The NBA draft lottery took place Tuesday night before the start of game-1 of the Western Conference Finals. The NBA draft lottery could’ve easily been renamed the Zion Williamson lottery, as that was the grand prize every team was hoping to take home. The New Orleans Pelicans won the grand prize last night. I’m not a Knicks fan, but I was actually hoping Zion ended up in NY. With Anthony Davis still asking for a trade, I would rather have seen Zion in a big market city. If the Pelicans find a way to get AD to stay in New Orleans, then I can get excited about Zion heading there. AD, Zion, Jrue Holiday, with guys like Julius Randle thrown into the mix would be pretty exciting to see. Anyway, here’s the order for the top 10 picks in this years’ NBA draft:
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Memphis Grizzlies
- New York Knicks
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Phoenix Suns
- Chicago Bulls
- Atlanta Hawks
- Washington Wizards
- Atlanta Hawks
OAKLAND, CA – HOUSTON, TX
Was anybody really expecting the Western Conference to play out any other way? I mean, really expecting any other teams to reach the Conference Finals? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Sure, everybody who had teams in the playoffs, hoped for a different outcome, but deep down inside we all knew this was coming. The Houston Rockets and Golden state Warriors have been set on a collision course to meet each other in the Conference Finals since the day the Rockets snatched up Chris Paul. Anything together than this would’ve honestly been a disappointment in my eyes. The two best teams should fight it out to see who moves on to the NBA finals. I’m honestly not all that certain that this series will be as good as we expect it to be though.
Last night, down 3-1, the Pelicans were looking to make this a series again with a win. The Warriors were looking to close out so they could get themselves some rest before the Conference finals. It looked like the Warriors wanted their rest more than the Pelicans wanted this series to continue and head back to New Orleans for a game-6. This is not a shot at the Pelicans. They played as well as could be expected given the circumstances, but when the Warriors get their four superstars going on the same night, it will be tough for any team in the league to beat Golden State. That’s what happened last night. Steph Curry led the way for the Warriors with 28 pts. 8ast. and 7 reb. Kevin Durant scored 24 pts. and added 7 reb. and 6 ast. Klay Thompson dropped 23 points. And Draymond Green flirted with a triple double once again on his way to a 19 pts. 9 ast. and 14 reb night. Anthony Davis put up 34 pts. and 19 reb. for the Pelicans. Jrue Holiday came up big with a triple-double( 27 pts. 11 ast. 10 rebs.) Even Jrue Holiday’s big night wasn’t enough to help the Pelicans overcome a hot Golden state squad on this night. The Warriors pretty much breezed through this one.
Down in Houston, all-star Chris Paul caught fire, at the very worst of times…….if you are a Jazz fan. If you’re a Rockets fan, Paul’s hot-streak couldn’t have come at a better time. On a night when an “under the weather” James Harden had a very pedestrian game (18 pts.), CP3 put the Rockets on his back and carried them into the Conference Finals. Paul ended the game with 41pts. 10 ast. and 7 reb. The Rockets also got a nice game from P.J. Tucker who added 19 pts. The Rockets didn’t really need much more on this night. Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell led the way for the Jazz. He caught a little fire towards the end of the 3rd quarter on his way to a 24 pts. 9 ast game. Alec Burks added 22 points for the Jazz. And big man Rudy Gobert had 12 pts and 9 reb. Utah made runs and tried to keep the game close. They even had the lead for a little while in the 3rd quarter, but Chris Paul would not be denied his first trip to the Conference Finals last year. He just took over the game and looked like a grown man playing among boys out there late in the game.
The Rockets will move on to face the Warriors in the Conference Finals. My prediction: Warriors 4-1. I like the Rockets, but going up against a four-headed monster is going to be more than even a 50 pt. average from harden in the series and a 40 pt. average from Paul in the series, will be able to overcome. Warriors have too many weapons. Honestly, that sh*t should be illegal. Warriors in 5, maybe 6 if Golden State gets bored.
NEW ORLEANS, LA
In game 3, the Pelicans looked like they’d found a way to beat Golden State, or at least make the series competitive. If that was what New Orleans was thinking after their game-3 victory, the Warriors quickly crushed those dreams with a blowout win in game-4. Golden State made it their business to show the Pelicans that they are not in the same weight class as the big boys. Golden State now leads their series over New Orleans 3-1. Houston leads their series over Utah 3-1. Cleveland leads their series over the Raptors 3-1. And Boston leads their series over Philly 3-1. If things continue to play out in the way they’re currently going, we will see the final four that we all expected at the beginning of the season…..won’t we? I mean, we all had hopes and dreams for our teams, but in reality we all knew it was coming down to this. Houston-Golden State in the West. And Cleveland-Boston in the East.
Golden State took control of yesterday’s game early, and never really looked to be in trouble…..to me. It’s hard to beat this Golden State team once. Asking a team to beat the Warriors four games out of seven will be a tough task for any team in the NBA. The Pelicans tried though. Jrue Holiday had another solid outing on his way to a 19 pts. 7 reb. performance. Anthony Davis dropped 26 pts and 12 rebounds. And Etwaun Moore added 20 pts. for the Pelicans. The Warriors were led by all star Forward Kevin Durant who had 38 pts, and 9 reb. Steph Curry scored 23 points. And Draymond Green damn near dropped a triple double (8pts. 9ast. 9reb.). Check out some of the highlights from yesterday’s game below:
Video courtesy: MLG Highlights
Xmas came a little early for one family, thanks to New Orleans Pelicans all-star power forward Anthony Davis. The all-star handed out toys to the children, but he saved the very best surprise for the end. Contrary to what some people would like you to believe, million dollar athletes do give back to their communities on a regular basis.
Video courtesy: ESPN