The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops stories from around the Internet
As usual, Zach Lowe provides the best analysis out there on the game. He notes that everyone on Golden State from players up to the owner were certain that Iman Shumpert‘s buzzer beater would fall. Lowe goes on to draw comparisons to the 2012 Heat-Pacers series that Chris Bosh missed with a stomach injury. Miami had to scrap its pace-and-space attack to let LeBron James bully his way to huge point totals. Without Kyrie Irving, that seems like a tall task for the King. Lowe also breaks down the different key matchup battles that quietly decide the series, with some great breakdowns that show Cleveland’s defensive schemes.
Flannery does an excellent job taking a step away from everything that’s happened and attempting to put it into some context. Yes, Game 1 was indeed a sure classic that was only marred by Kyrie Irving‘s late injury. No, Golden State’s championship wouldn’t be “tainted” by injury luck. He goes on to examine the league and team’s role in Irving’s injury and gets some good reaction from Steve Kerr, Andrew Bogut and LeBron.
Thompson goes deep on Andre Iguodala after one of the greatest games of his career. Iggy actually found an unlikely mentor way back in his University of Arizona days: current Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton. Iguodala gives some great insight on how he uses intelligence to affect the game in addition to his natural talent. He saw Golden State as a perfect fit for him, and the Warriors are three wins away from cashing out big.
With the Cavs decimated by injuries, everyone has written them off in the Finals. Schuhmann points out that Cleveland has actually dominated in the times James has played without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Cavs have outscored opponents by 14.1 points per 100 possessions in that time, but their bench has been roasted to the deficit of 17.9 points per 100 possessions when James sits in those situations. Perhaps Cleveland still has a chance if LeBron can play 46-48 minutes. The James-Mozgov big combination has actually been pretty ferocious.
The headline cuts straight to the chase with this one. The Bucks are in the process of a full rebrand, unveiling new color schemes, logos, marketing and now uniforms. The new jerseys rock the green/white/cream color scheme and look fantastic. Paul Lukas is the sports world’s resident uniform expert, and he heartily approves. He notes in particular the addition of cream, the throwback rainbow-striped panels on the sides and a splash of blue. Lukas thinks the Bucks have top 10 uniforms now. Not a bad start to the rebranding process in Milwaukee after Jason Kidd turned things around on the court.