The Los Angeles Lakers (9-2) cruised previous the Golden State Warriors (2-10) 120-94 at Staples Center Wednesday night. The Mavericks have not been previous the first spherical of the playoffs since their 2011 title 12 months. But there are two really good reasons for excitement — franchise foundation sorts Luka Doncic, the reigning Rookie of the Yr, and Kristaps Porzingis, the 7-foot-1 Unicorn” who has been sidelined since tearing his ACL in February, 2018. Early returns on Porzingis are favorable and if wholesome, he is usually a beast of the highest order. Depth is best, particularly with center Boban Marjanovic and the addition of guard Delon Wright.
Damian Lillard scored 50 points in Game 5 and completed off the sequence by hitting a 37-foot three at the buzzer to break a 115-a hundred and fifteen tie, sending the Blazers via to the Convention Semifinals. This was Lillard’s second series-successful 3-pointer; his first got here in opposition to Houston in 2014 He is the only participant apart from Michael Jordan to hit two series-winning subject objectives. This was also Russell Westbrook’s final sport with the Thunder.
It appears the final time the Warriors didn’t rank as preseason favorites, dinosaurs ruled the Earth. The Warriors are still excellent — Steph Curry and Draymond Green will see to that — but not prohibitive favorites. Curry-D’Angelo Russell is just not Curry-Klay Thompson, despite Russell’s All-Star standing. Thompson, injured in the Finals, will return. Until then, Inexperienced should play an even bigger offensive role. Willie Cauley-Stein is an improve at middle. They transfer into a brand new area and are likely nonetheless a 50-win group.
It is identified by now that Kevin Durant has departed , and Klay Thompson is out until around February with an ACL tear. That does not mean that it’s best to sleep on the crew that’s been the convention’s customary for the past five years. The Warriors nonetheless have Stephen Curry, one of the best level guard within the NBA, the primary unanimous MVP in league history, and my pick for the 2020 NBA MVP. I’ve written many pieces prior to now that have mirrored what Curry can do when Durant isn’t by his side, with the spotlight being two NBA Finals appearances. Whereas he did not have Kevin Durant, he did have Klay Thompson, who he’ll be without for most of the season.
Paul George is a Clipper. Russell Westbrook is a Rocket. Chris Paul replaces Westbrook, however what are the Thunder getting? Undoubtedly not the All-Star version of Chris Paul. But there are enough good gamers here to make the Thunder intriguing: guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, heart Steven Adams and defender Terrance Ferguson. Danilo Gallinari was picked up in a contract yr.