What a start to the semi-final conference rounds of the playoffs in the NBA so far. Who would’ve thought that without Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers would steal game 1 in Houston?! Who would’ve thought that Blake Griffin would rise to the challenge like he did in game 1 with 26 points 14 rebounds and 13 assists?! Following up for back to back triple doubles. However, the next question is: can Blake Griffin do it again or will someone else have to rise to the occasion, knowing that Paul is doubtful tonight for game 2? It took herculean effort to get by the Spurs in game 7 of the first round, but at this pace, Paul is going to need something short of a miracle to not finish the playoffs on the bench in street clothes. I’m hoping, as an NBA fan, that Paul can somehow finish the playoffs in one piece, being that Paul won’t finish the season nearly 100%.
Then in the other half of the western conference semi-finals is a series that has been reborn. The Warriors and Grizzlies change complexion after Mike Conley, who was questionable leading up to the game 2 contest versus Golden State was now going to play. Not only did Conley play, but he was the sole reason for the victory. Sure, I know that it takes a team to get a win and I completely agree with that assessment, but adding a player with the talent of Mike Conley, to a team that had to rely on their #3 PG in game 1, certainly changes the way a team will play and we don’t have to go any further than Conley’s stat line of 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting, while going 3 for 6 from the three point line. Conley only had 3 assists, but also just one turnover. I’ll take that efficiency in 27 minutes every day of the week.
Plus now it’s back to the “Grind House” in Memphis, where of the playoff teams remaining, only Atlanta and Golden State had better home records in the regular season. I know this is different, being the playoffs and all and records go out the window, but let’s see how Golden State handles the biggest adversity that they’ve probably faced all season long. It’s easy to be free and play your game when you’re on top, but how about with some pressure mixed in?! Not saying the Warriors can’t do it, but just saying the Warriors best chance to prove they’re ready for the next level will be winning a game 3 or game 4 in Memphis.
It certainly is the Wild Wild Western conference, but the same could be said for the Eastern conference, at this point too! No team remaining in the playoffs has won the NBA title this century, with three, Memphis, Clippers and Cavaliers never winning an NBA title.
Featured Image by: Joseph Glorioso Photography
Subscribe to ESPN700's News!
Get the latest sports news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails.