Gordon Hayward On The NBA Conference Finals


Gordon Hayward did some great work breaking down the two conference finals matchups for the basketball savants and casual fans alike.  You can tell he has a ton of respect for Lebron James referring to him as the best player on the planet — League Of Legends ranking be darned!

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The way he described the team basketball played by the Atlanta Hawks leads one to believe that he must also have a healthy respect for the San Antonio Spurs. Let’s hope we’re lucky enough for Rudy Gobert to last as long as Tim Duncan, folks.

G-time had this to say about Jazz East, aka the Atlanta Hawks:

"Atlanta is a really solid all-around team. Each player on that squad is so skilled at doing what they do as a team with spacing, movement, and passing. They’re all talented and unselfish players. Even the big men are talented, mobile, good-passing bigs. That helps out a lot. With that, they do a really good job of playing team basketball to get good shots every possession.– Gordon Hayward on gordonhayward20.com"

His praise of the Hawks continues for most of the article. He definitely has some love for the former Jazzmen on the Hawks. We could call the Hawks the Spurs East because of sharing the ball, but there aren’t any former Spurs with the Hawks.

Cleveland currently leads this series 2-0. With Demarre Carrol’s injury being minor, this Hawks team still has a shot at the finals. Well, wait… now Kyle Korver is out for the rest of the postseason. Ouch. It appears the Hawks may be done. Hopefully they can put together an inspired performance to at least win one game.

For a team missing Thabo Sefolosha due to the incident with police in New York, and now missing Korver, and Carroll slowed a bit by his injury, they’d need a miracle to get just one win in this series at this point.

Hats off to Matthew Dellavedova (Danté Exum and Joe Ingles Australian teammate) for filling in admirablely for Kyrie Irving in game two.

To the West! Gordon Hayward’s take on the Warriors-Rockets series is even more interesting, in my opinion:

"As much focus as there will be on the one-on-one matchup between the MVP and the MVP runner-up, I think that feeds more into what fans want to see and talk about than reality. Both of those guys are going to do what they do, but they’re each just one player on a team. The difference is going to come down to more than that. That’s why I think you could see each team’s role players determine the outcome of the series.– Gordon Hayward on gordonhayward20.com"

As you examine Warriors-Rockets, going beyond Stephen Curry vs James Harden, is where the real battle in this series lies. Curry and Harden don’t play the same position and although they may try to match each other point for point this series is so much more than that.

The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors have been built similarly through trades and drafting. But a key difference is Houston didn’t draft it’s two best players. Golden State did.

Hayward focuses mainly on the Warriors being able to go nine or ten guys deep even in the postseason. That’s rare. It’s that depth that gives the Warriors the true edge against a Rockets team which is featuring a Dwight Howard that more closely resembles Orlando Dwight. Howard has been better in these playoffs than I can remember seeing after the Magic’s failed title run.

The Rockets need Smoove (aka Josh Smith) to be a key contributor in this series like he was for them against the Clippers. He was so Smoove his game six performance inspired me to make a meme.

I’d like to see more Clint Capela. Seeing Rudy Gobert’s old friend earn a victory with key contributions would be very satisfying.

With the Warriors now up 3-0 after a blowout in Game 3, a heartbreaking loss for the Rockets in Game 2, the Rockets look beaten. Sadly, they are badly missing contributions from Patrick Beverly who they could use defending Steph Curry and Donatas Motiejunas who helps provide spacing for their bench unit on offense. The offense is what has been sputtering when James Harden can’t find a way to score.

There will be a nine day hiatus in basketball if both the Cavaliers and Warriors sweep their respective series. For basketball fans’ sake let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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