Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today I want to talk a little bit about some of the bigger stories related to the NBA Conference Semifinals. If you want any specific topics for the next article comment them down below, and also make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Brad Stevens vs. The Process:
This Celtics vs. Sixers series is going to be really fun. Honestly, it shouldn't be though. If the Celtics were anywhere close to healthy, they would destroy Philadelphia. The teams two best players, both All Stars, are injured. If you want to accept that Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are injured though, then think about this as well: if anyone but Brad Stevens was the Celtics coach, the Sixers would be destroying the Celtics. Brad Stevens has coached up possibly the best defense in all of the NBA, and despite having a crippled roster, the Celtics continue to win. There is no denying that the team's young role players have stepped up in huge ways, but this is more than just individual performances. Guys like Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford all deserve their due respect, but without Brad Stevens at the helm this team would not still be in the Playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks were not an easy out, and watching the Celtics handle their business in Game 7 of that series says a lot about Stevens as a coach. Getting a young, inexperienced team to play like polished veterans is not easy, but he's making it work. Also, when you watch the Celtics play, at least three or four times a game I can't help but say, "That was an incredible play call" (or design). Stevens has done an excellent job with this team, and he has the looks of an early-stages all time great coach.
Quickly, I think I should address the Sixers. I said in my Playoff predictions that I had the Sixers beating the Celtics in this round, but I'd like to specify here that I think this series is going seven games. I also think that each team is going to have to win a game on the road this series, because although Boston is great on their home floor, the Sixers are by far the more talented team. Having just said that, I think now would be a good time to tell everyone to stop being suckers and hop off of the Sixers bandwagon. All that I've been hearing since Kyrie Irving went down injured was how the Sixers have been spectacular, and how the Sixers are the next great Eastern Conference dynasty, and how they don't need LeBron James to be great. Just so you know, I laugh hysterically every time I hear an analyst say something like that. Brad Stevens is the best coach in the East, and a top two coach in the league, and the Celtics roster is the third best in the league when fully healthy. We are seeing right now how good they are without their best players, so once you those two back into the equation, not only will they be a great starting five, but they'll be deep. So, if the Sixers are going to struggle with THIS Celtics team, there is no way they are what everyone is hyping them up to be. I'm still taking Philly to win in seven, but after Game 1, I'm not very confident in that pick. Game 2 will be telling.
LeBron Got Help?
The Cleveland Cavaliers stole Game 1 last night in Toronto, and despite LeBron James's triple double, he didn't take over in the way he usually does. He didn't really need to. For the first time all Playoffs, it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers were playing, not LeBron James and four bums. When this team helps out LeBron, Toronto is going to struggle. The Raptors strength is their depth while the Cavs strength is that they have arguably the best player ever, so when the two teams hold those molds it's a pretty even match up. If the Cavs role players are going to keep stepping up though, then Cleveland can easily win this series. They already stole a game in Toronto, so now it's the Raptors with the pressure on their shoulders. I had the Cavs winning this series in seven games in my initial picks, but I was starting to question that after the way Cleveland looked in the first round. If the Cavs can replicate what they did last night though, then I stick with my pick, and I like the Cavs season continuing on.
Steph Curry's Return:
I saw a lot of panicking about the Warriors-Pelicans series, with people saying that New Orleans was going to take this seven games. People overreact a lot, because they only look at what is directly in front of them. They saw a Warriors team that isn't their best self (because of an injured Steph Curry) playing a New Orleans team that looked like the best they've been all year. I saw Curry being out for one game, and then coming back to help the Warriors end the series in five games. Right now, I'm hearing a lot of that from everybody else as well. After Curry's incredible return last night (28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, +26 plus minus, all in 27 minutes) now suddenly people are realizing what the Warriors are again. This team in practically unstoppable when everyone can play, and although the Rockets are going to pose a challenge, the Pelicans aren't the Rockets. Curry doesn't have to play 40 minutes against new Orleans to have an impact, because clearly what he did last night was enough. Everyone needs to chill out with their impulsive reactions, and go with what history has shown us. What history tells me is that the Warriors are more than fine, and Steph Curry is going to take this team far into the Playoffs.
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.