The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
1. The end of Spurs-Thunder Game 2 was a total fiasco for everyone involved – Rodger Sherman, SBNation
In one of the craziest endings in recent memory, the Oklahoma City Thunder held off the San Antonio Spurs for a one-point victory Monday night to tie the series 1-1. Game 2 was, for the most part, a well-played game that featured the best players on both sides playing near the best of their ability. The last 20 seconds, including Serge Ibaka’s inexplicable foul on LaMarcus Aldridge’s 3, was something completely different. Violations, missed fouls, turnovers and even hints of great defense by the Thunder — the last 20 seconds had it all.
2. Can the Raptors Make Franchise History By Toppling the Heat? – Bryan Toporek, BBALLBREAKDOWN
The Raptors have reached the second round of the playoffs for only the second time and now have an opportunity to reach the conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Standing in the way of the Raptors and the other representative from the East is the Miami Heat, who are no strangers to deep playoff runs. There are many things that can be broken down in this series to try to point to an advantage for one team, but the success for the Raptors boils down to how well DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry play. If they repeat their performances from the first round, Toronto fans will have to wait another year to hope for a conference finals appearance.
3. And We Bid You Good Night: Houston Rockets were never a family – Philip Rossman-Reich, Hardwood Paroxysm
The worst thing about the regular season ending is having to wait six months to see the entertaining teams not quite good enough to make the playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks all could fall under this label. The best thing about the playoffs advancing is knowing you won’t have to watch the Houston Rockets in the near future. The Rockets were mired in hopelessness almost as the season began, firing Kevin McHale 11 games after appearing in the conference finals only months prior. The Warriors disposed of the Rockets by 33 points in the series finale, despite not having Stephen Curry available due to a knee injury. The Rockets have been eliminated from the playoffs, and with any luck, will never be seen in their current iteration ever again.
4. The Hawks lose a game they never should have won – Paul Flannery, SBNation
There was another game played last night, as the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers kicked off their series with an entertaining game of their own. The Cavaliers built up a big lead, only to watch it evaporate almost exclusively at the hands of Dennis Schroder. The 22-year-old guard made 5-of-10 3s — after converting only 32.2% of his 3s during the regular season — and made the Cavaliers pay for going under the screens in the second half. The Hawks crawled all the way back, even taking the lead for a brief period off a Schroder assist, until J.R. Smith hit an impossible 3 in the way only J.R. Smith can.
5. The Rotation: Thunder have a method to their madness – Ian Levy, Fansided
As always, The Rotation provides great reading if you missed any of the previous night’s action (although, if you missed last night’s action I would HIGHLY encourage you to catch it on League Pass). The Thunder and Spurs crazy fiasco, Tristan Thompson’ effect on the Hawks and Schroder’s impact for the Hawks, The Rotation has it all.