The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the Internet
What we witnessed in Game 5 of the Finals is what we’ve been waiting for all series. Not only did Curry amass a 37 point, 7 rebound and 4 assist night, but he did it in dazzling fashion for the first time all series. Curry led the Warriors to their second straight double-digit win ending with an in-and-out, behind-the-back, step-back stake to the heart of the Cavaliers in the midst of a comeback which put the Warriors ahead for good.
The Clippers decided to trade a few of their misfitting pieces (Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes) to the Hornets for arguably the worst acquisition from the summer of 2014 in Lance Stephenson. The Clippers get a soon-to-be 25-year old signed for one guaranteed season that shot 17 percent from three, 38 percent from the field and was receiving DNP-Coach’s Decisions by the end of the season. However, the Clippers don’t have many other avenues to explore to acquiring young talent.
With the NBA draft approaching, there are draft models popping up at every turn and the writers at Nylon Calculus put out another this week. Johnson’s model shows the percentage that a player will be a “quality player” by the end of his rookie contract. Some surprises include Kevon Looney as the 5th best prospect at 82 percent (projected to go 20th according to Draft Express), Willie Cauley-Stein as the 20th best prospect at 49 percent (6th) and Cameron Payne as the 30th best prospect at 38 percent (14th).
Another breakdown of Game 5 details a few reasons the Warriors were able to get one win closer to a title. Besides the ridiculousness of Curry, Cantor points to the second game of Steve Kerr’s adjustment to start Andre Iguodala in place of Andrew Bogut. While Timofey Mozgov erupted in Game 4 for a career high 28 points, the first few minutes of Game 5 rendered him effectively useless scoring no points on only one shot attempt.
As a Thunder fan, I feel the need to interject some talk about them here. From a writer who knows the team better than any others, Young hints that the Thunder made a promise to draft Payne if he is still available at #14 (something that wasn’t exactly a secret). Payne displays many qualities that could help the team’s second unit that is currently led by Dion Waiters. However, Young also makes note that Sam Presti is usually hesitant to draft smaller guards (Payne measured at 6-foot-1), which could point Oklahoma City in another direction.