The Golden State Warriors headed to New Orleans up 2-0 in their series against the Pelicans. But in last night’s Game 3, the Pelicans put their series deficit aside and showed the Warriors they weren’t out of it. Not yet.
Heading into the fourth quarter, New Orleans had a 20-point lead on the best team in the league. It looked like the Pelicans had the game in their beaks.
But Warriors star Steph Curry wasn’t about to throw in the towel.
Want to perform in front of tens of thousands of cheering fans in an NBA arena? You could practice your basketball skills and hope for a massive growth spurt. Or you could skip that hassle and try out for the Nets Kids Dance Team.
First, you have to stand out in a crowd. Last year, more than 500 hopefuls hit the court at Barclays Center for the annual preseason tryouts. Gradually, coaches whittled the group down to 150 kids, then 50, then to the final 15, as they performed progressively harder routines. Kids that make the final cut have what coach Tanisha Scott calls "stardom."
The NBA playoffs began over the weekend, in the opening game of the Clippers-Spurs series, LA star Chris Paul went off. He put up 32 points in 38 minutes to lead all scorers in the Clippers 107-92 win. Not bad for the smallest guy on the court (Paul is 6’0”).
So we thought this would be a good time to give you a first look at Paul on the cover of our May issue, which is all about sports’ short guys:
The Philadelphia native earned a starting spot in his first NBA All-Star Game while leading his team to the top of the Atlantic Division for a second consecutive season.
Breaking down Kyle Lowry's free agency options from last summer is an exercise in "could haves." The point guard could have rejoined the Houston Rockets to form a terrifying trio, with MVP candidate James Harden and Dwight Howard. He could have settled into a supporting role with the Los Angeles Lakers (and possibly earned a bigger one when Kobe Bryant became injured). But those teams didn't offer the promise of a leadership role. The Toronto Raptors, with whom he'd grown as a player since 2012, did. "I ultimately wanted to be in a place where I could say, It's my team," he says of re-signing with Canada's sole NBA franchise.
And it is. Under Lowry's direction, the long-suffering Raptors have gone from cellar-dwellars to first place in the Atlantic Division, and through March 2 they had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (38--22). Lowry's doggedness on defense and career-high numbers (18.0 points and 7.0 assists per game this season) have pointed Toronto toward its second straight playoff appearance.
The long regular NBA season is over, which means two things: First, no more tanking! And second, the real quest for the NBA Championship is here. The NBA playoffs begin on Saturday, and there are plenty of storylines to carry us through the also-long postseason.
Can the San Antonio Spurs repeat as champs? Can they even make it out of a Western Conference that find two other Texas teams (Houston and Dallas) looking for championship glory? Will the Pelicans play spoiler after squeaking in on the last day of the season? How does LeBron James’ return season to Cleveland end: with a title, or a whimper?
All that and more begins this weekend. And we have our predictions on what teams make it out of the first round!
Golden State over New Orleans in 6: As expected, Anthony Davis has had an incredible second season. But his presence may not be enough to hold off the firepower of Klay Thompson and MVP candidate Stephen Curry in this first round matchup. With the third and fourth best 3-point percentage in the league, it’s going to be tough for not only the Pelicans to stop them, but anyone else from the West.
Last week, I had the chance of a lifetime and watched the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But here’s the kicker: I also got to go behind the scenes!
As a member of the media, I saw firsthand how the press covers these games, where they sit, and how they experience matchups differently than normal spectators.
Here are 10 things I experienced while covering the tournament games.
Eleven: the number of years that passed since March Madness was last played at Key Arena in Seattle.
Eight: the number of teams that traveled to Seattle to take part in second- and third-round games.
Six: the number of games seen by one Kid Reporter at Key Arena during the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 20 and 22.
March Madness often lives up to its name. Every year, there are sure to be a few upsets of highly-ranked teams in the first two rounds, and often a team comes out of nowhere to make a deep run in the tournament.
Covering the tournament is just as hectic. Games begin quickly after the preceding game ends. Locker rooms are filled with cameras, reporters, and journalists from around the nation. Handouts with stats of all kinds cover every table in the media room. However, covering the tournament was a valuable experience and a whole lot of fun!