Steven Baker and Nick Mannion
It’s that time of year again; the NBA playoffs are back after a very remarkable and memorable regular season. This NBA season has been more special than many past seasons, because of the retirement of Kobe Bryant, and the Golden State Warriors breaking the record for most wins in an NBA regular season. “This season has clearly been one of the most impressive NBA seasons ever,” said senior Pat Cramer.
With a record of 73-9, the Golden State Warriors broke the NBA record for most wins in a regular season. The record was previously held for 20 years by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, which featured one of the best players in NBA history, Michael Jordan. Along with Jordan, the Warrior’s Head Coach Steve Kerr played on 1995-96 Bulls. Kerr said he believes nobody will break the Warrior’s record. The Warriors are also the defending NBA champions, and have last year and this year’s Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry, who averages 30 points per game and five three pointers per game. “Curry is unbelievable,” said senior David Benaroch. Besides Curry, the Warriors’ starting lineup features shooting guard Klay Thompson, forward Draymond Green, forward Harrison Barnes, and center Andrew Bogut.
The Warriors were not the only highlight. After a phenomenal game where he put up 60 points, five-time NBA champion and former MVP Kobe Bryant, led his team to a win in the last game he will ever play. It’s very rare to see the Black Mamba tear up as he walked off the floor at the Staples Center but no one was surprised to see them in the last game Bryant would wear the purple and gold. Bryant is considered by some, like freshman Darien Oliva and sophomore Cody Helmer, as the greatest NBA player ever. Bryant has affected millions of lives across America including freshman Kendale Thompson: “Kobe is the reason I started playing basketball.”
This year’s MVP race wasn’t very close, as Stephen Curry became the first player to ever win the MVP by a unanimous vote. This isn’t a big surprise to most including social studies teacher Andrew Cottet; “Steph definitely deserved the award, (because) he is the first player I have seen since Michael Jordan that could do whatever he wanted with the ball.” There are very few people that believe someone besides Curry should have won, but freshman Pat Murad thinks Carmelo Anthony should have won, because “he had phenomenal season,” said Murad.
Injuries and atrocious officiating have plagued this year’s playoffs. The Warriors lost superstar point guard Stephen Curry to a sprained knee ligament, which is a substantial blow. Curry isn’t the only superstar who suffered an injury during the first round; point guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers suffered a right hand injury during game four of the first round of the playoffs. Paul is also one of the most well regarded NBA players today. The Clippers couldn’t catch a break after yet another star went down when forward Blake Griffin suffered a quad injury.
Besides injuries this year’s playoffs have been overrun by poor officiating. In game two of the San Antonio Spurs Oklahoma City Thunder game there was a controversial call. While inbounding the ball with 13 seconds left in the game, Thunder guard Dion Waiters was being pressured by Spurs guard Manu Ginobili and Waiters pushed Ginobili. The referees later admitted they missed the call that may have cost the Spurs the game. “It was a huge blown call,” said senior Ryan Mandelis. Another missed call was in game seven of the Toronto Raptors Indiana Pacers game. The Pacers were down by three with 23 seconds left when Pacers forward Ian Mahinmi was going up for an alley-oop and was pushed from behind by Demar Derozan. The no call on the play by the refs caused the Raptors to win the game and the series.