The Oklahoma City Thunder are taking another early trip home from the NBA playoffs. All I can say is what now for Russell Westbrook and Paul George? We also saw the Portland Trail Blazers throw the memories of being swept last year out the door. This series had more stories told than most first round 5 game series should.
The 37 foot three point shot heard around the world. Lillard dropped 50 points in the series clinching effort for the Blazers. The real underlining story was I believe this shot took Logo Lillard from a star to superstar. He wiped the slate clean of last years disaster and shined brightest this year when it mattered. The Blazers now look like they really could make that miracle run if everything continues to flow smooth through Lillard. He shot 5 for 5 from beyond 30 feet for the series. That’s what most would consider “Curry range” but Dame has had something to say about that. With ice in his veins this man has shot Portland into prime playoff position moving forward.
“I think history will say that was a bad shot.” Well Paul George history will also say you have been on the wrong side of the playoffs. He jumped for the block and got blasted. Simple as that. Now Paul George has to think about if staying in OKC was the right move for him. Career highs in statistics across the board would say yes. Him continuing to not be able to shine in the brightest moments when called upon would the the counter argument. I believe when he decides to own up to short comings and embrace it he can make the step to clutch. All everyone heard after the game was excuses and in the NBA that only holds you back.
The triple double machine has now lost 9 straight road playoff games. They have not won since Durant was still in town. With a fading jump shot and no Carmelo Anthony to blame this year what is next for Russ? You have to believe this is the tipping point for him. The Thunder do not necessarily have a great all around supporting cast to help out Westbrook. You would still think him and Paul George would be good enough to be able to take Portland to 7 while they are missing their starting center. I am out of answers for this situation and I see this in the next few years ending very bad for the Thunder. It has already been a disaster for Russ who was voted the most overrated player by his piers in an NBA player poll. The numbers are not able to mask the deficiencies going on in his game anymore. It is time to hit the gym and get that shot back or it’s bad news moving forward.
Moving into the 2nd round we have some prime match ups heading our way. Giannis will be looking to avenge his loss last year to the Celtics. Warriors vs Rockets will be all hands on deck. If the Nuggets can pull off a game 6 or 7 win it could be a great match up with Portland. The 2nd round will be fireworks and their will be an upset somewhere around the corner. I will be writing ALOT moving forward on these matchups.