Tag Archive for: NBA Finals

The Keys to the Rest of the NBA Finals

The Phoenix Suns are up 1-0 in the NBA Finals.

What determines the rest of the series?


1.Bucks figuring out the size issue vs Phoenix. In Game one Suns center Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 19 rebounds, if that happens every game it will be a short series for Milwaukee. Brook Lopez played just 23 minutes and when that happens there is nobody on the Bucks to battle Ayton’s size. Believe it or not this wasn’t just coach Bud not playing his starters heavy minutes like what happened in the bubble with Giannis last year. When Lopez was out there in game one Chris Paul and Devin Booker were hunting him on switches and made him unplayable. If Lopez is going to be on the floor Milwaukee needs to avoid Lopez being switched onto Paul or Booker plain and simple. Lopez shot 50 percent from the floor and finished with 17 points in his minutes which is good from a production standpoint. Although the +/- stat doesn’t say everything especially with a one game sample, Lopez had a team worst -17 last night which isn’t going to cut it. An answer for some of Lopez’s defensive struggles can be to keep him on Ayton and Ayton only. 


2. Free throw differential between the two teams. In game one the Bucks shot 9-16 from the line while Phoenix shot 25-26 from the line. Devin Booker himself shot 10 of 10 from the line and if he is going to make more free throws than the Bucks himself, I’m not sure this series is winnable for Milwaukee. Khris Middleton played 45 minutes in game one and didn’t shoot a single free throw and that must change moving forward. Middleton must match or be close to matching Devin Booker’s scoring in this series. A great way to do so is by getting to the line more often where Middleton shoots nearly 90 percent. Jrue Holiday got to the line just two times himself and that won’t cut it especially when he shoots 26 percent from the field as he did in game one. Two free throw attempts from Holiday and Middleton combined is something Phoenix will gladly take each game this series.


3. Jae Crowder’s scoring or lack of scoring. In game one Crowder played 33 minutes and shot 0-8 from the field and 0-5 from the three-point line. In the playoffs this year Crowder has averaged just under 10 points per game while shooting 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. Crowder needs to get back to those numbers especially as this series goes on the road to Milwaukee. Paul and Booker both had great games, so Crowder’s lack of scoring didn’t matter but that won’t be the case every game. Crowder has been a streaky shooter in his career but if he can shoot around his 35 percent from three playoff average it will greatly improve the Suns chances at raising the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of this series. He is a great defender especially vs Giannis as Heat fans saw last year but he must provide something on offense to be a net positive for Phoenix. Suns forward Dario Saric tore his ACL in game one and Saric had been an underrated piece for the Suns in the playoffs. To help fill Saric’s minutes Crowder may be asked to play even more minutes than the 33 minutes he played in game one. 


4. Chris Paul’s and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health. Paul suffered a shoulder injury in round one vs the Lakers and took most of the series to get back to form. Paul has had tough injury luck in the playoffs throughout his career. He’s missed time with the Clippers and Rockets in the past leaving people wondering what could have been had he not gotten injured. In game one Paul twisted his ankle when he was fouled on a three-point shot by Brook Lopez. Fortunately Paul was able to stay in the game and seems fine, but injuries are always a concern with Paul. Paul is an all-time great player and let’s hope that injuries stay out of the way as Paul seeks his first NBA championship in his legendary career. The other injury to watch in this series is with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s hyperextended knee he suffered in the eastern conference finals. Many people including Giannis himself thought his season was over and next season was in jeopardy. Thankfully the injury wasn’t as serious as initially thought but still many assumed Giannis was out for game one, but he surprised everyone and played. He looked very good in game one scoring 20 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in 35 minutes. While he was effective in the first game there is always a concern of reinjuring his knee much like Kevin Durant did with his Achilles in the 2019 NBA finals. The number of minutes Giannis plays is something to watch given he’s coming off an injury. Coach Bud has been heavily criticized in the past for not playing Giannis more minutes but now it may be justified to keep him around 35 minutes. When it gets to elimination games maybe Giannis will play as many minutes as it takes but it’s understandable to be slightly cautious the first couple games. The Bucks or Suns can’t win the NBA championship without Paul or Giannis and that’s why these two and their health is the biggest key to watch for in the series. 


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NBA Finals Game 5: One Year, One Goal, One Winner

Not many people expected the Miami Heat to be in this position right now. Well, except the Miami Heat.

How could a five seed with no perceived superstar take the crown of the East?

And there’s not one answer for that question.

For starters, it begins with the confidence from your locker room. Just a bunch of dogs that have continually been doubted and are here to prove people wrong.

That’s led by the leader of this team, Jimmy Butler. He hasn’t lacked an ounce of confidence throughout this playoff run, so what makes you think he’ll stop now. Even being down 3-1 doesn’t seem to faze him, because when you have confidence in both yourself and your locker room, that’s all you really need to win.

Another reason they’ve gotten to this point is because they have a bunch of guys who accepted their role on this team. That goes to the guys who were promoted and demoted in this rotation. Meyers Leonard and Kendrick Nunn going from starter to the borderline of the rotation, while Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic had to adjust to their new role quick. Not only is that not an easy thing to do, it’s not an easy thing for players to buy into.

Winning isn’t always about on-court stats and numbers. It’s also about decisions that are made off of the court, that’ll lead to guys putting up those numbers.

Erik Spoelstra made it clear that was necessary heading in, making sure this team was on the same page for the much needed adjustments that lied ahead. That’s because of the trust factor with this team.

When many believed Bam’s offensive aggression needed to improve or that Jimmy’s unselfishness may be a bad trait, Coach Spo knew his personnel, and denied it all.

The final and most important answer to that question is hungriness.

This team is hungry and will not be satisfied until they hold up that Larry O’Brien trophy. No matter if that time comes in a week, in a year, or in a few years, this team won’t let up on the ultimate goal.

As Gary Payton said in his latest piece for The Players’ Tribune, “Y’all are still here- and y-all belong here.”

One year. One goal. One winner.


Brady Hawk can be found at @BradyHawk305

La lesión de Kevin Durant y su motivación a los Warriors

Kevin Durant hizo todo lo que pudo para regresar y disputar el quinto juego de la NBA.

Los Golden State Warriors fueron ampliamente superados en el Oracle Arena en los juegos tres y cuatro, y cayeron a un solo juego de perder su segunda final en los últimos cuatro años.

La dinastía se tambalea en manos de los Raptors, que desaprovecharon una oportunidad única para titularse por primera vez en la historia.

Los Warriors eran superiores con su superestrella diezmada en cancha, hasta que llegó lo que parecía inevitable.

Kevin Durant cayó abatido, tras aportar 11 puntos, incluyendo un impoluto 3 de 3 en disparos de tres puntos, dejando a su equipo en ventaja.

En el episodio 38 Cinco Razones Podcast conversamos con Andrés Rodríguez, especialista en Strenght and Conditioning, certificado por la National Strenght and Conditioning Association, y dueño de Beast Mode Performance, sobre este tipo de lesiones y qué pudo haberla causado.

Luego, nos dedicamos a analizar qué le faltó a Toronto para coronarse esa noche, incluyendo la falta de disparos desde el perímetro, el tiempo pedido por el DT de los Raptors Nick Nurse en el momento clave del último cuarto, Kawhi Leonard y el infame disparo de Kyle Lowry.

Finalmente, tuvimos que hablar sobre la reacción de los fanáticos de los Raptors cuando Kevin Durant cayó lesionado y la posibilidad de que la NBA sancione a la organización por esta actitud.

¿No sería eso lo correcto?

Tema para otro día…

Pronósticos para la final de la NBA

En Cinco Razones Podcast dimos nuestros pronósticos hace una semana, y todos fallamos, tal y como lo hizo Kyle Lowry con el tiro ganador en el quinto juego de la final.

Lo asumimos, y lo volvemos a intentar. Vamos a ver si podemos acertar algo, alguna vez. Estos fueron los pronósticos:

Ricardo Montes de Oca

Pronóstico inicial: Golden State Warriors en cinco juegos

Segundo pronóstico: Toronto Raptors en seis juegos

Leandro Soto

Pronóstico inicial: Golden State Warriors en seis juegos

Segundo pronóstico: Toronto Raptors en seis juegos

Alejandro Villegas

Pronóstico inicial: Golden State Warrios en seis juegos

Segundo pronóstico: Toronto Raptors en siete juegos


En Cinco Razones Podcast por lo general no estamos de acuerdo. No es fácil lidiar con esos señores. Disfruta de todos nuestros episodios haciendo click en este link.

¿Cambia la balanza con las lesiones de Golden State?

Los Golden State Warriors han estado lidiando con varias lesiones de gravedad desde que Kevin Durant tuvo que salir con problemas en su pantorrilla.

Steph Curry tomó la batuta del equipo y lograron barrer a Portland en cuatro encuentros en las finales de la Conferencia del Oeste, y parecía que todo iba encaminado al cuarto título en los últimos cinco años.

Sin embargo, todo se ha ido complicando.

Los Toronto Raptors vencieron en el primero de la final gracias a un imponente Pascal Siakam y se empezaron a prender las alarmas cuando iban ganando tras los primeros dos cuartos del segundo encuentro.


Parecía que los Warriors dejaban de parecer invencibles, hasta que llegó la gran remontada característica de este equipo, y con un parcial de 18-0, apaciguaron las aguas turbulentas en las que estaban entrando.

Sin embargo, no todo fueron buenas noticias para Golden State.

Steph Curry ha estado jugando con gripe, al parecer. Kevon Looney se partió la clavícula y se perderá el resto de la final, Klay Thompson salió renqueando con problemas en su bíceps femoral derecho, André Igoudala sigue jugando con fuertes molestias en la rodilla, y Kevin Durant… No estará para el tercer juego.

Ahora mas que nunca respiran aliviados sabiendo que la serie está empatada, con toda la pinta de que va a ser un enfrentamiento intenso y largo.

¿Cambian estas lesiones el favoritismo de la final de la NBA?

Antes de comenzar la serie se discutía era en cuántos duelos Golden State sería capaz de derrotar a Toronto, sin siquiera pensarse que los Raptors tendrían alguna oportunidad de llevarse esta final.


El nuevo panorama que se presenta con estas lesiones de jugadores claves hace replantearnos un poco quién es el equipo favorito para esta nueva serie para el mejor de cinco encuentros, con tres juegos por disputarse en el Oracle Arena y dos en el Jurassic Park.

Escuche la segunda parte del episodio 37 de Cinco Razones Podcast, en el que Ricardo Montes de Oca, Leandro Soto y Alejandro Villegas discuten si estas heridas de guerra de los Warriors cambian el ángulo con el que se analiza la final de la NBA:


En Cinco Razones Podcast nos gusta hablar de basket, pero sobretodo cuando juega el Miami Heat. Visita nuestro perfil haciendo click en este link y escucha otros de nuestros capítulos.