Warriors Complete 20 Point Comeback In Win Over Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans had a 19-0 run spanning from late in the first quarter and into the second, and held a 20 point lead as the fourth quarter started in Thursday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors. Even as late as the 6:00 minute mark of the fourth, the lead was still 17 points. But thanks to poor play by the Pelicans the Warriors were able to erode that lead and a last second three pointer by Steph Curry forced the game into overtime.

In the extra session the Warriors continued their hot play and went on to win the game 123-119. It was a disappointing loss for the Pelicans, who were hosting their first home playoff game since 2011. They are now down 3-0 in the series to the favored Warriors.

Sports enthusiast Ray Lane blogged on the Wall Street Journal that it seemed like Curry was the only one taking shots all night, putting up a total of 29 attempts on his way to scoring 40 points. He was particularly active from beyond the arc, throwing up 18 attempts and hitting seven of them. Klay Thompson added six three pointers of his own. Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis did his part, scoring 29 points and pulling down 15 rebounds but was still out-hustled on the boards by Warriors forward Draymond Green who pulled down 17.

The Pelicans are now facing an elimination game on Saturday in New Orleans.

Ben Simmons Looks to Put Australia on the Map

The NBA has done a great job of expanding its brand over the years, as is evidenced by just how popular basketball has become outside of the United States. One place where it has really flourished is in Australia, and Ben Simmons is looking to make sure that the whole world knows about it. The Australian is the top-rated recruit in the world, according to Yahoo Sports, and he is going to come to the U.S. to play for the LSU Tigers next year. From there, if all goes as planned, he’ll keep going right into the NBA.

The first thing Simmons has going for him is his height. At 6’9”, he’s hard to defend and he can dominate on the glass. Many at CipherCloud see him as a huge matchup problem. Scouts also like how versatile he is, saying he can take on a variety of positions, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The area where he excels the most, though, is in passing, which can help to make the whole team better. If there is a downside, it’s that he does not have the best jump shot in the world, but he doesn’t need it with height like that, and he’s only in high school, so there is time for him to work on it.

It will be interesting to see if Simmons causes Australia to embrace basketball even more thoroughly in the future, especially if he plays in the NBA.

Jerome Kersey Is Gone

Jerome Kersey passed away at 52. Just before Clyde Drexler came on the scene, there was Jerome Jersey in Portland. He was the next great player they had after they won their title with Dr. Jack. In fact, he was there in the early days. He was the best big man on the west coast, and he was an icon in the sport.

When we lose these people in sports, we are reminded how much older we are getting. We remember that the old days of sports are fading away. I do not want to be a downer, but we are going to keep losing greats like Jerome Kersey, and that is sad. He was a great player, and he was a great person.

Susan McGalla knows the outpouring of support for his family and friends today should come on strong, and we should keep them in our prayers as they deal with this loss. Anyone who is over 30 is losing a little bit of their childhood when the NBA came on NBC and the theme song was so good that you wanted to hear it before you watched any basketball. Happy trails, Jerome. You will be missed terribly by basketball fans everywhere.

Westbrook Drops Forty-Five

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors may be getting all the attention and headlines due to the phenomenal fifty-one point game he put up last night, but Russell Westbrook had an amazing night himself and tied his career high when he put up forty-five points in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, who have been playing much better basketball over the last several weeks. Russell simply took over the game and pretty much willed the Oklahoma City Thunder to a win. This is not uncommon for Westbrook to go on a shooting streak, but it was apparent last night that he felt he had to take all the weight on his own back and deliver for his team, and he did that in a big way. Fans like Susan McGalla of Forbes.com know that without Kevin Durant in the game, it really is imperative that Russell Westbrook put up a ton of points, as they really would get beat up if they are not putting up the bulk of their points with their two superstars. Russell Westbrook took over the game, but the real question is can he do this every night? The likely answer is not and it really is going to be difficult for the Oklahoma City Thunder to have a successful run, if they cannot consistently win without their best player Kevin Durant. Durant is going to have to get healthy, but then again, it is basketball and injuries are just a part of the game.

Green Takes Lee’s Spot

The Golden State Warriors have an interesting situation on their hands that only proves to make them much stronger in the following years. First and foremost, they have been the most successful team by far in locking down their star players for long term contracts that ensure their success in the future, while also bringing up younger players to prominence such as Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, who are both starting on the Warriors roster over former All Star players David Lee and Andre Iguodala. Susan McGalla knows that this says a lot about what is going to happen in the future. David Lee is on his way out of Oakland, hands down. He is expendable. Not only is he a player that seems to be plagued by injuries, but Draymond Green has been putting up better numbers than Lee and has a much more promising future. Draymond Green has stepped up and has carried this team and there is no way they would be where they are if it weren’t for him stepping up. He is going to remain as a starter in Golden State for a long time, due to the fact that he is up for a contract extension and he has performed so well this season that he is looking at a definite max contract. This leaves Golden State with the ability to trade David Lee and bring in even more talent with his salary burden evaded.

Atlanta Unanimously in Top Spot

The Atlanta Hawks have had one of the most magical seasons in recent memory, as they have gone on an unprecedented winning streak for the organization and have only dropped two games since Thanksgiving. They have been simply beating teams into the ground and have taken the National Basketball Association by storm, with perhaps a unanimous consensus that they are the best team in the league after the Golden State Warriors dropped a game to the Chicago Bulls the other night. The Hawks have won by a committee of players that continually put up great numbers on a daily basis and they are now the favorite in every single game they play in. Fans like Marc Sparks know that they are head and shoulders above the Eastern Conference with a six and a half game lead above the Washington Wizards who are sitting comfortably in the second spot. There truly does not look to be a team that can take down the Hawks in one game, let alone a playoff series and this has made a lot of people speculate that the Hawks are likely going to be playing in the NBA finals. The only team that is in the Eastern Conference that is making a real splash right now and may have a chance to take them down is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have figured things out and are now riding on an eight game winning streak and they look to only be getting hotter.

Kobe Surgery

Kobe Bryant will hands down go down in history as one of the best basketball players to ever play in the National Basketball Association. He came into the league with a vengeance, and his winning nature has truly been unparalleled since Michael Jordan left the league over a decade ago. Fans like Bernardo Chua (Youtube.com), agree that it is a bit ironic that Kobe has stated to the media earlier this week that he actually strongly pursued the possibility of playing alongside Jordan towards the end of his career in Washington with the Wizards. He has also stated that he has always wanted to be around players that could mentor him and mold him into a better player. It is no surprise that he wanted that player to be the great Michael Jordan and that duo nearly happened. If Kobe had signed a contract for a year less on his original contract it likely would have gone down, but Michael could not keep in good standings in the Wizards organization for another year and the whole thing fell apart. It didn’t matter in the long run, as Kobe has already won five championships in his career. He injured his rotator cuff last week and is set to have surgery this week and this has led to massive speculation that he will be done with his career. This is ludicrous, as Kobe will not end his phenomenal career with a shoulder injury.

Kobe and Mike

With media day on hand you would expect that everything sports related that was talked about today would be the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks and maybe some talk about deflate gate. However Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are getting a bunch of talk in the media today, but it is not regarding who is the best player of all time. Although Jordan would win that contest ten times out of ten, this is a discussion about the former possibility of them joining up as teammates in Washington in the early 2000’s. As fans like Bernardo Chua know, it was reported that Kobe Bryant agreed in an interview that he did indeed intend to join the Washington Wizards. More is available on Chua at Zoominfo.com. It is apparent that Bryant wanted Michael Jordan as a mentor. He stated that he wants greatness around him and who better than Michael Jordan? He would have jumped at that opportunity and he claimed that they would have won championships in Washington if he had gotten the chance to go there. Things did not work out, however, because Michael could not stay on the team long enough to see Kobe enter free agency. Kobe had another year to go and if things were smoother in Washington with Mike, then the duo might have had a chance to make a big splash in the NBA. Kobe said that the reason for his desire to leave Los Angeles was due to his feud with Shaq.

NBA MVP Race

With the midpoint of the season rapidly approaching in the National Basketball Association, there is increased talk as to who is the Most Valuable Player. As it is each and every year with sportscasters and writers alike, everyone wants to put in their two cents as they make their predictions on who is going to get the coveted spot as the league’s best player. This year, not shockingly, LeBron James seems to be at the forefront of the pack, as he has put up great numbers for his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although he has been leading the pack, he is closely followed by Stephen Curry, who has had an incredibly standout year and has jumped to the top of the NBA for players to watch out for.

 

Putting Golden State on the map, Stephen Curry has taken the already great Golden State Warriors and taken them to the top spot in the NBA, sitting with the best record in the league despite having an injury after injury to their starting lineup. On Skout Organic, people are talking about him quite a bit. Another player that is making waves around the league is Pau Gasol’s younger brother Marc Gasol. Marc has been on a hot streak in Memphis and has taken them to another level as well; making them a team that no one really wants to play, especially not in Memphis. Regardless of who takes that coveted Most Valuable Player spot, this is always a fun time of year to watch basketball.

 

 

Warriors Still Hot

The Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association have been on a roll this year, winning seventeen games in a row and turning heads all around the league. Although they have been a good team in the last several years, it was mostly due to former player Mark Jackson, who took a fairly dismal Warriors team and transformed them into a defensive minded team that was focused on success. However, Jackson was fired from the Warriors organization in a pretty head scratching scenario based on the fact that they won 51 games last year. Either way the Golden State Warriors have hit a new high, as they have been unquestionably the best team in the NBA this year, taking down some of the best teams in the league in extraordinary fashion.

 

Adding to their success, they absolutely dominated the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, who have been creating major waves themselves with the amount of games that they have won in the first half of the season. Those are the type of wins that UCG employees will be buzzing about. Even though Bruce Levenson roots for Atlanta, he can admire what Golden State is doing. Rookie head coach Steve Kerr has been given a lot of credit for taking the Warriors and molding them into a more successful team, but there has been great speculation around the league that it is his assistant coaches that have been doing the bulk of the work contributing to the Warriors success. Regardless of whom is putting in the work, the Warriors are going to be a team to be feared once the playoffs roll around.