double digits. Before the Hornets game—which, it should be noted, was the second game of a back-to-back …

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The Golden State Warriors’ Best Season: 2017

There is an old saying among hunters that “shooting a bear with a .22 will only make it angry.” For the Golden State Warriors after the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers had just shot them with a .22, and boy howdy were they angry. They also say that the cure for what ails is a hair from the dog that bit you. But in Golden State’s case, this did not mean raiding Cleveland’s roster for talent ahead of the 2016-17 campaign. Instead, the team that blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals poached the best player from a team …

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A Study In Glorious Failure Part 1: Don Nelson

There have, in the annals of NBA history, been great players who never won a title. The mere mention of the concept immediately brings to mind a slew of guys who, because they came through the league during the reign of a team they weren’t on, retired without that elusive ring. Like “every star in the league who wasn’t on the Celtics in the 1960s.” Or “Every star in the league who was in his prime between 1991 and 1998 and wasn’t on the Bulls or Rockets.” Or the stars of the Dark Ages who weren’t on the Lakers or …

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Mitch Richmond: Was He Any Good?

The early-90s “Run TMC” combination of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin was supposed to be the Next Big Thing in the NBA as the sun set on the era of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Isiah Thomas. Michael Jordan inherited the mantle of Eastern Conference dominance that Boston and Detroit vacated, while the new power in the West was supposed to include the Warriors alongside the Gary Payton/Shawn Kemp Sonics, the John Stockton/Karl Malone Jazz, Hakeem Olajuwon‘s Rockets, and the Charles Barkley Show in Phoenix once the 76ers finally got rid of the disgruntled Round Mound of Rebound. …

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Achtung Panzer! #1: The Tanking Golden State Warriors

Welcome to Achtung Panzer, a series that will take a look at the teams buying a few extra tickets for the 2020 NBA Draft lottery. We begin with an unlikely entrant, the Golden State Warriors. For each of the past five seasons, the Golden State Warriors have represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals, the longest streak for one franchise in either half of the NBA since the Boston Celtics went to eight straight championship rounds between 1957 and 1966 (winning seven!) This year, the Warriors, down Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to extended injuries and down Kevin Durant …

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Are the 2019-20 Golden State Warriors Good?

The Golden State Warriors fell short of winning their fourth title in five years in June, with injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson acting as a decisive Gotterdammerung at the hands of the Toronto Raptors. This year…hoo boy. Some prognosticators have suggested they won’t even make the playoffs, as Durant is gone to Brooklyn, Thompson will miss a substantial portion of the 2019-20 season, and Stephen Curry isn’t getting any younger and has had his own battles with injuries throughout his career since getting hurt in the 2016 playoffs. Vegas, for its part, remains optimistic, pegging Golden State for …

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