Durant Wins 1st (of many) NBA Title

durant nba title

There are 9 words in the English language we should all get used to hearing..again..and again..and again: “The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions once again!” With Kevin Durant as the new sheriff in town, this may become a common theme in the NBA. And as impressive as the Warriors were this season (I will give them their deserved praise), they are not helping the NBA’s cause. Many thought the NBA had become a 2-team league. Correction. It has become a 1-team league. Think about it. What is the question Cavaliers ownership and management are asking themselves right now?? Exactly! Who can we add to this roster in order to compete with the Warriors?? You laugh but it’s true. In the not so distant future, I picture the entire All-Star starting lineups donning Cavaliers and Warriors’ jerseys. We’ll get back to the mess that is the NBA, but for now, let us give the Warriors the standing ovation they deserve.

Kevin Durant did what he set out to do. He captured his 1st NBA title after jumping ship in Oklahoma City and joining forces with Stephen Curry and company. There’s only one way to put this, Durant straight up balled out. After missing 20 games due to injury this season, Durant returned and peaked at the perfect moment. He averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in the finals, making him the unanimous Finals MVP. He unquestionably deserved the Finals MVP, however, he completely overshadowed the spectacular series Stephen Curry had. Curry averaged 26.8 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.0 rebounds in the Finals. Those are video game numbers, normally MVP worthy, however, Curry was the 3rd best player in the series. Again highlighting the state of the NBA.

Let’s rewind to the 2014 offseason. The Warriors roster was constructed with only 1 thing in mind; winning multiple championships. 2 down, at least 1 to go. Assuming this roster remains intact (only Andre Iguodala is a free agent this coming offseason), this Warriors team will remain a dynasty in the NBA. Which begs the question, where does this Warriors team rank amongst the all-time great teams?? We only ask the tough questions here at DaveTalksSports!! Here is a list of the NBA’s all-time great teams:

  1. The “Showtime” Lakers
  2. The 80’s Celtics
  3. The “Bad Boy” Pistons
  4. The Bill Russell Celtics
  5. The Shaq and Kobe Lakers
  6. The Spurs’ Dynasty
  7. And last, but certainly not least, the Jordan-Era Bulls

When we say teams, we really mean an era or dynasty that won multiple championships. Many teams flashed greatness for 1 year, but how many franchises ran off streaks of multiple championships??

The Warriors have now been to 3 straight NBA Finals (winning 2 of 3). In the 2015-2016 season, the Warriors broke the record for most wins in the regular season (73), previously held by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (72). The Warriors made a historic run through the postseason this year, dropping just 1 game. Their 16-1 record is the highest winning percentage (.941) of any championship team in NBA history, and they also became 1 of only 3 1-loss teams to win a championship.

The question, when comparing teams from different eras, isn’t who would win (as fun as it would be to watch Jordan and the Bulls play Durant and the Warriors), rather who has a more impressive resume. The Warriors still have room for improvement (which is scary), but right now I’d rank them 7th all-time, behind everyone on the above list besides The “Bad Boy” Pistons. Every other team on that list won at least 3 championships and had at least 4 Finals’ appearances. Unless the Cavaliers add another piece to their championship puzzle, the Warriors should repeat next year (yes I already decided next year’s champion) and climb the all-time ranks.

For now, we close the book on the 2016-2017 NBA season. And we open a new book to a clean page to start the debate. Where do the Warriors rank amongst the all-time great teams?? Post your ranking in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Crosby, Penguins Dominate Game 5

penguins

If you like blowouts, 2017 has you covered. The Stanley Cup Finals did their best NBA Finals impression Thursday night. Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators was for lack of a better word, not competitive. The Penguins took an early lead, scoring just 1 minute and 31 seconds into the game. They would not look back. They added 2 more goals in the 1st period, forcing Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators coach, to pull his goalie. The Predators’ hero from Game 4, Pekka Rinne, would watch the rest of the action from the bench. Nashville’s backup goalie, Juuse Saros, didn’t fare much better, giving up 3 more goals in the 2nd period. The Predators would lose by the final score of 6-0. The Penguins now own a 3-2 lead in the series.

Thursday was an eventful evening for Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby. Crosby, regarded by many as the best player in the world, showcased his skills with 3 assists (he was the 1st star of the game). However, Crosby’s evening did not end there. With 1:32 left in the 1st period, Crosby thought it would be a good idea to slam P.K. Subban’s head into the ice..multiple times. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Now, before you watch the video, I’ll say it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but he definitely deserved a more severe penalty than he received. Check out the head slamming here. I’m pretty sure you can’t do that. Both Subban and Crosby received 2-minute, minor penalties. Naturally, the Penguins scored while playing 4 on 4.

After watching the replay of Crosby’s head slam, I’m having a hard time understanding why Subban was assessed a penalty at all. And at the same time, I’m puzzled as to how Crosby wasn’t assessed a 5-minute, major penalty. Is it just me? Am I crazy?? It must be nice to be a superstar, because they seem to get away with murder (sometimes literally). Crosby’s shenanigans did not stop there. Allow me to break into an entire scene from Super Troopers:

But our shenanigans are cheeky and fun!

Yeah, and his shenanigans are cruel and tragic.

Which… makes them not really shenanigans at all.

Evil shenanigans!

I swear to God I’ll pistol whip the next guy who says “Shenanigans.”

Hey Farva what’s the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy sh*t on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

You mean Shenanigans?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Love that movie. Anyway, with just over 12 minutes to play in the 2nd period, Crosby kept his shenanigans going from the bench. He launched his water bottle onto the ice in the middle of play. You can see the throw heard ’round the world here (the throw happens at 44 seconds in the video). Although Crosby claimed it was a complete accident, you can see the wind up and intentional throw very clearly. He was not assessed a penalty (no shocker there), and the Penguins subsequently went up 5-0. The water bottle did not interfere with the on ice action, but last time I checked you can’t do that either. It must be nice to be the king.

Crosby’s Penguins are now 1 win away from winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. They will travel to Nashville to try and close out the series on the road. You can tune into the action on NBC on Sunday night @ 8:00 P.M. EST. I guess the NHL is sticking with giving teams 147 days off in between games.

Will the Penguins win the Stanley Cup on Sunday?? Or will the Predators continue their strong play at home and force a Game 7?? Give me your thoughts in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!