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Recap of the the last few days

Published by Axel on 14th May - 15:57 (CET)
Things are moving fast and there's only one more game to be played before the conference finals can begin. No team in NBA history has ever come back from being down two games to three twice in the same playoffs, but Miami Heat has the chance to do so at Sunday when they face the Raptors in game 7.
The winner of that game will go up against a much rested Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has only played 8 games in the last 32 days. That will be the largest possible games played differential for Conference Final opponents ever, with Cavaliers 8 vs. Heat/Raptors 14.

But before we start looking ahead there's a few events that took place this week that are worthy of a recap.

First off San Antonio Spurs have been eliminated from playoff contention and joins the 2007 Mavericks as the 2nd best regular season team to get eliminated in the playoffs. Boston Celtics tops that list as they went 68-14 in 1973.

This means that no team from the state of Texas reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010. It also means that Oklahoma City Thunder will face off with Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. I think we're all excited about the Curry - Westbrook duel, and to see how the Warriors holds up against a really strong team for the first time these last two playoffs.
This series will feature the last three NBA scoring champions:
2016 - Stephen Curry (30.1 PPG)
2015 - Russell Westbrook (28.1 PPG)
2014 - Kevin Durant (32 PPG).

If the Warriors should win that matchup we'll get to see two 1st seeded teams meet in the finals for the first time since Celtics and Lakers faced off in the 2008 finals.
If the Thunder wins however, they get the chance to surpass the 1995 Rockets as the NBA champion with the hardest path to through the playoffs ever.

On a much worse note we might have seen the last game ever from Tim Duncan, the best power forward of all time (fuck you, Malone!). Duncan's career is one of the most impressive ones we've ever seen and he's managed to rack up numerous of awards and achievement along the way:

1x NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)
5x NBA Champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
2x MVP (2002–2003)
3x Finals-MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
15x All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)
10x All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
3x All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008–2009)
2x All-NBA Third Team (2010, 2015)
8x NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003, 2005, 2007–2008)
7× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009–2010, 2013, 2015)
1x NBA Teammate of the Year (2015)

If this was in fact his last game it's safe to say that he went out with style as his 19 points against OKC made him only the 4th 40-year-old in NBA history to score atleast 18 points in a playoff game.
The other three are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Stockton and Karl Malone.

In that case he would also join Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Bill Russell in the .700 club, as the only four star players (compared with players from ESPN All-Time Top 30) to have have won 70% of their games, including the playoffs. That's really impressive as winning 70% of your regular season games is equivalent to about 57 wins, and that's what he averages! The Spurs have won less than 50 games only once during Timmy's career. It was the shortened 1999 season where they went 37-13...


Top 5 NBA Plays of May 12 - San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Quotes of the week:

"I'll get to that when I get out of here and figure life out."
- Tim Duncan on his future

"Half the kids I can't relate to. It's like they walk in here and (goes) like 'Hey, I had your poster on my wall since I was five'. Man, shut up! I don't wanna talk to you.."
- Tim Duncan on the younger guys in the league

"He fought to the end. That's Timmy. I'll take him over anyone, any day, to fight with that dude in the trenches."
- Danny Green on Tim Duncan

"They just discovered 1200 new planets, someone just lost a basketball game, get over yourself."
- Greg Popovich at exit interview after Spurs was eliminated from playoffs by the Thunder

"You coaching now? you should try not to do that."
- Greg Popovich's response to his tactical lapse of not going small earlier

"It's been fun joking with you, jibing with you, that kinda stuff. It's good."
- Greg Popovich on the Media

"You just feel like you let everybody in the world down."
- Greg Popovich on being greeted by houndreds of Spurs fans on the airport after the elimination game

"We were a slightly above-average defensive team, but when you look at what Atlanta was able to build defensively and saw what Cleveland did to them - wow."
- Stan Van Gundy on Cleveland Cavaliers

"If the Golden State Warriors don't play better than they did against the Blazers, they will not beat the OKC Thunder."
- Magic Johnson on the GSW - OKC matchup

"First try!"
- Steven Adams after missing a whole bunch of corners threes and finally getting one

"It depends on my kids"
- LeBron James on how long he'll play

"I think Terry Stotts should have been or could have been Coach of the Year. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve seen a team lose four starters and still be in the same position as far as the postseason success they had"
- LeBron James on Terry Stotts

"It's not often you play a team in the playoffs and admire them at the same time."
- Steve Kerr on Portland Trail Blazers

"I didn’t want to go back to Portland. That crowd was amazing."
- Draymond green after eliminating Portland Trail Blazers

I think we'll stop there for now, but we should also take time to congratulate Dwyane Wade who managed to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th place on NBA's all-time playoff scoring list!

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