Being the champs, having the MVP and a spectacular record-breaking season — a loss by the Golden State Warriors to ‘any team’ not named the San Antonio Spurs would immediately be called a ‘surprise’. Yeah, San Antonio is already out of it, but there’s still no denying that they’re the ones that could have sent the Warriors fishing if they battled in a series.
Still, there’s a team other than the Spurs that could beat them — and it’s no other than the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hey, they defeated the Spurs after all! So, this could be OKCs year as although Golden State is favored, they’re actually playing a team with similar styles — of course, with different strengths as their focus.
OKC 108, GSW 102 OKC Leads 1-0
The stats are pretty equal actually; even as the Warriors didn’t really shoot well from 3s. So, the key? Rebounding and free throws. The Thunder had more rebounds, 52-44; and more free throws, converting 22-32 compared to 11-17 for GSW. The Warriors led pretty much of the game until OKC caught up. Thanks to an aggressive Russell Westbrook.
While the Spurs got beaten by OKC big men Adams and Kanter, this series would be defined as the battle between the attacking game of Westbrook versus Stephen Curry’s long bombs.
Who’ll end in the Finals would depend on who adjusts better.
EAST FINALS: Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors
Either way, the Cavs would have still been favored to make the NBA Finals. Heat or Raptors. For the Miami Heat, they were just pretty inconsistent in the series. Although Wade has been carrying the team, there are games when he just wasn’t that aggressive plus add the poor shooting of Joe Johnson — and what do you have? A loss. And don’t forget the absence of Chris Bosh! Otherwise, this series wouldn’t have even reached a Game 7!
So, Toronto was just plain lucky. While many have now proclaimed that DeMar DeRozan has gotten out of his ‘funk’, well, it’s not really a funk that he’s into. He really has a hard time scoring in the PlayOffs — zeroing-in defenders are just bigger and more aggressive — it’s just that he only had a good Game 6. That’s it. In Game 7, t’was Lowry shooting 11-20 from the field and 5-7 from 3s for an efficient 35 points. DeRozan, 28 points on 12-29 field goals, oh, that’s just too many shots! And less than 1 point per attempt! Hah! So in all, 2 good games for Lowry, 1 for DeRozan.
Now this would be the ‘real’ surprise — if the Raptors beat the Cavs.
As for the Oklahoma City Thunder.. It wouldn’t even surprise us if they make the NBA Finals and win! It’s probably their time now..