Nuggets Draw First Blood!!!

In the battle between the well-rested against the well-tested, the fresh-as-daisies Denver Nuggets mowed down the fresh-from-mayhem Miami Heat to take Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals 104-93. The Nuggets were coming from a 9-day lull in the cage wars as they upended the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 for the Western Conference title way back in May 22. The Heat, on the other hand, had to go through a wringer, having barely survived their physically, mentally and psychologically-draining duel with the equally tough-as-nails Boston Celtics 4-3 to win the Eastern Conference title.

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Who’s Joining the NBA’s Final Four?

This year’s playoff has been a total blast. Betting odds have gone awry, top teams have been disrespected. As the Chinese saying goes: we live in interesting times. Indeed, in this season’s basketball wars, it is moment-to-moment for all the surviving teams; with health, team chemistry and coaching creativity now playing major roles in the crucial days ahead.

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Making Sense of the War in the Wild, Wild West

Overall, the key factors that will matter most in these last few games in the regular season will be: how the new players (Durant, Irving, Westbrook, etc) integrate into their new teams’ systems; how the injuries (Lebron, Durant, Zion, Towns, etc) affect their teams’ standings at the end of the season; and how other issues (Morant, Wiggins) pan out. We have here a long list of outstanding players. But do they fit in? Will they bring out the best out of the rest of the crew? Are they healthy enough – physically and mentally – for the rigors of the playoffs?

LA Clippers Need to Get Unclipped

There is so much at stake for the Clippers in this game. After the massive investment to bring in Kawhi, George, Marcus Morris and the rest, a loss now will be a huge downer. Coach Rivers will have to get this team mentally and physically prepared to do battle. Failing that, this could be the end of the Clippers’ title dreams for the years ahead.

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