The NBA playoffs are down to four teams duking it out for the chance to play in the finals. The final four are as follows:
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics
- Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs
Boston strikes back
The Celtics just beat the Cavs 111-108 in game 3, putting the series at 2-1. The Cavs led by as much as 21 in the 3rd quarter but Boston was able to claw its way back, thanks in part to Lebron James’ lackuster 2nd half performance.
James made only 11 points, scoring only 3 in the 2nd half and shot 1/9. The Celtics won thanks to an Avery Bradley trey with 0.1 seconds left in the game.
The Cavs are still ahead in the series but this Celtics win – in Cleveland no less – gives Boston a much-needed morale boost, especially after the embarrassing game 2 drubbing.
Boston’s two main problems right now:
- Celtics star Isaiah Thomas is out for the playoffs with a hip injury.
- Lebron isn’t likely to have two bad games in a row.
Game 4 of the series is on 23 May at 8:30pm Eastern time.
Warriors still unbeaten in NBA playoffs
While the Boston win made the Eastern Conference Finals slightly more interesting, things are much more uninteresting in the West. Right now, the Golden State Warriors have a 3-0 lead over the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs were initially expected to do better than previous Dubs opponents (both of which lost 4-0) but forward Kawhi Leonard’s injury in game 1 totally changed the series. In game 1, the Spurs led by as many as 25 points until Leonard was injured in the 3rd quarter.
The Dubs then capitalized on Leonard’s absence with an 18-0 run and rallied to win by 2 points.
Without Leonard, the succeeding games were total snoozefests. In game 2, GSW trounced the Spurs by 36 points. The Dubs then won game 3 by 8, which was a smaller margin but clearly, the chasm between the two teams is pretty wide with no Kawhi manning the passing lanes and drawing double teams.
This brings us to game 4, which is on 22 May at 9pm Eastern time. At this point, it’s pretty much useless to have Kawhi play in game 4 even if his ankle improves.
Even if the Spurs have shown that it can beat this Warriors team with four future Hall of Famers in their physical prime, the series is essentially over, because it’s unlikely for San Antonio to win against the Dubs in four straight games.