This week we missed so much I can’t cover it all in one article. We missed so much because I was out of town and we recorded our draft preview a week prior to it being released. I’m not going to try and cover everything that we missed but instead focus on the two aspects of the NBA Playoffs that I found the most interesting.

First congratulations to the Golden State Warriors.  They advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans. The series changed drastically in game three. It went from a competitive series, with the Warriors being able to scratch out some tough wins at home, to a series over before game four. The Warriors were able to come back from down 20 in the fourth quarter to win in game three and ultimately break the will of the Pelicans. The comeback was fueled by seven offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, and completed by one of the most ridiculous shots ever made in the history of the game by Stephen Curry. To add to the difficulty of the shot Curry was also trucked into the first row by the 6 foot 11 inch Anthony Davis. After that shot tied it up the Warriors ended the game by putting on a clinic in overtime. Now the Warriors get to sit back and watch the other teams play, and start to prepare for what looks like a matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies. The only worry now is the long layoff leading to potential rust, but I’m sure the Warriors coaching staff will figure out a way to keep the team challenged during this break.

On Sunday I sat down to watch the Cavaliers sweep the Celtics and an MMA card broke out, complete with an armbar and a spinning backfist. First, Kelly Olynyk, the awkward canadian, grabbed Kevin Love’s arm to try and aid his teammate in retrieving a rebound.  Love pulled away as Olynyk held on to his arm, which caused a dislocated shoulder. Love now looks to be out for the remainder of the playoffs which severely hampers the Cavs title chances. Then, whether in retaliation for the Love injury or for comments prior in the week calling into questions the Cavs physicality, Jae Crowder became the target of multiple hit jobs. Kendrick Perkins set a hard screen where he sent a forearm high on Crowder sending him to the floor. In the ensuing scuffle he went and pushed Crowder in the face over the shoulder of the referee. Now both these plays were very common occurrences in the NBA. People jostle for rebounds, set hard screens, and act tough as they get held back by teammates all the time. The penalties for these incidents should be minor and limited to fines in my opinion, as they were. Really however they simply were the undercard for the main event that was to follow.

J.R. Smith threw as spinning back fist to the jaw of Crowder causing a flash knockout in which Crowder awkwardly fell backward torquing his knee in a potentially damaging way. Ultimately Crowder was lucky and sustained only minor injuries. His leg crumpling awkwardly prevented him from falling straight back and slamming the back of his head on the parkade floor. That could have been an ugly scene resulting in a head injury for Crowder. Crowder also avoided damage to his knee which originally seemed to have an inevitable tear of something important. I’m happy that Crowder will be able to hit free agency unhampered and his career won’t be negatively affected by this punch, and J.R. Smith should be happy as well . Not because I think he feels any empathy for another person, his repeated cheapshots throughout the years on the basketball court proves he doesn’t, but because Crowder’s lack of an injury allowed for the NBA to only suspend him for 2 games, which is woefully inadequate for a player who has shown repeated violent behavior. His highlight reel of dirty plays includes elbowing Jason Terry in the face for playing tight defense on him, dangerously undercutting Goran Dragic on a fast break, and throwing an elbow to the back of Thabo Sefolosha’s head that just missed ending him before the NYPD could do the job. Adam Silver has so far done a very good job as commissioner of the NBA but Smith should not be allowed to play again in the playoffs. I now hope the Cavs lose those first two games to whomever they play in the next round and get eliminated from the playoffs. That way Smith may be pressured by his teammates he let down to alter his behavior, before he ends another player’s career. I hope it happens because then he may be held accountable by his teammates as it is clear that he won’t be held accountable by the league.

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