What happened today: Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors managed to knock off the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena to knot the series up at 2-2. The game had to go to overtime before ending, but it was worth a watch. There was a lot of sloppy play but some exciting ones as well. Both of these teams looked a little gassed and both star point guards of the Warriors and Spurs were dealing with injuries. Curry was playing through a sprained ankle and Tony Parker went on with a calf bruise. This series has been insanely interesting to watch and looks to be one that goes all the way to a Game 7.
Who showed up big: Harrison Barnes of the Warriors came up big in this afternoon’s game with 26 points and 10 boards. If you’ve forgotten by this point, he is still a rookie. And a damn good one at that. The kid is fearless and explosive, willing to take any clutch shot or attempt a dunk over anyone. He struggled early on in the game today and didn’t shoot a very high percentage, but that didn’t stop him from taking the shots he should’ve been and he made a lot of big ones near the end of the game, along with backup point guard, Jarrett Jack.
Who’s surprising me right now: The Memphis Grizzlies. These guys really do grind out every single game and it’s showing against the reeling Thunder. The Grizz lead that series 2-1 at the moment with a chance to go up 3-1 at home next game before heading back to OKC. The reigning defensive player of the year, Marc Gasol, has been just fantastic in this series as has Tony Allen. The tough, physical defense of the Grizz is doing one heck of a number on the Thunder, who are without All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook and are looking for more scoring options than just Kevin Durant. The Grizz have handled business so far so there’s no reason to think they can’t or won’t win this series. Even without Westbrook, losing in the second round would be a massive failure for OKC and an upset that I can’t honestly say I saw coming.
Best thing about today’s games: Steph Curry getting the MVP chant when he went to the line in Oracle Arena. These playoffs have made everyone realize, if they didn’t before, that Curry is one of the greatest pure shooters to ever play the game of basketball. Every single time he rises up for a shot, Warriors fans cheer and opponents hide their eyes because it just looks like it’s going to fall. Curry’s also adept at creating his own shot, something that’s hard to do in today’s game. He can shoot while being guarded by anyone, anywhere. He showed off his in-the-gym-range this season when he lit up the Garden for 54 points. He won’t win any real MVP awards, but this kid can play.
What I’m looking forward to for tomorrow: Two things. How the Knicks make use of Stoudemire being back in the lineup. Does he make the Knicks a better or worse team and how rusty is he now? I’m ready to see Bosh take it to Boozer again in Game 4, just like he’s been doing all series. Ever since Boozer made that “Two and Half Men” comment two post-seasons ago, Bosh hasn’t held back on asserting dominance over the opposing big man.