Both of these teams have emerged as threats this season to take down the old kings of the Western Conference. They are sick of being overshadowed by the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers and are ready to be dominant forces. The Rockets came as a surprise to everyone when they signed Jeremy Lin and James Harden in the offseason. Two guys who were great role players, but played with superstars. The Clippers are known for their high flying dunkers, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and their incredible leader Chris Paul.
However, the Clippers may be without their great ball handler as he is considered a game time decision after bruising his knee in the Clippers game against the Orlando Magic. That seems to be the only significant injury news as Jeremy Lin stated he is ‘good to go’ for tonight’s game. The Rockets are not shooting too well from beyond the arc as of late and I think that will hurt them against this team who is very tough inside. I give the advantage to the Clippers who have been playing unbelievable this year. I give a lot of credit to how well the Rockets have done, but the Clippers have too many weapons. More importantly, Clippers or Rockets, who you takin?
How can you watch this video and not root for the Houston Rockets? McHale has shown true heart and courage to come back to his team after losing his daughter. McHale’s daughter Sasha lost her battle with lupus recently at the age of 23. They wear a green stripe on their jerseys in her honor. For most people, coaching would be the last thing on their minds. However, McHale has returned and has received nothing but positivity from players and coaches. In the video, he got a special embrace from his prodigy Kevin Garnett. As I watch the Rockets blow out the Knicks in New York, I hope that these victories are bringing some sort of happiness to him.
It is Jeremy Lin’s return to Madison Square Garden and it seems like he is the only one not excited about it. The Knicks have been rolling through the season, but they might be without superstar Carmelo Anthony for another game. He suffered an ankle injury in the game against the Lakers and has yet to play a game since. He is considered a game-time decision. The Rockets have been doing very well as well. Both James Harden and Jeremy Lin have been good for their new teams. They still have some holes in their team, but I definitely expect this to be a close game. With or without Carmelo I expect the Knicks to win this one. So, even though Lin is not excited for the game, who you takin in tonight’s matchup?
It is not often that a player can come along and capture the hearts’ of every New Yorker quite like Jeremy Lin did this year. He even had his own catchy nickname “Linsanity”. Jeremy Lin was able to take a Knicks team that was struggling so much and somehow put them back on a winning pace. The Knicks were without superstar Carmelo Anthony and needed someone to bring back excitement to the Garden.
However, all good things must come to an end. Carmelo came back and didn’t appreciate Lin taking away all his shine. Then, there was the knee injury that kept him sidelined for the rest of the season and finally, there was the snub by the Knicks who did not offer to match the contract Lin was given by the Houston Rockets and he was shipped off to Texas. However, Linsanity will never be forgotten for any Knicks fan.
This NBA finals season has been one of the most exciting years in quite awhile. Playoffs are always intense, but this year seems to be different. The Western Conference is a great example for that. In one series we saw a veteran sweep a bunch of new, exciting players and in the other we saw the “King” be dethroned by his successor.
The Lakers-Thunder series was definitely my favorite by far. It had all the drama that you would expect with an aging Lakers team and all the excitement of a young and very athletic team. Kobe dominated Game 5, however, it might have been his fault for Games 2 and 4. Did the veteran leader take responsibility? Not quite. He pointed his finger at every other player he possibly could, except of course Metta World Peace because I think Bryant is a little too scared to get him angry. This postseason has left many Lakers fans puzzled. Will Pau Gasol stay? Most likely not. I have never been a huge Gasol fan and this is why. He could be much more dominate if he wanted. There should be no reason why he did not step up this series and have 20-20 games. This is the same with Andrew Bynum. He should have exploded, but he looked like a match waiting to be lit. OKC is without a doubt a better team and played like one. The tension on the Lakers is obvious. No one really seems to like each other and it shows. The front office has some serious moves to make because they will never be able to compete again with teams like OKC in their way.
Now onto the most underrated team in the league. They are not showy. They do not do high flying dunks. They just play incredible fundamental basketball with impressive ball movement. The San Antonio Spurs. They took care of business in both rounds, only playing eight games and never losing one. In fact, this team has not lost in months. This team has continued to impress yet do not get the press they deserve. It certainly does not seem to bother the veterans who are playing almost as well as they did a decade ago when they were an unbeatable team. I do think OKC will give them trouble and this series will not end as quickly. I am going to stick with my original prediction and pick the Spurs to take the whole thing. OKC might be younger and way more athletic, but down the line it is more about playing better basketball and I think that goes to San Antonio.