The most shocking occurrence of the dreadful 2017 NBA playoffs was Boston beating Cleveland in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Isaiah Thomas was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs with a hip injury after the 44 point loss in game 2.
Thomas has had a rough two months, losing his 22 year old sister in a car accident, losing his tooth and undergoing extensive dental surgery, fighting through a scary hip injury (an injury that has ended the career of many players in several sports), and being the leading scorer on the weakest 1 seed in recent NBA history. The image of the 5′ 6″ 180 LB Thomas getting dunked on by the 6’8″ 250 LB LeBron James is a perfect representation of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics won game 3, the first playoff game without Thomas due to the bad play of LeBron James (only had 11 points, Richard Jefferson stated LeBron was sick leading to the bad game) and the hot hand of Marcus Smart. The Cavs lost the fluke game 3 by three points and started game 4 with the same flat play. The Celtics had a double digit lead in the second quarter which was quickly eliminated by an insane run lead by Kyrie Irving. Kyrie lead the Cavs with 42 points making incredible shots in the paint that were well defended by the Celtics. LeBron had a quiet 34 points allowing the hot hand of Kyrie carry them to the 13 point victory.
Game 5 was another domination by the Cavs winning by 33. Everyone wanted the Wizards to win game seven in the semi-finals as they matched up better with the Cavs and probably would have made the series point differential much less than the 26 points in the Cavs wins.
LeBron James passed Michael Jordan in all-time career playoff points at 5,987 in game 5 (1. LeBron James – 5,995, 2. Michael Jordan – 5,987, 3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 5,762, 4. Kobe Bryant – 5,640, 5. Shaq O’Neal – 5,250). It took LeBron 212 games to reach the top spot while it took Jordan 179 but LeBron took less total shots than Jordan.
After the game 5 LeBron was sentimental about the achievement and said:
For my name to come up in the discussion with the greatest basketball player of all time, it’s like, ‘Wow.’ Like I said, I did pretty much everything that MJ did when I was a kid. I shot fadeaways before I should have. I wore a leg sleeve on my leg and folded it down so you saw the red part. I wore black and red shoes with white socks. I wore short shorts so you could see my undershorts underneath. I didn’t go bald like Mike, but I’m getting there. But [my baldness] will be post-career, though. That’s the only thing I didn’t do.
The baldness comment lead to chuckles from the media and his teammates. That hairline of LeBron has been thinner than my self-esteem for years, he needs to either bring back the head band or go full MJ and shave it. His hair is the only negative part of his NBA career right now, LeBron is the size of Karl Malone, is as fast as Isaiah Thomas, and is a competent three point shooter playing the best basketball of his life.
As dominant as the Cavs have been in the playoffs losing just one game, the Warriors went undefeated in the much tougher western conference. I don’t expect the Cavs to upset the Warriors a second year in a row as they now have Kevin Durant, but after 2 months of horrendus playoff basketball, I merely hope the finals are competitive.